Seventy times seven? 490 times? That’s a lot of forgiving! I doubt this scripture means you can forget about it on #491; the implication is more we are to forgive as much and as often as it takes. Still … that’s a lot.
Baseball season is in full swing. The batter gets 3 strikes or he’s out; a team gets 3 outs per inning and then the other side gets a chance to bat. There is a limit on the chances or “forgiveness” of putting the ball in play as well as how long the defense stays on the field. The world often tries to create its own rules … either ignoring obvious good rules to the detriment of an individual, organization or community, or being so strict as in some cases of “zero tolerance” that the rule becomes ridiculous and illogical.
Jesus says we are to forgive one another as much as it takes. After all, we are still in the game of life because of His willingness to forgive us of our own rule-breaking. True forgiveness doesn’t come easy for our human nature. Our sense of justice often takes on an element of pride or revenge or harboring a grudge. Our mind wants to hold onto unforgiveness because whatever hurt us was not right. But forgiveness accepts the wrong doing, ever how undeserved, and chooses to forgive the offender as if it had not happened. Wow! That is not natural. In fact, it’s supernatural. Yet this is how Jesus forgives us. A follower of Christ is promised that sin is removed “as far as the East is from the West” when confession and a true turning away from that sin occurs.
Christianity is not a set of rules with a freedom to commit wrongdoing just because there is a promise of forgiveness. Forgiveness comes because scripture tells us that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord WILL be saved.” Saved from what? Saved from that sin … those broken rules in our life that God has set forth … which continue to haunt and pursue us. And why will we be saved from those wrongs? Because Jesus Christ died a cruel death on a crucifixion cross taking the full weight of the sin … past, present and future … of those that call upon Him in faith. Now that’s a home run!
Thank you for allowing Right From The Heart Ministries to share the Gospel truth with you in this game of life. I hope you’ll be a messenger of truth as well to those around you. Be encouraged that no matter what the score or how many errors you may have made along the way … Jesus Christ softly and tenderly calls to you, “O sinner, come home!”
Trust Him with whatever burden you may be carrying this day.
Founder, Right From The Heart Ministries
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