Summary: If you are having a tough time forgiving someone this sermon may be just for you.
I received an e mail about writing a devotional on forgiveness. Apparently when this man sees a certain individual this individual tries to bully him. He swears at him and not only talks down to him but to his grandson. From what I gather the “Bully’s” business is not going well and takes it out on a lot of people. My friend then can’t take it anymore and stands up to this bully and words fly. The bully is about six feet six inches but my friend is a big guy too. They have had some pretty harsh words towards one another as my friend is one of the few who does not back down towards this “Bully”. There doesn’t seem to be much hope in ever having even a cordial relationship. So here we are, what does he do?
Now my friend has professed his faith in Jesus as His Savior and this bully has not. So in essence my friend has the power of the Holy Spirit “IF” he desires to seek the Spirit's peace.
It seems that when I get lost in the Bible and I don’t know what to read next I always go back and start with Genesis. Did you know that the entire Bible was written on how to be saved, know God‘s love and points the way to Jesus?
1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
OK a little ADD there, back to Genesis.
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
It is hard to wrap our mind around “the beginning”. Poof and God was there or was He always there and if so then how did it start but who was before? God was and is and always will be. When we try to figure some things out in life then we are trying to understand some things which are not possible for us to understand. One of those is God’s love for us. The other is the first words in the Bible.
What if everything in your life you did as unto the first for words of the Bible? In the beginning “God” but most of the time our life goes something like this. In the beginning I got a job interview and I am thinking that this may be a good fit. No we should say, "In the beginning I got a job interview then I asked God about it." In the beginning I started to date ______ and I should have asked God. Instead I went down the road too far and now I find myself in a mess. I started a business as many people were successful but for some reason I wasn’t. Instead I should have said “I wanted to start a business and God said to me_____________”. “I wanted to start a family and God said to me_____________”. “I wanted to fire back a volley of words and instead of my pride getting the best of me I asked God to take over my mouth.” “I wanted to do ___________ but God said _________________.”
So there are two parts to this forgiveness problem THAT WE ALL HAVE. One is asking God BEFORE we do anything. A calm mind creates a calm heart and from the heart smooth words flow out instead of vile words. The second part to forgiveness is just as important but this is perspective. The perspective is this. A sin is any word, thought, action or attitude that falls short of God’s perfection. Did I say “Thought”? You don’t even have to say “It” to sin. Now you are in rush hour. By the time you get to work you probably already have 10 sins. Come on someone tries to get in front of you in line and most people speed up. Or you have thoughts of what you are going to get hit with at work. Now we could easily commit 500 sins a day. But let’s say for practical purposes we only commit ten sins a day. Not possible but just for numbers. Ten times a day times 365 days in a year is 3,650 sins a year and over and average lifetime that would be over 200,000 sins. Now listen very carefully to me here.
NO SIN IS ALLOWED IN HEAVEN.
We now have quite the problem don’t we? But through God’s grace He loved us enough to send Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. That whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. And by the way, our sins will be forgiven, wiped clean. How? Through the pain, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. When we didn’t deserve to be set free Jesus set us free. We had enough sin to put us in hell forever but by the grace of God we have a glorious future in heaven.