Sunday February 14, 2021
On this Valentine’s day I’m thinking about love! I realize that the biggest obstacle to love is unforgiveness!
Colossians 3:13 – “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
FORGIVENESS- A step you must take that makes no sense!
Unforgivingness is a huge obstacle to loving and serving others as Jesus would!
IT’S TAKES FAITH TO FORGIVE!
Forgiveness! Something we deal with almost everyday! There are so many failed relationships out there.
TRANSITION: Every relational conflict creates 5 things that build off each other and become very unhealthy!
- DISTANCE- We begin to distance ourselves from one another. We distance ourselves from those who hurt us or we have conflict with.
2. WALLS- Walls are not a solution. You think it’s for your good but it’s not!
3. ESCALATION- You distance yourself and put up walls and then the conflict escalates in your heart. The offense continues to grow!
4. FALSE BELIEF- A false belief rooted in lies. When you’re hurting the last person you need to listen to is yourself. YOU CAN’T TRUST YOU WHEN YOU’RE OFFENDED!
5. HOSTILITY- A condition of your soul! Because of unforgiveness we become hostile in our soul towards someone.
THIS LIST IS THE SAME CONDITION YOU WERE IN BEFORE YOU FOUND CHRIST!
Ephesians 2:12-14 – “remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,”
When there was a dividing wall of hostility between you and God, Jesus did what He did.
You and I were brought near to God before we were even willing to reconcile.
Jesus initiated a reconciliation process when He wasn’t the offending party! He initiated a process of ‘LET’S GET THIS RIGHT.”
When you and I grasp the reality of how we’ve been treated by God….PEACE! YOU AND I HAVE BEEN BROUGHT NEAR BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST!
TRANSITION: What does Jesus want in return?
Ephesians 4:31-32 -“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
You have to mix this with FAITH! The power in this verse is in the “JUST AS!”
REMEMBER how Jesus has forgiven you!
In the forgiveness of you and your offenses is the power to do it for others!
The power of forgiveness is in the “JUST AS” Christ forgave you!
TRANSITION: (3) Steps to Forgiveness. Filter this through the authority of God’s Word and Faith and not your own mind!
- RECEIVE GOD’S FORGIVENESS
Everything you have done or will do is covered by the Blood of Jesus. He has forgiven you completely. GRASP THE LOVE!
Colossians 1:13,14 – “For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”
You’ll never have to forgive anybody more than God has already forgiven you! What you are facing is nothing compared to the amount of love and grace He has shown you and me!
Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.”
Receive God’s free gift of forgiveness!
II. FREELY GIVE WHAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED
Matthew 10:8 – “……..Give as freely as you have received!”
This should be our motto: THE FORGIVEN FORGIVE!
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 – “Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
Jesus took your balance and made it a zero! He paid a debt you could not pay! He now says, “Treat every person the way I’ve treated you.”
Steps to forgiveness: RECEIVE GOD’S FORGIVENESS. FREELY GIVE WHAT YOU’VE RECEIVED.
III. GO FIRST
Jesus didn’t wait for you and me HE WENT FIRST!
Romans 5:8 – “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners”
The first to forgive is the happiest!
Matthew 5:9 – “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”
JESUS WENT FIRST! HE TORE DOWN THE WALL OF HOSTILITY AND GAVE US PEACE!
CONCLUSION: The love of Christ leaves us no option! The enormity of what Jesus did for us leaves us not option!
I’m not asking you to feel it! I’m asking you to do it! “Not my will but your will be done Heavenly Father.”
CHOICES LEAD, FEELINGS FOLLOW! You’ll never fulfill your potential in Christ as long as you are ruled by your feelings. We should be ruled by God’s Holy Spirit and His Word!
If you can’t forgive, there’s a chance you’ve never been forgiven or you’ve forgotten what you’ve been forgiven of.
THE FORGIVEN FORGIVE!
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?