Impact Christian Church – Pastor Steve
On June 2, 2019, We are starting a new series titled, At The Movies. Each Sunday we will use movie clips to teach God’s Word.
Today we are talking about Forgiveness. Who of us here today could use some forgiving? Who of us needs to do some forgiving? Forgiveness is tough…
We have Adam Sandler from Billy Madison starting us off!
I. Jesus told a Powerful Story…Open your Bibles to Luke 15:11-32
11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[a]’
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’
28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’
II. The Stories of Forgiveness
Because we are part of God’s family, we are forgiven and welcome no matter what. We are like both brothers in our lives one time or another.
In this story, the man’s younger son asks for his inheritance then leaves home and “wasted all his money in wild living.”(v13) Because of his poor choices, he’s left in great need. He just wanted what he had coming to him. What he deserves, who is his father to keep it from him.
When he realizes his mistake, he humbles himself and goes back to his father. He plans to beg that his father will take him back as a servant. Instead, his father welcomes him home as a son. Dresses him with the finest they have an honors him as a son.
There’s another part, the older brother. He was upset. My brother didn’t deserve any of this, I am the one who worked for you my whole life!!!! And you never gave a party and some meat to cook!! Yet my brother get’s everything and he deserted us. Come on Pops!!!
31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
The other brother deals with Anger, Jealousy, Greed and other things. He has done everything right and received nothing. (in his words).
We are God’s children. No matter what we do, he loves us and forgives us. This is not a free pass to do whatever we want but should instead be a great motivation to do what’s right in every situation. Whether your the young son running away, or the older brother he feels like he is being cheated. God is for you and with you.
Listen, whatever side you are on….When we do make bad choices we are still part of God’s family. Just like parents do not leave their children just because they do something wrong, God does not abandon us. When we realize our mistakes and ask for forgiveness, he is always ready to love us and welcome us home.
He tells us we are forgiven and that we are to forgive others who sin against us, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13
We are called to “be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
God in Christ is calling us to forgive, this forgiveness that we need to foster is based on our own forgiveness,
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9
Let’s take a moment and look at the Biblical idea of forgiveness.
III. How It All Works Out
- Forgiveness at its Core
- How do we work out all of the years of hatred and bitterness and have it all become kind and tenderhearted.
- I Believe it is Forgiveness. There has to be a point where we forgive. That point is when we realize the depth of our own forgiveness, “your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.” 1 John 2:12
- Too many of us don’t really understand what forgiveness is. We struggle through all kinds of misconceptions about what it means to forgive others. I’m convinced that if more people knew what real forgiveness looked like, they’d be much more willing to forgive instead of holding on to past hurts at an unhealthy level.
- The Bible clearly calls us to forgive others. “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.” Galatians 6:1
IV. What does healthy, biblical forgiveness look like?
Here’s a four-part process
Let’s take a walk through this process and see how it applies to our situations. This will give us something to walk through as we’re dealing with pain brought upon by others.
- Recognize no one is perfect. When we hate, or really dislike, somebody, we tend to lose our perspective about that person. When we’re filled with resentment and bitterness and hurt, we tend to dehumanize the offender. We treat them like an animal.
- But we’re all in the same boat. The Bible says, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). We’re all imperfect.
2. Relinquish your right to get even. This is the heart of forgiveness. The Bible says, “never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
- You deserve to retaliate, but you must commit not to do so. It’s not fair, but it’s healthy. This isn’t a one-time decision but a daily one that may even require moment-by-moment decisions.
- Respond to evil with good. This is how you know you’ve fully released someone from the wrong that has been committed against you. Humanly speaking, it’s nearly impossible to respond to evil with good.
- You’ll need God’s help. You’ll need the love of Jesus to fill you up. Why? God’s love doesn’t keep track of wrongs (see 1 Corinthians 13).
3. Refocus on God’s plan for your life. You stop focusing on the hurt and the person who hurt you. Instead, you refocus on God’s purpose for your life, which is greater than any problem or pain you might be currently facing.
- As long as you continue to focus on the person who has hurt you, that person controls you. In fact, you can take it a step further. If you don’t release your offender, you will begin to resemble your offender.
- So don’t sit another day in your resentment. If you’ve been holding on to pain caused by someone else, go through these
Four steps and move on to the rest of the life you were created to live!
It was great to be with you today, remember we are called to forgive others as God in Christ forgave us!!!