– We know we have a loving heavenly Father, someone who loves us the most
– We know we are to honor Him by living a life of doing right things
– we know the only hope the world has for peace and joy is seeing our lives as right thinking, right living, and right language…this shows the world His Kingdom and how we can bring hope, freedom and love to our world.
– we know that we have been created to do God’s will, the very thing that because of our skills, talents, and abilities will fulfill us
– we know that He wants us to trust Him daily knowing that He is a very loving caring Father who will never fail you
So let’s wrap this up
So He (Jesus) said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”
Today we may be talking about the most difficult part of living the Lord’s prayer.
Every one of us has gone through a bunch of heartache and rejection. We have all been wounded, hopefully mostly unintentionally. We have been fired from jobs, ripped off by companies or people not paying us if we have a business. We have been lied to, stolen from and in other ways taken advantage of or taken for granted….people have hurt us!
The enemy seeks to kill, steal, and destroy and through all of these things and he is very successful.
Families and friends don’t talk to each other for years, careers are killed, dreams go unfulfilled all because of not heeding this principle Jesus taught us to pray
4 And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
When we choose forgiveness, we are taking the power away from the event and the person who hurt us.
The word translated “sins” here really means sins – a moral and spiritual debt that is owed.
We must first realize our own sin and that it is a great debt that is owed to God and as we recognize that debt, we can then see, comparatively speaking, a person’s sin against us is generally little compared to our sin against God.
Both hurt real relationship.
Relationships need forgiveness to flourishand you can not have a relationship with the Lord unless you walk in forgiveness.
Unforgiveness rarely hurts the person who hurt you, but it always hurts you.
The Mayo Clinic says this about unforgiveness
If you’re unforgiving, you:
- Bring anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience
- Become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can’t enjoy the present
- Become depressed or anxious
- Feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you’re at odds with your faith
- Lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others
From a spiritual standpoint it cripples you, it limits the intimacy of all relationships, and it may end up keeping you out of heaven
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.
I’ll talk about this more in a minute
Here is the trap of unforgiveness
- In many cases the anger, which lead to unforgiveness is justified, something horrible has happened to you….
– some thing has happened to you as simple as a neglectful event to as serious as a molestation, rape, maybe even the murder of someone close
– no one would blame you for holding unforgiveness because the event is so tragic, at least to you, but the question is who is the unforgiveness hurting?
2) It is easy to justify that holding forgiveness from someone is even the righteous thing to do because they don’t deserve it
– It could even be that someone broke one of the commandments and it has affected you! They stole from you, dishonored you, were hypocritical (bearing false witness)
– If you hold unforgiveness how are you acting any more like Jesus than the person who originally offended you?
- We don’t believe it is hurting us in any way, we convince ourselves because it is justified that no damage is being done
– We seem to be able to go about our daily business unaffected but how often does our mind go back to the offense? How many times does something we are doing on a day-to-day basis remind us of the offense? How much have we closed ourselves off from others because of feeling like they may hurt us?
– Apart from walking in forgiveness, at the very least our relationship with the Lord is hurting and most likely with others as well.
With this in mind I have to bring up a couple of scriptures
Love requires forgiveness
1 John 4:8
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Real love requires us to walk in forgiveness but as we know the fruit of God (the Spirit) is also love joy peace etc…
This walking in love is not just because God wants it, we should want it too. We should want the freedom that comes from walking in love..
Jesus had plenty of opportunities to be offended to hold unforgiveness.He was investing his life in a few key leaders and many times they just didn’t get it
– Jesus we want to be the greatest in the Kingdom
– Jesus we are offended for you let us call fire from heaven
– don’t you know we could have given that money to the poor
– if you would have only done what we asked of you he wouldn’t have died
– Jesus I’m not going to let you go to the cross
– Jesus here is a kiss
– Jesus, who is hitting you?
– the whole thing with the cross
– they didn’t believe him at his word that he would rise again
He is love so he chose to live in love! This is what we do when we forgive. This is a reflection of who God is. Unforgiveness makes us miserable and can make us miserable to be around.
Bitterness can set in; we can develop a negative view of the world and God’s plan for us. It robs us of our joy even when we feel justified in holding it, we are still robbed of our joy
When Jesus taught us to pray to forgive it was so that we would live in his joy, love and peace and help bring others to the same thing but it is a choice, Paul challenged the Philippians to choose right choices and thinking
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
We also need to understand we need to choose to not only forgive others but to forgive ourselves as well
Paul struggled here too
Romans 7: 15-21
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
We struggle with sin and the struggle is a good sign, meaning our conscience has not been seared because if we did not care about the sin we will break relationship with the Lord.
God really loves us and learning to forgive ourselves proves that we trust God enough to forgive
If we don’t believe we are forgiven then we are saying, “God what Jesus did on the cross was not enough for me!”
What happens if we don’t forgive ourselves and others our hearts gradually harden, if we reject God’s love in this area, we will reject His love in other areas as well. We can eventually walk away from Christ. We will no longer want nor desire Christ forgiveness and wind up in hell first a hell of condemnation and misery on earth than an eternal one apart from God.
What is funny is the way this sermon landed on Mother’s day but learning to walk in freedom and forgiveness is an mothering aspect of God’s heart a real mother longs for their children to walk in freedom of condemnation and to be free.
What about you today?
Are you carrying unforgiveness for yourself or others
Do you now understand how much that is hurting you in your health, personal relationship and your relationship with God?
Do you want to choose freedom this morning even if you still feel the person is undeserving of your forgiveness?
Today is your freedom day…but you must choose!