Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Daily Light - August 10, 2010

Daily Light from the Lighthouse

"Jesus said to him, 'I do not say to you, up to seven times,
but up to seventy times seven.'"
Matthew 18:22

Do you know the Scripture that teaches that it is more blessed to give than to receive? We teach that verse around Christmas or on other occasions of service. However, I imagine that many would balk against this verse when it comes to the subject of forgiveness. Each one of us knows how much we need forgiveness and also how wonderful it is to be forgiven for our transgressions against others and God. When we know that we have the weight of guilt on our lives, we yearn for the gift of forgiveness to be given to us. If that person does forgive us, it is like feeling an incredible burden being lifted off of our chests. We can breathe again. As a child of God what a comfort it is to know that my sin debt has been forgiven by God and that I am free to live in His grace and mercy.
However, remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Isn't it strange that the one thing we know every one needs (forgiveness) is very hard for most of us to give? Peter obviously had an issue with someone for him to come to Jesus with his question that led to Jesus response about forgiveness. Peter said that he was willing to forgive someone for a repeated offense up to seven times. I don't know how you feel about that, but I believe Peter was being quite generous. To forgive the same person seven times for an offense against you would take an incredible amount of mercy on your part. Peter thought so as well. Surely Jesus would say that seven times sounds about right. However, like He does constantly, Jesus blew our "practical" thinking right out of the water. He gave Peter a ridiculous number: seventy times seven. That is 490 times for the mathematically challenged among us. Why would He give such an incredibly high number? It was simply to make His point that grace has no limit. We do not forgive because it is practical. Forgiveness does not make sense to the human heart. We think more along the lines of revenge. God wanted Peter and all of us to understand that His forgiveness, mercy, and grace go far beyond the practical. When we forgive, we are more like Christ than we will ever be. If there is any one that you know needs your forgiveness today, don't withhold it from them. Give it so that YOU might be blessed!
May you know the joy of forgiveness today.

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