Friday, February 24, 2012

Forgiving Others; Walking Through the Valley of Death

    Today’s Reading:
  • Matthew 18:21 - 19:12
  • Psalm 23:1 - 6
Matthew 18:21 - 19:12
Today's reading opens up with Peter asking Jesus just how many times a man should forgive another.  Jesus told Peter that the number was an astonishing 70 times 7 (18:22).  Jesus then tells Peter a story about a king who forgave his servant of a tremendous debt, only for the servant to turn around and throw another servant into jail for a much smaller debt.  The king heard about this and got angry because his servant refused to forgive another for the exact same thing he was just forgiven for.  The king's servant was thrown in jail.

Forgiving one another is a tremendous task and just saying the words doesn't account for anything.  Jesus says we must forgive from our hearts (18:35).  There are people in my life that have done me and my family some terrible wrongs.  I am certain that I am not the only person on this Earth who has had people seriously sin against them.  How do we get past that? 

I know that there are things that I am not yet past.  I do make a conscious effort to release the anger, but even though I'm not as angry anymore it doesn't mean that I have been able to forgive them yet.  How can we turn to the Lord and ask forgiveness for our sins, yet still hold our forgiveness from others?  I think this one takes a lot of praying, self reflection, and a lifetime to truly master.

Psalm 23:1 - 6
This is a very well known Psalm.  It is a favorite because of how well it demonstrates the comfort and protection of being with the Lord.  It tells of how the Lord protects us and meets our needs.  The Lord is with us -- regardless of what happens on this Earth, regardless of what happens to our bodies, regardless of who hurts us and regardless of how we die. 

This life we live is a split second in a time span that ranges all eternity.  It is brief and it is filled with suffering; but irrespective of all of that, the Lord is there to walk us through the end -- through the valley of death.

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