Fasting Devotional Day Eight: Sunday, January 9, 2022 Text: Matthew 6:14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”
By Shayne Gatlin
I was 8 years old when my Mom & Dad divorced. My Dad struggled with alcohol and that ruled his life and decisions. Over the next few years there were many broken promises, and our relationship grew further apart. For a young boy that caused so much hurt and unforgiveness in my heart.
When I read Matthew 6:14, I can easily let my human nature and instincts take over, shake my head, and say NO to what Jesus is asking from me. Jesus, do you realize how much pain he caused me? If I forgive him then I’m letting him off the hook for all that he has done. I carried this burden and unforgiveness for over 15 years.
Finally, when I was 27 years old God led me to Biblical Manhood discipleship. First thing we talked about was letting go of unforgiveness. I realized I had to let go of this pain that had built up to move forward. My dad had passed away about 3 years before this discipleship training and it was a struggle forgiving someone who wasn’t there. I couldn’t tell him about the pain he had caused and release my frustrations out on him. I had to truly think about how my Heavenly Father showed me His grace and forgiveness.
“He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:14: (NLT)
My Father loved us so much that He sent his son to Earth to die on the cross and He took all our sin and nailed it to the cross. When I understood forgiveness in the light of this it changed my heart. I was able to release that unforgiveness and pain and let God fill any void I thought would remain.
First thing is to remember that our Lord died on the cross for us to wash our sins against Him away. Also, his word says in 1 John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
When we understand His love for us and the way he forgives it should change our hearts. Unforgiveness in our hearts cause so much separation from God and those we are harboring that unforgiveness against. Search your heart and ask God to show you any unforgiveness that is in your heart. Ask for forgiveness from Him for harboring that unforgiveness and to release you from that unforgiveness. Then take the next step, reach out to that person, and let them know you forgive them. It might be tough and feel unnatural, but this is what we are called to do.
Matthew 6: 14: (NLT) “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”