From Help for Shepherds
Forgiveness is letting go, and we have to do it to know we are forgiven
How to Get There
- Forgiveness is easy in theory, but hard when we apply it.
- Saying the words is not forgiveness.
- The Greek word used here is the word usd to talk about disbanding armies. That is what holding onto something is, gearing up for war, and with someone God loves.
- We can say words we forgive, but still hold onto that event tightly, ammo against them for the future. We must release it, send it away so that it can never be used again.
- Forgive us our sins, because we also forgive those who sin against us. We don't have a right to ask for forgiveness if we don't forgive others.
- Not that God won't forgive us, but we won't be able to truly accept it. If we don't forgive, we can never truly believe that others forgive us, including God.
- Holding onto things only hurts us, it eats into our faith, makes us doubt our own forgiveness and God's love for us.
- It is by forgiving others that that we can truly know we are forgiven ourselves.
- God forgives completely and instantly. He doesn't hold our past against us, dwell on it, or let it fester and taint his view of us. That is the forgiveness we must practice, to all people, if we are to truly understand and accept the forgiveness God offers.
- If you can't forgive on your own, ask God for help. He will give it. God is the master of forgiveness. Let him teach us.
Things to Watch For
- Most people are not familiar with Luke's version of the Lord's prayer. It is Matthew's version that most people learn, which is longer. Some people also still know the even longer version from the King James translation, arrived at from a different original text entirely. Make sure you have looked at the differences between these prayers before preaching on it, because you can bet there will be questions.
- When originally preached, I used a paraphrase I had written for the occasion to help people udnerstand it better. "It happened that Jesus was off someplace praying, and when he had finished some of his disciples came to him and said “master, teach us how we can pray, just like John taught his disciples So Jesus told them, “when you’re praying say ‘dear father, I pray that you may be recognized by all people as the holy God you are. May where you reign as Lord extend to right here. Give us what we need to survive another day and forgive us for our sins because we’re forgiving everyone who isn’t treating us like we deserve. Finally, please don’t bring us into temptation."
- Forgiveness is something that needs to be tied in a concrete way to relaly have an impact. Forgiveness is easy in vague terms, had in practice.
Other Ideas that use this Topic:
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|Onesimus giving Philemon Paul's letter and begging forgiveness.||Image|
This Message is part 15 of Luke: Advent to Easter message series.