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Accepting Forgiveness

(16)

Sermon shared by Matt Barker

May 2008
Summary: As Christians, we often work hard at forgiving others; we need to learn to accept Godís forgiveness of ourselves.
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Accepting Forgiveness

Letís open our bibles this morning to Psalm 103. In this Psalm, David is praising God for his tremendous love for His people. Weíll come back to this in just a minute.

Now, we all know that David wasnít perfect. Letís take a look at one of his most famous stories. One day he sent his men off to battle while he stayed behind. He sees a woman named Bathsheba bathing on a rooftop and sends for her. They lay together and the woman becomes pregnant. So David sends for her husband, Uriah, to come home so that he can try to get him to sleep with his wife Bathsheba to cover up what he had done. Instead, Uriah sleeps at the door to the kingís house because the men were in the field and he felt that he should not be so privileged. David tries again, but Uriah still refuses to go home to lay with his wife. So, David sends Uriah back to the battlefront with a note sent to Joab saying that Uriah should be move to the front line of the fiercest battle so that he would be killed. This is done and word gets back to David that Uriah is now dead. So, David sends for Bathsheba and marries her.

That is the shortened version of the story, and there is more to it, but I wanted to use this as an illustration of something very bad that David had done. He committed adultery, got the woman pregnant, tried to cover it up, and when that failed, he had the womanís husband killed and then went and married her.

But, we know that David is also known as a ďMan after Godís own Heart.Ē Why is that? Read Psalm 103 and youíll have the answer. For now, weíre going to look at verse 12. ďAs far as the East is from the West, So far has he removed our transgressions from us.Ē

A couple of months ago, I was in here listening to Ken preach and one of the things that he was talking about was how God forgives us of our sins and casts them away as far as the East is from the West; as far as the depths of the deepest ocean. Now I ask you today, how many of you are out there in the ocean with our fishing nets and poles hanging on to the guilt of sin? How many are still carrying around the guilt of something youíve done that you havenít allowed yourselves to be forgiven for?

How many people have ever carried around a loaded rucksack? Something so loaded down you could hardly pick it up. How easy would it be for you to run a marathon with something like that on your back? Not very easy, right?

But for some reason, that is what a lot of us are trying to do today. We are carrying around guilt for one thing or another in our lives and it just weighs us down. God doesnít want that for us! He wants us to run the good race, right?

One of the problems that we as Christians have is accepting forgiveness. We can offer it to others, we can ask God for it for ourselves, but often times we never forgive ourselves or allow ourselves to be forgiven.

Sometimes what we do is we come into the sanctuary on a Sunday morning and we worship, we pray, we feel Godís presence and allow him to touch us. We ask for His forgiveness and thank him knowing that weíve been forgiven. We drop our burdens and we feel renewed. Then what happens is the service concludes and we start heading toward the door. We shake some hands, talk a little bit with our friends, hang out in the cafeteria and have some cake and coffee. Then we start to leave and
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