Forgiving debts or trespasses, erasing iniquity, removing sin – only divine grace can make this possible. It takes a holy God, a sinless Son, and a never-ending fountain of pure love.
Jesus modeled this in His perfect prayer. He demonstrated and declared that we should ask God to forgive us as we forgive others.
Can anyone meet that standard?
Are any besides the Lord capable of fully forgiving others, as much as we need full forgiveness? Do any of us let go completely of all wrongs (real or perceived) and release those who have wronged us into the judgment, care, and hands of the Righteous One?
What if our own redemption (offered freely from God) fully depended upon our ability to forgive others 100 percent of the time? What if God waited for us to blot out our own mental records of others’ transgressions against us before He offered his mercy to us?
Who could stand?
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.
Matthew 6:14-15, KJV
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Matthew 18:21-22, KJV
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mark 11:25, KJV
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Luke 6:36-38, KJV
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32, KJV
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Colossians 3:13-14, KJV
Full forgiveness is a tall order.
Oh, Lord. Forgive us for our non-forgiveness. Help us to forgive, even as we have been forgiven. Remind us how much we have been forgiven – and how our own sins You have forgotten.
Pretty sure that’s where it begins.
Lord’s Prayer graphic
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Lingering line by line
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