Matthew – God’s Purposes
Matthew 18 forgive funny
Peter’s question, “How often should I forgive?”, is so relevant today. Jesus responds with a clear answer and backs it up with another side story to nail the forgiveness and mercy point to our hearts. When we are made fun of, shown no respect, mocked for our faith, offended because we don’t partake in things of this world, or hurt physically by insecure bullies who know little about the love of God, we, too, ask God, “How many times do I let this go, show mercy and forgive?” It’s not fair!
matthew-18-called.pngBut then we think of how little we deserve the mercy and complete forgiveness of Jesus Christ that was displayed to the mocking world on a cruel cross. Did Jesus ask God, “How often should I forgive?” His answer, “Only once and forever.”
Our love for others is measured in two ways:
1. How much we realize God’s love for us–for with that measure we love each other.
2. How deeply grateful we are for the forgiveness and mercy of Christ measures how quickly we forgive and show mercy to those who offend us.
What does God require of us? The prophet of God, Micah, states it clearly for us,
“What can we bring to the Lord?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
7 Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6, NLT)
To forgive quickly and completely with holding a grudge which hinders our growth in Christ, is to walk humbly and to love mercy. Mercy and forgiveness go together like peanut butter and jelly, or like love and peace of heart.
Matthew 18 unfogiving servantMatthew 18, NLT
Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
Matthew 18 how often31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
Matthew 18 you.jpg*Leave a trail of forgiveness and mercy so that others will forgive and show mercy.
*If we do not forgive, our Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ will not forgive us. YES, Our Father, is serious.
*We negate the work of the cross for us if we do not, in turn, forgive those who offend or hurt us.
*It’s not about being fair…Praise God! If we got what we deserved, NONE of us would be forgiven!
*Forgiveness is mercy multiplied.
Matthew 18 forgive
*Burdens are lifted when complete forgiveness, full of love and mercy, by the power of His Holy Spirit in us, is freely given…as it was freely given to us. “Freely as you have received, freely give”, Jesus told his disciples as they worked among hurting, broken people. This includes forgiveness and mercy.
*How many times? “To infinity and beyond!”…Always and Forever.
Thankfully, forgiveness is not about what is deserved, rather it is about what is right, loving mercy and walking humbly with God knowing He is merciful to us each day.
Matthew 18 freedomDear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for your relentless love and mercy for me. Thank you for forgiving me of my selfish ways. Thank you for showing me Your ultimate example of forgiveness and mercy. Help me to walk humbly with you showing mercy and grace, forgiveness with love to others.
In Jesus Name, Amen
And I’m singing…
God forgave my sin in Jesus’ name.
I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share his love as he told me to.
He said ‘Freely, freely you have received;, freely, freely give.
Go in my name, and because you believe others will know that I live.
All pow’r is giv’n in Jesus’ name
in earth and heav’n in Jesus name
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share his pow’r as he told me to.
He said ‘Freely, freely you have received;, freely, freely give.
Go in my name, and because you believe others will know that I live.
God gives us life in Jesus’ name
he lives in us in Jesus’ name
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share his peace as he told me to…

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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