My pastor has been doing a series on Luke 15 for a few weeks now and every time he reads the same passage but shows a different meaning in it. This Sunday he was talking about the forgiveness of the Father and how great it was. He said this and this really struck me... Forgiveness is closing down the book keeping department of our heart. Since I work at a bank, bookkeeping is something I deal with almost every single day. Usually it deals with debts and bills that have to be paid. When you shut it down, or maybe a better word is to clear it out, you erase all the debts that were owed. 21Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 22 "I tell you, not as many as seven," Jesus said to him, "but 70 times seven. 23 For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began to settle accounts, one who owed 10,000 talents was brought before him. 25 Since he had no way to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. 26 "At this, the slave fell facedown before him and said, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything!' 27 Then the master of that slave had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan. 28 "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100 denarii. He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, 'Pay what you owe!' 29 "At this, his fellow slave fell down and began begging him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' 30 But he wasn't willing. On the contrary, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. 31 When the other slaves saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. 32 "Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, 'You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Shouldn't you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you? ' 34 And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers until he could pay everything that was owed. 35 So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart."Matthew 18:21-35 This is what my pastor meant when he said to close down the bookeeping department. We need to earse all the debt they owed, at our own expense and forgive. In Luke 15, the Father of the son had just given him a third of everything he ownes since he was the younger son and in those days the older would get two thirds the younger one third. The younger brother spends everything that he has and when he comes back to his father, his father doesn't even mention the debt that he is in because of his son. He instead has erased the debt from his heart and gace his son rings and a rob and a party with a grand feast. The father was still in debt because of what he lost, but he erased it from his son and took it upon himself. Christ does the same thing for us. He forgives us of our sin and then takes our debt to the point of death. That is called forgiveness. A very great but true forgiveness. He came running to us before we even repented and forgave and died so we can be free of debt. This seems so great and yet we must try to apply the same forgiveness to the people who hurt us. We say we forgive but we think inside, it is just going to happen again, he is just going to do the same old thing again and is never going to change, but is that erasing the debt? No, we are still holding onto it. We must let it go, forget it even happened even if it causes us pain of some sort. He went on to say that we must keep forgiving and forgiving and forgiving and surrendering the records to God. Surrendering that pain to God. Surrendering our hearts to God. If we truly want to be like Christ and learn to forgive, we must erase those debts, and move on and keep forgiving.
Oh Goldie. This is an issue very near and dear to my heart... There are some family members in my life who have done very wrong and very bad things. Things that has effected the whole rest of the family. Now, I have the same thought as you do... That they have debts just like I do, and just like I have had my debts forgiven, I need to forgive others. Now, some people would say that I take it to the extreme of being foolish, and that I don't know. If I have totally forgiven them, is that the same as if they had never done it at all?
[quote=whobelieve]Oh Goldie. This is an issue very near and dear to my heart... There are some family members in my life who have done very wrong and very bad things. Things that has effected the whole rest of the family.[/quote]
Great teaching Goldie. I too am in a similar situation as whobelieve. I have family members that have used me, robbed from me, abused me, yet I wonder how can I forgive them. The question isn't how, it is why don't I? It is because I feel they owe me. They are in debt to me for the wrongs they have done to me. Yet, was I not in debt to my Father for the sins I committed? Yes! Did He forgive me? Yes! Does He think about those past sins I have confessed to Him still. No! Am I called to be like Him? Yes! Then I should wipe out all transgressions against me. Why? Because any transgression against me is a transgression against Christ body. Christ as the head of the body forgives. Therefore, we as Christ bride are to be submissive to the head and forgive.
Thanks again for this great word. It has made me check my heart and learn that I must wipe out all debts. Great blog!