Summary: The practice of Forgiveness
We Forgive, We Forget and We Fight On
A. THINK OF NUMEROUS THINGS THAT WOULD PUSH MY CAPACITY TO FORGIVE
1. Certain things happening to my children, wife, family
2. Repetitive occurrences
3. Lack for remorse, smugness coming from the offender
B. A FARMER AND HIS SON TRAVELING BY HORSE AND BUGGY UP A NARROW LANE, MET A MOTORIST GOING THE OTHER WAY.
1. There wasn’t any room to pass for two miles in either direction. The motorist, in a hurry, honked horn and yelled out the window.
2. The farmed rolled up his sleeves and said, “If you don’t back up I won’t like what I’m goin got have to do.”
3. The surprised driver put his car in reverse and backed up two miles allowing the horse and buggy to go by.
4. “What was it you wouldn’t have liked to have done back there pa?” asked the farmer’s son? “Back up two miles,” replied the farmer.
C. FRENCH REVOLUTION THERE WAS A PHRASE USED, “BE MY BROTHER OR I WILL KILL YOU.”
1. James Hilton said in Time & Time Again, “If you forgive people enough you belong to the, and they to you, whether either person likes it or not – squatter’s rights of the heart.”
2. No one in the world ever attempted to wrong another without being injured in return – someway, somehow, somewhere. Doing an injury puts you below you enemy; Revenging one makes you even with him; Forgiving it sets you above him.
D. SOMETIMES WE THINK THE ACT OF REQUESTING FORGIVENESS IS AN INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TASK, BUT I HAVE COME TO LEARN THAT GRANTING FORGIVENESS IS AS A DIFFICULT TASK.
1. I need again to refresh our thoughts about this year…growing from acorn to oak . Our quarterly themes being, “The Planting, The Watering, The Sapling and now the Oak.”
2. And as we discuss the Oak, we are discussing the epitome of growth, Christ as the standard of our standard for growth. What he not only verbalized, but demonstrated.
E. DAN RIPLEY AND ABE LINCOLN
1. Ripley’s two sons, Will oldest in Civil War, Dan stayed home with Jack the Collie dog to work, dad invalid
a. Dad shoots Jack, the Collie, killed the sheep
b. Dan runs away
2. Lincoln same night contemplating the execution of 24 men
3. Early morning, the two meet
a. Why that you never forget the kind and just things that your fathers has done over the past 14 years.
b. One deed cancels a pile of good deeds
4. Your punishing your father because he did one deed that he couldn’t very well help just as if he’d been a mean man all his life.
5. 24 Deserters – served faithfully for years, so can any one thing they do be so gross, so enormously bad as to blot out all the rest, including probably a lifetime of decent living? Is a man to blame for having a pair of legs that play coward once?
6. We will have 24 fighters instead of deserters dead in the ground. We’ll have joy at home instead of sorrow. We forgive, we forget and we fight on.
E. THE STANDARD OF FORGIVENESS
1. Begins in Matthew 6, The Sermon on the Mount, the Lord’s Prayer, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
2. Matthew 9, Jesus is healing a paralytic, and seeing the faith of the people says to the paralytic, “Take courage, My son, your sins are forgiven.”
a. Scribes call this blaspheme. Jesus then asks question, “Which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven or to say, Rise and walk. But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” Jesus turns to the paralytic and says, “Rise, take up your bed and go home.”
b. Jesus can forgive sins because He is the One we’ve offended.
3. Matthew 18, Peter of all people asks how many times he should forgive a brother who sins against him, throwing out the number 7 times?
a. Jesus says, 70 x 7 and adds a little story to go with it.
b. Illustrating that God will always suffer the burden of greater forgiveness and that in verse 27 is the key, “And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.”
c. Two key words, Compassion and debt
4. Brings us to Luke 23:34, crucified between two thieves, he says, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
GOD’S FORGIVENESS OF OUR INDEBTEDNESS
A. MATTHEW 6
1. Has an interesting relationship pattern perhaps we miss. Going to God in forgiveness means you have set in place your own life.