Spiritual Principles

Spiritual Principles


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God has attempted to teach us His spiritual principles. We, on the other hand, keep asking for easy rules to follow. For example, Peter’s question, Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother? Seven times? Jesus’ answer was, No, seventy times seven.

Now, did Jesus really mean for Peter to forgive his brother 490 times? No, of course not. What Jesus was trying to teach Peter (and us) was to have a heart that was in a right relationship to Him, so that forgiving would be a natural response.

Rather than trying to keep the “letter of the law” and keep track of how many times we have to forgive our brother, let’s keep the “spirit of the law.” Then it is a natural response to have a forgiving heart.

Sometimes we feel we should forgive only those who come to us repentantly and ask for forgiveness. But what was the example Jesus set for us? On the cross He prayed, Father, forgive them . . . Were they repentant? Not at all. Yet He forgave . . . and continues to forgive us. How often do we wrong one another – completely unaware we are doing so? More times than we could ever imagine. We are in need of continual forgiveness, so let’s be in an attitude of forgiveness towards each other. This was the spiritual principle Jesus was trying to teach Peter.

The “law” said to love our neighbors (that is, our friends). But Jesus said to love our enemies. He went even further: Pray for them and ask God to bless them. How ghastly! Doesn’t Jesus know I would much rather ignore my enemies than bless them?

“Gee whiz, Lord, why should I pray for You to bless those people who hurt me? It doesn’t seem fair! Why don’t You do unto them as they have done unto me? But Jesus replies, I’m concerned with your attitude of heart, my child. Make sure you are in right relationship with Me and let Me take care of them.

Now I ask you, have you ever been able to stay angry with someone when you sincerely and earnestly prayed for them? When we do, we begin to see them through God’s eyes of love. Then the next step, forgiveness, is easier.

Let’s ask the Lord to help us receive the Spirit of the Word when we read our Bibles. Remember, The “letter” of the Word kills, but the Holy Spirit gives it life (see II Cor. 3:6).

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