Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

It has been said, “Forgiveness is the deepest secret that characterizes the love of a follower of Jesus.”  Is there a limit to forgiveness?  Peter wondered about it and asked Jesus, “How many times shall I forgive my brother or sister…”

Jesus replied,  “70 times 7,” meaning there is no limit?  “Why, we ask?”  Because we desperately need the forgiveness and grace of God.

Reinhold Niebuhr’s once said, “Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.  Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing we do, however, virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.  No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.”

Even what we consider to be our most virtuous acts need some measure of forgiveness here on earth.  Of course there are many times when we are not even close to being virtuous.

Perhaps that’s why C.S. Lewis wrote, “To be Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

May the loving and forgiving grace of God in and through the Lord Jesus Christ be alive in us, each and every day.