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First Forgive

First Forgive

04 March 2009

Scripture:

22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. 25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:22-25 NLT)

Observation and Application:

Jesus made a simple statement to a fig tree because he was disappointed it didn’t have any ripe figs when he was hungry. Within twenty four hours the tree was dead – withered from the roots up. Peter saw the dead tree and got excited about the power of Jesus’ words. Jesus said, “You can do this. You can do this if you really believe. And you can pray for anything and it will be yours. It will be yours if you really believe.”

When I read this story, I want to organize Jesus’ statement into a set of action steps and start moving mountains and getting stuff I need. But read further. Jesus said, “When you’re praying, really praying, you’re in contact with God. He will probe your heart to see if you’re clear of grudges, offences, pettiness, self-centeredness, and wrong motives. If you’re not clear of that stuff, the priority shifts to forgiving offences and canceling grudges and checking your heart and getting clear with others so you can be clear with God.”

Then I think, “This is going to be a lot harder than I thought. I just wanted a button to push or a faith-phrase to say so I could get my mountain moved and my prayer-answer out of the heavenly vending machine. I’m not sure I’ve got time for this!” Does that ever happen to you?

Prayer:

Father, I want to be a man of faith - a mountain-mover and results-getter. But I also want to be a man of noble character - a man who readily forgives offences until I get mature enough to not even be offended in the first place. Is there any way to move a small-to-medium sized mountain or two and get some medium-sized prayers answered while I’m on the way to becoming a man of real faith? Amen.

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