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Summary: A sermon on how we need to be attractive bait to the fish of the world. We need to practice forgievness that Jesus talks about in His Sermon!

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Sermon for 9/21/2003

Forgive our enemies

Matthew 7:24

Introduction:

A. The movie Braveheart is based loosely upon the life of William Wallace, a Scottish patriot fighting for the freedom of Scotland from England. In the movie, King Edward of England takes steps to make sure that Wallace does not gain that freedom. He is quite dirty and underhanded on the things that he does. King Edward makes his sons life miserable in his quest to undo Wallace and his army. He kills a portion of his own army in a battle to make sure that Wallace and the Scots do not win. Through time the movie portrays that King Edward begins to grow bitter at his son and at Wallace. It becomes very personal with him. In the decisive battle where he kills some of his own men, he gets sick. At first it is just a little cold and then it progresses into pneumonia. After Wallace is captured and brought to be executed, we see the King on his deathbed. When Wallace screams out freedom as his last dying word, we see the King go into another coughing fit. The movie tells us that not long after this King Edward died. When his archenemy finally is removed, it gives him no solace and he dies of pneumonia. Could it be that King Edward died of his rotten attitude? Could it be that King Edward died because of his hatred? Could it be that since King Edward devoted most of his time to hatred and violence and revenge, this made him ill and he died?

WBTU:

A. Read these Scriptures to begin: Matthew 5:38-48 and Matthew 6:14-15

B. Our negative attitudes and our failure to forgive and holding grudges are like dumping garbage into a landfill. Our bodies cannot take it.

C. There are connections in this life between meditation and medication; between laughter and longevity; between hope and health; between faith and fitness.

D. Our spiritual well being affects our physical well being. Our spirits, souls and bodies are all interconnected. An unhealthy spirit leads to physical health problems.

E. Dr. Herbert Benson, a medical doctor, wrote a book on forgiveness called Timeless Healing. Research on how forgiveness or lack of forgiveness affects the body.

F. University of Wisconsin, Dr. Robert Enwright, is considered the father of forgiveness research.

G. At Harvard Medical School you can take a group of courses on this issue of faith and healing which equals 21 hours. Stanford University and Duke University have similar courses and lectures on this study. Many state supported universities are looking into this new field of medical study.

H. Dis- easement means something is out of ease, out of balance; something is out of whack between mind, body and spirit. Illnesses are caused by diseases.

I. Research is built upon three pillars: Medicine, surgery, and self-help (Our bodies have within us a pharmacy). The brain is full of chemicals and substances for our physical well being. Our live in pharmacy, our spirit, sends messages to the brain on what to prescribe in response to attitudes and feelings; actions and reactions. Internal memos determine what is being released into the body that are either negative or positive. Negative memos send negative substances into the body. Positive memos send positive substances into the body.

J. Forgiveness improves your cardiovascular system; forgiveness improves your muscular system; forgiveness improves your nervous system.

K. C.S. Lewis- Forgiveness is a lovely idea until there is somebody to forgive. I don’t have any enemies. Good that we are not prejudiced like that! Has anybody ever wronged you? At that time they were your enemy. They became your adversary. They became an evil person.

L. Knofel Staton took all 21 hours at Harvard and he gave some lectures at the recent North American Christian Convention

M. (Col 3:15 NIV) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. The word peace has two levels in the Bible: 1st is absence of warfare. 2nd level is absence of animosity. We can have absence of warfare and keep our animosity alive. Look at the former Yugoslavia.

N. If you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you. Matthew 18- Parable of a man who owed much money and he asked for forgiveness. He did not go out and forgive a small debt. The King sent that person to be tormented.

U. We can be debt collectors or debt cancellers. If we are debt collectors we are never satisfied.

O. Forgiveness is not:

1. Forgiveness is not forgetting the deep hurts and abuses. We will never forget some things. Never forget being raped. Killing your children, Etc. God forgives and forgets. WE do not. I think there is a reason for that.

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