Today’s Youth Devotional

70 X 7

Bible Reading: Luke 6:36-38

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:36-37, NIV

THE CHARACTERS ON the children’s television show Sesame Street often sang a song that went something like, “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong.” Viewers were supposed to pick out which item didn’t belong in the group. Well, Big Bird’s not here to sing for you (this is a pretty low-budget devotional), but let’s play the game anyway. Ready?

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. Which one is it?

Cake Pie Pudding Motor Oil

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. Which one is it?

Moses Hootie & the Blowfish Daniel King David

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. Which one is it?

Mercy Kindness Compassion Unforgivingness

OK, so it’s not as good as Sesame Street. But if you answered “unforgivingness” to that last question, you get the point: one of the main ways people fail to show mercy to each other is by refusing to forgive each other.

Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, once asked Jesus, “How often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” Jesus probably shocked Peter with his answer. “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:21-22). The rabbis of Jesus’ day taught that a person should be forgiven three times. But Jesus made it clear that we should never stop forgiving people.

In many ways, mercy begins with forgiveness. If you refuse to forgive someone, then you are not showing mercy. Mercy means loving someone even when he or she has wronged you. Mercy means letting that person “off the hook.” Mercy means letting go of your “right” to be mad or resentful. It’s not always easy to forgive, of course. It’s not always easy to show mercy. But it’s always right.

REFLECT: Do you have a “forgiveness limit”? Is there someone you need to forgive? Perhaps there is someone you need to ask for forgiveness.

PRAY: “Lord, I’m sorry that I’ve had a hard time forgiving______________.  Help me to show your mercy by_______________.”

23-Feb