Monday, April 18, 2011
Why Should I Forgive, Part 26 of 34
GUEST: Tim Jackson
TEXT: "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him" (Luke 17 :3-4).
IDEA: The closer the relationship, the deeper the need for forgiveness.
PURPOSE: To help listeners realize that the more they give to a relationship, the greater is the demand for forgiveness.
Jesus makes an unnerving statement in Luke 17:3-4. He says, "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him."
Do you think it's significant that Jesus says, "If your brother (or sister) sin against you . . ."?
I. We are part of a family.
What are the implications of that?
God is our Father.
We gain part of our identity as a member of a family.
We are to relate to other Christians as "brothers" and "sisters."
Healthy families care for one another and look out for one another. Families will take you in when other people have kicked you out.
Yet, as close as families should be . . .
II. We often come to hate people who live within the family circle.
We usually don't hate strangers.
We can get angry with them.
We get upset with the people who throw a party at two in the morning at a hotel.
We get angry with the garage owner who charges us too much when we're stuck with a bad car in his town.
We can come to hate those who were closest and dearest to us.
For example, divorced couples can treat each other with hatred and contempt.
Family quarrels can become violent. Why?
If we don't deal with that in ourselves, we can be badly hurt and others are hurt as well.
III. We can deal with those hurts only by offering forgiveness.
How do we do this?
We need to see them as God sees us.
He does not see us only as people who have betrayed Him. The people we forgive are needy people. If they are Christians, I am joined to them with an unbreakable bond.
They are brothers and sisters in the family.
If we forgive them, we can get different feelings about them.
You edit your own memory. What that person did has no significance for you now. It has become irrelevant. You do not allow the pain you have felt to define your relation now.
This is how God, our Father, deals with us.
Leviticus 16:6-10. God took a bundle of a nation's sins and put them on a goat. The goat was given a kick and sent off into the desert. What was God saying by that bit of drama?
Psalm 103 :6-14. God does that because He sees us in our need and responds to us with compassion. Our sins are gone and forgotten.