Last week, we covered how Jesus had given His disciples guidance on the proper example of prayer and how are to continue to seek Him for answers (Luke 11:1-13). We looked this week at the same reference to these verses in Matthew 6:9-15; 7:7-8. In the verses representing prayer in Matthew 6 (as well as in Luke 11), forgiveness is an important element of the model prayer. It shows that God wants every believer to be mindful of how we are not to harbor resentment, anger, and bitterness if someone mistreats us. We are to forgive the other person who is guilty of the transgression. We are to do it every time and all of the time…even to repeat offenders (Matthew 18:21-22, Luke 17:4). The consequences of failing to forgive someone does more harm to yourself than it does the other party. God calls all of us as believers in Jesus Christ to live according to His example and in obedience to Him and His Word. He clearly states that He will not forgive us if we do not forgive others. This harms us because we are worse for the wear if our fellowship with God is hampered in any way if we are not putting aside the malice and bitterness that comes from an unforgiving heart. Forgiveness is the essence of what the cross represents to us…how much God loves us in spite of our sins (Romans 8:28; John 3:16). Repentance triggers forgiveness, and true forgiveness frees the recipient of grace. God’s love is a true example of love and forgiveness that we are to live by. These actions represent the true foundation of God’s greatest commands (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Matthew 22:37-40).
Sunday School Today: Forgiveness and a Heart For God
Akron Alliance Fellowship Church
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