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You're Not Ready (and Neither Am I)

Forgiveness.


It’s a tricky concept, isn’t it?


The experience of receiving forgiveness fills us with gratitude and joy. The proverbial weight has been lifted off our shoulders.


Yet the idea of offering forgiveness can fill us with anger and resentment. We resist such a notion because it conflicts with our sense of justice.


It’s a tricky concept for our fallen hearts.


Forgiveness, though, is central to Jesus’ mission and message.


So, it makes sense that we find it here in the prayer He taught us.


I got to spend a bit of time in Israel this past January. Ronan, our Israeli guide, loved goading us about what was ahead.


We’d be in Galilee and he’d say, “Are you ready to see Jerusalem?”


The entire bus would shout, “Yes!”


And Ronan would say, “You’re not ready for Jerusalem. I have to prepare you for Jerusalem.”


Jerusalem is about forgiveness. It's where our Savior died for us. We needed to be prepared for it.


And we have to be prepared to talk about forgiveness.


Because it’s a tricky concept for our fallen hearts.


So, before we dive into the portion of Jesus’ prayer, I’m going to issue a challenge.

Jesus talks about seeking forgiveness and offering forgiveness.


Here’s the challenge.


Take time this week to reflect on all that you’ve been forgiven. Think back on your past week. Think back on your past month. Think back on your past decade. Dig deep. Spend time thanking God for all that He’s forgiven you.


Then, take time to consider those you need to forgive. Write down those who had wronged you. Write down what they did.


If I can challenge you further, write down those you believe you have forgiven but, if you’re being totally honest with yourself, still call up resentment and bitterness.


Take time consider the second list in light of the first.


Be honest with yourself and with your God.


Forgiveness can not remain theoretical. It must become a practical reality in our lives, and that means both seeking it and offering it in actual situations. So, let’s have actual situations in mind as we consider forgiveness in the coming weeks.


We’re not ready for Jerusalem. We’re not ready for the place where God’s presence so long resided. We’re not ready to meet Him face to face.


You’re not and I’m not.


Let’s spend this week preparing to confront His forgiveness. Let’s spend this week preparing to extend His forgiveness to others.

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