How desperate are we for God to forgive us? Are we able to see ourselves as God sees us? Or are we just conscious enough to know we’re sinful in some ways, but we’re not too desperate about it? Although this servant, in the story Jesus told in Matthew 18, got down on his knees and begged for forgiveness, because he knew he could never repay his master, it was a very self-centred begging for forgiveness. It only went skin deep, and didn’t touch his heart, as we see him next, man-handling and choking his colleague for a few coins. I wonder if he was trying to collect enough to pay for his own forgiveness, not understanding the free gift given him by the King.
The old nature struggles with the free nature of God’s forgiveness – it’s extravagant, immeasurable and we can never repay it. How clearly do we see ourselves as our Holy God does? We’re stuck in the miry clay of sinfulness until Jesus rescues us and begins to lift us out and clean us up! We owe Jesus EVERYTHING! We had no hope, no way out of our debt of sin. How then can we hold on to the petty offences and sins against us, in the light of such a huge, un-repayable debt, that we owe God?
Seeing the awesomeness of the creation in Scotland, the majesty of the mountains and the sea, the brilliance of the stars at night, and pondering on the Almighty: the all-powerful, omniscient, omni-present God, who created them and holds them in place, whose eyes are blazing fire, who creates galaxies with the word of His mouth, who sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, I’m humbled to the size of a grasshopper in His presence (Isaiah 40:22). I wonder how I can refuse Him anything!
I feel convicted again at my withholding anything from Him, of trying to do things in my own strength and in my own way. I need Your help, Lord, even to forgive! I need to ask Him to expose what’s in my heart, being prepared to see it for what it is and own it. Jeremiah 17:9 says ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’ I can never make it by my own righteousness. It’s HIS righteousness that gives me fellowship with God. It’s His forgiveness I need so desperately.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, please forgive me when I hold on to any offence of a fellow human being against me. It’s NOTHING when measured alongside the huge offence You could have held against me, but didn’t! Help me to die to self, to humble myself before You, and give me the same heart Jesus had. Amen.
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