July 2017 Teach Us to Pray

God wants us to give others a generous dose of forgiveness, as He forgives us

Prayer Establishes Our Reconciliation with God
Shedding of Blood

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:7-10

Key Verse: Hebrews 9:22

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

It is clear that it is the blood, shed by Jesus, that God applies to our sins when we believe. It is the blood that covers the sins and grants forgiveness to all who would believe. The writer of Hebrews is very emphatic: There is no forgiveness without the blood! You and I are forgiven and in God’s eternal family because of the shed blood of Jesus!

What should our response be to this amazing gift of forgiveness that God grants us? The main response God wants is for us to give others a generous dose of forgiveness! As God released us from the penalty of our sins, we must release those who sin against us! This generous spirit of forgiveness, that God wants us to live out, is seldom easy. In symbolic language, we might say it causes us to “bleed.” We will “bleed” pride, revenge-filled feelings and painful memories. Forgiveness was not easy or free. God sent Jesus to the cross for our sins. Jesus had no sin. He didn’t deserve that penalty. Jesus didn’t enjoy the walk to Calvary. Jesus’ humanity felt the rejection and the feelings of unfair treatment. Yet, for our sake, He endured it all.

Are we willing to “bleed” for those who don’t deserve our forgiveness? Are we willing to release them from our “harsh words or cold shoulder?” Our humanness gets in our way as well. We don’t want those who hurt us to get off “scot-free.” When we pray the model prayer, it will remind us that we must truly forgive.

“Father, I may struggle today to forgive those who hurt me! Open my eyes to my own failures against you. I will pass on your forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”