January 28 - Forgiveness

By Larry Thomas

Today's Scripture: Matthew 18:19-35

Central Thought: The God who forgives can help us forgive.

    If anyone should know how to forgive, it should be the forgiven, like the man in the parable who had built up a debt he could never repay. When the time came to settle the account, the king ordered the man and his family sold to recover as much of the money as he could.

    The man threw himself before the king, begging for more time. The king acted mercifully, exceeding his request by canceling the debt all together. That must have been quite a relief. You would think this man would fully understand the act of forgiveness. Somehow, he failed to learn his lesson. He found a man who owed him only a small amount, and in spite of the man's pleading, he had him committed to prison. The king heard about this and angrily had the man thrown into jail to be punished.

    Jesus used this parable to emphasize the importance of forgiveness. Each of us has been forgiven and freed from the debt of sin we could never pay. In return, we are asked to show that same forgiveness to those who may have wronged us. Sadly, we sometimes find it very difficult to do, especially if the other person took from us what we could never regain.

    Jesus gave us no choice in the matter—we must forgive. Even if we feel we cannot forgive, God will help us as He has forgiven us.

Devotional Prayer: Oh, God, help me to forgive everyone who wrongs me, even the one who has deeply hurt me.

Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 5:22-7:24; Matthew 18:23-19:12; Psalm 23:1-6; Proverbs 5:22-23