ODB: Extending Mercy

April 16, 2021

READ: Luke 17:1–5 

If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Luke 17:3

Reflecting on how she forgave Manasseh, the man who killed her husband and some of her children in the Rwandan genocide, Beata said, “My forgiving is based on what Jesus did. He took the punishment for every evil act throughout all time. His cross is the place we find victory—the only place!” Manasseh had written to Beata from prison more than once, begging her—and God—for forgiveness as he detailed the regular nightmares that plagued him. At first she could extend no mercy, saying she hated him for killing her family. But then “Jesus intruded into her thoughts,” and with God’s help, some two years later, she forgave him.

In this, Beata followed Jesus’ instruction to His disciples to forgive those who repent. He said that even if they “sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them” (Luke 17:4). But to forgive can be extremely difficult, as we see by the disciples’ reaction: “Increase our faith!” (v. 5).

Beata’s faith increased as she wrestled in prayer over her inability to forgive. If, like her, we’re struggling to forgive, we can ask God through His Holy Spirit to help us to do so. As our faith increases, He helps us to forgive.

— Amy Boucher Pye

If someone who wronged you later repented, how did you react? How could God help you to forgive in these situations?

Jesus, thank You for releasing me from the consequences of my sin through Your death on the cross. I give You the glory! Read The Risk of Forgiveness at DiscoverySeries.org/HP071.

Source: Our Daily Bread

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