Summary: There is something we must all have to do more than just survive, to live. When we have forgiveness it changes everything.
I Will Live In-Between #7 The Fountain of Life
~ Intro: The Fountain of Youth is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of
anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. Tales of such a fountain have been recounted across the world for thousands of years, appearing in writings by Herodotus (5th century BC), the Alexander romance (3rd century AD), and the stories of Prester John (early Crusades, 11th/12th centuries AD). Stories of similar waters were also evidently prominent among the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean during the Age of Exploration (early 16th century), who spoke of the restorative powers of the water in the mythical land of Bimini.
The legend became particularly prominent in the 16th century, when it was attached to the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, first Governor of Puerto Rico. According to an apocryphal combination of New World and Eurasian elements, Ponce de León was searching for the Fountain of Youth when he traveled to what is now Florida in 1513, but this is a myth. The legend says that Ponce de León was told by Native Americans that the Fountain of Youth was in Bimini and it could restore youth to anyone.
The story is told (by Ernest Hemingway) of a father and his teenage son
who had a relationship that had become strained to the point of breaking. Finally the son ran away from home. His father, however, began a journey in search of his rebellious son. Finally, in Madrid, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in the newspaper. The ad read: “DEAR PACO, MEET ME IN FRONT OF THE NEWSPAPER OFFICE AT NOON. ALL IS FORGIVEN. I LOVE YOU. YOUR FATHER.” The next day at noon in front of the newspaper office, 800 “Pacos” showed up....Forgiveness is important, why
Today we want to look at a story found in Matthew 18:21-34…This story describes the power of forgiveness and how it relates to the fountain of life
1. EVERYONE has the same CHANCE for FORGIVENESS.(vrs 23-27)
• Unlike the official, we don’t have to beg for it
- It doesn’t matter how big our debt is…it’s been estimated that this official owed $67,500,000 – $3 billion
- Equivalent to the annual revenue of the British Empire in 1901
• Our forgiveness was bought for us…on a cross.
It starts with receiving forgiveness, ultimate forgiveness - God’s
2. Forgiveness always leads to true freedom.(vrs 27)
• The official had to accept his freedom
- Official could have mopped, tried to check into the jail, sell all, etc.
- Once forgiven the official had to use his freedom to do something
• We need to do the same, just accept and live our forgiveness & freedom.
- Knowing about it isn’t enough…We must act on our knowledge
~ Elephant training…starts with huge chain…then just to a rope
~ The Fact: You LIVE what you BELIEVE ~
• Illustration of boy who killed a duck
• If we believe we are free due to forgiveness, we will turn around and set others free by forgiving them.
- This is truly living “In-Between…”
• Korey TenBoom: Speaking in Germany, approached by a man, a guard at concentration camp, asked for forgiveness....says this about it.
“When you forgive it is like turning the key on the jail door and setting the prisoner free - only to find that the prisoner was you.”
This leads us to our next point...
3. How we USE our freedom is vitally IMPORTANT.(vrs 28-30)
• The official, used his freedom to oppress others & to satisfy himself
- He forgot why he was free or didn’t believe in it…mercy
- He did live up to an old axiom of life as described in an old saying…
• Old saying, “True freedom give people just enough rope to hang themselves with.”
- U.S. history: Wanted to escape high taxes & government control of religion
~ Now we have high taxes & government control of religion
Lastly, we have a warning…
4. Believing WRONG things, leads to doing wrong things, which causes LOSS of FREEDOM.(vrs 31-34)
• The Official, not just sold into slavery or jailed, but tortured.
• For us, we lose the freedom found in Christ, (from guilt, worry, stress, sickness, etc.)
We become slaves to those & are tortured by them
• If the Key is “You live what you believe”, what should we believe?
- You’re truly free as John 8:36 says So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
- Forgiveness video ….
- Our Scripture reading from Galatians 5:1, 13-14
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.