Summer Reading Series – Part 2
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Main Idea– God has forgiven us through Christ; therefore, we should live life extending forgiveness to others. Choose to forgive before an offense comes. Let go of anything that is holding you back from your destiny.
Observations in the story of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:21 – 35)
- Through this passage Jesus shows how our Father handles a debt.
- When Christ says, “the Kingdom of Heaven is like…”he is telling us something about God. Jesus is telling us that – like God the Father - we should not remember offenses against us.
- On the question of how many times to forgive, Peter suggested seven times might be sufficient. However, Jesus said 70 x 7 (490); which is to say we likely won’t even be able to remember what offended us as we continue to forgive.
- God is not counting our debts, and does not want us to count. In our Father’s house forgiveness is available to everyone (there is no counting).
- The debt in this story was significant and un-repayable (10,000 talents in today’s economy would be between 12million – 1billion dollars). There is no debt so great that God cannot, and will not, forgive. We should be like our Father: always willing to forgive.
- Satan wants to put distance between us and those we love. Don’t let the devil put offense between you and those you love. This takes time away from you, and keeps you from being who you want to be. Scripture teaches us:
- Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.” (NKJV)
How to Stay Unoffendable:
- Recognize Your Own Need to be Forgiven:
- All of us need to be forgiven.
- Hurt people also have hurt other people.
- Romans 5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (ESV)
- We should not forget about the pain we may have caused. While we were still sinners, God showed His love to us. It is not shame on you, it is shame off you.
- We must not stay offended because we cannot extend forgiveness to others until we receive it from our Heavenly Father.
- Extend the Same Grace You Received to Others
- Forgiven people have a responsibility to forgive others.
- The grace we did not deserve, but have received, should also be extended to others. We forgive because someone (God) forgave us through Christ.
- Matthew 5:23-24 This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God. (MSG)
- Proof of our righteousness is seen in how we treat other people.
- Jesus teaches this:
- Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (NKJV)
- The greatest opportunity to be like Jesus is when you are hurt.
- Decide to forgive people before they hurt you
- This is a life style choice: Decide to forgive others even before you are hurt.
- Waiting until the moment you are hurt to decide how you will respond, robs you of being the person you want to be.
- Make allowances for each other’s hurt and choose to forgive before an offense occurs. Choose not to be offended.
- Colossians 3:13 Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (NLT)
- Expect that offense will come and decide ahead of time how you will respond. God has already chosen to forgive each of us ahead of the sins we commit.
Forgiveness (some pre-requisites):
- Receive the forgiveness of God for yourself so you can extend forgiveness to others.
- Immediately forgive others, even before they ask.
- Don’t wait for someone to ask for forgiveness. Forgive now, and move on.
- There is no magic pill; start a journey in forgiveness with God.
- Be a person who extends forgiveness; don’t let un-forgiveness rob you of your destiny.
Reflective Questions about Unoffendable:
- Are you holding on to offense from anyone or about anything? Based on what God and Jesus teach about forgiveness, what steps will you take to let go of any offense you are holding on to?
- Is there anyone you need to ask for forgiveness?
- To walk in true freedom, are you able to make the tough call: to write the letter, or in some other way reach out? Remember, God and Jesus have already forgiven you and the other party.
- What type of person do envision being? For that better version of you, for the future you want to have, for the destiny you want to fulfill, is there a reason to delay extending forgiveness?