Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Week 5 – Devotional 3 - Jesus Teaches About Prayer – A Provider and Forgiving God

02/04/2014 – Wednesday – Read Matthew 6:11,12

1 – The prayer’s first part was for us to worship God, recognize who He is, what He can do and what He wants to do. Now we will go for the petition part. God is a supplier and He supplies each and any one of our needs. But you can notice that the prayer is for receiving today the daily bread, and not for a huge amount as the Theology of Prosperity preaches. Indeed, prosperity means to have enough to live every day and not to accumulate goods or money. This picture of the daily bread comes from the manna God gave daily to His people on the desert. Read Exodus 16:3-31. Why the people had to gather daily only what was enough for the day? When we complain we don’t have something, we are complaining against whom? It’s in our attitude on the daily needs we can see if we are faithful to God.

2 – Though forgiveness God restores what is lost, He repairs what is broken and He re-establishes His life with us. Forgiveness is the foolproof plan God has implemented so that our relationship with Him remains in constant repair instead of in need of constant repair. Forgiveness is the miraculous working of God to save us from the consequences of our sin. It takes from the wrong place we have ended up in as a result of our sin to the right place to which God has invited us. The amazing message of the Gospel is that when we receive God’s forgiveness through the cross-borne sacrifice of His Son, we instantly have forgiveness for all our sins regardless of when they transpire in our life – past, present or future. Read Hebrews 8:12 and 1 John 1:9. What does God say He will remember about our sins? If we confess our sins, how much of our sins will He cleanse away?

3 – Forgiveness is a choice of how to behave toward and relate to someone who has offended you. It is not a choice of how to feel as a result of what was done. Forgiveness is not a feeling, nor is it necessarily tied to your feelings. It is a decision about what you want to happen to someone who has hurt you. Do you want them to pay a penalty – of the same magnitude as your ain – or do you release them from the consequences they justly deserve? Sometimes the best way to understand the meaning of a spiritual term is to see it used in a non-religious context, then transfer the word picture into our spiritual vocabulary. Take the word aphiemi, forgiveness (“leaving or discharging something, cutting it loose”). This same word (shown highlighted) is used in the following verses. Read the verses and try the exercise. Then explain in your own words what each verse tells you about what it means to forgive others’ sins. a) - “And they immediately left the nets and followed Him” (Mark 1:18). b) - ““But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me’” (Mark 14:6). c) - “And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately arose and waited on them” (Luke 4:18). d) - “He who have died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go’” (John 11:44). e) - “And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, let her not send her husband away” (1 Corinthians 7:13).

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