Summary: Forgiveness is a choice to pardon someone for which they do not deserve. Just as we have been forgiven, we are to forgive. It is not easy, but it is possible when God is in it.
The heart of Forgiveness
I want to continue our series “Nuts and Bolts of life.” We have looked at several areas of our lives that we depend on God to give us guidance and direction.
This morning I want to look at forgiveness, and with it also un-forgiveness.
What is it and what it is not.
How it affects you and how it affects those who have wronged you.
Jesus in the sixth chapter of Matthew speaks directly to the Jewish believers.
He says that when you pray, don’t pray like the hypocrite that are just seeking attention.
Jesus teaches us the Lord’s prayer that most of us learned as a child and we will recite it here: (Matthew 6:9)
Our Father in heaven
Hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
And lead us not into temptation but delivery us from the evil one
Leading into our text this morning from Matthew 6:14-15
“For if we forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Here would be a great time to pray this morning that the Lord would help us with this passage.
Peter spent time with Jesus and he did not get it right. You know the story.
Jesus, how many times should I forgive? Seven? Seven is the Jewish custom, but Jesus blowing them out of the water said no, 70 X7.
Showing them not the importance of the number or how many, but forgiveness is the end result.
Parable of the unmerciful servant who was forgiven a great debt by his master after asking for mercy and upon receiving it went out to one of his servants that owed him much less and showed no mercy.
Hurting people hurt people! That is what they do!
People today are hurting, the baggage that most carry is enough to break the camel’s back.
Dog eat dog
I’ll get you before you get me!
So bitter that most are quick to throw the hammer down on someone just to show them who is boss.
As Christians, God expects us to handle our lives different .
Being Christians has never been about being better, it is about being different.
Christians should understand the cost of forgiveness and be willing to show that same mercy to someone that has wronged us.
It is realizing that we had a debt that we could not pay and Jesus paid the debt for us. Then going out and living that life to others.
Once we realize it and live it-
Hope replaces our hurts.
Healing replaces bitterness.
Hang on, I did not say that was easy and I didn’t say we could do that by ourselves.
I did however say that God demands it for our lives.
So what is forgiveness?
By definition, it is a pardon. Someone receives something that they did not deserve. Just like you received forgiveness and you did not deserve it.
I believe forgiveness is a choice.
A decision of our will motivated by our obedience to the Lord and His command to us to forgive.
The Bible instructs us- forgive as the Lord forgives you!
How do you forgive when you don’t feel like preacher!
You make a decision to forgive and you forgive by faith.
We trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so the forgiveness will be complete.
Years ago, I shared that I struggled with God when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. God, I am 800 miles away, and I don’t understand what is happening here! I called some board members and I was making plans to go home for awhile. My mother decided that she needed to do this by herself and almost daily I was in contact with my brother. I was upset at God. No, I was mad at God! He knew it, so why hide it. God seeing mad and telling me that he knew she was my mom, and that He loved her more than I did.
God sees our heart.
God knows our heart
God made our heart.
God can change our heart.
Forgiveness must take place so healing can begin.
No matter what the outcome, forgiveness needs to happen.
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Col. 3:13)
By faith, believe that He will do what He says that He will.
“Being confident of this, that He who begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6)