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08/11/2023 - 09/11/2023 All day

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” ( Ephesians 4:32).

Here is a funny but not very unusual situation. A judge is about to convict a manager accused of financal fraud but upon hearing his pleas for mercy suspends the sentence and orders his immediate release. Upon getting back to his home the freed manager finds though one of his workers while locked up took advantage and stole his farm live stock. The manager is enraged and pursues this worker. Once he gets him the worker is thrown in jail for fraud. In spite of all pleas for mercy, the old manager would have none of that! But hasn’t he forgotten so quickly. Strange but true!

A long time ago when Peter approached Jesus and asked him a deep question, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” ( Mathew 18:21), the answer surprised him. “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” ( vv 22).

Peter was puzzled. So to help him out the Lord shared a parable of something like the above story. In that parable a master forgave a debtor of all his dues. This debtor once freed in turn though could not extend equal mercy to another debtor of his whom he quickly had thrown in jail. Of course when his old master got to know he was not pleased. He had him arrested back again for his old debts. “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed” ( vv 33 -34).

Life as it is everyone of us will face a situation of hurt. Not only that sometimes one has all the powers to punish the offender. Jesus is telling us to be merciful and forgiving, for “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” ( vv 35).

Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as you have forgiven us of all our sins and paid the ultimate price of dying on the cross for our salvation, I pray in the same manner to be as forgiving of those that offend and hurt me, this I pray in Jesus’s name.

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    "And your life will be brighter than the noonday; it’s darkness will be like the morning. And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security”  (Job 11:17-19.)

    Philosophers and writers have long pointed out that without hope mankind would long be gone. The philosopher Victor Frankly who survived the Holocaust where he lost his entire family found hope was the most important weapon that enabled him come out alive. He wrote, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how!”
Hope can sustain any of us through the darkest of times. This is what happened to Job when he lost everything he possessed. “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face” (Job 13:15).

    King David when he was being pursued by his enemies never lost hope. “For you have been my hope, sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5). The Apostle Paul who faced countless perilous times during his missionary journeys including jail and shipwrecks never lost hope. Writing to the Corinthians he reminded them, “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers” (2 Cor 1:10-11).

    As believers God has given us hope that our lives are not empty and meaningless, like so many others. He has given us the hope to carry us through the lowest of moments. “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).
    Today, may that hope that you have in Christ sustain you through whatever circumstances you may be facing.

    Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus that the hope I have in you lifts me up and sustains me in all situations as a conquer, in whose name I pray.