Forgiveness is difficult. Each week we struggle with forgiving others while simultaneously struggling with our need to be forgiven. This is a tension we live in. Each week brings opportunity to ask for forgiveness and extend forgiveness. But we rarely do it. This week we examine Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness and we learn what forgiveness is and is not and how to forgive from the heart.
The Christian is not promised an easy life yet Paul commands the Philippians not to be anxious but at all times to rejoice in the Lord. Despite the trials and suffering we experience, we are exhorted to trust in the Lord’s sovereignty and goodness rather than doubt His plans and control. Such doubts lead to worry which underestimates God’s power, care, and knowledge of our situation. The antidote to anxious living is faithful prayer. The Lord uses prayer to direct our needs, correct our priorities, and increase our joy. The end result of His Spirit working within the faithful Christian is a peace that endures, guards, and comforts.
The purpose of your life is to image God, to be in relationship with him and bring Him glory through enjoying Him. And in the Sermon On The Mount, Jesus is speaking to his disciples and the crowd and introduces two metaphors to create a picture of what our earthly lives are meant for. Jesus says his followers were created to be salt and light. We glorify God by being salt and light in this rotten, dark world. Our lives were made to be a means of preserving and illuminating the world with the light of Christ and bring glory to our Father.
The church is the body of Christ, the family of God. The church universal is every person that has been reconciled to God through saving faith in Jesus. And the church has been commissioned with a task, namely, to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that Jesus has commanded us. That is our mission. And it comes straight from the Lord to us.