Forgiving Father, Forgiving Children


When we are born again, we take on "the family likeness" -- our heavenly Father’s character. Each may get a different likeness of Him, but there are certain features that He looks for in us all -- forgiveness is definitely one.

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. (Luke 11:4)

While we’ve never quite been able to grasp how people "see" the father or mother in a one-day old baby, there’s no doubt that family likeness develops as children get older. And the same is true in the Christian life. When we are born again, we take on something of "the family likeness." Different ones of us reflect different aspects of our heavenly Father’s character; but there are certain features that he looks for in us all. And high on the list is that our forgiving Father expects to see forgiving children.

The Bible makes clear that forgiveness is part of God’s very nature. As such, He looks for His children to reflect this quality. The importance of forgiveness is seen in the fact that Jesus teaches about it often and includes it in the Lord’s Prayer, as we see in our opening verse. 

What Jesus is saying is this: "Father, we’re asking you to forgive us our sins, because we -- sinners as we are -– have forgiven (Matthew), or are forgiving right now (Luke), others who have sinned against us. If we have done that, Father, how much more will You do the same for us!" That’s why it is so important to deal with unforgiveness in our heart; for as long as it remains there, it undermines our assurance that our forgiving Father has truly forgiven us.

Reflect the family likeness today. Resolve that your forgiving Father will be seen in you, His forgiven and forgiving child.

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9)

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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