Discover vital principles on extending forgiveness

Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Part 2

“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:9-12).

IDEA: We need to deal with an unforgiving spirit.

PURPOSE: To help listeners face an unforgiving spirit and deal with it.

Suppose a listener took what Jesus said in the Lord’s Prayer seriously: Matthew 6:12, 14-15.

What might that listener do to let God deal with an unforgiving spirit?

I. Prayerfully ask God if there is anyone whom you have never forgiven—either for an injury in the past, or a recent hurt. Why is it so difficult for you to forgive this person?

II. Read and think about Ephesians 4:31–5:4. Whose pattern are we to follow in forgiving others?

III. Think about how much God has forgiven you in your life.

Think about your actions and attitudes before you knew God and since you became a Christian.

How would your life be different if God held all of that against you?

IV. Now ask God to help you forgive anyone whom you have never forgiven.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones (in his studies on the Sermon on the Mount) wrote: “The man [or woman] who knows they have been forgiven, only in and through the shed blood of Christ, is someone who must forgive others. He cannot help himself. If we really know Christ as our Savior, our hearts are broken and cannot be hard, and we cannot refuse forgiveness.”