Seven times Seventy

Matthew 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

From the New Life Study Bible: The rabbis taught that people should forgive those who offend them – but only three times. Peter, trying to be especially generous, asked Jesus if seven (the “perfect” number) was enough times to forgive someone. But Jesus answered, “Seventy times seven,” meaning that we shouldn’t even keep track of how many times we forgive someone. We should always forgive those who are truly repentant, no matter how many times they ask.

Fit In Your Faith Today: How quickly do you forgive someone who says they are sorry for hurting you? If they never say they are sorry, do you forgive them anyways? What if you know someone who is a repeat offender, someone who keeps wronging or hurting you. Do you forgive them or do you hold a grudge? It’s not easy to forgive others, especially when you think they aren’t even sorry. But holding a grudge and holding on to that pain will only make things worse. Do as Jesus has told us, and forgive them no matter what.

Bonus Material: 7×70 by Chris August – An awesome song by one of my favorite Christian singers.

The Lost Sheep In Your Life

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Luke 15: 1-7

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.

 After reading this parable, we might consider ourselves to be the lost sheep. We might compare ourselves to that lost animal that wanders off the path that God has set for us, hoping to be found again.

But what if you are the shepherd and the lost sheep is one of your friends or family members? Maybe it’s someone you used to see at church but haven’t in a long time. Or maybe it’s a friend you used to be close with but they have started hanging out with a different crowd, one that you might not understand or get along with for one reason or another.

Consider that lost sheep in your life ask yourself how you can make a point to reach out to them and see what they are up to. Have you reached out to this person recently? If not, why? If you did, how did it go? Some of these lost sheep might not want to return “home.”  And there’s really nothing we can do about it right now. But one day they might want to come back and we should be there with open arms as God our Father would want us to be. He always welcomes back his lost sheep and we should too.

Fit in your Faith Today: Think about who is lost in your life and how you can make an active effort to bring them back home.

Putting on the Armor of God

Ephesians 6:11-12

Put on the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.

The city of Ephesus, to which this letter was written to, was practicing what would be considered a “cult” practice of magic, new age, spells, etc. at this time.  They were trying to harness divine powers for their own control. Lots of spiritual warfare going on at this time. This was the home of St. Paul for awhile because it was at the heart of the battle of light and darkness.

Paul is trying to assure the Ephesians (and us in our present day) that the struggles in this world is not with the things that we see. We always want to blame people around us for our problems like politicians, world leaders, the government, anyone but ourselves. While there’s plenty of blame to go around, that’s not the end of the story. There are spiritual realities behind all these people and events that are bigger than we can actually see.

What is bigger? God. God is bigger than all of this. There is an unseen reality all around us. We have guardian angels who are protecting us and fighting these battles that we just can’t see. It can scary to think about this but it’s also comforting. The reality for us is that God is in control. We need to pray for the grace and the strength to do our part in this “battle.” As chaotic as the world might seem, we need to have confidence that God has won.

Fit in Your Faith Today: Recognize that just because what you read in the paper and see on the news looks like the world is chaotic and in turmoil, this battle has already been won. God is bigger than the chaos.

Nothing Ever Can Separate Us

Romans 8:31-39

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. 


In yesterday’s post, we discussed how it’s easy to have an Unbelief during tough times. Similarly, we might feel like God’s love has completely abandoned us in the times when we need Him most. We still believe in Him, but we don’t believe Him. We might have faith, but we might ask ourselves, “Where is my faith now?” Almost like we lost it like we lose a set of keys. “It was right here! Where has it gone?”

This passage from the book of Romans assures us that God has not abandoned us. He gave us his Son, He would not turn around and condemn us for wrongdoing. St. Paul reminds us to have confidence, and hope, and faith that His love for us does not waiver. Our love for Him might waiver. Our faith in Him might not be in tip top shape. But His love doesn’t fail us. Ever.

Fit In Your Faith: Take one or two lines from the above scripture and commit it to memory. Pray these words on the days when you feel like God has abandoned you. Understand and have confidence that nothing ever could separate us from His love.