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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

HOW OFTEN DO WE FORGIVE?


Matthew 18:21-22 Young's Literal Translation (YLT) “Then Peter having come near to him, said, `Sir, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him -- till seven times?' Jesus saith to him, `I do not say to thee till seven times, but till seventy times seven.’”
           
            Symbolism plays a big role in the Bible. Here we see Peter asking a simple question regarding forgiveness.Jesus’ answer is direct, yet seems preposterous at the same time; 490 times. I would hate to think of how many times God has forgiven me. Surely it must surpass 500 times; yet He still forgives and loves. I’m sure Peter thought 7 times was a lot, but Jesus blew the disciples doors off with His answer. It is hard to imagine that an individual would commit the same exact sin 490 times, so while there may be some repeat offenses, I think we can assume that forgiveness is being given for various sins. The offender must ask for forgiveness, yet even if they do not, we should treat them with kindness anyway. That isn’t something that's easy to do, especially when malicious intent is involved. It may help to remember how often Christ forgave us in the light and magnitude of our own sin.
            Believers can take solace in the above two scriptures, because it means that there is no end to the forgiveness of God. You see, while Peter’s number represents a point to which forgiveness would be withheld, Christ’s number represents no end to forgiveness. That doesn’t give us a license to act out and do as we please. God is forgiving us in an effort to reform us so that we improve our behavior as we attempt to be His ambassador on this earth. Forgiveness comes with a price; consequences are tied to our actions. Forgiveness allows us to see the error of our ways and reform.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!