Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Jesus Forgave us;  we should Forgive

Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you:

                                 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

I can never acquire that which I am to be finally, if I fail to pass through those experiences that must lead to it;  acquiring now,  to a degree;  that which I will be fully then.

For the Christian, that means going into all situations, with Him.

Luke 22:40-41, 45-46 “And when He was at the place,  He said unto them,   Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

                             And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down,  and prayed,

                             And when He rose up from prayer,  and was come to His 

disciples,  He found them sleeping for sorrow,  

                             And said unto them,  Why sleep ye?  Rise and pray,  lest ye enter into temptation.”

They were sleeping for sorrow….you know how when you are really sad, you become so tired…it wears you out.   

So with them:  they had heard how He was going away,  and became so sad, that they became sleepy. 

They had been told to “watch”,  but they fell asleep.   They could not even watch with the Lord one hour.

If they had watched,  they would have been prepared for His arrest…and trial…and crucifixion.     But they slept because of fear, and sadness;  and ran away when faced with the next trial.

We think of power (and the Lord has it for us in the Holy Spirit),  but the Lord looks on devotion to Him, and obedience to the way He has chosen for us,   as the manifesting of real power.

In this, all the disciples failed.   But Jesus forgave them, even before they did it.

(Matthew 25:31-32)

Then Peter went on to deny the Lord,  but the Lord forgave him,  and restored him. (John 21:15-19)

Jesus has seen and does see our every failure as well.  And He has made full provision for us.  He has and does forgive us.

But what about us?  Do we forgive,  as He forgave us?  For as His disciples, He commands us to.

The trouble is…..

Self digs in, and hangs on to control with much force. (Whether it is fear, anger, jealousy, or self-conceit, pride….and there are a thousand emotions and thoughts which come to us.)

So it must always be a deliberate act of our will to deny ourselves, and yield to God, and do what He says.

A victorious Christian should not feel resentment.

Hebrews 12:15 “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;  lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

So when the Holy Spirit shows us that we are harboring resentment,   we should bring those resentments—the people, places, actions (both theirs and ours) to Christ.

How?

By the “artea” or force that is the Holy Spirit in your spirit, to get honest about it.   Yield to Him, and what He shows you….spread it out all before the Lord.

You see, when the Lord hears the honest telling about this resentment,  He begins to speak peace about it.   The hurt,  or pain,  or loss,  or thoughts of violence, retribution, or “turning your back” on that person;  is seen as He sees it.   

No, this is not the preachy “everything is going to be alright” stuff.  This is real forgiveness.  Real setting it right.

You say,  “It can’t be set right.  What happened to me affected me, and still does.”

Yes, some hurts are like shadows that follow you around.  Only sometimes breaking through into the emotions.

But God’s powerful “force” of forgiveness, heals.     Heals the wound, our emotions, and our thoughts about it all.

The Lord has shown me that, except for the time we are injured….and we are often….we do not need to suffer.   We can come to Him and receive His life.

I had a co-worker once that worked very hard at making me miserable.  Comments, taunts, and worse; were the things I put up with day by day….and for quite some time.

I was newly restored to the Lord, and tried to act right, even if he did not.  

But no matter my actions…his were the same.

Sometimes I thought I could not put up with it any more.  I wanted to deck him,  and show him that he had picked the wrong person to terrorize.

I started to imagine all sorts of bad things happening to him.  

And yes, as terrible as this is,  I really wanted him to hurt, as bad as I was.

I had prayed that the Lord would stop this man;  but He did not.

Why?   Because the Lord had something better for me.

Praying about it, the Lord showed me this man in front of me.  

All the terrible things he had done came rolling through my mind, and I wanted to…..to….

To what?   That is what the Lord asked me:   If you could do anything to this man,  with no consequences;   what would you do?

I started to say a few of the things I had imagined….but suddenly, I started to laugh.

That’s right,   I laughed.

I knew I would do nothing to him.     Right then I was joyful, and powerful…the Holy Spirit filling me up with laughter!

I knew freedom from this man,  from the situation….because of the power the Lord gave me,  then.

I laughed!  The man could say whatever he wanted, do whatever he wanted….he could not hurt me again.

I knew also that I could forgive him for anything he did and would do.  The Lord helped me, the Holy Spirit empowered me, and I had peace.

When we forgive,  the Holy Spirit rejoices our hearts.   His power uplifts us into a realm where we are victors,  we are overcomers,  we are healed.

We know joy and peace;  and most important,  His presence is like a light shining in a dark place!

This is what Jesus did to those men who crucified Him.  “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

This is power.  Real power in our lives;  for us to live in this world where offenses abound.   Real power for us to look our enemies in their faces, and see Jesus’ forgiveness.  Real power to forgive and put it behind you forever.

Living in Christ,  by Christ, and for Christ is never without real pain,  real hurt,  or real injury;   He never belittles our suffering (Psalm 56:8),  but remembers every slight done to us.  

One day He will wipe away all tears—there will be no hurts, then (Isaiah 25:8, Revelation 21:4),  but here in this life, He will also wipe them away,  if we let Him.

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