Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us.

This week's devotional is from Pastor Ben Kerns.

Encounter:  Read Matthew 6:9-13

Reconciliation is hard work.  In fact, it might be the hardest work there is to do.  Having to give up your position, your rights, in order to make peace is the worst.  We all long for others to approach us, to own their junk first, to apologize first, but unfortunately, that is rarely the case.

So, for those of us who know and love Jesus, the burden is on us to move towards reconciliation.  And in order to pull that off, we need to gird up spiritually.  

There is a huge difference between stuffing feelings, shoving down bitterness, and genuinely forgiving someone and moving towards reconciliation.  Hiding our feelings is not what Jesus asks us to do.  Jesus asks us to forgive. 

The first step in forgiving someone else is to first own our own sinfulness, brokenness, and rebellion.  We must realize the depth of death and destruction we have leveled towards God and towards others.  And when we lean into those murky and gross waters, the waters in which we mostly live, we are able to receive God's love and grace in a totally fresh and new way.  

Because of God's deep love towards us, because while we were yet still sinners, Jesus came, initiated reconciliation, paid the price for our sins, and invites us into true and intimate friendship. Armed with this reality, we are then able to approach those in our lives who have crushed us.  

We forgive others as we are forgiven!

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed it be thy name.  Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory forever, and ever, and ever!  Amen.

BE REFLECTIVE:

Where are there broken relationships in your life?   Before you even think about how to make things right between you and that person, spend some time reflecting on your own sinfulness, brokenness, and rebellion.  And remind yourself that in Christ you are free and forgiven.  

BE A BLESSING:

What is one way that you can move towards reconciliation with that person?  This is very hard for you, but such a blessing for the other person.  (Even if they don't get it)

BE TOGETHER:

orking towards reconciliation is a team sport.  Who can you invite into this process with you, so they can pray and support you as you move towards reconciliation?