Today's Devotion (Thursday)

Forgiveness: A Great Virtue

MATTHEW 18:23-35

Key Verse:

"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).

Forgiveness is a divine attribute that the Lord has commanded us to grant those who offend or hurt us. From the text our Lord alludes to an ancient custom among the Hebrews, of selling a man and his family to mitigate a debt. This custom was also popular among the Greeks and Romans. In Bible times, serious consequences awaited those who could not pay their debts. A lender could arrest the borrower and imprison him or sell his family into slavery until the debt is paid; otherwise, he might remain in prison for the rest of his life. The servant in our text fell down and worshiped the master. He got a reprieve by so doing. In like manner, a sinner should be in deep contrition of heart with fervent prayer to obtain the mercy of God. A sinner may be said, according to the economy of grace, to pay all when he brings the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus to the throne of Justice, by faith, thus offering an equivalent of the pardon he seeks, and paying all he owes to divine justice, through the blood of the Lamb. The master in the text was moved with compassion or with tender mercy. This is the source of salvation to the lost world. As God has forgiven all sins of the penitent, so should no believer withhold forgiveness from others. Realizing how Christ has forgiven us should produce the generous attitude of forgiveness toward others. When we do not forgive others, we are inadvertently placing ourselves outside the reach or influence of Christ’s law of love. The goodness or mercy of God towards us is the pattern we should follow in all our dealings with others.

Thought for the day: Forgiveness is a divine demand from believers in Christ.

Bible Reading in one Year: 1 KINGS 9-10

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