by Jim Hughes
Matt. 18:21-22 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!”
We think we do so well at practicing our faith. We listen to what our Lord says and strive to obey Him. We know that we don’t always get it right, but we do alright. We do better than many people we know. We must be a sweet aroma to God, right? Not necessarily. Jesus told Peter that what he thought was enough was not nearly good enough in God’s eyes. The problem wasn’t in Peter’s efforts, it was in his heart. What Jesus wanted Peter to understand is that the motives of the heart are the key to pleasing God.
Peter thought he was really being noble by suggesting that maybe they should forgive someone seven times, for the law only required one time. The law was more about justice and not forgiveness. Therefore, when Jesus suggested seven times as much as Peter did, He was pointing to a much deeper and better way to live. Jesus’ way is a way of grace instead of meting out justice. God will take care of the justice part; we are to act graciously towards one another.
If we are trying to keep score and noting how well we are doing, we are missing the point. If the heart is right we will always do what is right before God with no regard for how many times we have done it, even if it is thousands of times. There is no such thing as resting on our laurels or stopping our obedience to God. His life is our way of life. It is who we are and to not live like Christ wants us to live is out character for us and should be unnatural. If we want to please God we will always strive to do what is right before God. Period.
About the Author:
Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.
C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.
I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.
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