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Monday, July 23, 2012

Settling Accounts

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 22Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.        23"Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.25And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' 27And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii,and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, 'Pay what you owe.' 29So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' 30He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32Then his master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' 34And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,until he should pay all his debt. 35So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart." Well this is an interesting passage of scripture. This is dealing with forgiveness. Something that everyone of needs help with. There has been plenty that has been written on forgiveness and many a sermon preached on it. But I want to move in a different direction. I want to focus on the king forgiving the servant. The king could be any king, but we know that it is a reference to God. That is the basis of this parable. God has forgiven us a great debt so we owe it to others to forgive. In the same way he has been kind and forgiven, that should be our model. But lets go back to the King...So here we have a king. He is really the main character of the story. It is his model that we are supposed to follow. So we should pay attention to what is going on. What is this king doing? Why is doing what he is doing? What are some of the reasons that the king actually forgives his servants? Is there a model that we need to be following? So the king calls his servants. Did you notice who the king just called? He called his servants...This is a parable about the kingdom. It is about God and his people. But there is a servant here. A servant who has been called to give account. This servant gets there and the amount that is owed is a huge debt. The idea in the parable is that it is a debt that could never be paid back. Ever. No matter how much the servant wanted to...It could not be done. So the king was going to have his wife and children and even the servant sold. And this is interesting. No argument is given that this is a hard or harsh remedy. No complaint is lobbied against the king. The servant dose the only thing that he can...He falls on his knees and and begs for mercy. He offers to repay and work off this debt. The thing that is interesting to me is that the debt is not really the issue. We so often make big deal out of the debt we owe to God, The debt of sin. We so often focus on how much we have offended God. And make no doubt...We have. His anger burns...But if we take a look here we will see something interesting. Let's take a moment to think about the king. Do you really think he needs to be paid back? Did he call his servants because he was broke and needs a few extra bucks to keep the kingdom running? The servant owed the king a sum that was so large it was unable to be payed. Ask yourself...Did the king really want to be paid back? Did he need to be paid back? So the issue is more than the debt that is owed to the king. The fact that the king dose not need the money is part of the story. It shows that God dose not need our works. He dose not depend on us one bit. It also shows that at the judgement when men are sent to hell...There will be no one able to lodge a complaint that he is unfair. No one...The selling of you to the Devil will be the right thing for him to do. So we ask...what is the kings pleasure in forgiving the debt? Why dose the king forgive? He is driven out of pity for us. He is driven by the fact that we have to come to him broken and dependent on Him and Him alone for forgiveness. His pleasure is found in our brokenness. His pleasure is found in us coming and asking for mercy. He is driven by pity for us. His forgiveness is driven by HIS pleasure. And that is key. Everything that God dose is done for God! Not for us...We get some neat goodies out of God....but all of it is driven by His pleasure. So I ask you this...If God is driven by his pleasure, should we not learn what his pleasure is? Should we not spend our time thinking on God and pleasing him? He dose not need to be paid back...He just wants you broken. He wants you humble. He just wants you to have to fully depend on Him. That means I have some news for you...Life is not about you. You exist for one reason...It was God's pleasure. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you are a great and wonderful servant in his kingdom. He was about to sell you and your family off. He was about to send you out of his kingdom. He was about to get rid of you without even a second thought. So repent...Cry for mercy. Cry for mercy while God can be found. Claim the only source that can pay your debt. Christ...God himself. He came to pay your debt...

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