The Lord has been dealing with me on this topic quite a bit lately. Today after finishing my morning devotional reading, I was flipping through my Bible. The Bible fell open to Matthew 18. The page caught my attention because there were sermon notes written in the margins. I like to write sermon notes, prayer requests, and answered prayers in my Bible so I can go back and read what God has done…to see how faithful He has been…to see His love for me and those I love! I love how God always brings these messages and notes back up.
The scriptures referenced in the sermon notes were Matthew 18.21-35 – where Jesus is dealing with the unforgiving debtor. The sermon notes hit home as well as the commentary I had written down that day. Most of the time I write the pastor’s name down who delivered the sermon…but this time I did not. Credit for the following words goes to him and God knows who He used to present this message. These are not my words but the servant of the Lord’s.
SERMON NOTES and SCRIPTURE:
Forgiveness with Humility and Love!
Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars.He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me.33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
ARE WE FORGIVERS? LIFESTYLE FORGIVERS?
- Forgiveness is an obligation not an option!
~You are no closer to God than the person you like the least.
Mark 11.25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
- Forgiveness is a matter of grace not law – Amazing Grace!
- Forgiveness sets people free!
- Forgiveness sets us free!
~Bitterness and unforgiveness are like acid- They are worse on the vessel they are stored in than the one it is poured on!
This is great stuff! It is HARD but so simple with God! God is so good! How many times are we to forgive? Forever!
Christ sent His son to die for us and forgive us of the many wrongs we do over and over again.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
We are to love as He loved. He loved the unlovable and we are to do the same!
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
He can and will give us the strength to do so when we ask!
13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
We are to release our pride and let Him help us forgive. Oh the peace that comes from letting go and letting God!
Are you ready for that peace? Are you ready to forgive and be set free?