TGIF! Wait a minute, it’s only Thursday and it’s American Thanksgiving, so to all who celebrate this day, enjoy your turkeys and gatherings with families and friends. TGIF here, stands for something else, I’ll leave that for later. We are entering into our 4th week of the sermon series “The Lord’s Prayer”. Last week, Pastor Brett gave a spot-on message about forgiveness:
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12
The takeaway for me from the message was:
- DEEP LOVE: It is the recognition of Christ’s deep love for us, Christ who died for us while we were still sinners that we forgive NOT because the offending party knows it was their fault. Romans 5:8 says “but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- DON’T WAIT: I don’t need to wait for the person who has wronged me to apologise before I forgive him or her. Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
- PRIDE DESTROYS: It is often pride that holds us back from forgiving! We somehow feel if we hold on to the unforgiving spirit, there’s power over that someone…
“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24
I rejoice for those of you who come and worship God regularly, who tithe regularly and who serve faithfully, however, even the best gifts in the world are not as important as the restoration of relationships in the eyes of our Lord God! Thus Matthew 5 challenges us to love like Jesus loves... so the world will be amazed by the extraordinary love of Christ! It becomes attractional and it is irresistible! Making it real, if you come to Island ECC this Sunday, when the offering bag passes you by, and there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you (hint, it might not even be your fault, but the relationship is distorted), first go and reconcile the strained relationship with that brother or sister, then come back and offer your gift to God.
Our Lord is in the Relationship Restoration Business! He is in the Loving One Another Business!
Thank God I’m Forgiven!
Thank God I’m Free!
Thank God I have a Father in heaven… Hallowed be your name! Rejoice for you’ve been forgiven and set free! Amen.