Detox : Week 4 - Day 4

OPENING PRAYER:

Lord, let me see myself in your word today. May the truth of who I am and who you are be foremost in my thoughts. Amen

 

READ:  Luke 7:47

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

 

REFLECT:

 There is an interesting contrast between this scripture that says those who have been forgiven much love much versus those who have been forgiven little love little and the parable Jesus told about the unmerciful servant.  (Matthew 18:27:35) In this parable, a king decides to settle his accounts with his subjects. A man who owes the king the equivalent of millions of dollars was unable to pay so the king ordered him and his entire family to prison until the debt was paid. When the man pleaded for more time, the king took mercy on him and cancelled the entire debt. The man went free.  As he was leaving the palace, he met a fellow subject who owed him money – only a few dollars. Just as he had been unable to pay the king, this man couldn’t pay and fell to his knees and begged him to be patient and give him more time. But the lender refused and had the man thrown into prison. Witnesses who observed the transaction reported to the king what had happen. The man who showed no mercy was called back to the king’s presence and questioned. “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had mercy on you?” No doubt a rhetorical question to which there was no sufficient answer. The king  turned the man over to the jailors to be tortured until his debt was paid in full.

 

APPLY:

 So, what is happening here?  Obviously, it is not the number of sins or the size of the debt that is the point of what Jesus said on either occasion. Otherwise, Jesus would be contradicting himself. I would suggest it is one’s understanding of the weight of sin; and, many or few, it is only by God’s grace that forgiveness is received.  God cannot tolerate the presence of sin. It is an offense to his holy character.  Any sin, one or a thousand and one – a little white lie or falsely accusing someone, ill will toward your neighbor or the murder of someone. In God’s eyes, all sin requires sacrifice – death.  No human endeavor can pay one’s way out of the cost. I think understanding – owning this reality – is the difference between these two situations.  The man who owed millions of dollars may have discounted the king’s actions toward him as a small thing given all that the king owned – “forgiven little” in his mind. But the woman overflowed with gratitude knowing it was completely by grace she could receive the love Jesus offered and be in his presence.

 The question today is, do I really understand that without grace – the sacrifice God supplied when Jesus went to the cross – there would be no mercy, no forgiveness for my sins? If I know it is by grace and not my own doing, then extending mercy and forgiveness to others will be a natural outcome.

 

CLOSING PRAYER:

Father God, I am grateful beyond words for the mercy that is mine through Jesus. Help me glorify and bless you by the way I treat others. May I be generous to them as you are generous to me. Amen

Terry Schneider