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Summary: 1. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SAY: “I’M SORRY”? 2. SOMEONE ONCE SAID THE TWO HARDEST WORDS TO SAY ARE: “I’M SORRY”, AND “I LOVE YOU”. 3. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I DON’T LIKE CARRYING AROUND A BURDEN SO HEAVY AS BITTERNESS AND AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT. 4. SO

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CBC THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

MATHEW 18: 21-35

INTRODUCTION: FORGIVENESS IS APPARENTLY A VERY DIFFICULT THING TO MASTER. IT SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST THING TO ACCOMPLISH.

1. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SAY: “I’M SORRY”?

2. SOMEONE ONCE SAID THE TWO HARDEST WORDS TO SAY ARE: “I’M SORRY”, AND “I LOVE YOU”.

3. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I DON’T LIKE CARRYING AROUND A BURDEN SO HEAVY AS BITTERNESS AND AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT.

4. SOME PEOPLE HAVE TROUBLE FORGIVING OTHERS AND SOME EVEN HAVE TROUBLE FORGIVING THEMSELVES.***

5. THERE IS A POWER OF FORGIVENESS, AND IT LIES WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF OUR TEXT TODAY.

6. WE WILL NEVER EXPERIENCE THE FULL JOY OF GOD’S FORGIVENESS UNTIL WE LEARN TO FORGIVE OTHERS AS HE HAS COMMANDED US TO DO.

I. WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO FORGIVE OTHERS? LUKE 17: 3--5 IF THY BROTHER TRESPASS AGAINST THEE, REBUKE HIM; AND IF HE REPENTS, FORGIVE HIM*** IF HE TRESPASS AGAINST THEE SEVEN TIMES IN A DAY, AND REPENTS SEVEN TIMES, FORGIVE HIM**** THE APOSTLES THEN SAID TO THE LORD: INCREASE OUR FAITH.*****

(A) PRIDE AND SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.

LUKE 18: 9-14: PARABLE OF THE TWO MEN WHO WENT UP TO PRAY.

ONE WAS A PHARISEE, THE OTHER A PUBLICAN*

THE PHARISEE THANKED GOD THAT HE WAS NOT AS OTHER MEN, EXTORTIONERS, UNJUST, ADULTERERS, EVEN AS THIS PUBLICAN WHO STANDS BESIDE ME.****(WOW) I FAST TWICE A WEEK, GIVE TITHES OF ALL MY POSESSIONS, **

THE PUBLICAN, STANDING AFAR OFF, COULD NOT EVEN FACE GOD**

HE JUST BEAT UPON HIS CHEST AND SAID”LORD, BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER”. VERSE 14: THIS MAN WENT DOWN TO HIS HOUSE JUSTIFIED, RATHER THAN THE OTHER.

1. ONE BEAT HIS CHEST IN SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ARROGANCE, WHILE THE OTHER BEAT HIS CHEST IN REPENTANCE AND ASK FORGIVENESS.

2. WE CANNOT USE THE FAULTS OF OTHERS TO BUILD OURSELVES UP. SIN’S RESPONSIBILITY IS OUR OWN PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND WE WILL STAND BEFORE GOD AND ANSWER FOR OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD THAT RESPONSIBILITY.

3. “I’M AS GOOD AS MY NEIGHBOR” WELL, YOU BETTER MAKE SURE YOUR NEIGHBOR IS BETTER THAN YOU.

4. OFTEN TIMES WE WANT TO POINT TO WHAT OTHERS HAVE DONE AGAINST US TO JUSTIFY OUR SHORTCOMINGS. IT WONT WORK!!!!!

GENESIS CHAPTER 3: GOD SAID: ADAM, HAVE YOU EATEN OF THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT?” (FORBIDDEN FRUIT CAUSES MANY JAMS)

ADAM REPLIED: “ THE WOMAN YOU GAVE TO ME***, SHE GAVE IT TO ME”.***********

GOD SAID: “EVE, WHAT ABOUT IT?” EVE REPLIED: “THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT.”*****************

(B) PAYBACK IS PERVERSELY SWEET.

1. WE OFTEN WANT TO HURT THOSE WHO HAVE HURT US, HOLDING A GRUDGE SEEMS LIKE THE PERFECT WAY TO REALLY MAKE SOMEONE PAY.

2. WE PERVERT THE GOLDEN RULE TO READ: “DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT OTHERS HAVE DONE UNTO US”.

3. IF WE FORGIVE, WE CANNOT GET BACK AT SOMEONE, BUT OH THE JOY OF HAVING A CLEAN HEART AND A CLEAR CONSCIENCE.

(C) THE TRUTH IS, WE ONLY HURT OURSELVES BY SUCH UN-CHRIST-LIKE BEHAVIOR. MT 6:14. FORGIVE AND BE FORGIVEN.**

II. WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO FORGIVE OTHERS?

(A) WHEN WE WANT TO HAVE A “PITY PARTY”, FAILING TO FORGIVE OTHERS WILL INSURE SUCCESS.

1. MISERY HAS IT’S OWN STRANGE ATTRACTION. JOHN CHAPTER 5: VERSE 6. THE IMPOTENT MAN AT THE POOL OF MERCY.

2. IT IS OFTEN EASIER TO FEEL SORRY FOR OURSELVES, THAN TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT OUR CONDITION. EVEN IF WE HAVE DONE TERRIBLE THINGS. (WOE IS ME. THE FROGS IN THE CHURN STORY.)

(B) WHEN WE DON’T THINK WE HAVE ANY VALUE, WE CANNOT ACCEPT THE FACT THAT WE CAN HAVE A RIGHT TO BE FORGIVEN.

1. HOW CAN GOD FORGIVE ME?*******(APOSTLE PAUL)

2. HOW COULD GOD LOVE ME?*********(WOMAN AT THE WELL, WOMAN CAUGHT IN ACT OF ADULTERY)

(C) SADLY, FAILURE T0 FORGIVE OURSELVES**, ONLY MAKES MATTERS WORSE.

1. WE FEEL EVEN MORE WORTHLESS, BECAUSE INSTEAD OF SERVING GOD AND BEING A WORTHWHILE ADDITION TO THE CAUSE OF CHRIST, WE INDULGE IN OUR “SELF-PITY” AND SINK LOWER AND LOWER.

(D) GOD WANTS TO FORGIVE YOU AND BLESS YOU AND USE YOU.

THAT IS, IF HE CAN GET YOUR ATTENTION.

III. THE CURE. (FOUR STEPS)

(A) SELF-DENIAL. LUKE 9: 23-25.

1. QUIT WANTING EVERYTHING YOU WANT AND START WANTING WHAT GOD WANTS FOR YOU, AND FOR HIS CHURCH.

2. IT’S HIS CHURCH. HE FOUNDED IT, HE PAID FOR IT WITH HIS OWN BLOOD,

(B) RETURN GOOD FOR EVIL (ROMANS 12: 17--21)

1. HOLDING A GRUDGE, AND HAVING BITTER FEELINGS TOWARD SOMEONE WILL CHEAT YOU OUT OF A BLESSING.

2. THE ROOTS OF BITTERNESS, NOT ONLY RUN DEEP, BUT CHOKE OUT THE GROWTH OF GOOD THINGS ALONG THE WAY.

(C) GET A LIFE. ROMANS 12: 1, 2: PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, WHICH IS YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE. AND BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED(CHANGED) BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YOU MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD, AND ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT WILL OF GOD.

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