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September 5, 2015

Text: “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And 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. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’  And out of  pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But 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.’  So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’  He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.” Matthew 18:23-30

Memory is a wonderful thing. It supplies us many wonderful reveries of our past. It is the retainer of  things we have learned throughout our lives. Yet  it can bring embarrassment if it fails. When I was a boy in high school I took a speech class. We were entered in a  speech contest. I had worked hard to memorize an article that I chose. But when I got to the podium my memory betrayed me.  I was totally embarrassed. And sometimes it is a will-of-the-wisp that helps evaporate  our recall of something we should have done.

Jesus’ story in our text above deals with a very forgetful man. After he had been forgiven a huge debt he forgot that he had been forgiven a sizable sum, and that he had not been incarcerated for being a spendthrift. This was a terrible oversight. But the gist of this story is our own forgetfulness. We often misremember to share our duty to others.  “Creditors have better memories than debtors.”  Benjamin Franklin  “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this this is the Law and the Prophets.” Mathew 7:12

Remember to do good to others every time you can.  Every segment of our lives is bursting with opportunities to help others. Exercising our contacts with others will supply us with many times and places to demonstrate our likeness to our Lord by our actions. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it,  for him it is sin.” James 4:17

Remember to love all mankind.  This is a tall order. Some persons act as if they don’t want to be loved. Others don’t like you in the least.  Some people are simply mean to everyone. We find these people all the way through our lives. Nevertheless, God loves them all and he wants us to love them too. John 3:16 In many gatherings the guests gather around the bubbliest or the famous. Be different. Go find someone who is alone and unhappy, sad or depressed. Lavish your attention on the person and cheer him up. Isn’t that the loving thing to do anyway? Ask someone if there is something you can do for him. Repeat, repeat, repeat! “And this is his commandment, that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he had commanded us.” I John 3:23

Remember to obey God’s commandments. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15  That means all of his commandments. God’s commandments are not a smorgasbord ! You cannot pick and choose the ones you like and ignore the rest!  That is the behavior of many would-be Christians.  Once you become a Christian,  you must strictly obey your Lord’s commandments.  Disobedience of your duty requires a huge penalty.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23

Always remember you were redeemed with a precious sacrifice.  “…knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”  I Peter 1:18-19  This redemption price exceeds the worth of the whole of the entire world. We were that valuable to the Father and the Son, and we must never  forget it. You might not consider that you could renounce that gift of redemption, but it is not only possible, it is also fatal.  “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For  since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard…” Hebrews 2:1-3a

“The heart that truly loves never forgets.”  Unknown


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