What Jesus Did! 'The Necessity of Forgiveness' — Matthew 18:34-35

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

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[Talking about being forgiving, Jesus continued,] "Then the angry king sent the man [who had been forgiven a great debt but hadn't forgiven a much smaller owed to him] to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

"That's what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart."

— Matthew 18:34-35 NLT

Key Thought

God is gracious and merciful until he finds those to whom he has freely dispensed mercy and they withhold it from others. The key principle of mercy and grace is this: It must be shared when it is received or it is never appreciated, and furthermore it will be taken away. God is very angry with an unforgiving, unmerciful, and uncharitable heart. So let's be gracious and tender and kind. Let's do it without regard to social or financial status or racial heritage or ethnic origin or political preference. Let's do it simply because God's first done it to us!

Today's Prayer

Holy God, please help me to be more merciful with those who stumble. Please help me to be graciously, yet firmly, persuasive with those who refuse to forgive, helping them see the need to be gracious. Please give me a sense of balance so that I may know, celebrate, and proclaim your mercy in its radical glory. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 6:12-15
  • Ephesians 4:32
  • Matthew 25:41-46


Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Wednesday, September 1, 2021

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The classic twice-daily devotional from Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Faith is as much the rule of temporal as of spiritual life; we ought to have faith in God for our earthly affairs as well as for our heavenly..."


Illustration of Matthew 18:34-35 NLT — "Then the angry king sent the man [who had been forgiven a great debt but hadn't forgiven a much smaller owed to him] to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.