Summary: This looks at how we make our relationships right so we can worship
Click here, accept this, check here. You’ve seen the words. And they all signify the same thing, that you have read and accepted the terms and conditions of something.
This is week two of our Terms and Conditions series. Last week we defined Terms and Conditions this way: Terms and Conditions: are rules by which one must agree to abide in order to use a service.
But do we really read those terms and conditions let alone plan to abide by them? If you did, here are some things that you would know.
You have agreed that Twitter will have rights to all your content, even if you deactivate or close your account.
You have given Facebook permission to use all your photos in any capacity they want. Including in advertisements.
By clicking “I agree” you have given Instagram a royalty-free, worldwide license to use or modify your photos and videos any way they'd like
Netflix reserves the right to disclose all of your information to third parties (i.e., law enforcement or the government) should they deem it necessary. And you’ve agreed that Netflix will not be held liable if it gets hacked and your personal info is stolen.
If you are a LinkedIn user you have agreed to not lie, or "misrepresent your current or previous positions or qualifications." So, if you are a dishwasher you can’t say that you are a sub aquatic ceramic hygienic engineer.
And if you listen to your music on Spotify you’ve said you’re ok with the section in their terms and conditions that reads, "We may collect information stored on your mobile device, such as contacts, photos, or media files."
That means that you have given Spotify access to pretty much everything stored on your phone, but you’re ok, because Spotify insists that your info won’t be exploited.
Today’s message comes from Matthew’s Gospel in what has traditionally been called the Sermon on the Mount.
And it here that Jesus is speaking of relationships, and after warning people about the dangers of anger in the lives of those who follow him he adds some terms and condition for how we approach God in worship.
If you have your Bibles turn with me to Jesus' words in Matthew 5:23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,. . . “
So, if we go back to our definition that Terms and Conditions: are rules by which one must agree to abide in order to use a service.
So, let’s begin by looking at The Service
The service that is being provided in this case would be the opportunity to worship God. Or to resume the fellowship that was broken by sin.
Remember last week we had looked at how humanity had been created to be in fellowship with God? And how, when they violated the terms and conditions, that is they disobeyed God, that caused a fracture in their relationship.
It's only when we experience God’s Grace and forgiveness that we can see that relationship restored.
You’ve probably heard me speak on forgiveness different times and how important it is in the life of the believer.
Forgiveness frees us from the chains of resentment and bitterness.
This summer when I spoke about the parable of the unforgiving servant you might recall I said:
The prison of unforgiveness is built by those who refuse to forgive, and the keys are held by the same person.
Catherine Ponder wrote, "When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free."
And you understand that when you say, “I can never forgive them”, you are locking yourself into a cell of resentment and bitterness. And the bizarre thing is that you hold the key, at any time you can unlock the door and free yourself. If you choose to.
It was Lewis Smedes who said, "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."
Jesus was very clear in his teaching. At the end of the Lord’s Prayer he told his followers, Matthew 6:14-15 “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.”
And there are times that you will need to forgive people who don’t even know they hurt you or haven’t acknowledged that they’ve hurt you or don’t think that they need to be forgiven.
I truly believe that, and in those cases, you forgive them for your sake, not their sake. You do that to set yourself free from bitterness and resentment.