Summary: Being forgiven by God enables us to forgive others
SERIES: The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed #7
TITLE: Forgive Us Our Trespasses
TEXT: Matthew 6:9-12
INTRO: A letter from a young lady to her ex-boyfriend:
“Dearest Jimmy, No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love, I love you, I love you!
Yours forever, Janet
P.S. Congratulations on winning the 100 million state lottery.”
# Someone prayed: Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense.
OUR PRAYING SAINT CONTINUES:
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
"What about Ann?"
See? I knew it! I knew you would bring her up! Why Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories about my family. She never paid back the debt she owes me. I've sworn to get even with her!
"But your prayer? What about your prayer?"
I didn't mean it.
"Well, at least you're honest. But it's not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside, is it?
No, but I'll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for that neighbor. She'll wish she had never moved into this neighborhood.
"You won't feel any better. You'll feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are. But I can change all that."
You can? How?
"Forgive Ann. Then I'll forgive you. Then the hate and sin will be Ann's problem and not yours. You will have settled your heart."
Oh, you're right. You always are. And more than I want to revenge Ann, I want to be right with you. Ann, I want to be right with you ... (pause) ... (sigh). Alright! Alright! I forgive her! Help her to find the right road in life, Lord. She's bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it. Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to others has to be out of it. Someway, somehow, show her the right way.
"There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?"
Hmmmm ... well, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I'll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won't be so tired from now on because I'm not getting enough rest.
"You're not through with your prayer. Go on."
I# Dr. Karl Menninger, the famed psychiatrist, once said that if he "could convince the patients in psychiatric hospitals that their sins were forgiven, 75 percent of them could walk out the next day."
# A four-year old prayed: And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.
I. FORGIVENESS IS REQUIRED
II. FORGIVENESS IS REQUESTED
III. FORGIVENESS IS RELATIVE
IV. FORGIVENESS IS REPEATED
A. Forgiveness is Repeated By God:
(1 Joh.1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(Psa.103:10-14) He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
B. Forgiveness is Repeated By Us:
(Luk.17:3-4) Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
# D. L. Moody was lecturing and a theological student asked a question. Moody snapped back at him. At the end of his talk he paused and confessed, “Friends, I want to confess before you that I made a great mistake at the beginning of this meeting. I answered my young brother down there foolishly. I ask God to forgive me. I ask him to forgive me.” Then Moody quickly left the platform and went to the young man and shook his hand. Someone who witnessed this called it, “the greatest thing I ever saw Moody do.”
1. Forgiveness acknowledges that there was a wrong committed.
2. Forgiveness changes your status from victim to victor.
3. Forgiveness makes sense for people who need forgiveness.
4. Forgiveness is the only road to freedom.
5. Forgiveness is not Jesus’ suggestion, it is His command.
How to Forgive:
1. Acknowledge that you have been seriously hurt.
2. Surrender your right to get even.
3. Search for the real person beneath the evil mask.
4. Desire that good things would happen to your wrongdoer.
5. If possible, enjoy the healed relationship.
Forgiveness means you are removing responsibility from that person. They no longer owe you.