Ascending Calvary: Week Two

February 27, 2018  - By Gretchen Saffles

Ascending Calvary | WEEK TWO

Day Eight | Wednesday, February 28

Write: One thing you learned through the Scriptures you read.

Ponder: Look back on the past week and think about some of the highlights of your time with the Lord.

Ask: How have you understood grace and mercy in light of the truth of Scripture this week? In light of God’s mercy to you, how can you commit your life to honor Him?

Day Nine | Thursday, March 1

Read: Psalm 32, focusing on verses 1-5
Write: Psalm 32:5

Ponder: Human relationships are complicated because of the damaging effects of sin. While we were created to be in right relationship with one another, our sinful choices and attitudes often harm our intimacy with one another.

Ask: In the next week of study, we will think about forgiveness. When you hear that word, does a certain relationship or situation come to mind? Is there anyone in your life who you have been withholding forgiveness from? Ask the Lord to reveal any areas of your heart or life that are like an open wound, preventing you from deeper relationship with God or others.

Day Ten | Friday, March 2

Read: Matthew 7:1-5, Titus 3:1-7
Write: Matthew 7:2

Ponder: You may have been taught to forgive as a child after a spat with your sibling or an unkind word from a schoolmate, but the wounds of adulthood can be much deeper. These offenses can be so difficult to comprehend and even harder to forgive. The greatest enemy of our need to forgive other is often our own self-righteousness.

Ask: Instead of the sinful failing of another, what should our focus be, according to this passage in Matthew? When we take time to remember what God has forgiven us from, we are better equipped to forgive others. Take time today to remember the wonderful grace God has shown you. Ask the Holy Spirit to point out any areas of your heart that are harboring unconfessed sin, bitterness, or self-righteousness.

Day Eleven | Saturday, March 3

Read: Matthew 18:21-35
Write: Matthew 18:22

Ponder: Timothy Keller says, “Forgiveness is always extremely costly. It is emotionally very expensive—it takes much blood, sweat, and tears. When you forgive, you pay the debt yourself.”

Ask: In light of this thought and the lesson learned in Matthew 18, where did the servant go wrong after his master forgave all his debts? Does this lesson connect to any of your real-life relationships with others? What damaging effects does withholding forgiveness have on you? If there is someone from whom you have been withholding forgiveness, confess it to the Lord, then ask Him for strength to extend forgiveness.

Day Twelve | Sunday, March 4

Read: Matthew 5:44, Ephesians 4:31-32, 1 Peter 3:9
Write: 1 Peter 3:9

Ponder: We know the ideal situation of forgiveness is for the one who has done the wrong to recognize their mistake, then repent and seek reconciliation. However, that is not always the case! We cannot wait around for that to happen, harboring bitterness in our hearts until we’ve been vindicated. Joanna Weaver put it this way: “Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Instead, we are to forgive as we have been forgiven, even if the person who has hurt or wronged us has no idea how we feel.

Ask: Take comfort in knowing that God knows exactly how you feel. Pray through any betrayals or relationships where forgiveness is needed, either from you or for you.

Day Thirteen | Monday, March 5

Read: Hebrews 12:14-15
Write: Hebrews 12:14

Ponder: Sometimes our closest friends and family are capable of hurting us the most. There’s always a risk that comes with letting someone into your life, but the reward of forgiveness is peace and grace that can come only through Christ’s redemptive power working in our hearts.

Ask: What are the instructions given in verse 14 for the child of God? According to these verses, is it possible to harbor ill feelings toward someone and still be in right relationship with God? Verse 15 warns us to be sure that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble. It’s been said that forgiveness is the shovel that digs up the root of bitterness. Ask the Lord to point out any bitterness in your life, and to help root it out through forgiveness.

Day Fourteen | Tuesday, March 6

Ponder: Look back on the past week and think about some of the highlights of your time with the Lord.

Write: One thing you learned through the Scriptures you read this week.

Ask: How have you understood forgiveness in light of the truth of Scripture this week? In light of God’s grace to you, how can you commit your life to honor Him?

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