Mon, May 18, 2020

Forgive Us Our Debts

Good morning, Anthem!

We are so grateful for this church family and we have so enjoyed life together. I’m not sure why, but I feel compelled at the start of this week to simply say “thank you”. Thank you for doing life with us, for your faith, generosity, love for Jesus and love for his church. Thank you for going on a church planting adventure with us! We are really blessed to be doing this life with you. 

On to the devotional… Jesus continues his training on prayer with the phrase: and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. This is a prayer for grace... one that both asks for the grace of God and commits to dispensing that same grace.

Colossians 2:13-15

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

We had a debt to pay, we were dead in our sin and had no way to pay it. Jesus in His grace stepped in and paid it for us bringing forgiveness through the cross. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes in Life Together:

When we received forgiveness instead of judgment, we too were made ready to forgive each other. What God did to us, we then owed to others. The more we received, the more we were able to give; and the more meager our love for one another, the less we were living by God’s mercy and love.


Exercise #1
: Draw near to the mercy of God. Spend some time in prayer meditating on the wonders of His grace. Ask Him afresh to forgive whatever ways you have missed the mark (sinned). Spend some time in thanksgiving for his faithful forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

Bonhoeffer points out that our ability to forgive others is directly related to the extent to which we are abiding in the love and mercy of Jesus. When we are experiencing his grace, it flows through us.


Exercise #2: Spend some time asking Jesus to bring to mind people who need your forgiveness. Draw near to Jesus and ask for His grace to flow through you and into their lives. We reflect what we receive from Him.

Remember that forgiveness “disarmed the rulers and authorities”. When we apply the gospel and live in forgiveness...both given and received...the enemy is robbed of his power. 

 

By this prayer, Jesus is empowering us to do battle with spiritual forces as well as with our own flesh. Our prayer is that today is a day to contend for forgiveness and see the power of Jesus come alive in you.

Much love,
Matt and Kristen