Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23 - Receiving and Giving Forgiveness

Today's Reading: 
Zechariah 2:1-3:10 
Mark 11:1-26 
Proverbs 28:18-28 
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Focus Verses:

Mark 11:22-25 
22 "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Our relationship with God is connected to our relationships with others. If we ask God for forgiveness, we should be prepared to offer forgiveness to others. God's grace toward us should result in our graciousness toward others. Lack of forgiveness toward others is a hindrance to our prayers.

Response and Action:
As I look to God for grace and forgiveness, I need to be ready and willing to extend that same graciousness to those who have trespassed against me. I do not want my relationship with God to be diminished or hindered by poor relationships with others. I will forgive others instead of harboring any grudge or resentment toward them.

O God, thank you for the mercy and grace and forgiveness you have given to me through Christ. Give me a heart to forgive others as you have forgiven me. Help me to treat others as I would want to be treated. May the attitudes of my heart, the words of my mouth, and the works of my hands be a witness to your grace and goodness to me. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Colossians 3:12-14 
12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 

Forgiving and Reconciling: Bridges to Wholeness and Hope
by Everett Worthington

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