Summary: This is the final lesson of four that finalizes the concept of forgiving others as God would want us to. This is a narrative sermon.

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The Inner State of Forgiveness

Acts 15:36-41

Preached at the Laurel Church of Christ

On January 26 2002


I. Divorced Life – Contributed by: Sermon Central Pro

A. Divorced life is not being there when your little girl is crying from a bad dream and wants her daddy but you’re not there because that night was not your parenting night.

B. Divorced life is not having any idea what your children are doing right now because they are at their mom’s

C. Divorced life is waking up at 10am on Christmas morning because your children were not there to wake you up early because this year they are spending Christmas morning at mom’s and you will not see them until noon.

D. Divorced life is sitting having dinner at a table of four but only having one place setting.

E. Divorced life is saying to yourself why…oh, why did I not say “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you” when God asked me but instead I allowed my fear or pride to get in the way and chose my own way.

F. Divorced life is saying, “Can we have a second chance?” and there is no one to hear you.

G. Divorced life is watching your children drive off in mom’s car and knowing that you will not see or hear from them until weekend after next.

H. Divorced life is explaining to your children why you don’t live together anymore when they ask you why mommy and daddy can’t be married

I. Divorce is hearing your children call you by their step-dad’s name instead of calling you daddy because they spend more time with their step-dad than you.

II. It is true that we need to learn to forgive each other, and as a group of spouse’s or potential spouses we need to forgive more often.

A. God is against divorce. Why because he loves you and doesn’t want to see you get hurt.

B. Divorce today is an escape from forgiveness, but when we find that forgiving is that path to be taken, fewer problems will occur.

C. Without totally getting into the subject of divorce, let me say that God gave reasons for divorce and rightfully so.

D. But many who divorce today, divorce without even try to reconcile to each other or see if it is acceptable with God.

E. With the no fault law of Delaware and many other states, a spouse can do absolutely nothing wrong and a couple can get divorced.

F. We in the church can tell ourselves, that divorce does not affect us, but you will see that divorce is not even uncommon in the church.

III. It is like the story of a boy who was shooting rocks with a slingshot. He could never hit his target. As he was in his Grandma’s backyard one day, he spied her pet duck. On impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck was dead. “The boy panicked and hid the bird in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching. After lunch that day, Grandma told Sally to help with the dishes. Sally responded, “Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you Johnny?” And she whispered to him, “Remember the duck!” So Johnny did the dishes. What choice did he have? For the next several weeks he was at the sink often. Sometimes for his duty, sometimes for his sin. “Remember the duck,” Sally would whisper when he objected. So weary of the chore, he decided that any punishment would be better than washing more dishes, so he confessed to killing the duck. “I know, Johnny,” his grandma said, giving him a hug. “I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you , I forgave you. I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave out of you.” He’d been pardoned, but he thought he was guilty. Why? He had listened to the words of the accuser.

IV. Is it possible for Christians to freely forgive or just forgive?

A. Our marital relationships need forgiveness, often

B. Our relationships with family need forgiveness, often

C. Our relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ need forgiveness, often


I. A Fine Disagreement (Acts 15:36-38)

A. “Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.”

B. Barnabas let’s go back and visit everyone that we have met over our previous journey. [Personal time between friends]

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