Field of Faith Devotion Week 04 - Forgiveness
We will continue to build on the fundamentals of basketball throughout the next few weeks and increase the focus on basketball concepts and improving spatial awareness. (Practice Plan)
Faith Focus: Defining Forgiveness
Family Game Time: Fred Says (Watch Video)
Bible Verse: Luke 6:36-50
Memory Verse: (1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.)
Forgiveness is a personal decision. It is a spiritual act of obedience, and essential part of being a child of God. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus levies a difficult challenge, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
This is a condemning verse. It does not disqualify us from our justification (The moment we are saved by grace faith alone), since we are saved by faith alone and not the work of forgiving others, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
The verses in Matthew are condemning by what they reveal. Not forgiving others displays a paramount lack of understanding of what God has saved his children from. In the story of the sinful women (Luke 6:36-50) Jesus is invited to a dinner party by one of the religious elites (Pharisees). The sinful woman learns about Jesus attendance at the party then proceeds to crash the party and wash Jesus feet with her tears. The religious elite, who invited Jesus, was disgusted at the fact that Jesus would have such an unclean, sinful woman washing his feet, but Jesus response is subtly divine and cuts to the heart.
“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii ($90,000), and the other fifty ($9,000). When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:41-50)
There is stark contrast between the religious elite (Pharisee) and the sinful woman. One has an exemplary moral standing among the community and the other is regarded as morally unfit to wash the feet of Jesus. Jesus underlines this contrast then forgives the sinful woman, making her a child of God by cancelling the enormous debt of her sins. Our forgiven debt should spur us to forgive others (Ephesians 4:32) because we are so grateful for the debt that was paid on our behalf by Jesus perfect work on the cross.
Forgiveness is a personal transaction. Forgiveness is not forgetting or condoning an offense and is not free from consequences. Forgiveness is not reconciliation of a relationship because it is a personal transaction that involves one person - Reconciliation takes two. Talk to your kid(s) about how they ask for forgiveness from others and how we can be like God when we forgive others.
Questions to consider:
1) Does someone need to ask for forgiveness before I can forgive them?
2) How should I ask for forgiveness?
3) Do I need to forgive someone more than once for the same offense?