#LoveLikeJesus Week 1
Pastor Kris Freeman
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Scripture: Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)
If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)
Jesus makes this statement during the Sermon on the Mount, at the close of teaching about THE LORD’S PRAYER. What does the Lord’s Prayer say about forgiveness?
And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
The story of Jesus is about FORGIVENESS and it is the HARDEST thing in the world to do.
Why did Jesus have to forgive?
- Most of you have been wounded by someone in need of forgiveness.
- Abused you, took advantage of you, left you, lied about you, gossiped about you, betrayed you, cheated on you, hurt you, hit you, slandered you, hated you.
- Some times its what we consider a BIG-TIME OFFENSE and other times it’s ongoing, small things which build up to a great hurt over time: bitterness, unresolved anger, grudge, picking/bullying, racism.
People did these same things to Jesus - but one difference between us and Jesus.
Jesus was always hurt by others, but he was never the OFFENDER.
You need to forgive others, and you also need to forgive YOURSELF.
Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified - one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. (Luke 23:32-34)
But I’m not Jesus, how can I learn to forgive like him?
1. Pray for those who have HURT you.
Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. (Luke 6:28)
You have heard the law that says love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:43-44)
The Romans worshipped revenge and punishment like a god. The Jews believed in an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” War criminals have tortured for pleasure. Regimes have destroyed for gain. Modern-day we want payback before we pray-it-back. We are a vengeful, ravaged culture with grudge in mind and fight at heart. BUT WAIT…
Jesus taught forgiveness because ATTITUDE precedes right actions. You have to get it right in you, before you can expect it in anyone else!
Quote this: My prayer for others may not change THEM, but it always changes ME.
2. Forgive as you have been FORGIVEN.
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)
I don’t know about you - but Jesus has forgiven me. And sometimes I forget that!
What good is it doing you to hold on to the grudge?
“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die” - Anne Lamont
Quote this: Forgiving someone won’t change the past, but it will change your future.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and find out the prisoner was you.” - Lewis B. Smedes
When you forgive, five immediate things change in your life:
- Your love
- Your perspective
- Your time (no, I really mean this. Just listen up!)
- Your joy
- Your future