Sunday, September 29, 2013
I do prayers of an evening, almost as a habit. I have a PUSH (Pray until something happens) list that doesn’t get updated as much as it should. Several prayers there are health related issues for people I don’t know, but a friend does and has requested prayer support. Some have ANSWERED beside them. A couple still surprise me that no apparent answer has been given. Three are for moms carrying new little baby boys – each with separate health issues. Still another is for a Christian in an Islamist-Muslim land, where being a believer in Christ may result in death. The most important in my mind are those I love who do not believe. You see, I take the Bible at its word:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:17-18 KJV)
The Bible is not a buffet from which to choose what we like and ignore what is not convenient or difficult. Which brings me back to the last couple of days and:
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12 KJV)
It does not say, “as we forgive those who have apologized and asked for our forgiveness.”
Just needed to clarify that in my mind. You see, if I were asked to make a daily list of people who ignored, slighted, insulted or hurt me physically or emotionally, I think I could do that pretty well. The list where I ignored, slighted, insulted or hurt someone, in any way, would most likely be shorter – and would have incidents skipped. Yet, that second list is the one for which I’m asking forgiveness, without truly forgiving those on the first. Had I forgiven them, they wouldn’t show up on a list at all. Forgiven = not remembered.
Forgiven, how many times? I’m certain Peter thought he was being generous:
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (Matthew 18:21 KJV)
Christ thought more:
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:22 KJV)
He followed that with an example (Matthew 18:23-34) and closes with:
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (Matthew 18:35 KJV)
That is the message that must remain in my heart in order that it not be filled with slights, insults, hurts – or ignorance. My heart is to be filled with God’s love. That’s the first, and greatest, commandment.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38 KJV)