Lures for Fishing
Forgiving Others – Part 2
Scripture Reading: Matthew 18:21-35
Key Verse: Matthew 18:21
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
There is no question about the mighty power of forgiveness. We all have experienced it and know what true forgiveness does in our lives. A Christ follower is commissioned to be a fisher of people for God’s kingdom. Many of us feel we fail in catching “fish” for Jesus. I believe we play a part that we are not even aware of in many people’s lives and journey to God by the way we live. One of the most powerful ways we can ever affect how a person will see Jesus is how we forgive those who offend us.
People who are far from God are not “moved” by our lectures or sermons about the “facts” of the gospel. That doesn’t mean they never need to hear those facts, but it means they are moved—emotionally stirred—by demonstrations of what the gospel does in and through those who follow Jesus. When they see forgiveness given or experience a Christ follower’s forgiveness for some offense they perpetrated, it deeply affects them. In Acts chapter seven we read the story of Stephen being stoned for his beliefs in Jesus. Saul, a top Pharisee, held the coats of those that would stone Stephen. As Saul heard Stephen cry out his words of forgiveness for those throwing the stones, this affected Saul. He later was converted, and God changed his name to Paul; the Apostle Paul!
Father, fill my heart with mercy that I may forgive freely and influence people deeply for your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.