We've also learned that God is concerned about us as well - He is our Father. We understand a father's love and concern from their children, and the more we realize that God is the Father of those whom He has chosen, the greater our confidence to come into His presence - to take up His concerns, and to bring our concerns to Him as well. And how much He loves and cares for us! How He meets every one of our needs - He knows them before we even ask, and He has resource sufficient for all!
We learn in this portion of the lesson that our needs include not only physical provision, but relational provision as well. We were made to be in community - remember, after all, that God's one "negative" comment PRIOR to the fall was this: "It is not good that the man should be alone..." (Genesis 2:18). We were made for communion with God Himself, and to be in right relationship with those around us. And the barrier to that communion is, of course, our own sinfulness.
How appropriate, then, that we are given a way to address this great need in the Model Prayer - the first provision which requires us to do anything! (By the way, it's the subject for another day's post, but think about Jesus' parable tying our forgiveness with that which we extend to others in Matthew 18: Assume that a day's wages were $10 - the King forgave a debt of $780,000,000 (!) while the servant would not forgive a debt of $1,000! Aren't the things we're asked to forgive our brothers also disproportionately small compared to what we've been forgiven?)
So today's questions: In light of who God is and His provision for you, will you own your fault - your sin - which is the cause of your estrangement from Him? And in receiving His pardon - and considering its generosity, will you forgive those around you?
_____________________"‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.’ As bread is the first need of the body, so forgiveness for the soul. And the provision for the one is as sure as for the other.
We are children but sinners too; our right of access to the Father’s presence we owe to the precious blood and the forgiveness it has won for us.
Let us beware of the prayer for forgiveness becoming a formality: only what is really confessed is really forgiven.
Let us in faith accept the forgiveness as promised: as a spiritual reality, an actual transaction between God and us, it is the entrance into all the Father’s love and all the privileges of children.
Such forgiveness, as a living experience, is impossible without a forgiving spirit to others: as forgiven expresses the heavenward, so forgiving the earthward, relation of God’s child. In each prayer to the Father I must be able to say that I know of no one whom I do not heartily love."