Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tues., 1/18/11 Devotion (Matt. 18:21)

Today's encouragement comes from Matthew 18:21, which says this:

"Then Peter came to [Jesus] and said, 'Lord, how often shall my broth-
er sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?' "

The best people in the world are the most forgiving ones. I cannot say everything that is involved with forgiveness in this devotion--but this will suffice: all relational problems are always ultimately issues of forgiveness (or unforgiveness). This includes the problem sinners have with God, (as they remain in a state of the flesh and rebellion).

Does a professing Christian ask for forgiveness? It must be granted. The "forgiver" cannot say, "Let me see how sincere you are, and then we will consider forgiving, or not." Would we want to deal with God in that way? How happy would we be with this prayer: "God, please forgive me, based on how well I will do at not committing the same sin again"? In that scenario, we would all be condemned.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Now, as a man is broken off from sin by seeing and feeling it, and groaning under the power of it, so is a man broken from himself." --Thomas Shepard, in, "The Sincere Convert"]