Summary: By looking at David's repentance and forgiveness, we'll understand how we receive forgiveness, what it looks and feels like, and conclude that it is always the best option

The movie is based on the true story of Apollo 13. Jim Lovell has just watched on TV as Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon. He’s outside, gazing up at the moon. He holds up his thumb, pondering the moon in the evening sky like an artist envisioning his painting. His wife comes outside and he says, “I want to go there someday.” Lovell would never make it. He had circled the moon before. He would command a mission that would fail to reach it, then retire from the Apollo program, having never made the journey he said he wanted to someday make.

There’s a trip most people would like to make this morning. But there are hang-ups. Some aren’t sure they can afford it; some aren’t sure it’s possible; some aren’t sure that it would be worth the effort. Too some, it sounds far too risky. It’s a trip down what I want to call the path of forgiveness this morning.

David made this trip. And in this last sermon on the Shepherd King, I want you to see how he did it. And when it’s done, I want you to make a judgment this morning – you judge whether or not the Path to Forgiveness is worth it. You judge if it’s possible, and if you can make it through the hang-ups.

My plan is to look all over what it takes, and from there to watch people today start on that path.

The Path to Forgiveness

I. Is Prepared With News That You’ve Done Wrong

-We already looked at this news about David last week. He took another man’s wife, then had him killed, and now for sometime around a year has been living his life without dealing with it all. He went ahead and married Bathsheba the widow, and she had their baby, but…

2 Samuel 11:27b …But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.

David may have left this thing unaddressed, but God hasn’t forgotten, and He’s going to address it through one man: Nathan, the prophet.

2 Samuel 12:1 The LORD sent Nathan to David.

Ill - One of my all-time favorite fictional characters is an unnamed little boy. He appears for only a moment, but he’s my hero because he went against the flow, was honest, and he said what people needed to hear. He’s the little boy in the story The Emperor’s New Clothes who stood up and said, “But the emperor has no clothes!”

Thank God for the Nathans that He sends! It means that God cares enough about you to bother with you! It also means that someone, like Nathan, cares more about you than the discomfort that confrontation will cause.

Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Have you experienced the blessing of a friend’s bruises? Can you look back and appreciate when someone undertook to call you on the carpet, and you needed it?

-Ill - After a bad experience a few years ago, I decided: I’ll take the discomfort of confronting an erring brother. It’s a whole lot easier to handle the discomfort of saying, “Consider your ways, brother,” than to walk into a room where a jealous husband has just seconds before pummeled him to the floor with his fists. I’ll take the discomfort and awkwardness. I’ll take the risk of offending – maybe even losing a friend unjustly. I’ll care more about him than my own level of comfort, rather than risk letting him go on in sin.

That’s how I stand up here this morning and say that if you’re experiencing the pangs of guilt, this message is for you and you’d better listen!

Ill - Pain is our body’s warning that something is wrong. Hunger pangs tell us to eat. Sunburn pain tells us to go indoors. Chest pain tells you to get to the hospital. A sharp aching from your hand tells you to remove you finger from the car door.

The feeling of legitimate guilt is the same way. It’s a God-given warning that there’s something wrong inside. Like a warning light on the dashboard of your car, guilt flashes in our face.

Ill – Carrie and I approach car operations differently. If I hear the car making an odd noise, I want to know what it is. I’ll turn off the stereo, and tell everyone to be quiet. Then, as we travel along, I’ll turn to Carrie and say, “Did you hear that? That doesn’t sound right, does it?” Then I’ll fret about it, try to imagine what it is, and wonder how much it’s going to cost to have Norman the mechanic fix it this time - until I’ve sufficiently annoyed my wife. Carrie’s approach is different. When she hears the engine making some weird noise, she turns up the stereo!

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