Summary: Why should we forgive?
First time we are intruded to Paul is when he is at the stoning of Stephen.
Second time is when he has warrants to arrest those of the Way in Damascus but on the road to Damascus ran into grace!
Ananias comes and restores Paul’s sight, after he begins to preach, and gets death threats, goes to Jerusalem to join the disciples but they are scared of him and Barnabas comes and stands up for Paul.
(Paul should have learned a valuable lesson, it is one thing to receive grace from God, it is another to receive grace from people!)
When he spoke in Jerusalem, he received death treats there, so they sent him out to Tarsus.
But then the gospel spreads in Antioch, the disciples send Barnabas to check it out and when he saw what was going on he went to Tarsus to get Paul and they stayed in Antioch for a year.
You would think that someone who has experienced that kind of grace would be willing to pour out that kind of grace to others!
Well, if you think that you would be wrong!
Paul chooses not to do that!
Acts 15:36-41-Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.”
Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark.
But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work.
Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus;
but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.
And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Look what Barnabas does, he goes ahead and does what Paul suggested, he takes John Mark back to the places they went on their first missionary trip!
It is as if he is saying to Paul, “I’m going to do what we planned to do and if you want to go with us great and if not then that’s not going to stop us!”
You have to do what God lays on your heart, even if you have to go it alone, even if it causes conflict, even if it is opposed by your friend or friends!
Lets look at Paul, he could not give grace, he could not forgive John Mark for leaving them in middle of their mission trip!
Have there been times or maybe it’s right now, you can’t forgive someone!
You know you need to, you know you should but you just can’t!
Not right now, maybe later, when the wounds have healed!
I just can’t let them off the hook that easy!
Luke 15:32-It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”
You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family!
He wants us to identify more with the father, than with brothers!
The guy asked the preacher, “What don’t you preacher every asked the right question when you preach about forgiveness?” The preacher said, “What is the right question?”