Sunday, April 19, 2015

Forgiveness, how are you doing?

Matt. 18:21-22  Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me?  Seven times?”  “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!”

We think we do so well at practicing our faith.  We listen to what our Lord says and strive to obey Him.  We know that we don’t always get it right, but we do alright.  We do better than many people we know.  We must be a sweet aroma to God, right?  Not necessarily.  Jesus told Peter that what he thought was enough was not nearly good enough in God’s eyes.  The problem wasn’t in Peter’s efforts, it was in his heart.  What Jesus wanted Peter to understand is that the motives of the heart are the key to pleasing God.

Peter thought he was really being noble by suggesting that maybe they should forgive someone seven times, for the law only required one time.  The law was more about justice and not forgiveness.  Therefore, when Jesus suggested seven times as much as Peter did, He was pointing to a much deeper and better way to live.  Jesus’ way is a way of grace instead of meting out justice.  God will take care of the justice part; we are to act graciously towards one another. 

If we are trying to keep score and noting how well we are doing, we are missing the point.  If the heart is right we will always do what is right before God with no regard for how many times we have done it, even if it is thousands of times.  There is no such thing as resting on our laurels or stopping our obedience to God.  His life is our way of life.  It is who we are and to not live like Christ wants us to live is out character for us and should be unnatural.  If we want to please God we will always strive to do what is right before God.  Period.

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