March 8: You Must Forgive Others
Jesus made it clear that we cannot bring an unforgiving heart to a holy altar. We are to forgive freely. Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22). When you pray, God will reveal your bitterness toward others. He will convict you of broken relationships you have forgotten.
Once the Lord reveals them to you, He can talk to you about them. He can finally get through to you because you are listening. You may have faith that God will answer your prayers, but your refusal to forgive renders your faith ineffectual. Galatians 5:6 says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” So, God will say to you, “Yes but faith works when love is in order, and you are not living in forgiveness.” You need faith to please God (Heb. 11:6), but you also need love, for God is love (1Jhn 4:8,16).
Forgiveness frees your prayers to receive answers. Assess your relationships. Have you sinned against anyone? Are you holding onto a grudge? Do you have any broken relationships? God looks for clean hands and a pure heart. (Ps. 24:3-4). A broken and a contrite heart, the Lord will not ignore or despise (Ps. 51:17). If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us. (see Ps. 66:18 KJV). However, when we forgive others, God will forgive us, opening a channel for Him to hear and answer our prayers. Note: We cannot do business at a holy altar with a bitter heart.
Let’s pray: Oh God our father, please search my heart and see if there is any wicked way in me. If I’m withholding back forgiveness, reveal it to me, and help me be humble and forgive everybody or anybody I have not forgiven and also not received their forgiveness. Help me to pay my debt of love to all and also receive love from them and from you in return, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 5-7; Mark 11: 1-18
You Must Forgive as You're Forgiven.