Jesus Makes A Difference! Forgiveness
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Jesus makes a difference in Hurt and Healing. How many of you are mad at someone right now? How many of you are feeling the pain of some kind of wound from someone right now?
How to Forgive Even When It Seems Impossible
How to Forgive Someone When It’s Hard: 30 Tips to Let Go of Anger.
How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You: In 15 Steps.
How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You: 14 Steps
How to Forgive—Six Steps.
Matthew 18:22. Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Peter offers seven instances of forgiveness.
Jesus ups it just a bit. The NIV has seventy-seven times (that’s ten times more!). The KJV has seventy times seven . . . seventy times more than what seems reasonable to us. The same person. The same infraction? That’s what it looks like. Go back up to the beginning of Chapter 18. “If a brother sins against me” There’s a whole process for dealing with a fellow believer who has wronged or injured you in some way. You go and talk. You take a couple of witnesses and talk. You take it to the church family and talk. You treat that person as an unbeliever. There’s talk about binding and loosing in heaven what’s bound and loosed on earth. Jesus follows up Peter’s offer to forgive seven times with a story we’ve heard lots. A deeply indebted servant begs his master to forgive the debt, which he does. That servant then turns around to demand repayment from a fellow servant who owes him just a few dollars. The master asks, “I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?”
1 Peter 2:23-25. “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’25For ‘you were like sheep going astray,”[a] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.’”
Prayer to receive forgiveness.
Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
4Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.[a]
5For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6But you desire honesty from the womb,[b]
teaching me wisdom even there.
7Purify me from my sins,[c] and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit[d] from me.
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
I think it is definitely true that “Hurt people hurt people.” Because of Jesus, I believe that this is also true: “Forgiven people forgive people.” The forgiven ought to forgive.
Here’s God’s path to forgiveness, summarized in a three-step process:
1. Forgiveness is a CHOICE. When it comes down to it, forgiveness is a choice. It’s choosing to take a step of faith and not to hold someone responsible for hurting you any longer. You can choose to remember that God has forgiven you and then to extend your forgiveness to others. Even if you don’t feel like it, you can choose to release the person into the hands of God, who is a righteous judge. “Right now (again), I’m choosing to forgive _____.”
2. Forgiveness is a PROCESS THAT STARTS WITH PRAYER. I’m not sure that it is a one-time event. What happens when they show up again? Or if they just show up again in your head? It is a process, maybe even a long one. Have to learn how to do it over and over again. And the heart of it is prayer. At first you might find yourself praying prayers that are not very nice, prayers of retribution and justice, asking God to “give them what they deserve.” But as continue praying, try asking God to bless them and come to their aide. Anything you can do to bless their life will free your soul.
“Heavenly Father, you are holy and righteous. You are perfect in justice. I confess that I have not forgiven as you have commanded me to.Through Jesus Christ, I now forgive these people: ______(list names and what they did to you).I confess my pride and judgment of those people. Please forgive me Lord and cleanse me from my sin. Please help me to thoroughly entrust these people and the wrongs they caused me into your hands. I pray that your will be done in my life and in their lives. Please help me to no longer think on those wrongs , but instead to focus my thoughts on you. I invite you, Lord, into any painful memories I have concerning what was done. Please heal any wounds I received and help me to have your perspective on what happened. (Take time now to pray silently and receive from the Lord) Thank you, Father! In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.”
3. Forgiveness is FINAL. You know when you’ve finally forgiven someone when you hear something good about him or her and your initial immediate response is honest joy that something went well with him or her. It’s then you know that you’re done.
Practicethis every time you take the Lord’s Supper. Commit to not taking the Lord’s Supper until you’ve refreshed your forgiveness. Use that moment before or during to pray for the person who hurt you and bless him or her. For some people, this process may take a few months or a few years. But be encouraged, the process of forgiveness is possible! With God’s help, your heart can change for the better.
I need to ask forgiveness from some of you right now.
Jesus forgave those who were crucifying Him even when they weren’t asking for it.
Jesus Makes A Difference: Hurt and Healing