GENUINE PRAYER AIMS FOR PURITY
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
A clean heart is a prerequisite to a life that is useful in the hands of God. Our “debts” refer to the sins that we have committed. Sins are like “debts” because sin should be punished. But God beckons us to ask for forgiveness and He gives it, if we will ask Him. If we are saved, our “debts” were paid on the cross. Asking forgiveness is confessing our sin to be as awful as God says it is, realizing that Jesus experienced suffering for each individual sin on the cross.
Notice that Jesus links God’s forgiveness of us with our forgiveness of others. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” He expands this in verses 14 and 15 where Jesus states, “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” (ESV).
Jesus is not saying that He will withdraw our salvation if we don’t forgive; but that if we are not forgiving, then we are producing evidence that we may not be saved. A lack of forgiveness will always result in bitterness and bitterness always blocks your access to having fellowship with God.
Someone has said that when a person is bitter that, “Bitterness is when the offended drinks poison and then expects the one who offends to die.”
Our lives must be filled with the humility to come to God for forgiveness and to forgive others when they offend us.
LIVING OUT GOD’S BEST TODAY
Application of God’s Truth
If a lack of forgiveness of others creates distance between us and God then forgiveness is essential to having intimacy with God. Is there anyone you need to forgive to open up fellowship with God?