Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 February 2022 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.     ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

And what shall we talk about this damp, cloudy Wednesday morning eh my faithful brethren in Christ? I asked the Lord that question, and you won’t believe His answer. He said, talk about forgiveness. Yes friends, that’s what our heavenly Father wants us to talk about today. And it’s not an easy problem to talk about, much less to put into practice. But the only way we can become true believers in and followers of Christ is if forgiveness is numbered amongst our many attributes. 

Now the first thing we need to remember are the words of Jesus in the prayer we call the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ where He says: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt. 6:12) Then He clarifies it all by saying: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 614-15) Oh my people, that is so in your face that you couldn’t get away from it, even if you tried! (smile) 

But still, many of us don’t take it seriously, thinking that somehow or the other we can get away with not forgiving others. However, like so many other things we try to get away from, that’s merely a fool’s wisdom. And I’ve found some reading on the situation that I believe will help us understand it more clearly. It’s the writing most aptly titled ‘Forgiveness’ found in our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

So please read with me: ‘Forgiveness. What does it do for us? In an amazing way it creates a fresh beginning. It lifts us out of the tangled seaweed of resentment. A miracle is performed! It may not happen in a moment or a day. We may have to forgive at six o’clock on Monday and start over again at two o’clock on Tuesday. There is no magic wand to simplify forgiveness. Forgiveness is a deliberate setting of our will, often with no emotional high whatsoever. 

But once having genuinely forgiven, our soul is washed clean. We walk in dignity again. We sense a new vitality. We’re no longer concentrating on hurts; we’re concentrating on God. If we would only forgive, our lives would undergo transformations beyond our highest expectations. Above all, Jesus Christ would be exalted, for it is His forgiveness that makes the difference. 

Forgiveness is a beautiful word. It is God’s word passed to us to use freely, joyfully. When we ask for the gift of forgiveness, God always says yes. He gave His Son to make us free, and forgiveness is the secret key to freedom.’ 

Mama Oh Mama! Isn’t that beautiful my people! And not only beautiful but also the gospel truth! And I’m wondering here if I’ve ever encountered or used that marvellous passage on Forgiveness before, because it doesn’t seem familiar to me. And I would be highly disappointed in myself if I’ve had such a fantastic explanation of ‘Forgiveness’ in my possession for so long and never used it. 

And, if after reading that ‘forgiveness’ doesn’t have a new meaning, then something’s seriously wrong with us. It’s a miracle! It untangles our tangled up lives and gives us a new beginning! But we have to make a positive choice to forgive and work at it continually, because there’s no magic wand to it. It washes our soul clean! 

Wow! It even adds dignity to our walk and a new sense of vitality? Why is that you ask? Because when we forgive, we let go of all the petty hurts and resentments and begin thinking of God, pure and simple! And remember that’s why the Lord sent Christ to earth, so that He could die on the cross and atone for our sins; that means forgiveness of our disgusting iniquity. So, it’s His forgiveness in the first place that makes all the difference in our lives. And when we use that beautiful word forgiveness, we’re using the word the Lord gave us so that we can have freedom and joy, because those magnificent things only come through forgiveness! 

Oh mih people, the ole fella’s on a roll here. (smile) And the Bible verse used as a promise for this passage comes from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Colossians, where he’s talking to them about Christian virtues, and admonishes them: ‘Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:13) 

Now that’s the King James version, but this NLT (New Living Translation) version might make it a li’l clearer. ‘You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.’ And we can’t get away from that written in stone fact, no matter how we try my people, because Jesus preached it so much. 

Listen to Him as He talks about prayer and believing when you pray. ‘And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have aught (anything) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ (Mark 11:25-26) How much clearer can it get eh? But yet we insist on praying when we have a whole lot of unforgiveness, resentment and hatred filling our hearts. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus. ‘Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:31-32) 

Oh friends, when are we going to learn that the two most important words in God’s vocabulary are LOVE and Forgiveness? He sent Jesus because He LOVED us and consequently wanted to see us forgiven of our terrible sins. And until we have them in great measure in our souls, we are just wasting time, just spinning our wheels and not growing spiritually. However, for those of us who are sincerely and seriously endeavouring to get those attributes in our lives, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most marvellous position in Christ Jesus! 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And let’s remember that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. So please, let’s keep on keeping on for Christ nuh! Much LOVE!

…there’s no forgiveness without LOVE…and no LOVE without forgiveness… 

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