Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 6:14
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” – Matthew 6:14
Prayer is an important part of our Christian life for it is our time to converse with the God of the universe, the one who created all that is, including us. What an amazing opportunity. We can bring to Him our thanks and appreciation for all that He does for us, and we can go to Him requesting help during difficult times. “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:9. And there is another area we can go to Him in prayer on, and that is forgiveness for our sins.
It is sad to realize that we all sin at times after we commit our lives to Christ. Even the apostle Paul admitted as such regarding himself. “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15. He hated some of the things he did, knowing that it was of the flesh. Therefore, it is at these time we can go to before God and ask for forgiveness. “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9 If we do sin, Christ is our advocate before the Father on our behalf. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2.
Back to our focus verse, we are called to forgive those who sin against us just as God forgave us through the blood of Christ. We are to show the same grace and mercy to everyone who wrongs us, or even appears to wrong us when in actuality they did not. We must always assume innocence until irrefutable evidence shows otherwise. However, in either case, we are required to give the same grace and mercy as was given to us by God for the sins we committed against Him. Jesus put it this way in answer to a question from Peter regarding forgiveness. “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22. This has the idea of as often as sinned against, forgive.
As a final thought, the next verse in Matthew speaks of a serious idea regarding forgiveness. “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:15. Jesus spoke of this again as recorded by Luke. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:36-38. Note the last sentence in these passages, “For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38b. In essence, however we treat others is the rule on how we will be treated. Remember the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35). “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:35.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.