The Church God Wants – Quick to Forgive

The Church God Wants – Quick to Forgive is the final message in our summer sermon series.  When you forgive someone their sin you are releasing the debt they owe you.  You no longer hold them accountable for their wrong.  You are not saying that what they did was ok or good or that you want it to happen again.  You are not saying that you trust the person!  Remember time does NOT heal all wounds, but that is a common thought.

Rebuilt Slowly

Trust can be rebuilt – maybe.  Back when the kids were little, Jenna would have an outing on the weekend with friends.  She would plan every meal, make sure the kids were bathed and fed, and then head off for a well deserved day of fun.  All I had to do is follow the instructions and my day with the kids would be a success!  Well the time for the turkey loaf to go in the oven was 3 PM.  I check on the details for supper a little after 4:30 PM.  Do you know what happens to the turkey loaf that is cooked at 500 degrees for one hour instead of 350 for three hours?  In my defense part of the turkey loaf did get done.  AND… part of it was nasty frozen turkey – the part in-between wasn’t really edible either… Needless to say this was a disappointing experience, but the Spirit that burned in my wife’s heart enabled her to forgive her derelict husband.  However, she didn’t trust me.  The next weekend she was gone I prepared a delicious mac n cheese meal – food for the soul (in a Southern manner of speaking – only Scripture is technically food for the soul).  After that flawless performance I was able to graduate to the turkey loaf.

Trust can be rebuilt – sometimes.  Sometimes things, relationships can be so broken in this life that they can’t be repaired.  The reality is that we cannot forget the wrongs that were done to us.  That’s ok!  God built this in so that we don’t keep on touching the hot stove as a child!  Self preservation is a good thing!

It’s Not All About You

19But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

Joseph understood that this wasn’t all about him.  This was about saving millions of lives in the coming lean years.  The famine would’ve wiped out everyone – including the promise of the Savior.  The words “spoke kindly” are the same Hebrew phrase as in Isaiah 40.

Christmas In Genesis

Isaiah 40 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

This is Christmas!  God kept his promise.  Gave back double?  You think your sins are big?  God’s grace is 2x bigger!

Who do you need to forgive right now?  This is a choice that you make.  How much fun would it have been for Joseph to enslave his brothers for a week – maybe a month?  Would he have been justified – in his own mind?  That’s not what God does.  In our second lesson you see God’s command from the pen of the Apostle Paul – forgive as the Lord has forgiven you.  How long does it take for God to forgive you?  He does it instantly.  That’s not very fun.  It’s miserable for the other person!

Want to hear more including just a fraction of what guilt can do to a soul?  Watch this week’s message taken from Genesis 50 – the final in our series The Church God Wants – Quick to Forgive.