Verse of the Day – Sep. 1, 2022

Verse of the Day – Sep. 1, 2022

September 01, 2022 – Thursday   

Answering A Reader’s Questions

How are we to extend grace and mercy to the people who hurt us? And how do we not let that hurt turn into bitterness?


First of all, I do not think I have an answer that will satisfy everyone, but hopefully will give all of you food for thought. The first verse I suggest we look at is in the Lord’s Prayer where Jesus instructs us on how to pray, particularly Matthew 6:12 NIV, And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Some versions have our sins and those who have sinned against us. Most of us recognize how they are one and the same. Ellicott’s Commentary writes, Primarily, therefore, the words “our debts” represent sins of omission, and “trespasses” the transgression of a law, sins of commission. Jesus is saying, if we want forgiveness, we need to also be forgiving.

Then in Luke eleven Jesus was even more direct when His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. He stated in 11:4a, 4a Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. Many versions have everyone who is indebted to uswhich has the same meaning as noted above.

Now the question did not ask about forgiveness, but mercy and grace. However, without forgiveness, there is no mercy and grace. We need to remember ALL our sins were forgiven by Christ when He gave His life up on the cross. All of our sins and even the sins of those who have sinned against us. 

Zechariah, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied about his son John who would become known as John the Baptist in the following in Luke 1:76-77, 76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. It is all about forgiveness. 

Then it helps to remember what Paul shares with us here from the Old Testament in Romans 12:18-20, 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” [Deuternonomy 32:35] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head” [Proverbs 25:21-22]. A personal anecdote here. I was once a member of a church holding a large pro-life prayer meeting with other churches. Lots of people showed up protesting our prayer meeting. Many wanted to go out and argue with them, but our Pastor had a better idea. He asked for volunteers to take cold water and juice (it was a very hot day) and kindly and freely offer it to the protestors. It was quite the experience as some reacted angrily, but others quietly accepted and slowly made their way out of the protest. 

One more verse from Jesus, my personal favorite, Mark 11:25, 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Jesus provided no ifs, ands, or buts for this command, but just to do it. This makes enormous sense as we are unable to take any grudges, anger, hate, and anything of the like with us to heaven. 

What about bitterness though? Ephesians 4:31 says, Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. But for me, when I want to be bitter and angry, I make it a point to purposely remember all (!) that I have been forgiven. I have been forgiven so very much, how can I not forgive and give up bitterness. 

Bottom Line: Everything we have been forgiven should lead us to also to forgive and forgo bitterness. 

Prayer: Almighty God, Help us to never underestimate or forget how many sins you have forgiven each of us. Help us to remember that and then forgive those who have hurt us, sinned against us. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

RileyD, nwJ     

Riley D. Driver – Pastor          

Calvary Chapel of Dayton        

in Beavercreek