UCB Word For Today Devotional For December 16, 2022 Topic – Lavish Grace
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Peter asked, ‘“How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?” Jesus answered: “Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!”’ (Matthew 18:21-22 CEV). But we shouldn’t stop there. If God gave each of us only seventy-seven ‘forgiveness passes’, we’d be in trouble! You can’t bankrupt your ‘forgiveness account’ with God. But when you refuse to forgive others, you’re overlooking the fact that ‘You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out’ (Galatians 6:1 MSG).
The Message paraphrases Jesus’ words: ‘Forgive – only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean’ (Mark 11:25 MSG). Whether it’s seven, seventy-seven, or seven thousand times, you always reap what you sow (see Galatians 6:7). We’re all human, and when somebody hurts us we want justice. But God wants you to forgive the wrongdoer before they ask or show any sign of remorse. Does that mean they will escape the consequences of their actions? No, it just means you’re not responsible for making it happen – God is. Harbouring grudges is spiritually, emotionally and physically draining; forgiveness energises and frees you to move on.
Remember, you’ve been forgiven ‘in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us’ (Ephesians 1:7-8 NIV). But it comes with the requirement that you forgive others! When you think about the debt God forgave you, anything anyone could ever do to you pales by comparison, right? Annie Johnson Flint wrote: ‘His love has no limit, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.’ Now that’s lavish grace!