A Beautiful Thing - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Hillcrest Baptist Church

Day 1 Devotional (Week 4)
Monday, May 2, 2011

"Then Peter came to him and asked, 'Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?'

"'No, not seven times,' Jesus replied, 'but seventy times seven!'" -- Matthew 18:22-23

The answer "seventy times seven" means that we shouldn't even keep track of how many times we forgive someone.  We should always forgive those who are repentant, no matter how many times they ask.

In 2007 my sister in the Ivory Coast was diagnosed with colon cancer.  When I got the message I asked my mother to take her to the hospital for treatment.  After a few months, Mother decided to take her to our home town, closer to the family, and then she abandoned her there.  Her case got worse, we were unable to reach my mother, and my sister passed away.  I was very disappointed with my mother and decided to not receive her calls nor call her anymore.  After two months she called and asked for forgiveness.  I forgave and reconciled with her.

Jesus not only taught frequently about forgiveness, he also demonstrated his own willingness to forgive.  Here are several examples that should be an encouragement to recognize this willingness to forgive us also:  Peter was forgiven for denying he knew Jesus (John 18:15-27, 21:15-19), the criminal on the cross next to Jesus was forgiven (Luke 23:39-43), and Jesus forgave the paralyzed man lowered on a mat through the roof (Matt 9:2-8).

Thank you, Lord, for teaching us about forgiveness.  Help us to not keep a record of our offenses.  Transform our hearts so that we can forgive others as you forgave us.   Amen.

Prepared by Bernard and Juliette N'dri

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