April 26, 2023

April 26, 2023

Daily Bible Reading

To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only twenty-five readings. Today we start a few “free days” . We encourage you to catch up on any readings you may have missed this month.

If you have finished the month’s readings, you can use these final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.

Daily Devotion

The Lord’s Prayer

In Matthew 6 we are given the Lord’s Prayer, or instructions on how to pray. Surrounding this example are instructions on giving and fasting. Prayer, giving and fasting are interconnected and dependent on one another. When you pray, fast and give it is vital that it not be done with personal gain as the goal, but a secret transaction between you and Jesus.

Prayer is a conversation with God, hence the addressing of “Our Father”. Sandwiched by fasting and giving in the center of the Lord’s Prayer it speaks about debt. I don’t like to have monetary debt, who does? The definition of this Greek word includes debt, offense, sin. Morally obligated or legally owed. In this verse a request for forgiveness is made, this Greek word translates as send away, let go, release, permit to depart.

If I think of the bank forgiving my house loan, I can not even imagine my reaction. The amount is so large, who in their right mind would willingly release me of what I owe them? Is that even a possibility? Is this not the same position I am in when I am petitioning Jesus to cover my sin with His blood? Yet I must remember Jesus is instructing me how to pray, He wants me to make this request. He wants me to make this request and include an action. The action of sending away, letting go, releasing, and permitting to depart those who are indebted to me.

Now, I tried to understand if the verb “hath forgiven” was past, present or future, just to better understand when I have no other options available but to forgive a debt owed to me. Hey, it’s different when somebody owes me, it’s my skin in the game. Well apparently the verb is some Greek tense that l had never learned about that looks like it’s trying to describe a body part. The aproar active indicative. Well if it couldn’t get any more confusing, it is used to express things that happen in general without asserting a time. The action of forgiving is not past, present or future only but without asserting a time. In other words, just as willing as Jesus is to forgive my debt to Him in general without asserting a time, I must be willing to forgive those in debt to me in general without asserting a time. This is a transaction between myself and Jesus, it’s instruction at the center of prayer, fasting and giving. His mercy to us is in general without asserting a time as should be my mercy to others.

~ Dominic Couvion