Devotion #23

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-15 ESV

Jesus knew we would need multiple reminders to forgive in scripture because it’s what will bring our hearts peace, so Scripture is filled with these reminders. He knew our forgiveness of others would have a huge impact on the Kingdom, so He calls us to let it go over and over again. 

God’s number one priority is that all people would come to know Jesus as their Savior. We should be operating as if that is our number one priority as well—in our offices, in our neighborhoods, most especially in our homes. Our marriages are a model of Christ’s love and forgiveness, and how you respond to your spouse can have a significant impact on His Kingdom. As a professed follower of Christ, you must always be mindful that people are watching you. People witness our forgiveness and our sincere attempts at living in peace over conflict with others in our lives, and it impacts them. Your choice to put His priority over yours, to love and forgive, to live in peace and unity, glorifies Him. And when He is glorified, people come to know Him. What a beautiful testimony to the Spirit at work in our lives!  

God knows my greatest desire is to see the people in my life come to trust Him as their Savior, but that desire battles with my flesh at times. We live in a world of justified complainers. Take a step back for a moment and listen to how this world complains about being offended. It can be so easy to get caught in that trap of negativity. Forgiveness isn’t just about the big stuff, it’s also about the day-to-day little stuff. That stuff can pile up if we don’t stay ahead of it, and when it piles up, we become complainers. 

When I complain about the way my spouse offended me, it impacts my loved ones—especially those younger or the unbelievers in my life. But when I demonstrate a loving, forgiving attitude despite the offense, and when I model a Christ-like response, I am working for the Kingdom—and that is truly my greatest desire. 

Think about those loved ones you desperately want to know Jesus, then think about how much you complain about your spouses to them. Drawing them into a relationship with Christ isn’t just about how you love them, it’s about how you love all people in front of them. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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