“Forgive our sins as we forgive others”
The glory of the Gospel is that Jesus died to set us free from the guilt and penalty of sin. So God has graciously forgiven those who confess their sins through the finished work of Christ upon the Cross. But an unforgiving heart cannot accept the forgiveness graciously given by God.
Because we have been forgiven, a forgiven man or woman must be a forgiver. A heart that asks for God’s forgiveness must be a heart that forgives. We must extend to others the same mercy we seek for ourselves.
So Jesus calls us to pray a prayer that invokes consequences upon ourselves if we are unforgiving. In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “Unless you have forgiven others, you read your own death-warrant when you repeat the Lord’s Prayer.”
This prayer calls for daily examination, daily confession, and daily petition. We must forgive for the health of our souls. Bitterness lies at the root of many ailments…physical, emotional and spiritual. We must forgive for the health of the church. The church is weak & defeated when unforgiveness exists. And we must forgive for the sake of the world. The world has yet to see what Christ is like. But it can, if we will truly forgive.
- Let’s examine our hearts today and pray that God will:
- Teach us to excel in forgiving others as we have been forgiven.
- Give us hearts that are compassionate like His.
- Bless people who oppose us
- Enable us to pursue reconciliation in relationships