May 19, 2019 Sermon

Are you wrestling for forgiveness? It's so difficult to forgive someone for something they did to you: people who stabbed you in the back, people who sinned against you, people who crushed you mentally, physically, or spiritually. But, The Bible is very clear: We must forgive

There are some things that people say that aren't correct. "Time heals all wounds." It doesn't heal all wounds, but eternity does. "I must deny that I was hurt when I forgive someone." Don't deny your hurt; forgiveness doesn't sweep away the hurt. "Forgiveness and trust are the same things." Forgiveness is free and trust is earned.

In Matthew, a servant owed his master 10,000 bags of gold. He begged and the master forgave the debt completely. However, the servant, upon being released, demanded that another pay back a small debt. When the master heard that the servant who's debt he forgave, he ordered him thrown into prison to be tortured.

Sometimes we can't understand the debt that was cancelled for us. We even ask "What has God done for me?" He already has done the ultimate, but this shows someone who doesn't understand the Grace and Mercy of God.

We need to continually forgive. Forgive as often as we want to be forgiven. God forgave us not once, not twice, not a hundred times. We need to understand the Grace of God on us, and we need to have this Grace upon others as well.

We need to understand that there are consequences for unforgiveness. You can walk out in bitterness, but there are penalties to pay. The bondage of unforgiveness is leading a tortured, painful life.

Forgiveness is vertical and horizontal; it forms a Cross. We want the forgiveness from Heaven, but we must also forgive those who sin against us on earth. If we can't forgive, it always hurts us more than it hurts them.

Know that forgiveness isn't an emotion, it's a choice. Things that trip us up on the road to forgiveness: Refusing to let go of the offense, Nursing a small issue to making it bigger and bigger, Rehearsing the sin against you over and over, Judging others, Pride, Anger, Keeping alibis ("They deserve it!" or "That's just the way I am."), Ignoring. When we let go, God will give us "double for our trouble". Instead of the things against us being viewed as tombstones, we need to look at them as stepping stones to grow into maturity.

How do we break the bondage of unforgiveness?

Let God love us. We need to picture Jesus grieving with us when we are sinned against.

We need to let God search us. Let God in to search your heart.

We have to confess our own sin of bitterness, hatred, and anger first. "Because God forgives me, I forgive them." This will lead us to the proper healing that we need from Jesus Christ.

As we can let God, we can let go.

Matthew 18:21-35

- Jon Bruney

Zion Missionary Church - Fremont, Indiana

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