Thanks for joining us on this journey of building a consistent habit of reading our Bibles every day. The Bible reading plan we are using this year can be found here: One Year Bible or here on the Bible app. As always, if you miss a day, don’t feel compelled to go back and catch up. Just skip it and start back on today’s date. I am reading the NLT this year, but feel free to use whatever version you prefer. Now here are some thoughts from today’s readings:
Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’
– Matthew 18:33
What a lesson on forgiveness Jesus delivers here! A man is forgiven a large sum, then he immediately turns around and fails to have mercy on a man who owes him a very little amount. Now, reading that parable as an outsider, it’s easy for us to recognize how silly the unforgiving man is being. We can judge him as dumb, heartless, or plain evil all we want, but don’t we do the same thing?
Jesus came and paid a great price for our sin. He forgave us a massive debt we could not pay and saved us, not only from an eternity of punishment, but from living a hopeless life without Him. And what do we do? We get upset, hold grudges, and refuse to forgive. Why do we do that?
For many of us, it’s because we actually skipped part of the gospel. Many American Christians today accepted Jesus as part of the checklist of becoming a better person. It’s just what good and decent people do, right? Wrong! It’s what dirty, broken, hurting, and desperate people do! If you don’t recognize that that’s exactly what you were before Christ, you might not understand the gravity of what Christ did for you (and I fear you may actually still be ‘before Christ’ and not even know it). If that’s you, you need to recognize your own depravity before a holy God and repent afresh, thanking God for saving such a messed up, broken sinner as you.
Let me repeat it this way: Jesus CANNOT save good people. He told us He didn’t even come for those people. He came for the lost, the broken, the dirty sinners. The good news is, that’s exactly what you and I are. It’s time for us to remember how great our offenses were in the eyes of God. Remember He forgave them. In light of how much He chose to forgive us of, can we not also forgive our offenses here on earth?
What offense are you holding on to that you need to forgive? What do you need to do today to let those go?