- Zechariah 1-3
- Luke 11
He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’ ”
Luke 11:2, 4 NIV
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Luke 11 NIV
Therefore, tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.
Zechariah 1:3 NIV
But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
Luke 11:41 NIV
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:13 NIV
“Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
Luke 11:42 NIV
So many beautiful instruction and promise instruction, as well as glimpses into the character of God and Jesus. And conviction.
Right now I am struggling with forgiveness. Someone I love deeply hurt me recently. Lied to me and once again broke a fragile trust I thought we were working to rebuild. I am hurt and angry. And I’m using this family members’ sin as an excuse to sin. I am looking at their sin and focusing on what they did wrong . . . and using that to justify my sinning.
- I am holding a grudge and not forgiving them
- I have been gossiping about this person and putting them down
- I have been unkind
And honestly I have been struggling recently in my time with Jesus because of this. I know Jesus wants me to forgive this person and reconcile and love them. But I’m not. Because I want to punish him. I want to hurt him like he hurt me.
I am focusing on my family member’s sin, when what I should be doing is crying out to God, “Father hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”
And if I am truly asking for forgiveness and seeking to forgive, there is another beautiful promise in Luke – God will answer my prayer.
Side note: Forgiveness is hard, and involves much more than just saying “I forgive you”. It also doesn’t mean that you don’t have boundaries or let someone abuse you. For help in this area, I recommend Fresh Start: http://freshstartforallnations.org. They are based in Omaha, Nebraska, but have resources online to help through the process of forgiving.
Today I will focus on praying the Lord’s prayer and meditating on the words of the prayer.
Heavenly Father, you are so mighty and powerful. You commanded the sea to part and shut the mouths of lions. And still you know ME. And love ME. Just like your will is done in nature and in heaven, I pray that your will will be done in my life. Help me to obey you. Thank you for giving me the Bible and all its truth. And I pray I take the time, every day, to read it and be filled with your daily instruction and the bread of life. Lord, I’ve been sinning. I’ve been holding a grudge and punishing “_________”. I’ve put him down to others. I’ve had a bad attitude. Lord, I’m sorry. Please change my heart. Please forgive me and help me to forgive him. Please keep me from the temptation to keep unforgiveness and anger in my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.