Topic: Forgiveness Demanded [Saturday August 5, 2017]
Text: Matthew 18:15-22
Key Verse: “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21,22).
The world advertises hatred, anger and bitterness. Absence of a truly forgiving spirit in all spheres has severely compromised our divine origin, turning the world into a huge theatre of bloodletting and mindless massacre. Two ethnic groups had lived at peace with one another for centuries in Africa.
They had even inter-married. Yet, a minor offence by one against the other altered the balance. The other group took it to heart and resorted to war. By the time they realised their actions, about one million souls on both sides had perished! This is the scenario the Lord anticipated in the text while giving His counsel on conflict resolution between and amongst Christians. This was essentially to be the distinctive mark between believers and unbelievers.
Christ’s disciples must go the extra mile in resolving disputes and forgiving others. The limit of forgiveness must not be less than 490 times daily, an incomparably far cry from the three times that Rabbis of old prescribed. The unspoken import of Christ’s homily on forgiveness is this: give no room for offence and if it crops up, get it resolved in the Church and forgive. The Lord’s admonition is quite logical. Every believer is a product of Christ’s mercy and forgiveness.
Our sins and transgressions, before we met the Lord, ought to have attracted His dire indignation. Yet, instead of judgment, He offered us mercy; instead of eternal alienation, He granted us unflagging reconciliation. This should be sobering enough for so-called believers who still struggle with the challenge of forgiving offences and the readiness to resolve conflicts within the precincts of the Church.
Christians who rush to the law courts and unbelievers to resolve conflict merely make a mockery of their faith. Whatever the offence against us, the grace of God is sufficient to help us forgive others.
Thought for the day: To err is human; but to forgive is divine.
Bible Reading in one Year: Jeremiah 3-4
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.