Summary: Will you accept God’s forgiveness today? Will you forgive as God has forgiven you? God through Christ has forgiven us, forgiven me, so we, so I, must forgive others.
As we continue in our series on Supernatural Streams this month our focus is on Forgiveness.
So the first question as we begin this morning is this:
Do you think forgiveness is a good thing?
Ok, second question:
Do you find it easier to forgive yourself or forgive other people?
Sometime we forgive ourselves and blame others even when we are the ones that need to be forgiven.
If we do something wrong, it is often easier for us to rationalise it or excuse it.
If your a driver and your running late, maybe you press a little harder on the accelerator and you let your car creep over the speed limit.
It’s ok, there are no cameras around. Who will know?
You know it’s wrong and you forgive yourself for doing it.
But, if when you were speeding, there happened to be a policeman with a radar gun, and he clocked you and you were sent a ticket.
You know you were wrong to speed, but maybe you would blame the policeman for the ticket - doesn’t he have something better to do, he should be chasing real criminals.
It’s unforgivable he should be catching people who break the law...
Erm, hold on, you broke the law he caught you, no excuse there.
Or, maybe you don’t feel like going into work one morning, you pick up the phone to call in sick,
you make your voice sound like you have been gargling broken glass mixed with frogs.
“Hello, yes it’s me, no I’m not coming in, I’m sick, Bye”
You know it’s wrong and you forgive yourself for doing it and you decide to go out shopping.
Your walking along the street, window shopping when a shadow falls across you and you hear your bosses voice ask “feeling better then?”
And the only thought rushing through your head is “That’s wrong, what is he doing HERE, he should be at work”.
Sometime we forgive ourselves and blame others even when we are the ones that are in the wrong.
Sometime, somewhere most of us have probably fallen out with someone.
Someone in the family, a brother or sister or parent, maybe someone at work or at school, or a neighbour, or simply someone whose name we don’t even remember who did something so small.
There have been times when we have been upset by someone, and times when we have got angry.
Maybe there have even been times when it has felt like someone has ripped your heart out.
Yet we are supposed to forgive.
Jesus often spoke about forgiveness, He forgave those who sinned against others, He forgave those who sinned against Him.
The Apostle Peter went to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
Jesus replied “No, not seven times, but seventy times seven!
I forgave Andy, twice this morning, three times last week and 12 times the week before, so add that to the previous months total and that means I can forgive him 3 more times before Christmas.
Seventy times Seven is 490, that’s a number we are meant to take symbolically, not literally, to illustrate that we should forgive often.
Jesus did not just speak about forgiveness -
Jesus has commanded us to forgive.
Luke 6:37 says “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.”
Jesus words in Matthew 6:14-15 are even stronger
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
We know we are supposed to forgive,
Jesus has commanded us to forgive.
All of us have needed, do need,
and will need forgiveness.
Just as we all need forgiveness, we also all need to forgive others.
But maybe we need a little encouragement to forgive.
How about Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. 32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander, these are all signs that our hearts are not full of forgiveness.
The world says get even. The world says ‘do unto others as they’ve done unto you.’ Listen to Colossians 3:12-15 God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.