Verses of the Week: Mark 11:25-26 “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Encouraging Thought: Exodus 34:6-7 says, “And the LORD…proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” God is merciful, gracious, and patient. Because of these characteristics, He is always ready to forgive. Psalm 86:5 says, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”
So when we come before Him in prayer, we are calling upon Him. And God is listening to our prayers, ready to forgive us if we simply confess our sins and turn from them. I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That is the God we serve – kind, loving, merciful, full of goodness and truth, and ready to forgive.
Words of Wisdom: If we harbor anger and bitterness in our lives, then we are maintaining a spirit of unforgiveness, and unforgiveness is a sin. How, then, can we expect God to forgive us of our sins when we choose to hold onto an unforgiving spirit?
Proverbs 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” To receive the mercy of God, we must confess and forsake our sins. All our sins. That includes the sin of unforgiveness. And Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” That’s why Mark 11:26 says, “But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
There is no forgiveness aside of confession, and if you harbor unconfessed sins, you’re choosing not to confess it or forsake it. Therefore, God doesn’t hear your prayer, so how can He forgive you when He doesn’t hear a confession or see any form of repentance?
Psalm 32:5 says, “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”