Evening Service for 4/26/2009
Telemachus was a monk who lived in the 4th century AD. He felt God saying to him, “Go to Rome.” He was in a monastery. He put his possessions in a sack and set out for Rome. When he arrived in the city, people were thronging into the streets. He asked why all the excitement and was told that this was the day that the gladiators would be fighting and killing each other in the coliseum, the day of the games, the circus. He thought to himself, “This many centuries after Christ and they are still killing each other, for enjoyment?” He ran to the coliseum and heard the gladiators saying, “Hail to Caesar, we die for Caesar,” and he thought, “this isn’t right.” He jumped over the railing and went out into the middle of the field, got between two gladiators, held up his hands and said, “In the name of Christ, forbear.” The crowd protested and began to shout,” Run him through, run him through.” A gladiator came over and hit him in the stomach with the back of his sword. It sent him sprawling in the sand. He got up and ran back and said again, “In the name of Christ, forbear.” The crowd continued to chant, “Run him through.” One gladiator came over and plunged his sword through the monk’s stomach and he fell into the sand, which began to turn red with his blood. One last time he gasped out, “In the name of Christ, forbear.” A hush came over the 80,000 people in the coliseum. Soon a man stood and left, then another and more, and within minutes all 80,000 had emptied out of the arena. It was the last known gladiatorial contest in the history of Rome.
A. We are working our way through material in Celebrate Recovery. Beatitudes.
B. Last time we focused on Blessed are the merciful… Blessed are the peacemakers.
C. We’ve talked about forgiveness; the second part is making amends.
Thesis: Let’s talk about making amends.
Why do we need to make amends?
A. This is essential. Need to deal with troubled or unresolved relationships. Recovery can’t happen until we try to do what is right.
B. People in Celebrate Recovery and groups like them have a lot of work to do here. Many of them would sell their own mother to get another this or that.
C. Larry Morris made amends with his family. They still have issues with him but…
D. (Mat 5:23 NIV) "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, (Mat 5:24 NIV) leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
E. Happy are those who work for peace. Making amends is working for peace.
F. (Rom 2:24 NIV) As it is written: "God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."
G. (Heb 12:15 NIV) See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
H. Unresolved issues cause problems in the church and in our relationships with God and others.
How do we make amends?
(Rom 12:18) If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
1. Make a list of those we’ve harmed and what we did.
A. How on earth am I going to pull this off? Don’t worry about the how to’s yet. Just write down the names and what we did.
B. I can’t think of anybody I’ve hurt. These questions offer a jump start.
1) Is there anyone to whom I owe a debt that I haven’t repaid?
2) Is there anyone I’ve broken a promise to?
3) Is there anyone I am guilty of controlling or manipulating?
4) Is there anyone I am overly possessive of?
5) Is there anyone I am hypercritical of?
6) Have I ever been verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive to anyone?
7) Is there anyone I have not appreciated or paid attention to?
8) Did I forget a child’s birthday or my anniversary?
9) Is there anyone I have been unfaithful to?
10) Have I ever lied to anyone?
2. Think about how I would like someone to make amends to me.
(Luke 6:31 NIV) Do to others as you would have them do to you.
A. Timing: There is a time to let things happen and a time to make things happen. (Eccl 8:6 NIV) For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter.
B. Attitude: How would I want someone to apologize to me?
3) Without expectations.
4) Appropriateness. If we were involved in an affair, it would be inappropriate to have further contact. (Prov 12:18) Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
5) Restitution: Borrowed something, return it. Exodus 22 gives a list of legal issues around restitution. (Luke 19:8 NIV) But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
6) The more serious the offense, the less likely we will be able to make restitution. There are some things we can’t restore. But don’t underestimate the power of a sincere apology.
3. Refocus our life.
A. Don’t let the past control us. God knows how to handle it and how much we can handle at a time, so He takes the garbage off one layer at a time. When we came to Christ, a layer came off. As time goes on, God keeps dealing with us, and taking off the grave clothes one at a time.
B. (Prov 14:9 NIV) Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.
C. Be called sons of God.
Conclusion and invitation:
In 1520 Ferdinand Magellan battled for an entire year to find a passage around South America. There at the very tip of the continent, in its icy waters he encountered some of the worst weather anywhere on earth. Raging seas, towering icebergs and a mutinous crew plagues his efforts. When he finally made his way through those straits (which today bear his name- the Straits of Magellan), he entered into a great body of water that lay beyond, and as he and his men lifted their faces to heaven and gave thanks to God, he named the new ocean, “The Peaceful One- the Pacific Ocean.” Jesus is the Peaceful One.