Forgiveness of others not optional!
Scripture reading for April 13th: Matthew 6, Psalm 74, Proverbs 12
Matthew 6: 7-13 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, Your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will Your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Jesus continued to teach His disciples about how to live the blessed life of His kingdom, beginning now on earth and continuing forever. He was the Way to the Father and He taught His disciples how to approach the Father and seek Him for their daily needs, forgiveness of sins, and protection from their adversary, Satan and his schemes. He gave them a simple pattern of prayer, approaching God through a relationship of child to Father. It was a humble attitude of worship, dependence and faith in His kingdom, power and provision. He cautioned them about one possible trap, that of forgiving others. If they wanted their sins forgiven by God’s grace, they must give grace to those offending them. If this request from the merciful Father was ignored or refused, their own forgiveness could not happen!
Psalm 74:12-13 “Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. You divided the sea by Your might; You broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.”
Prayer: Father God, in heaven, You are Holy, Holy, Holy! I humbly acknowledge my need of daily bread, forgiveness of sins, and protection from the evil one and his schemes. You are my Father and King, working salvation among all the lost. Help me to demonstrate Your grace to others who have offended me. I want nothing to block Your mercy in my life and to keep me from the path of eternal life.
Proverbs 12:28 “In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.”