Summary: An elderly person once said, "To have a long relationship, you must have a short memory." Let’s discover the value of forgiveness in Godly relationships.
It has been said that real friends are those who, when you have made a fool of yourself, don’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.
An elderly person was quoted that if you want to have a long relationship with anyone, you need a short memory.
Tell story Ananias; pray.
I. Forgiveness is a response to God.
You have to note that God came to Ananias. Forgiveness is initiated by God.
10Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
It starts with God and His purpose is to make your vessel clean so that He can forgive you. 14“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Why does it appear that God is dependent on you? First, He is not. However He gives you the power to choose. If you choose to trust Him, you will let it go. If you choose not to trust Him, you are choosing to literally take matters into your own hands. This will never please God because actions motivated by faith can only please God. These actions are prideful, and vengeful at best.
Your relationship to God is reflected in your relationship with others. Therefore if you have an issue with another person, you have an issue between you and God.
Do you remember the story in Mt. 18:21-35 where Peter came to Christ and asked Him how many times you should forgive your brother? Tell the parable. Every time that you read this do you think, “How selfish.” Or “Why didn’t he forgive that man?” He didn’t for the same reason you and I don’t. We are that man. When we don’t forgive, no matter what has happened, we become this man!
II. Forgiveness leads to the right road. . (11-12)
11So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12“And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”
If pride goes before the fall, what would the antithesis, opposite, be? Humility goes before the stand. To make it clearer, to stand you must be humble! To get to the Straight St., you have to have humility! To forgive, you have to be humble!
Turn to Mt. 7:13-14. This is literal statement. Why is it true? Because in today’s time, no one wants to humble themselves and walk on the Straight St!
III. Forgiveness that supersedes their reputation. (13-14)
13Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14“And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.
Do you believe that God can change this person? Yes he changed you, but you were special, right? You were willing, right? You are clay and He is the potter, right? Give me a break! We all are in dire need of grace!
A young nun once claimed to have had a vision of Jesus. Her bishop decided to test her truthfulness and ordered that the next time she had a vision she should ask Christ what the bishop’s primary sin had been before he became a bishop. Some months later the nun returned and the bishop asked if she had asked Christ the question, to which she affirmed that she had. “And what did He say?” the bishop asked, apprehensively. “Christ said...” and the nun paused a moment… “He said, I don’t remember.” We have a God who not only forgives but forgets! “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jer. 31:34) We need to obtain God’s Holy Amnesia. I am tired of hearing, “20 years ago he did blah blah blah!” We need forgiveness that supersedes any reputation.
IV. Forgiveness that has a faith based rationality. (17)
17And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Do you believe God? Ananias had to believe that God would physically take care of him. His life was literally threatened.
V. Forgiveness causes us to react. He went to where Paul was. (17a)
17And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said,