Matt 6:14-15                        Living in the Presence of God                            4/08/2018      ßà   

 

 

 

 

 

#1.      You Must Forgive (Deut 23:6, Matt 5:44, Matt 6:14-15, 18:23-35)

 

 

 

 

 

#2.      How Much Have We Been Forgiven? (Rom 3:10,23, Psalm 51:1-4, Rom 6:23)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3. What If You Cannot Forgive?(Luke 7:47, Matt 6:14-15, 1Tim 2:8, Luk 23:34, Matt 7:11, Phil 1:6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel according to Matthew, Matt 6:5 (2X). We are presently in a series on Matthew, because I am in the process of showing that God started a new program when He began to write the NT. And so far we have seen from chapters 1-5 that this is indeed the case. No longer is the OT nation of Israel God’s favorite people, but a new nation taking their place is a nation consisting of the remnant chosen by grace out of all the nations of the world. And this new nation is also called Israel, for their leader, the Lord Jesus Christ, is called Israel. No longer are Jews defined by their descent from the patriarch Jacob, but in the NT God defines Jews as those who have been circumcised in their heart, which means who have been born from above, for the Lord Jesus Christ has suffered and died for them on the cross at Calvary. No longer is Jerusalem the holy city, but New Jerusalem that is above is now the holy city. No longer is the real estate east of the Mediterranean the holy land, but every place where the soles of the feet of the saints shall tread upon, that is holy ground, for we are the vessels that God Himself has chosen to dwell in. Only those who are in Christ are called the temple of God and are mandated to spread the Gospel of salvation into the world, for in the NT time we are the vessels that carry the oracles of God. No longer are the descendants of Jacob the carriers of the oracles of God, for they have an incomplete Word of God, and thus they worship an incomplete image of God, which is another god than the God of the Bible.

While we are going through the Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5, 6 and 7, we have seen that the Lord Jesus is preparing His people for the new doctrines that are prevailing in His new Kingdom. He is not abandoning the Law and the Prophets of the OT, but He is expanding them, for we, His people, must be merciful since our God also is merciful. The theme permeating chapter 5 is “New Doctrines for the New Kingdom”. The theme permeating chapter 6 is Living in the Presence of God. This is also the title of the present sermon: Living in the Presence of God. I do not have time to preach on all the subjects we find in the Sermon on the Mount. Therefore I chose one subject out of chapter 5, and for today I chose one subject out of chapter 6, particularly the one that deals with forgiveness. Let us now read about forgiveness as it is written in the context of prayer.

Mt 6:5   And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Mt 6:6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Mt 6:7-8  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.      Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Mt 6:9   After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Mt 6:10-12  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.          Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Mt 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Mt 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Mt 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Did you notice that verse 12 is repeated and expanded in verses 14-15? Therefore the Lord Jesus places great emphasis on forgiveness, and He made it an integral part of prayer. In other words, if we want our prayers to be heard, we must understand that forgiveness is a necessary condition. Now, this is not a popular subject to talk about. While we read this passage we could see that the Lord gave us here some basic doctrines about prayer. And since we are teachable, (I hope), we are ready to absorb these new rules in our mind. And so when we read that we must pray in secret, and we must not pray vain repetitions, we say in our mind, “Yes Lord, we will obey Your new rules”. And when we read that we must hallow God’s name, and we must agree that God’s will be done, and we must believe that by God’s grace He will feed us daily, and we must believe that God will deliver us out of every temptation, we say in our mind, “Yes Lord, we are willing to believe all that”. But when the command comes to forgive those who have done great harm to us, this is not something that we can simply square away in our mind, but it touches us in our heart. This is not just a matter of doctrine but this is a matter of the heart. “Lord, can you see that I cannot take this command in the absolute sense? It really hurts my feelings into the core of my soul”. And since this is a big problem in the  Christian world of today, I chose to address this problem head on in the sermon of today.

#1.      You Must Forgive (Deut 23:6, Matt 5:44, Matt 6:14-15, 18:23-35)

Let me begin to say that this was not at all required in the OT. Speaking about the Moabites and the Ammonites God commanded His people in Deut 23:6, “Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever”. That is a statement full of judgment. But in the NT the Lord Jesus in Matt 5:44 expanded this statement, and said that we must love our enemies. Now let us read in Mt 6,

Mt 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Mt 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

This reads as if it is a condition: If you do this you will be saved. If you cannot do this, you cannot be saved. We immediately sense that this conclusion violates everything else we have learned from the Bible about salvation. We now know that salvation is by grace alone, and salvation is not given as a reward for doing good works. God forgives our sins based on Christ’s atonement on the cross, and that is the only reason why sins are forgiven, and this took place about 2000 years ago. God is not going to change that today based on our actions. And so we need to study a few more statements in the Bible to come to a satisfying conclusion. Please turn in your Bibles to chapter 18 of this Gospel according to Matthew, Matt 18:23 (2X). The Lord Jesus answered the apostle Peter about this topic of forgiveness when Peter asked Him, “Lord, how often shall I forgive my brother? Until seven times?” Peter thought that he was really generous. Jesus answered him, “Not seven times, but until seventy times seven”. Thus, if you must forgive him 490 times, it means that you must keep forgiving, for long before you have come to number 490 you will lose count. This is the essence of salvation. Let us rd,

Mt 18:23-25   Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.        And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.       But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

Mt 18:26-27  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.          Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

Mt 18:28-30  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest   And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.         And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

Mt 18:31-34  So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.            Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:       Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?          And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

Mt 18:35  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

What is the bottom line? The bottom line is that there will be a day of reckoning for all those who did not from their heart forgive their brother. And we must not be legalistic in this matter by saying that we will forgive our brothers in Christ, but we will not do it if he is not a brother in Christ. And how is it possible that the first servant was forgiven all that he owed, and yet he lost his salvation and was still cast into Hell. We must understand the spirit of the parable rather than try to split hairs. The purpose of this parable was to show Peter that he must always forgive his brother. If God forgave you all that you owed Him, why are you not forgiving to your fellow man and forgive him his sins against you? And the answer to this question is illustrated by the lopsided debts. 10,000 talents is equivalent in value to 10,000 years of wages. On the other hand 100 pence is equivalent to wages of 100 days. And so, the Lord calls this man a “wicked servant” in verse 32 because that servant understood very well the enormous value of what he could have been forgiven and the little sum of money that his fellow servant owed him. That is why this man was called a wicked servant. Now, there are people who are very unforgiving toward their fellow man, because they do not understand the value of what Christ is willing to forgive them. Therefore let us now turn to the question:

#2.      How Much Have We Been Forgiven? (Rom 3:10,23, Psalm 51:1-4, Rom 6:23)

Let me try to give you an idea of how great our debt is to God. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of the Psalms, Psalm 51:1 (2X). While you look that up let me read to you what I find here in Rom 3:10. God says there, “There is NONE righteous, No, Not One”. And the reason why there is none righteous is because we are all sinners, for I read in Rom 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. And thus we all are by nature under the wrath of God. We all came into the world as sinners against God. Some of us are small sinners, and others are great sinners, like king David. God has something to say to us in this Psalm 51, which is a Psalm of David. We read here:

Ps 51:1  <<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.>> Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Ps 51:2  Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Ps 51:3  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Ps 51:4  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

David is pleading for mercy. David is begging God to cleanse him from his sin, which means to forgive him for his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, and for his sin of murdering Uriah the Hittite. And God gives us a little insight into the enormity of our sins in verse 4. He says there, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight”. Our sin against our fellow man is in fact a sin against God, because our fellow man is the property of God, and our fellow man is made in the image of God. And so, if we have slapped God in the face, then we must expect God to avenge Himself. And God does that as declared in Rom 6:23 that the wages of sin is death, and the death that God has in view is to suffer for an eternity in a place called Hell. And so, what do we owe God? We owe Him an eternity in Hell. This is the debt that we owe to God for the frivolity of committing sin after sin. And if we look at the payment that the Lord Jesus Christ made on the cross, which was a payment that satisfied the righteousness of God, we must say that it was the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. For only if Christ’s payment was a full payment satisfying the righteousness of God would it be an acceptable substitute for the payment of our sins. Just think of this hypothetical example. A woman says that she cannot forgive her husband, for in the 50 years that they were married he has made her life a hell for 45 years. He has abused her physically and mentally, and has shown more love for his work than for her. He has not given her any children. He has caused her to be a physical wreck, for he has denied her the medical care she needed. He has given her just enough money to survive on food. He has not given her a car or allowed her to learn to drive one. And for 50 years she has been a faithful wife who has always taken good care of him and of the house. But after 45 years of abuse she is now full of anger against him. And now she has come to faith in Christ, and she reads in the Bible that we must forgive our fellow man. But she is full of resentment against him and remembers every angry word that he has lashed out against her. He remains an atheist, he curses God, and is drunk every night, and does not appreciate his wife at all. But now that she has become a believer, she cannot forgive her husband for the 45 years of abuse he did unto her. What is she now to do?

What do we see here? The situation here is exactly like that in the parable that the Lord Jesus told in Matt 18. The wicked servant is now replaced by the abused woman. The reason she cannot forgive is that she does not realize how much Christ has done for her. Her mind is constantly occupied with resentment against her husband, which actually means that her mind is constantly occupied with self-pity and with seeking revenge, but she does not know how. And so, life goes on for the two of them. He is wallowing in the mire of alcohol and sin. And she is getting angrier and angrier every day. The problem is she does not realize how lopsided this matter of forgiveness is. On the one hand he has given her a miserable 45 years, and now that she is an old woman she has no more good years left. On the other hand, if Christ has paid for her sins then Christ has suffered many centuries in Hell for her; in fact Christ has suffered the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for her, for that is what she owed to God. Regardless whether she has been a good wife, her sins are many for which she was required to spend an eternity in Hell. And if all this was forgiven, then what Christ forgave her was infinitely more than what she could forgive her husband. In fact, to forgive her husband and loving him nevertheless does not have to come out of a heart overflowing of good feelings for him. Biblical love is not a feeling but is a decision. That is right, agape is a decision. It is a decision to love the unlovable. She does not have to wait for good feelings to develop before she can forgive her husband. When she has read in the Bible that we must forgive our fellow man, she could begin to pray for him. She does not have to wait for him to ask for forgiveness. She does not have to wait until he turns around and repents of his sins. She should pray for him, and in her mind forgive him for all the awful things he has committed unto her, for his sins are sins against God. When she forgives him she is not letting him off the hook, but she is letting herself off the hook. This is a decision she makes in her mind, and it does not have to depend on her feelings. She will put her own mind to rest, whereas he will still have to answer to God for his sins, for his sins are against God. In this way she would be obedient to God’s command to forgive her fellow man for all the evil that he has perpetrated on her.

If we only could believe how much Christ has forgiven us, then everything else will fall into place.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:4 (2X). While you look that up let me read to you the Lord Jesus’ words in Matt 20:28, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many”. This is why He came, the God-man. He did not come to be served as a King, but He came as the Suffering Servant of Jehovah. He came to purchase His Bride, the body of believers, and the purchase price was the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. He gave His life a ransom for many; not for everyone on the face of the earth, but for the many whom the Father had given Him to be His Bride. And why does Christ have to suffer that much? It is because every individual that constitutes His Bride is on the way to Hell. And Christ came as a Savior to save His Bride from going to Hell, for anyone who lands there cannot be rescued any more. There is no “fire escape” in Hell. But Christ came to pay the payment that we must make. We read i Isa 53:4

Isa 53:4-5  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.            But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

What is the meaning of verse 4? Let me first tell you what it does not mean. In the charismatic gospels it is preached that Christ bore our sicknesses, so that we do not need to be sick any more. Just believe the preacher who lays his hands on you, and you will be healed of all your diseases. That is a lie. Those griefs and sorrows of verse 4 are not referring to sufferings on this earth, but to the sufferings in Hell. Look at the context: “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities”. He suffered those griefs and sorrows as our Substitute because we committed those transgressions and iniquities. Those griefs and sorrows refer to the physical and mental anguish that we would have to suffer in Hell, for Hell is a place of suffering for both body and soul. And when we read, “our griefs”, and “our sorrows”, and “our transgressions”, and “our iniquities”, and “our peace”, keep in mind that this does not refer to every human being in the world, but it refers only to those whom the Father has given to Christ. For the Lord Jesus says in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me”. And that is why God says in Isa 53:6, “And the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. The words “us all” means “all of us whom the Father has given to Jesus” We must always have a harmonious Bible, for God does not lie. And if God says in John 6:37 that only those whom the Father has given to Jesus shall come to Jesus, then we must integrate this conclusion into all the other Scriptures that we find. And so we see that all of us are like sheep who have gone astray. “There is NONE righteous, No Not One”. And that is why Christ had to come as the Suffering Servant of Jehovah. About 2000 years ago, on April 3, in the year AD 33, the Lord Jesus Christ made the decision to love the unlovables, and to suffer for all of us the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. And what a glorious result: We read in verse 5, “and with his stripes we are healed”. No, not our physical sicknesses, but our spiritual condition has been healed. All the physical healings that Christ performed were only signs and shadows of the spiritual healings of the souls of the people He healed. Please turn to the Gospel according to Luke, Luke 7:47 (2X).

#3. What If You Cannot Forgive?(Luke 7:47, Matt 6:14-15, 1Tim 2:8, Luk 23:34, Matt 7:11, Phil 1:6)

We read here about an event where the Lord Jesus was invited by Simon the Pharisee to have dinner at his house. There a woman of ill repute entered the room and wept over Jesus’ feet, and wiped His feet with the hairs of her head, and anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive ointment. Let me get quickly to the bottom line: The Lord said to Simon the Pharisee in Luke 7:47, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little”. Let me repeat these words, “To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little”. And the corollary of this truth is also true, “To whom much is forgiven, the same loveth much”. What do we learn from these words? This woman, who wiped and anointed the Lord Jesus’ feet, is the one who loved the Lord Jesus much, as the Lord said so in Luke 7:47. Her actions showed that she loved Christ much because “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven”. “To whom much is forgiven, the same loveth much”. On the other hand, Simon the Pharisee showed by his actions that he loved the Lord Jesus very little. The Pharisees had no need for a Savior like Christ; for they did not believe tat they needed any sins to be forgiven. They were sons of Abraham, and proud of their heritage, and were certainly on the way to heaven. “To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little”. And so, since he was forgiven nothing, he also had no love for the Lord Jesus. And his actions showed it.

Let us now apply these conclusions to the text of our sermon. Please turn again to the Gospel according to Matthew, Matt 6:14 (2X). We now understand the solution to the puzzle why there are people who have such a hard time forgiving their fellow man, or even forgiving their spouse. Both from the parable in Matt 18 and from the real historical event in Luke 7, we can see that the person who does not want to forgive either does not understand the magnitude of the forgiveness by the Lord Jesus, or that person thinks that he is not in need of salvation, like Simon the Pharisee. We read in Mt

Mt 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Mt 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

God has laid this law upon us that we should forgive others. If we do this it is simply obedience to our duties, and it is not something that we make God owe us anything. We are to be imitators of God, but God does not imitate us in pardoning offenders. We would be in real bad shape if that would be the case. And so, we can see that God’s action must come first before we can look at our actions. Our actions are only a response of what God has done in our heart. His mercy to us is the cause of our mercy to others. Moreover, our attitude of forgiveness is tied to our prayers. And since this is so we can understand the mysterious statement in 1Tim 2:8, where God says that we must “lift up holy hands without wrath”. And so, we can see that if we display a forgiving attitude toward others, it may be a sign that we have been pardoned by God. For if God has wiped away our sins at the moment of us being born from above, and God makes His abode within our souls, should we not expect that we shall be more and more like Him and pray for our enemies? (Luke 23:34). Moreover, if we detect a forgiving attitude within us, does that not give us a greater confidence in God’s abounding mercy? If we, who still have much of the old nature within us, find that a spark of grace in our hearts kindles in us a readiness to forgive those who have done us harm, what may we not expect from God? If we who have so little grace find it possible to be magnanimous, how much more shall the God of all grace exceed us in this! The Lord Jesus expressed this in Matt 7:11 (2X), where He said in Matt 7:11, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” And so, we realize that finding an attitude of forgiveness within us is a great blessing, for it is pointing to the fact that God has done a wonderful work in our soul. Therefore, if God has done a wonderful work in our soul, and God has given us the faith to believe the true Gospel of Christ crucified, and that Christ has been crucified for His elect people only, and if God has given us understanding in the mysteries of the Word of God, then in time God will also reveal to us how much He has forgiven us through Christ’s atonement, and then God will reveal to us that we first of all must pray for our enemies, and we must pray for them from the heart, and our forgiveness for them will follow. We are certain of this, for “he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it and complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).

Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle of James, Jam 2:12 (2X).

I am not here to make you feel comfortable. I am here to tell you what God said, and I will try to be as faithful as I can. We have here a verse in the Epistle of James that makes many people very uncomfortable. God speaks here through the pen of James, the half brother of Jesus, about “the law of liberty”, which from Jam 1:25 we have seen is another name for the Bible. We read in Jam 2:12-13,

Jas 2:12-13  So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.    For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

The context is the keeping of the commandments. Bear in mind that obeying the commandments is not the way to salvation, for if you offend in one of them you are guilty of all. Then verse 12 speaks of being judged by the Law of Liberty. If we have become saved, then whole the Bible has become to us the Law of Liberty, for it has become the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:2). And then the Bible portrays to us our God as a God who delights in mercy. Therefore, since we have received mercy from God, should we not imitate God and also have mercy on our fellow man? And if we do not show mercy on our fellow man, God says in Jam 2:13, “For He shall have judgment without mercy, on them that hath shewed no mercy”. If we claim that we believe the orthodox message of the Gospel: that God saves by grace alone, and through Christ alone, and that faith is a gift from God, and that truth comes to us through the Bible alone, and that all is done for the glory of God alone, but then if we still are unmerciful toward our fellow man, then I believe our faith is cold orthodoxy. It is orthodox, which means it is conforming to conventional conservative Christian doctrines, but it is cold and lifeless. The mercy of God is only in our head, but it is not in our actions. God has not done the miracle of salvation in our heart, and we are still under the wrath of God. We would not be doers of the Word, but hearers only. Is that possible? Yes it is possible. People can be fervent students of the Bible, and know by heart all the doctrines of the Bible, but still remain unsaved. We are not saved by our knowledge. We are not saved by the many hours we spend on studying the Word of God. We are saved by Christ, and when we are saved by Him we will receive faith from God, but we will also have a change of heart. Remember, God calls it “born from above”. We will have a change of heart that will be patterned after Christ. And look how merciful He is. Every one of us were His enemies, and were insulting Him every day, and were doing Him great harm. And yet He had mercy on us, and stood in our place enduring the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. And can we turn around and cannot forgive our fellow man a mere pittance? That is cold orthodoxy. It means that God has never revealed to us the real meaning of Christ crucified. Please turn in your Bibles to the Proverbs of Solomon, Prov 21:13 (2X). The word Proverb means Parable. Even though each of these proverbs are tiny parables in themselves, most of them are still easy to understand. Here in Prov 21:13 God indicates that His government is a reality, and He will see to it that what ever we sow, that we shall also reap. Pr 21:13, “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard”. So you see that the meaning of this proverb is the same as that which we have seen in Jam 2:13.

Allow me to summarize what I have been saying in the past 45 minutes. The passage of Matt 6:14-15 is a very real test of our discipleship. On the one hand it teaches us that if we are merciful to others, it means that we ourselves have obtained mercy. For God shall instill in our hearts those character traits that are fruitful for the furtherance of His Kingdom. On the other hand, it teaches us that if we retain malice and hatred against those who have injured us, then the hypocrisy of our Christian profession is plainly exposed. And so, we must ask ourselves these questions: Do I secretly rejoice when I hear of any calamity that befalls someone who has done me harm? If so, then certainly I have not forgiven him. Do I retain in my memory the injuries that I have suffered at the hand of those who are my enemies? And if my enemy has repented, am I willing to do whatever I can to help him? We must keep in mind that God’s pardon of our sins is inevitably followed by the reformation of our heart. These two processes must go together, so that we develop more and more a Christ-like spirit, for this is how we are useful servants in the Kingdom of Christ. God says in Jer 9:24, “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD”. And God says in Mic 7:18, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy”.            AMEN.                       Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.