Summary: To encourage those holding on to grudges to release them and forgive.
The Virtuous Kingdom: Evidence of the Reign of God in the Human Heart
The Virtue of Forgiveness
Mark 11: 20-25
Sermon Objective: To encourage those holding grudges to forgive.
We have been looking at Mark chapter 11 for the past few weeks. We have chosen to look at it from specific vantage points … to look at some of the Kingdom virtues God has imparted to the believer. The chapter shows our sovereign King making His way into his Holy City and temple for an official inspection. In doing so, He declares His reign.
“The Virtuous Kingdom: Evidence of the Reign of God in the Human Heart” is an appropriate title for such an event.
We have looked at four virtues already.
† In verses 11:1-11 we discovered the power and importance of living a lifestyle of worship
† In 11:15-17 we praised God for the great gift of prayer. There are so few parameters with prayer and so many blessings! We dare not neglect such a privilege.
† In 11:12-14 & 20-21 we sensed the need to take spiritual inventory and make sure that our spiritual fruit gives evidence of spiritual life.
† In 11:20-24 we discovered the power of living by faith. Trusting God to guide us brings strength, hope, and victory that faulty objects of faith cannot produce.
Next week we will look at the virtue of submission.
But today we will look at Mark 11:20-25:
12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"
22"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ’Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
My wife’s family lives in eastern Tennessee; in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. I have taken many motorcycle rides in these mountains and their foothills. They are unlike any other mountain range. There are places in these mountains that the locals call “hollers.” You know what a holler is? It is a place at the base of mountains that is so remote that it gets very little daylight. The mountains on each side of it block the light … things in a holler stay damp, and cold, and moist because of the lack of heat and sunlight.
There is something about an East Tennessee holler that informs Jesus’ words on forgiveness.