Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
When Jesus taught us to pray to “Our Father which art in heaven,” He taught us a good lesson about forgiveness.
It’s in Matthew 5:23, 24: "If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."
If you come to worship the Lord and you then remember that your “brother” has “something against you” (notice, not that you have “something” against him!), drop your worship plans and go and be reconciled to your brother who has “something against you”! Then come back to church.
Sounds confusing, but remember: your motivation is not obtaining forgiveness for yourself so you can be saved; your motivation is love for your “brother” who has this problem of “something against you,” so it can be removed and he can be saved.
Since love (agape) is the issue, the dear Lord will send every angel from heaven to help you solve this problem. You will be working in harmony with God’s angels, so you will have the Lord’s blessing with you all the way. He wants the world to see the agape He has showered upon us all. This will be fulfilled under the “another angel” of Revelation 18:1-4 when his message lightens the earth with glory.
This new motivation of concern for someone else’s salvation is a gift that the Lord gives you when you consider and appreciate the love that Christ has given to you. One could almost say that agape is self-propagating: let one believer demonstrate it, and others will embrace it; it will spread around the world.
Let us pray as Jesus taught us, to “our Father which art in heaven.” That word “Father” is the most tender, the most human, the nearest term we can understand. It’s the Father’s love that is soft as silk yet hard as steel. He holds a very high standard for each of us to attain “in Christ,” and if we do not resist Him and stop Him, He will work in our hearts to bring us into reconciliation with Himself and with heaven.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 27, 2008.
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