Summary: Sermon #5 in the Fireproofing your marriage series. Tied in with the "Fireproof" movie, This message focuses on the need for forgiveness


Matthew 18:21-35

CHCC: October 5, 2008

VIDEO: FIREPROOF movie: Apology scene


Some of you are old enough to remember the movie called Love Story that came out in 1970. Do you remember that famous line that Ali MacGraw said to Ryan O’Neal: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” I wasn’t even married back then, but I knew that was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard!

I admit, It’s hard for any two people to get along … whether it’s in marriage or friendship or between co-workers or neighbors … or church members. But when it’s between a male and female … things can get really complicated.

And speaking of gender issues, I heard that a while back Bill Gates decided it was time to figure out what gender a computer is. I mean, we assign gender to a lot of inanimate objects. In fact, in Spanish every noun is either male or female.

Bill Gates called together his top male experts and his best female experts and told them he’d give them a day to come up with a recommendation for what gender a Computer should be. Needless to say, they couldn’t agree. Here’s what they came up with.

The women said computers should be masculine. Here were their reasons.

• A computer is definitely masculine because … the only way to get their attention, is to turn them on;

• They have a lot of data … but they are still clueless;

• They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem … and …

• As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you’d waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The men’s group said computers should definitely be feminine because:

• No one but their Creator understands their internal logic;

• The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;

• Even the smallest mistakes are stored permanently in long-term memory for later retrieval … and …

• As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

It’s no wonder forgiveness is so necessary in marriage!

We’ve been talking about Marriage for the last few weeks. If you’ve been married very long, you know that forgiving is a big part of any good marriage. Sometimes marriage has a big time of crisis … like the video scene. But more often forgiveness is needed for a lot of little things that happen day to day.

Today we’re going to start by looking at what Jesus had to say about forgiving.

1. What Forgiveness IS:

In Matthew 18:21, Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"

Now, Peter probably thought Jesus was going to be really impressed with him. He knew the Rabbi’s taught you must forgive 3 times. So Peter doubled it, plus one!

Peter had to be shocked when Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:22

Jesus took it completely out of the realm of counting. 490 is too much forgiving to keep track of it! And that’s the point. You see, God calls us to a lifestyle of forgiveness.

We are to forgive so often that it becomes second nature for us … so that we live and breathe forgiveness … every day … in every relationship … starting with our homes and marriages.

Jesus went on to tell a story that shows how God looks at forgiveness. In Matthew 18:23-34 Jesus tells about a servant who owed ten thousand talents to the King. The King took pity on him and forgave the debt. Then, as soon as the forgiven servant left the King’s presence, he found a fellow-servant who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him … and choked him … and demanded his money. The poor guy begged for a few more days to pay it back, but the servant had no pity on him. In fact, he had him thrown in prison until the debt was paid in full.

To get the real impact of this Parable, you need to know the value of these debts. The servant owed the King ten thousand talents. That’s such a huge amount of money it would take 8,600 men each carrying a sack of coins weighing 60 pounds just to lug it around.

ONE talent was equal to about 20 years’ wages. If the servant paid off 2 talents per lifetime, it would take him 5,000 lifetimes to pay off the debt! And yet, he promised he would pay it off!

The only way he could owe that kind of money is through some sort of embezzlement or fraud. It reminds me of what we hear on the news lately about the Government baling out Companies to the tune of Billions of dollars! This kind of debt is a picture of the debt we owe to God.

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