Daily Cleansing

and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:12 ESV

Verse 12 is a continuation of the sentence and thought of verse 11. Jesus tells us that we are to daily ask for our daily bread as a continual reminder of our dependence upon our faithful and generous Father. Jesus continues this lesson of our daily prayer by including our need for daily forgiveness before the Lord and toward others. Although we have been forgiven completely and brought into the family of God through his mercy and grace, we nonetheless are still in need of daily forgiveness before the Lord. Our debts, our sins don’t just go away once we are given a new heart. As Jesus will later tell his disciples, our body has been washed but our feet continue to get dirty and need cleansing. This is a daily call to come before the Lord in the righteousness of Christ, seeking his provision and his forgiveness on a daily continual basis.

I can often slip into a standard, habitual practice of apathy or malaise. A lifestyle where my mind becomes more attuned to the world than to the spiritual requirements and needs of my soul. Daily forgiveness is one of these areas of challenge that is easy to neglect. I often neglect this practice because it is so consistently needed in my life. That sounds the opposite of what the correct answer should be but my heart is easily deceived in this matter. I find myself neglecting this area of daily asking God for forgiveness for two reasons. First is because I get tired of seeing and acknowledging my sinful heart. I get depressed with the level of sin and disobedience that still captures my heart and intention. I develop this notion in my mind that I just don’t want to deal with it today, so I put it off until tomorrow or some later date. Second is that this feeling carries over into my understanding of God’s patience and kindness. I reckon in my mind that if I am tired of dealing with my sin, then so is God. If I am disappointed with my continuing to embrace sin in my life, then surely the Lord must be sick and tired of me as well. These two reasons lead me to apathy about daily prayers of forgiveness.

Jesus here is reminding me that the Lord is full of mercy and grace. He is more than full. There is an overabundance of mercy and grace available to me. His supply never diminishes because he himself is mercy and he himself is grace. I continue to forget the character of God. Jesus wants me to use these daily reminders to continually point me to himself. I need these daily reminders to show me God’s richness in mercy. I need my daily bread to remind me of God’s provision.

Just as I am seeking forgiveness each and every day, I am to then take this lesson on forgiveness and apply it to those around me. The application of asking for and receiving forgiveness each day is a call to dispense forgiveness freely to others. There is no room to harbor ill thoughts or carry a grudge. There is no room for bitterness or envy. I am forgiven in Christ. Every day the Lord forgives my many sins against him and others. So I too must walk in the path of forgiveness. Free unmerited forgiveness. Whether the person asks for it or not, I must have a heart of forgiveness. The only way this is possible is to live daily in the forgiveness of Christ myself. To acknowledge my neediness and weakness before Jesus. To come humbly before my Savior and let his loving mercy and grace wash my dirty feet. And having been freshly cleansed and renewed for the day ahead, I can go forth in forgiveness toward others and demonstrate the love of Christ to everyone.

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1 thought on “Daily Cleansing”

  1. We have been studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in my weekly Bible study. Amazing! Humans, we’re forgetful sinners, aren’t we? And we have the best Father.🙏🏼❤️

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