A Devotional Thought
by Rhonda Williams
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Remember back to when you were a child and you first played the game, “Simon Says?” It’s a fun, easy game and helps in developing listening skills. Here’s a refresher on the rules. “Simon” is the leader who gives the command and action to be taken by the other players which should be followed only if “Simon” prefaces the command with the phrase “Simon says.” I’m sure you can remember playing this game.
Now think of Matthew 6:12 in this manner:
“God says” we are to ask Him to forgive us of our debts (sin) and “God says” we are to forgive our debtors (those who have sinned against us).
God has a lot to say about asking for forgiveness:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
“Blessed is he whose transgression (sin) is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
God is truly clear about sin, and He willingly offers forgiveness when we approach Him with a repentant heart and wholeheartedly seek His forgiveness.
But there’s more. “God says” to forgive others just as God has forgiven us.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses (sin). But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
When we gather in corporate prayer, The Lord’s Prayer is quickly prayed uniting us as believers in Christ and directing our focus towards God. However, we would be remiss in thinking that the simplistic utterance of Matthew 6:12 in prayer is sufficient in and of itself.
We must be in daily communion with our heavenly Father, wholeheartedly seeking His forgiveness and seeking his grace to forgive others. This practice will keep
sins from becoming greater problems and enables the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.
The invitation to regular repentance is not a means of renewing your salvation, but rather a maintenance plan for your fellowship with the Lord. Dependence on the Lord is central to an abundant life. By allowing the Holy Spirit to live through us, we will find our lives characterized by significance and satisfaction. We maintain this fellowship through a regular practice of confessing sins, receiving forgiveness and forgiving others.
In closing here is another “God says.”
“Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
The hardest part of confessing sins, is recognizing and admitting your sins. Our tendency is to want to excuse our actions and thoughts. So, make it your prayer habit to ask God to reveal to you sins that need confessing. Then confess them by praying something like:
“God, I confess _____________ I renounce it as wrong, and turn to follow you in obedience.”
Whenever, a sin comes to mind, don’t wait, confess it on the spot before it has a chance to burrow into your soul.
To learn more about the practice of forgiving others, see Pastor Phil’s earlier Spiritual Growth Saturday video on the subject by