Image result for i forgive you images  Pentecost 19 – Friday Devotion

Readings:  Deuteronomy 14:1-2, 22-23, 14:28-15:15 and Matthew 13:24-43

Deuteronomy 15:1-6  At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord’s release has been proclaimed. Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release.

But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—if only you will strictly obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. For the Lord your God will bless you, as He promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.

 

“Forgiveness and Blessing”

At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. This is to happen to those indebted to another, to the slaves, or to leased land. All was returned. And, at the end of seven sevens of years think of the celebration that would take place!

What if we were to live in like manner? When someone is indebted to us, what if we were to forgive the debt? We, who are blessed, would be a blessing to the other person. Then they in like manner would bless another person who could bless another and so on. Think of how different our world would be!

But there is more!  God leads us to help others and then He also blesses us! We can hardly imagine the blessings He gives us.  And we have trouble understanding why we receive them. Yet God, in His love and mercy, continues to bless us to be a blessing to others.

Many years ago the movement pay it forward began. The idea was to help someone in need so they could help someone else in their time of need. What a novel, Biblical, concept! Isn’t that what God is reminding us of in the words above? Pay it forward.

Has God paid it forward? From the time of creation, when Adam and Eve first lived on earth and had Free Will, God has payed it forward. God had a plan for when sin entered the world. In Genesis 3:15 we hear His promise to Adam and Eve that He would send a Savior. So when Eve bore her first son she thought that God had fulfilled His promise. In reality, it would be thousands of years before that would take place.

So it was a night over 2,000 years ago when a baby born into this world cried and broke the quiet of the night. Then it was the voice of an angel proclaiming the good news to shepherds in the field. Very soon the host of heaven joined this angel in chorus.  They were proclaiming God’s goodness to mankind. Finally, we have the voices of the shepherds, returning to their flocks, proclaiming what they had seen and what God had done. God paid it forward.

Still today God pays it forward. He still calls us to forgive as we have been forgiven. Think of the great debt of your sin paid by the blood of Jesus on Calvary. As He hung upon the cross His prayer was that His Father forgive us. 

Are we looking forward? Yes, it is different. We no longer look at forgiving the debt and releasing every seven years. Today we forgive the debt and release others from their sins daily. We claim the release from sin and everlasting death and damnation through Jesus’ shed blood. Then we proclaim the same to those indebted to us. “We forgive you. Go in God’s peace. Go with God’s blessings.”

 

PRAYER:  Lord God, heavenly King, in Your love for us You call us to forgive as we are forgiven. We realize the greatness of our debt of sin that You paid, proclaiming us free. Lead us, in like manner, to share our forgiveness with those indebted to us. May our voice pierce the darkness of sin with the message of salvation and forgiveness that is there for all, through Jesus, Your Son and our Savior. Amen