We Are Required to Forgive

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Bible Verses

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. (4) And if he sins against you seven times in a day and turns again to you seven times, saying, I repent, you shall forgive him. (5) And the apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith.

Consider this:

The verses in Luke say that we have to forgive a brother who sins against us seven times a day, repents, and turns to us seven times. Whether or not his repentance is genuine, we must forgive him as long as he repents. Whether or not he is genuine is not our responsibility. We have to forgive him.

Suppose the same person does the same thing to you seven times a day, and suppose he says that he has sinned against you seven times a day. Would you still believe that his confession is genuine? I am afraid that you would think that he was only confessing with his lips. This is why Luke 17:5 says, "The apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith." They felt that this was a problem to them. It was unthinkable to them that a brother could offend someone seven times in a day and then turn around to repent seven times. They could not believe it, and they said, "Lord, increase our faith." But God's children should forgive even if they are called upon to do so seven times a day. When a brother sins against you, you should not hold it against him.

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  • Daily Devotions

Reconciling with Those Offended (2)

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Bible Verses

Matthew 5:24 Leave your gift there before the altar, and first go and be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (25) Be well disposed quickly toward your opponent at law, while you are with him on the way, lest the opponent deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.

Consider this:

[Part 2 of 2]  Therefore, when you come to God's altar, you must first be reconciled to your brother. Whatever demands he has, you must try your best to satisfy him. Learn to satisfy the righteous requirement of God as well as the righteous requirement of your brother. You can offer your gift to God only after you have done this. This is quite serious.

We have to be well disposed quickly with him. While he and we are still on the way, that is, while both parties are still here  [alive]  , there is the opportunity to speak to one another and apologize. We should be reconciled to each other quickly. The door of salvation will not be open forever. The same is true with the door of mutual confession among the brothers.

We have to realize how serious this matter is! You cannot be nonchalant or careless about it. If you know that a brother has a complaint against you, you have to deal with it. You must try your best to apologize lest there be no opportunity to reconcile later. If our conscience is pure, and the wrong is clearly not on our side, we can be at peace. Otherwise, if there is any wrongdoing on our part, we must confess. We must be above reproach in our conduct. We should not always think that others are wrong and we are right. It is certainly wrong to ignore the complaints of others and to instead insist that we are right.

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  • Daily Devotions

Reconciling with Those Offended (1)

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Bible Verses

Matthew 5:23 Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, (24) Leave your gift there before the altar, and first go and be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Consider this

[Part 1 of 2]  [These verses]  specifically refer to disputes among God's children and among the brothers. If you are offering a gift at the altar, that is, if you are offering something to God, and suddenly remember that your brother has something against you, this remembering is God's leading. The Holy Spirit often gives you a necessary thought and reminds you of necessary things. When you remember something or are reminded of something, do not put the thought aside and think that it is merely a thought.

If you remember that your brother has something against you, this means you have transgressed against him. Your transgression may or may not be in material things. Perhaps you have offended him by acting unrighteously towards him. A new believer should realize that if he offends a person and does not apologize and ask for forgiveness, he is finished as soon as the offended party mentions his name and sighs before God. Whatever he offers to God will not be accepted.

If you are offering a gift at the altar and remember that your brother has anything against you or has any reason to sigh because of you, do not offer up your gift. You must first go and be reconciled to your brother. What does it mean to be reconciled to one's brother? It means to remove the brother's wrath. You may need to either apologize or recompense. Reconciliation means satisfying the other's demand.  [Continued tomorrow] 

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  • Daily Devotions

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