Week 8, Day 1

The Source of All Forgiveness

Forgiveness can sometimes feel like one of the hardest things to do. It’s actually harder than you think - it is IMPOSSIBLE without Jesus.

In Genesis 44 we see Joseph’s brothers attempting to bargain with Joseph’s steward when it appears Benjamin has stolen a valuable cup. Of course, this was all a setup, but they didn’t know this at the time. Judah offers to take the place as Joseph’s servant if he will only let young Benjamin safely return home.

No deal.

This interaction is an example of the mentality most of us are probably guilty of at times. We try to bargain with God: “Lord, if you’ll help me get out of this, I will...”. Or worse, we live life thinking that our good behavior will somehow be enough to earn God’s approval on earth and in Heaven.

Just as Judah could not take the place of Jacob’s beloved son, Benjamin, there is nothing we can offer that is an acceptable substitution for the gift of forgiveness purchased by God’s beloved Son, Jesus the Savior. Forgiveness comes at a very high price, and He is the ONLY One worthy and able to purchase it for the world.

“Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7b). This is the question posed by religious onlookers when they watched Jesus offer forgiveness to a paralyzed man. They were right. Our only hope of being forgiven is through Jesus, and I’m convinced that our only hope of forgiving others is to first receive HIS forgiveness, and then allow it to flow through us to the people in our lives. Forgiveness is not some mystical force that we all must find a way to tap into. Forgiveness is a payment of a debt, and NONE of us are able to make that payment. Only Jesus. He is the source of all forgiveness.

This week our reading leads us to the dramatic encounter between Joseph and his brothers when he finally reveals his identity. There are many lessons to learn about forgiveness and reconciliation, and my prayer is that you, too, will experience the freedom that comes through forgiveness.

Week 8 Reading
Genesis 44-45

Prayer Focus for the Week
Start with meditating on the forgiveness Jesus has given to you. Allow it to soften your heart. Then go to God and ask for help to forgive anyone who has hurt or wronged you in life. This will likely need to become part of your daily time with the Lord.

Reflection Questions

• Is there anyone you need to seek out and ask for forgiveness?

• Is there anyone you need to forgive, but are struggling to offer it?
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