Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Psalm 18:25a With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful;

Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (See also verses 23-35)

Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Luke 23:34a Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Acts 7:60 And he [Stephen] kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.


MEMORY VERSE: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. —Ephesians 4:32


CENTRAL THOUGHT: Just as God’s forgiveness of our sins is the Divine standard by which we must forgive, so our measure of judgment against others is the standard by which God will judge us in the end. Therefore, we ought to keep a compassionate and a merciful attitude toward all—to those whose failures weren’t meant personally against us at all, and to those who hate us and mean to hurt us.




Matthew 6:12 “debtor”: one who owes; someone under obligation to pay back a debt; one who has sinned against another.

Luke 6:37 “judge”: to separate or distinguish; come to a decision. “Condemn” to pronounce guilty; to pass sentence upon. “Forgive”: set free: release.

James 2:13 “rejoices”: boasts itself superior to; triumphs over.

Mark 11:25 “aught against any”: anything against anyone.




Throughout the Scriptures it was revealed to those who walked with God and sought His favor, that they must show mercy as it had been shown them. Several principles were established in the Law that Jesus later enlarged upon:  “Avenge not yourselves; I will repay, saith the Lord”, “Don’t bear grudges”, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The long history of the Israelites who continually sinned against God, cried unto Him for forgiveness and came back to Him, and then slid back again into wickedness, over and over, bore witness to the longsuffering of God toward man, and man’s obligation to be merciful as well.

The scene of Joseph with his brothers after their reunion in Egypt is so touching. Joseph tells them, “You meant this for evil, but God meant it for good.” He displayed that merciful attitude when he gave his sons names which meant, “God has made me to forget,” and “God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Genesis 41:51, 52).

David also learned mercy toward those who did him wrong, as when he refused to serve vengeance toward King Saul, and when Shimei, a relative of Saul, cursed him. David acknowledged two very important things: nothing could happen to him unless God allowed it, and God would return him good for this man’s cursing. This confidence in God developed in him a compassion for the erring (II Samuel 16:5-14).

This background of forgiveness and mercy was fulfilled in an even greater way by the life, ministry and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, shown especially in His dying words. His disciples, Stephen for example, portrayed the same humble attitude of forgiveness.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



1. Compare and Contrast: Are any of the trespasses or sins done against us as great as ours have been toward God? Against the revelation of the depth of God’s forgiveness, how do we measure up?

2. Commit: How does praying a daily commitment to forgiveness help us follow commands such as: do not let the sun go down upon our wrath; be long suffering and kind; do not be soon angry, nor let anger rest in you, nor bear any grudge?

3. Consider: What is the final result of bitterness and unforgiveness?




The tender love, gratitude, reverence, submission, trust and humble recognition of God’s mercy expressed thus far in our prayer has laid groundwork for the need and obligation we have to forgive others. By the time we come to this, God has so worked in our hearts that we are melted with compassion for the erring. We recognize their weaknesses are equal to our own. We see God’s gentleness toward us; we see the horrible end coming to those who are lost and unforgiven, and we join in intercession with Jesus, Who says to the Father, “Forgive them.” We pray, “They may not realize what they have done, but if they do, they are in serious danger. Don’t let them suffer eternity without You. I release them, and I beg You to.”

Here are questions to consider: Cannot God, Whose tides wash clean the shore of every ocean twice each day, help us to do the same toward those who hurt us? If our situations were reversed, wouldn’t we want the person we had wronged to pardon us and show us mercy? Would we be willing for God to judge us at the judgment exactly the way we have been judging others?

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



The Lord gave us a beautiful illustration of a man who had been forgiven a great debt that he could not pay. His wife and children were to be sold. This man pled for mercy, earnestly, and the one who held his debt was moved with compassion. He was touched, and he forgave that man his great debt. But this one who had been forgiven had one of his debtors thrown into prison for a much smaller debt than what his was that had been forgiven.

We all need to remember where we came from. We have been forgiven the great debt of sin that was way beyond our ability to pay. Adultery, fornication, murder, covetousness, hatred, lies—the list could go on. The Lord simply forgave us and wiped the slate clean.

Now let us be that way with our fellow man, brother, sister, mother, father. Jesus said that offences would come. Let it go. It is not worth holding on to. It will steal our joy and peace and will bring us into bondage. There is a wonderful blessing and release that comes when we from the heart—let it go! Mercy and forgiveness are wonderful attitudes to have in our lives.

The father of the prodigal son was looking down the road longing for his son, and when he saw him, he ran to him and threw his arms around him. The son had lived wickedly and wasted what his father had given him; yet, when he came home, he was welcomed with open arms. Psalm 103.8 says, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” I am thankful to have such a wonderful heavenly Father.

—Bro. Bob Wilson