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Forgiveness

Can you swim to Hawaii? Can anyone?

Could you swim to Hawaii?

Do you know anyone who can?

Could some people swim further towards Hawaii than you?

Would some people have to quit before you?

 

California = __ Sin Nature_

Hawaii = _Eternal Life_

Ocean = ___Life's Journey___.

Swimming ability = __Good Works__

How far will our good works get us towards eternal life?

Christ comes by in a helicopter, lowers Himself down to you and grabs you with the intent to pull you up to safety and take you to Hawaii. You must make one of two choices that we all must make:

  1. Let Him pull us up.
  2. Shake ourselves loose and insist we can swim to Hawaii on our own.

Discussion

Philippians 3:9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

How do the above verses relate to the aforementioned analogy?

Read Mathew 18:21-35

Who does the king represent?       God   

Who does the forgiven servant represent?             Me        

Who does the fellow servant represent?        People who have wronged us     

Who do the fellow servants that reported the wicked slave to the king represent?  Other people we know.  Christians and non-Christians.

Does forgive mean forget?    NO    Explain God is the only one who can forget our sins.  We are human, so it is often impossible to forget things that have happened in our life, but we can forgive.  Let's look at the definitions...

Forget - to loose remembrance  of, be unable to recall

Forgive - to give up resentment or claim of requital for (an offense or wrong); pardon.  To cease to feel resentment against; pardon.

Are there people in your life who are like the fellow servant -- people who have wronged or offended you that you need to forgive?

Results of harboring bitterness or resentment (and quot;unforgivenessand quot;)

  1. Incomplete relationship with the Lord
bulletYou cut off your communication with Him. bulletFestering bitterness is like and quot;hanging up the phoneand quot; on God.
  1. It eats you up inside -- often the person you are bitter about goes on in ignorant bliss, unaware that you are even upset with them.

Ways that might help us forgive those who we don't want to forgive:

  1. Pray for strength to forgive.
bulletThe Lord provides super-natural strength

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

  1. Compare how Christ's forgives us to our forgiveness of others. (Mathew 18:21-35)
bulletEvery sin we ever commit is against God bulletHe knows everything we do. This means He knows every sin we commit against Him - even our every evil thought. bulletAs a born again Christian, He chooses to forgive us every time, even when we forget to ask Him for forgiveness!

People you need to forgive:

  1. People who know they have wronged you.
  2. People who have wronged you and don't know it.
  3. People who know they have offended you.
  4. People who have offended you and don't know it.
  5. People who have offended you but really did nothing wrong.
  6. People who told you the truth that you needed to hear and they offended you.
  7. People who wronged someone else and it bothers you.
  8. People who offended someone else and in bothers you.
  9. Our self - If we don't forgive ourselves, this is false humility (pride). Are we better that Christ who has already forgiven us?

What are you going to do about it?

Some suggestions:

Talk to God

Ask the Lord to forgive you for your bitterness.

Tell the Lord that you forgive the person, just as he has forgiven you (Matthew 6:12 and quot;And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors).

Talk to the person you need to forgive when appropriate (if it's possible. The person may have passed away, or you may not know where they are. In these cases, just talk to God).

If possible, it's usually best to talk to him/her in person. Letters generally are not good for this, because tone, inflection, countenance etc. canand #146;t be seen or felt.

If they have sought forgiveness from you in the past, tell them you forgive them.

If they haven't sought your forgiveness, ask them to forgive you for the bitterness or resentment you have harbored against them.

Ask them to forgive you. Often times, they will seek reciprocal forgiveness. If they don't, it's your duty, as a forgiven Christian to forgive them anyway. (Matthew 18:21-35)

The key is to forgive them whether they ask for it or not. Experience the freedom!

ACTION:

Check the boxes in the list below of those you need to forgive.

friend       mother      father      sibling     
co-worker      rotten person      other

    OK, now, with God's help, release your resentment -- forgive them and experience new peace!

Oh yeah,

Is there anyone you need to seek forgiveness from?

  1999 Steve Schmorleitz, All Rights Reserved

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