River of Life Church
100% Forgiveness -#2
March 14, 2021
Main Scripture Reference(s)
Matthew 6:9-15

100% Forgiveness -#2

March 14, 2021 / Matthew 6:9-15

“100% FORGIVENESS”

ILLUS.: Why am I talking about forgiveness? The whole world needs it. Everyone is mad at everyone. You and I can’t live like that and experience the joy of the Lord.

-Your spirit has to be free to engender the Fruit of the Spirit.

-It is getting where you can hardly joke with people. 

-Lighten up, have fun, life is too short. Jesus doesn’t want His church to walk around with a long face. Make-up won’t help if you don’t smile. A good-looking suit won’t change people’s opinions of you if you are unapproachable.

TEXT: Matthew 6:9-15

-If every conversation is about you, you will have a hard time making friends. In order to show yourself friendly, you will have to walk the bridge of forgiveness.

-Today, people are offended at a lot of things:

Aunt Jemina (she hasn’t done anything to me except make great syrup-Even her family was quoted as saying, “Our relative who was cast as the original Aunt Jemima was very proud. We are proud too),

Eskimo Pies, I personally like Millionaire Pie even though I don’t have a Million dollars-I’m not offended.

Mr. Potato Head, -I hear Mr. Coffee is going down next.

Mickey Mouse-How does a talking cartoon Rodent offend people?

Cream of wheat, Spic-n-span (My mom and dad used to say, clean your room, and it better be spic-and span);

Mrs. Butterworth’s, Chiquita, Banana, Jeep Cherokee-

  Five Guys — Burger and fries

  Two Men and a Truck —

Make-up company Loreal- Loreal has never offended me. We need them – Loreal helps the world not be offended.

Whatever race you are Be proud of God made you to be:

You are who you are! My background is Bavarian German,

-They used to call me Kraut-head when I was young. Proud of it.

Irish, Appalachian, Cherokee Indian, and the Congo! I am proud to be me!!

-Be proud of who you are!

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

-People get offended because of gender. We need Gender. If you are a man, be proud you are a man. If you are blessed to be a lady be proud.  

-If you don’t think Gender matters go get some roosters for eggs, go get some bulls for milking cows….…you’ll see gender matters, especially at milking time.

Those closest to you can hurt you the most.

Proverbs 27:6- “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”

ILLUS.: The struggle is to not take things personally. When people say or do things, you must consider the WHY behind what they are doing. The WHY of what they are saying. Maybe they are hurting.

Q – Do we prefer peace or bitterness?

-When we are bitter, we delude ourselves into thinking that revenge will fulfill our need for vindication.

  • Forgiveness is a lifelong commitment.

The premise of Total Forgiveness: We must totally forgive them, and then we will be set free.”

  1. Detached forgiveness – Reduction in negative feelings, but no reconciliation.
  2. Limited Forgiveness-reduction in negative feelings toward the offender, the relationship is partially restored, there is a decrease in the emotional intensity of the rel
  3. Full Forgiveness– Total cessation of negative feelings, and the relationship is fully restored.

-When we are grieved in our heart, and when we pursue reconciliation, when we pray for restoration = Peace will emerge in the heart.

ULTIMATE PROOF OF TOTAL FORGIVENESS IS TO LET THOSE OFF THE HOOK WHO HAVE HURT US, AND WHO HAVE HURT THOSE CLOSE TO US.

-This means: They won’t get caught or found out.

-Nobody will ever know what they did.

-They will prosper and be blessed as if they had done nothing.

Forgiveness is a choice, not an emotion. Your emotions do not determine whether or not you are forgiven. Your emotions do not determine whether or not you forgive.

II Corinthians 5:19- “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not [d]imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

WHEN SHOULD WE TALK ABOUT GRIEVANCES?

– Total forgiveness does not mean closing your eyes to those who would hurt others.

-Most of the forgiveness issues deal with small grievances.

Bible says: “Little foxes that spoil the vine.”

  1. FORGIVENESS IS: Not telling what they did.

There is often the need to talk about an incident when you have been hurt. This can be cathodic and somewhat therapeutic if it is done with the right heart trying to move forward.

ILLUS.: Someone who will help you move forward rather than live in the cesspool of unforgiveness.

-Anyone who truly forgives does not gossip about his or her offender. Most people do not talk about what happened for therapeutic reasons, but rather to keep our offender from being admired.

-We divulge what that person did so others will think less of them-This is an attempt to punish and ultimately usurp God’s authority.

When I recall how I have been forgiven, I remember:

  1. I won’t be punished for my sins.
  2. No one know about my sins, because they are under the blood of Jesus Christ, and they will not be exposed or help against me.

-When I blurt out what someone has done to me, I am apparently forgetting that God will not tell what I did to Him.

-He has forgiven me of much. Examining our motives becomes necessary. WHY am I speaking about this, again?

-Why am I rehearsing this, again? Because I am keeping score.

-Don’t keep score.

-Allowing those who have offended us to save face is carrying the principle of total forgiveness a step further.

-Joseph in the Old Testament told his brothers something gracious and magnanimous: “God did this to me.”

-This is as good as it gets. When we can forgive like this…we are walking in FREEDOM.

WHAT IS SAVING FACE? “Preserving one’s dignity and self-esteem. It is not only the refusal to let a person feel guilty; it also provides a rationale that enables what they did to look good rather than bad. (Legal issues notwithstanding)

-It means hiding a person’s error from people so they won’t be embarrassed.

  1. WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T FORGIVE?

Matthew 6-The Lord’s prayer.

Vs. 12-“Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors.”

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

-What happens when we don’t forgive?

-We are saved by grace alone, but there are consequences if we choose to walk in unforgiveness. Some aspects of our relationship with God are interchangeable, but others are affected by the things we do.

Unforgiveness will cause you to not pray, it will cause you to not seek God.

  • Salvation is unconditionally received; fellowship with the Father is conditional.

When we are justified before God, we are declared righteous. That comes by faith. We confess, confession is made unto salvation. Anyone who transfers the trust that he or she had in their good works- and trusts what Jesus did on the cross is credited by God with perfect righteousness.

-Fellowship with God on the way to heaven is conditional. Unconfessed sin including unforgiveness -can block our fellowship with the Father.

  • Justification before God is unconditional; the anointing of the Spirit is conditional.

Our standing before God is complete in Christ. The power of the Spirit of God can ebb and flow depending on our ability to forgive.

-When people have unforgiveness, it reduces their ability to pray, seek God, believe God and be used of God.

-I know people who are out of the church because of unforgiveness. I know people who are not reading their Bibles because of unforgiveness.

  • Our status in God’s family is unconditional when it comes to salvation. Our intimacy with Christ is conditional.

We are sons and daughters of the most-high God once we are adopted into God’s family. In eternity past, God pre-determined that we would be adopted into God’s family. However, the closeness with Christ is conditional.

-We reap what we sow. Discord, disunity, division, discontent, all contribute to an inability to 

  • Our eternal destiny based on our desire to accept or deny Christ is already fixed, but our rewards are conditional.

POINT: Without forgiveness, you will never have the fruit of the Spirit, and without the fruit of the Spirit you will never have the anointing of God or the gifts of the Spirit.

  1. YOU’RE NOT GOD.

Matthew 7:1-2, “Do not judge, or you will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same manner you use, it will be measured to you.”

 

We are reminded in the beatitudes to show mercy. “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.”

 

-When you feel like throwing the book at somebody, but instead you show mercy, you are making the choice to be gracious.

 

*Judging is the opposite of being gracious. Being gracious is a consequence of making a good choice.

-When Jesus says, “Don’t judge.” -He is actually saying ignore what is wrong. Jesus is saying don’t administer any uncalled -for criticism that is unfair or unjustified.

ILLUS.: Henry Charles Albert David(Prince Harry) and his wife Megan Markle need to experience forgiveness.

-Getting on TV and blasting your family to the world is not in the best interest of their son, Archie.

*Archie will need his family in the future.

*I feel sorry that they have to live in a 16M dollar home, with them feeling upset.

(I don’t care if everything they said is true-It is wrong to include people in your hurt and anger)

-Unforgiveness is an Epidemic.

ILLUS.: There is only one royal family that I am concerned about. My King -My prince is Christ Jesus the Lord, My Heavenly Father is the creator of the universe and the Holy Spirit is the empowerment of our lives. #God’sFamily

  1. 4 STEPS FOR COMMUNICATION:
  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  • Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Criticism that is unfair or unjust, even if it is true, should not be uttered. Just because it is right, doesn’t mean you have permission to say it.

Revelation 12:10- Satan is called the “Accuser of our brothers.”

WORD JUDGE: Greek Word: Krino [make a distinction] Making a distinction between 2 things is often a good thing. Being discriminate can be prudent and wise.

Paul said: “The Spiritual man makes judgments about all things.”

We are told to make righteous judgments in scripture. “Is this God?” “Should I be involved in this conversation?” You have to be prudent.

ILLUS.: There is a button on your Facebook called “Snooze for 30 days.” When gossip, innuendos, judgments get on your timeline-snooze them. It’s not healthy.

-I know Pastors who blasted everyone and everything on Facebook.

-It was like they thought their opinion was God’s. Everybody has 2 opinions they are a lot like armpits. They stink.

ILLUS.: I know a pastor who tried out for a church. The Board of Directors followed up by doing background checks and checking his Facebook. He was denied the position because the church didn’t need that cynical juxtaposed spirit.

  1. Judging People is always Counterproductive.

-Usually, when people judge another person unfairly they are saying, “They are not like me, they should change and be more the way I am.” (I WANT TO STRAIGHTEN THIS PERSON OUT)

-Actually, judging people has the opposite effect every-time.

-Sooner or later it will backfire.

-The person you are trying to straighten out or ream out will become offended and the situation will not be resolved.

POINT: The degree to which you resist the temptation to judge will largely be the degree to which we ourselves are largely spared of being judged: “Do not judge or you will be judged.”

Avoid dishing out criticism and you will avoid being criticized. Being judged is painful, whether or not the accusation is true. When we are criticized we don’t like it; it is painful, and it hurts.

It is harder to say which is more painful: To be falsely accused, or to be truthfully accused. Most of us don’t like either one.

Here is a very pragmatic reason not to judge: If you don’t like being judged, stop judging others. We don’t like being judged. Most people want praise not criticism.

God could throw the book at me at any time—But he won’t unless He sees me pointing my finger at somebody else.

God says, “Sorry about this PG, I must step in and deal with you, you should know better.”

-It is easy to criticize, no one has to read a book on how to develop a pointing finger. You don’t need more education, a higher IQ, or a lot of experience to get good at it, and judging is certainly no sign that you are more spiritual.

PEOPLE SAY: “I’ll be.” “Well, would you look at that?”

“I can’t believe it….which leads to a question…” Can’t believe what..?”

-Well since you ask.

-Now I am sharing this so you’ll know -That’s a good qualifier.

-A little bit of spirituality is a dangerous thing because you have just enough to see what is wrong with others.

A TRUE TEST OF SPIRITUALITY IS BEING ABLE NOT TO POINT THE FINGER.

I have heard people say, “Well I’ve got to say something or nobody else will. So what if no one else does? The person you are judging doesn’t really want to hear it, so we really are not helping at all. When people feel judged, they usually feel worse, and they will not change their behavior.

GOD HAS A WORD HERE: “STOP IT.”

Is. 59:910 “Do away with the pointing finger.”

POWERPOINT: “Making a choice to continue in unforgiveness shows that we aren’t sufficiently grateful for God’s forgiveness of our own sins.”

ALTAR: Give it to God.

 

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