Hey BCU family! As usual, you can enjoy the audio podcast (by clicking on the icon below) read the transcript notes or both! Either way, be encouraged by the Word of God and share this with a friend! God bless you!
So we talked offenders, offended and the PROPER format to take air a grievance. To the person directly >two or three witnesses>>and then the church. In that order and ONLY progress to the next level if the situation is not resolved from the previous step. We also learned that many have WRONGLY divided the Word about touching and agreeing and where two or three gathered. Jesus was speaking in terms of the proceedings of how the church would deal with the offender/offended and that as the church was carrying the resolution out according to God’s Word, whatever was binding or loosed on Earth was done in Heaven—and of course He was in the midst of these proceedings. NOW we get to Peter’s question.
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?”
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
Notice he offered up a number “7” which does have significance of completeness or finality. Jesus countered with “seventy times seven”. In addition to the number 7, the number “70” signifies ‘perfect spiritual order carried out with all spiritual power and significance’ (Bullinger, 1921, p.235). Therefore, 490, being the product of 70 x 7, signifies spiritual perfection of perfect order and completeness.
The interesting thing about this verse is that Jesus is not saying that we should forgive 490 times or simply a lot of times for that matter–we need to forgive to the point of spiritual perfection! We are required to forgive to the point were we no longer meditate on the hurt or have any anger or animosity towards the person who sinned against us. If you still talk about it with passion like it happened yesterday? You have a feeling of dread, remorse, bitterness, anger, hatred, vengeance, snide comments, retreat, murmuring, complaining to others—you have NOT forgiven the party.
Lest we think we have the all clear in this area, it’s a good idea to really examine our hearts, ask God to check your heart and to be open to the Word of God on the subject. In the last season of #SpeechTherapy (season 1), we mentioned just like there are many containers of forgotten, old, ignored and overlooked things in our refrigerators sometimes, there are MANY things in the heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful above ALL things and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Matthew 15:18-20(a) says, But those things which proceed OUT of the mouth comes from the HEART and they DEFILE a man, for out the heart proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man. How you deal with forgiving tells about your heart and relationship with God. Let’s go a little further into our text.
23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
I liken this to an expense account of sorts. This servant likely had some buying/spending power. Obviously he misappropriated funds in this story and now the accounts were being reconciled.
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Ten thousand talents was about 15 times an average person’s salary and would have taken 150,000 years to repay. The verse said the servant, wife, children and all that he had needed to be sold and payment made. That was no where NEAR enough to start the repayment process.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord (or the king) of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
A couple of things here:
The servant could have NEVER repaid the king. Mercifully, the king heard the servants cry, he loosed (we just talked about that loosed on earth/loosed in heaven) and told him he was free. The King took the loss and kept the servant. No talking about it, bringing it back up, side eyes in the kingdom, he loosed or completely forgave him.
Just like us, it would take 150,000 lifetimes to repay God for all the debt I ran up in sin! Every thought, word, action, act of disobedience, sins of omission, commission—in my B.C. (before Christ) and A.C. (after Christ) life—there is NO way I could repay—never! So just like that king, our King took the loss…our sins, and bore them on the cross, so we could be free and have eternal life. That thought alone is enough to give God praise for and something we should keep in mind when dealing with others.
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Notice, this servant did not run into the friend, this guy goes to LOOK for his friend. On top of that he got physical by laying hands on– getting him by the throat AND demanded his money. The friend begged for mercy (just like the servant begged the king) and unlike the king, servant threw the fellow servant in JAIL!!
Let’s be clear, 100 pence was about 4 months salary, so this was no small amount of money, and he felt wronged. Let’s stop there. Feeling angry, hurt, betrayed, disappointed or let down is NOT WRONG. Apparently God gave us these emotions for various reasons—it’s how we react or control them that God is concerned with, as we strive to be more like Him AND be a witness to others. Offenses will come AND with various emotions with the offenses which aren’t always the most stable or reliable. So in these times, do we go with how we feel–we go with what the Word of God says. Ephesians 4:26 says to be angry and not sin…don’t let the sun go down on your wrath. In other words, we should not HOLD on to the offense for a long period of time because that’s how MANY things come out of our heart/mouths and actions or inaction that are NOT of God.
We won’t go to the the person
We will talk about them.
We will run away.
We won’t speak.
We will ignore.
We will murmur against the person.
We will tell others over and over how wronged we were.
We will sit down on God.
We will shut God out of speaking to us through prayer (which should be a two way conversation), the taught or preached word (I hope SHE heard that, or a exree-LOUD amen) and your Bible reading, Sometimes God has to “get you by the lapels” to let you know He’s talking to you! (God had been talking to me about a jive date I was about to go on—it took me TWO days to catch on), or allow a trial or series of situations that you finally have to come to Him and ask why. Lack of forgiveness hardens our heart to the point where we can’t hear God clearly. Sure, He may be blessing and keeping you—that’s His mercy and grace. While that mercy endures forever—it may not be extended to you forever—especially if we’ve been ignoring His voice.
Next, and obviously servant forgot he just was loosed from a HUGE debt. Do we forget what Christ did for us? And how He keeps doing it over and over? Even when we offend? Is our compassion limited, biased, divided? How many people have we her captive in our hearts, stopped speaking to, avoided, cursed in our minds because they trespassed us, when WE SIN! I didn’t say PRACTICE sinning, and maybe you didn’t did not against them, but we do sin. Yes, you do!
I John 1:8 says, “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We may not be PRACTICING sin, but many of the things we mediate on, say (even if it’s an oops, it was still wrong), do, or even NOT do (I’m not apologizing, I’m not going to help her (when God told you to), I’m not going to tell the clerk he gave me an extra $10 change..that was a blessing—NO that was a TEST!) Sin. Respect of persons anyone? My brother brought up how pop singers of certain ethinicies are “sent to heaven” (that’s a different teaching) on Facebook by “Christians” while other ethnicities are not talked about at all. That’s wrong. We can go round and round, but the deal is we can accumulate a massive debt of sin while we are here by not forgiving the people who wronged us. It’s not easy and our old nature won’t want to, but we HAVE to. If we love people like Jesus wants us to, we have to forgive.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
The servant was a poor witness of the mercy extended to him. How many Christians behave this way in front of families, friends and strangers while professions Christ?
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Isn’t it amazing that we are great defense lawyers for ourselves and great prosecutors for others?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So this servants lack of judgment, mercy, compassion and forgiveness got him a one-way ticket to life in torment until all was paid up. 150,000 years worth.
Which of the servant’s attitudes do we most have? Forgiven and forgotten? Is that situation worth going to be delivered to the tormentors? Is that church member (and that may just be who they are—a church member is SEPARATE from a Holy spirit-filled Body of Christ member) neutralizing your relationship with Christ and taking you off your assignment. Do you NOT recall YOU are the CALLED according to HIS purpose? If you slack on your post in The Body of Christ, you can negatively impact the rest of The Body. Or those watching you. Moreover, if we stay stuck in that place of unforgiving, verse 35 says:
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
People who have not forgiven are typically partial, bitter, wrathful, resentful, quarrelsome, (even in their minds) speak evil and have malice (see Ephesians 4:31). How does God allow any one practicing those characteristics to enter into the kingdom of Heaven? Do we consider eternity enough? Do we realize that we live this life to live again? Forever? Is what happens, albeit not nice, in this life worth torment, regret, and sorrow forever?
What if God was this unmerciful to us? Delivered us to the tormentor (enemy) for the 150,000 lifetimes worth? Yes He understands, but He doesn’t excuse. The Word is clear. When we don’t forgive, we are being disobedient and that’s a sin. Practicing sinners do not make it into the Kingdom of Heaven. No situation is worth that.
So BCU family, with God’s help, let us ask the Lord to search our hearts to remove any traces or residue of unforgiveness toward anyone. Ask Him to check our motives or non-motives. Are we operating in our gifts and talents? Are we witnessing? How is our relationship/prayer life? How quick are we to rail on someone and forgive someone else. How many times do we say, “well you know I did not mean it”, or “I’m human” as a defense to offending, but we hold others captive because they “know better” or they should.
I pray this word blessed you and more that, brings you to a place in putting the Word in action–I know it did for ME! Whew!!! God bless you for tuning in, telling a friend, sharing commenting and subscribing–we at BlenCouragesU.com really appreciate you! Until the next time we’re together, #StayOnTheWall!