By January 2, 2020January 9th, 2020Daily Devotionals

January 2, 2020

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me in my new beginning to offer a clean slate to someone I have carried offense toward. Thank You, Lord.

Scripture “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!” Matthew 18:21-22NLT

New Year’s Day is a wonderful time to think of ‘new beginnings.’  Our ancient Christian forerunners of Jewish culture struggled with the issues of payback and retribution.  One of the things that made it so hard for them to accept the Lord as Messiah was that he did not come to do their bidding in punishing those who had abused them. Instead, the Lord called upon them to forgive enemies rather than pay them back.  And when asked by those closest to Him about how often this should occur, the Lord used a common figure of speech to them: “seventy times seven.”  They understood, but didn’t quite embrace what this meant.  It meant they should forgive everyone, always and continuously rather than seeking vengeance.  In fact, Jesus was very forth coming on this ideal.  He explained to them that when they were empowered by the Holy Spirit, from within– only then would they actually be able to do this– to love as God loves.
How about this New Year and you?  You are very happy to receive the cleanly wiped slate of your life, cleansed for you by God.  Are you ready to likewise wipe the slate of others’ lives where you are concerned?  Are you ready to forgive as you have been forgiven?  No?  Well thanks for being honest.  Are you even willing to do so if you had the power?  Yes?  Then please ask now and the Lord will bestow that power upon you.  Then forgive as you have been forgiven and give others the same gift of a clean slate that you have received.

Copyright Dan Elliott.  Email delliott@ceai.org

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