Sample Chapter

THREE STRIKES YOU’RE OUT?
{day twenty}

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often
should I forgive someonewho sins against me? Seven times?”
Matthew 18:21 {NLT}

Back in the day … like way back in the day when Jesus was on earth, rabbi’s taught if you forgave someone three times for an offense, it was like huge I-should-be-a-saint forgiveness! So when Peter came to Jesus and asked how often he should forgive someone, “Seven times?” He asked. He thought Jesus would crown him the saint of forgiveness right there on the spot. Forgiving seven times would be EPIC and people would be sure to talk about it for years to come.

Talk about it for years to come, indeed. But not quite the way Peter thought.

“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”

That’s 490 times, my friends. And not that we’re supposed to literally keep count–it’s an arbitrarily large number meaning we forgive and forgive and forgive.

In Luke 17:4 Jesus told His disciples, “If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

Forgiving the same person seven times in one day seems ludicrous! How in the world can we be expected to forgive someone who repeatedly offends us … in one day’s time no less?

Friends, to put it bluntly, we do it because we’ve been commanded to do it. We do it because we live forgiven.

When we come before God and ask forgiveness, He doesn’t go into our past offenses and say, “Um, you were here just ten minutes ago asking forgiveness. Sorry, your quota’s up!”

Can you imagine? And my word, I sure am thankful I can live forgiven again, and again, and again. Without a laundry list of each sin I’ve already been forgiven for.

So how many times do we forgive? I suppose we could ask ourselves, how many times do we want to be forgiven? Sometimes I need all seventy times seven in one day!

Lord, help me to always … in everything I do, in every thought I have … give to others what You’ve so graciously given to me.