Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins


And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12 NKJV)

Definition of Debts

When the whole passage is read in context, it is quite clear that the debts referred to are trespasses or sins.  We are to forgive those who sin against us so that God can forgive us and hear and answer our prayers.  This is not dealing with salvation but with fellowship.

Power in Prayer

We need to have an open “line” to heaven, if our prayers are going to be effective.  That open line requires us to forgive.  Now if we are to be forgiven by God in the same way and that we forgive others, isn’t it possible that most of us might have to admit that we really don’t have an open line to heaven? 


Forgiveness is a word that is used in different ways.  When the Lord said, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do,” He was likely speaking specifically to the Roman soldiers, but we have no problem extending that principal to all unbelievers throughout all time.  Are all forgiven? Yes.  Are all reconciled?  No. Are all “saved?” No.  Not everyone receives the forgiveness that was offered to all because of the cross.  So, all who end up in hell were offered a forgiveness that they did not accept.

Forgiveness whether received or not provides a release on the part of the one who is doing the forgiving.  He or she no longer tries to bring about a reconciliation that may never happen. After trying to reason with the offender, and in serious situations trying to get elders and the church to act in Scriptural manner; they no longer try to control the actions of the offender. They do not try to “get even.”  Their blood pressure goes back to normal even when they are in the presence of the offender.  And they stand ready to accept an apology when and if it is ever offered.

Weakness in Prayer

I thank God that often He answers prayers for me when I know I have not lived up to this Godly principle of forgiveness.  There are people who have bullied me, they have flattered me, then lied to me and then when the lie was obvious, they have intimidated me.  I haven’t always handled it well.  But I try to “release” these people and let the Lord deal with them in His own way and in His own time.  And yet, when I am around a few of these people, I still remember what they did, and my blood pressure goes up.  I don’t trust them, and I assume that in the same circumstances they would do the same things again to me and to others. 

When the Lord forgives, He says, "THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE (Hebrews 10:17 NKJV).”  He is not going to build a pillar or a monument to our sins in order to remember our sins and lawless deeds (trespasses).  He is not going to memorialize our sins.  But it would be nice if we could forgive AS the Lord forgives.  If our prayers are dependent on our really forgiving those who have hurt us, most of us would likely have to admit, we have a problem.  Admitting that we have a problem is the first step in solving the problem.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of October 20, 2019

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