April 17 - 22
Monday, April 17 – “Jesus answered, ‘Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.’” (John 13:10) Let us never forget that you can be saved by grace through faith in Jesus and still be separated from the glory and blessings of God, because of your decisions. Not everything is a salvation issue. Jesus says to his disciples that if you have had a bath, you are clean. He only desired to wash the disciples’ feet. For your feet get dirty, walking around this world. When you realize that your feet have gotten dirty, present them to Jesus, in order to be washed. You are saved. You just need to be cleaned.
Tuesday, April 18 – “Having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:14) Never forget that forgiveness is a done deal. You have received it through faith in Jesus. You don’t do what you do, in order to be forgiven. You are forgiven. Thus, you do what you do. This is important to remember, because today you’re going to mess up. You’re going to sin. As a follower of Jesus, this sin doesn’t remove your forgiveness. Yet, if left unchecked, your sin will separate you from your forgiveness.
Wednesday, April 19 – “And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) Basically you are praying for God to treat you like you treat others. So many people pray these words from the Lord’s Prayer and never pay attention to what they are praying. This is serious. How forgiving are you? Well, the measure you give is the measure you are praying to receive from God, when it comes to forgiveness. Do you want to be totally forgiven? Then you need to get busy totally forgiving others. Not that God hasn’t totally forgiven you already. But, in order to experience God’s total forgiveness, you need to totally forgive others in your life.
Thursday, April 20 – “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.’” (Matthew 18:21-22) That’s 490 times! Understand that this isn’t a law that we are commanded to do. This is Jesus teaching Peter and us, about who we are called to be. The number is absurd and totally irrelevant. The point is that we are to keep forgiving, for as many times as we need to forgive. Why? Because that’s exactly what God does for you. It’s impossible for you to out-sin God’s love.
Friday, April 21 – “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25) Let’s say you have been invited to a free meal at the best restaurant in town. Yet, when you show up to eat this free meal, at the best restaurant in town, you’re naked. The restaurant won’t let you in. For you can’t eat a meal, at the best restaurant in town, naked. Thus, you can’t receive your free meal, from the best restaurant in town. Do you blame the restaurant? Well, the same is true with God. You can’t receive all that God has freely given you, if your decisions are preventing you from receiving all that God has freely given you.
Saturday, April 22 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) A gift never received is a blessing never experienced. If you don’t receive the gift of forgiveness, you will never experience the blessing of being forgiven. Likewise, if you don’t receive the gift of forgiveness, God will never experience the blessing of giving forgiveness. That’s the power and grace of gift giving. For it requires two willing parties. One to give the gift and one to receive the gift. If either party refuses to participate, neither party is blessed.