Highlights In Today's Reading:
The disciples question how to have eternal life and to live godly. Graciously the Savior answers their questions, teaching the horrifying consequences of an unforgiving attitude. By faith, we follow our King. With Jesus all things are possible (19:26).
The Kingdom of Heaven (is) likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. . . . one . . . owed him ten thousand talents (such is the awful debt of our sin against God). . . . The servant . . . worshipped him, saying, Lord . . . I will pay thee all (impossible — not of works — Eph. 2:8-10). Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion . . . and forgave him the debt. But the same (forgiven) servant . . . found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence (just a few pennies in comparison to his own enormous debt). . . . his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all (same prayer the first servant offered) (Matt. 18:23-29). But, he showed no mercy and cast him into prison till he should pay the debt. When the merciful king heard this, he said: O thou wicked servant (18:32). He did not call him wicked because he owed the enormous amount of ten thousand talents but because he offered no mercy. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors (18:34). Jesus warned: So likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (18:35).
The unforgiving person cannot pray: Forgive . . . (me my) debts, as (I) forgive . . . (my) debtors (6:12,14). Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven (5:44-45). The unforgiving has brought the wrath of God upon himself. It is a serious thing to harbor ill will, bitterness, and unforgiveness in our hearts, for it keeps God from forgiving us of our sins. We must forgive every offense if we expect to be freely forgiven by God of so much more than any one could ever owe us. As we forgive grudges, we'll no longer pity ourselves for how much we've been hurt but it makes it possible to also pray for God to richly bless the ones who have offended us.
Thought for Today:
Fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth (Josh. 24:14).
18:6 offend =to wrong, cause to sin; 19:14 Suffer =permit; 20:3 third hour =about 9 a.m.; 20:11 murmured against the goodman of the house =were indignant, critical with their employer; 20:15 Is thine eye evil? =are you begrudging, jealous, or envious?; 20:26 minister =servant.
For Matt. 18:16: See Deut. 19:15. Matt. 19:4: See Gen.1:27; 5:2. Matt. 19:5: See Gen. 2:24. Matt. 19:7: See Deut. 24:1-4. Matt. 19:18: See Ex. 20:13-16; Deut. 5:16-20. Matt. 19:19: See Ex. 20:12; Lev. 19:18; Deut. 5:16.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Staff: Mike Moore • Government Officials: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) and Rep. Thomas Price (GA) • Country: French Guiana (168,000) on the northern coast of South America • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 85% Christian; 9.5% non-Religious/Other; 2% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord for deliverance in times of trouble (Ps. 50:15).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:8