Matthew 6:14-15 – For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (KJV)
As Christians, what a tremendous challenge is presented to us in the prayer which our Lord taught the listeners of His day. We sometimes repeat the Lord's Prayer so glibly, without fully considering the responsibilities of our words or thoughts. Jesus indicates that unless we honestly forgive those who trespass against us, our prayers are without value; they are meaningless, and they do not have any results.
How would this approach of forgiveness reflect upon our character? Perhaps it would show itself in the form of kindness and gentleness, and even patience might become part of our personality. Loved ones and friends may recognize the change and question the reason. What an opportunity to simply say, "I have been seriously studying the Lord's Prayer." I do not believe for one moment that Jesus would have made the suggestion if it could not be possible. Do we have the courage, the determination, and the desire to take this new commandment (new to some of us) and endeavour to live it out in our lives in this New Year?
May we take the time today not only to look backward over the past year, but also to look forward into the coming year to see all the possibilities for this personal change.
Prayer: Our gracious heavenly Father, without Your help, we can accomplish nothing. At the very beginning of this new year, enable us to forgive past hurts. Although they will, of course, rise up in our memory, with Your help may we begin to pray for the one who has hurt us so deeply in the past. Is this possible? May we discover that with Your help, the impossible is always possible with our God. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Standing At The Portal Of The Opening Year" (Lyrics)