Sunday, August 23, 2020

I've Forgiven but i am Struggling to Forget

Sermon Bumper:

Sermon Text: Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Sermon Title: Pain Management Pt 3 I’ve forgiven but I’m struggling to Forget

BP: Move the hearers to forgive

Introduction: It’s easier said than done and even harder to forget. Maybe our trouble is not when we know we need to forgive; it’s when we think we don’t have to forgive. After all, this is one of those messages that you’re wishing someone else heard. It’s someone else’s problem, not yours. Someone else is bitter; someone else has a problem. But not you. You’re OK. You’re allowed to be bitter. You’re allowed to fester and stew. You’re allowed to hold a grudge because of what happened to you. And if I knew what had happened to you, I wouldn’t expect you to forgive nor forget anyone.

Well, it’s true that I don’t know what has happened to you. But I know Jesus does. And I know what He has said about forgiveness. So today’s message isn’t from the pastor; it’s from the Lord. Well, I hope every message I have is from the Lord, but know that this is not my opinion; it’s straight from God.

I mention forgiveness fairly often, for a few reasons.

1) Unforgiveness is more subtle than most sins. It’s sneaky. It crawls in bed with you at night so gently, so nobly, so innocently that you don’t know it’s there until it really has you. Before you know you are so comfortable with it in your spirit.

2) It’s also more common than most sins. We all battle it from time to time. Even though we may not stumble over the “bigger” sins, the sins of the flesh, lack of forgiveness and forgetting seems to affect more of us. And

3) it’s also more dangerous. It may not cause you to overdose and have a car accident, but it will divide churches, families, marriages, and nations. Unforgiveness/the inability to forgive and forget has been called the cancer of the soul. Unchecked, it will eat you alive.

Turn with me to Matthew 18:21-35 for a story that describes how Jesus looks at forgiveness on the two levels: from God and for others. And Jesus also shows us what lack of forgiveness will do to us. He compares unforgiveness to a prison.  (describe the text…)

But the story doesn’t end there. The man had someone owe him money, a few bucks. He immediately walks out from his employer’s office and demands a payment. Understand: he doesn’t need it as the start of a re-payment plan. It was purely selfish reasons why he demanded this money back. Well, the employer heard about this and brought the first man back into his courts. He scolded him severely, then threw him into prison. And in this prison, the man would face torture.  The story is not just about unforgiveness but about not forgetting. 

Point 1. Forgiveness is intentional Mt 6: 12, 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matt 8: 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

         Forgiveness is not random.  Forgiveness is not a casual pursuit.  Forgiveness is not something that falls out of the sky.  The text says the servant who was intentionally forgiven did not intentionally forgive who owed him.  He never forgot what was owed him.  He carried it around and the first opportunity he got he enforced his right not to forget or forgive.

Point 2. Forgiveness is painful. Vs 8: 26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.”

         Not even though the man who intentionally didn’t forgive nor forget, he displayed such pain when he wanted to be forgiven.  This lets me know even in the pain of forgiving if you refuse to forgive/forget you will pass that pain on to somebody else.  Hurt people hurt people.  Vs. 29 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

Vs. 29 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

Point 3: Forgiveness brings

1) Forgiveness brings freedom. Matt.18:27 – the master let him go. Being forgiven gives us freedom. It means we are not slaves to work ourselves debt-free before God. He just gives it to us. Before the master freed him from the debt, he was terrified. He was going to spend his whole life trying to repay, and he would never have been able to. But forgiveness of the debt set him free. And it sets us free, too. Free to love, to be thankful.

But what does unforgiveness do to someone? It puts you into prison. If you don’t take this parable and Jesus’ words literally, what is meant likely is that if you don’t forgive others, then you don’t feel forgiven by God. That’s true. Unforgiveness of others results in not feeling forgiven by God, if you don’t feel forgiven, if you don’t feel that God could forgive or has forgiven, it could be that you need to do some forgiving/forgetting as well.

2) Forgiveness brings closure. Again from the story, the servant was able to just walk away from the debt. Would he forget? Likely not. We seem to think that if we have forgiven, then we will forget. That’s not true. We are humans with memories. Forgetting is not a substitute for forgiveness. In fact, on the road to forgiveness, we may have to remember all the horrible things that happened to us. But forgiveness closes the door on them. It says: I will not let the emotional baggage keep me down. And if I do remember, I will choose to forgive again.

Forgiveness is a choice, and you can choose to keep the emotion behind locked doors. You can walk away from it. Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Yes. Ask Him to help you. You already have all the Spirit you need. But ask for the courage to forgive. Ask for the freedom that comes. Ask God to show you how to move on.

3) Forgiveness brings life. Watch this verse. I had never seen it this way until this week. Colossians 2:13 – “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your (or our) sinful nature, God made you (or us) alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.” The writer Paul puts “giving life” and “forgiveness” in the same breath. We find life when we are forgiven. Joy, hope, peace, strength. And we give life when we forgive, to ourselves and to our victims of unforgiveness. Letting someone off your hook doesn’t let them off God’s, but it frees you.

Point 4. Forgiveness is forever forgetting is notPhil 3:13 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

How does one take the power of forgiveness and use it to forget? How does one wipe something out of their memory as Paul seems to suggest and the man in the parable was not able to do. He lost everything because he refused to forget and forgive. So many of us find ourselves in this place. Well I want to argue this morning forgetting is not a requirement for forgiving. In fact, forgetting can actually empower forgiving. Forgiveness deals with eternity and forgetting deals with the here and now. Forgetting is very much a part of the present as it should be.

Paul does not mean forgetting as erasing from your mind who/what hurt you. Paul means using it to empower your present and your future. If he didn't mean that then he wouldn't have listed in the text everything that he was forgetting. Let me explain, every time you remember what someone did to you should be a moment you remember (1) how you were forgiven (2) how you set them free (3) how you are growing from the pain (4) the scar is present but the wound is healed.  In other words the scar on my wrist where my brother cut me open to the white meat. 

The man in the parable misused his memory but don't misuse yours.

Life Application:

 Heavenly Father, ______ has taken ______ from me.  I have held on to this debt long enough. I choose to cancel this debt.  _________ doesn’t owe me anymore.  Just as you forgave me, I forgive__________.

 

1.   Identify the person who hurt you

2.   Determine what they owe you

3.   Cancel the debt.

4.   Dismiss the case

a.   When memories come face them, feel it – don’t reopen the case

b.   Thank God for his grace he gave you to forgive

c.   Focus on the truth of forgiveness/decisions

d.   Memories/feelings are just that – forgiveness and forgetting

e.   Vengeance isn’t your job but God’s and he is good at his job.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Pain Management Pt 2 - Do U Feel ME?

 

Pericope: 1 Chronicles 4: 9-10 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

Sermon Text: 1 Chronicles 4: 9(b) saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”

Sermon Title: Pain Management Pt 2 God! Do you feel me!

BP: Move the hearers to trust God with their pain

Introduction:

Point 1. Name your pain Vs 9…his mother named him Jabez

1 Chronicles 4: 9 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”

a) Naomi Ruth 1: 20 20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.

b) Paul 2 Cor 12: 9 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

c)

Point 2. Constrain your pain Vs 10 Jabez cried out to God of Israel…

a) Ps 115:3 Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.

b) quote

c) Ps 119: 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.

Point 3. Don’t claim your pain Vs 10 oh that you would bless me and enlarge my testimony! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain and God granted his request

a) pain has a promise attached to it

b) pain has an honor attached to it

c) pain has God attached to it

Life Application:

a) Compelling Phil 1: 12 NASB 12 Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,

b) Capacity 2 Cor 1: 3-5 TLB 3-4 What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. 5 You can be sure that the more we undergo sufferings for Christ, the more he will shower us with his comfort and encouragement.

c) Compliance/Reliance

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Pain Management Part 1

Pericope: 2 Cor. 12:7-10 - 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Sermon Text: 2 Cor. 12: 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Sermon Title: Pain Management Pt 1 – Playing Hurt

Sermon Bumper: Ms Celi and Netti – the color purple

Introduction: Its natural to want to avoid pain. Who wants to be hurt? Who wants a broken heart, broken dreams, a broken leg or a broken spirit? In our text this morning Paul tells us about pain and pain avoidance.

Point 1:  The Process of Pain – James 1: 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.;

2 Cor. 6:4-10 - 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Point 2: The Penalty or Promise of Pain – 1 Cor. 10:13 - 13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.;

Heb 12:6 - because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a]

·      Is this a deeper moment or defeated moment

·      Is this desperate moment or disciple moment

Point 3: The Perfecting of Pain – 2 Cor. 4:16-18 - 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Life Application:

1.    Process your pain..

2.   Place your pain in Jesus hands…

3.   Feel your pain

 

NEW LIFE SUNDAY - Bishop Dudley- "Pain Management" www.nlicic.org/donate...

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Entanglement - A Family Affair

Pericope: 2 Samuel 12:9-12 - 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

Sermon Text: 2 Sam 12:10 - 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

Sermon Title: Entanglement Pt 2 – It’s a Family Affair

Point 1: The transparency of a family affair.  Matthew 12:46-50 - 46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

         We like to white wash this text but slow down and really read it. Jesus isn't just making a theological devotional doxological statement. Before you hang your hat on verse 49 and 50  49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Reread 46 through 48 - 46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

While Jesus was preaching during church service, Jesus put the family business on full display. You see his brothers and sisters didn't believe he was the Savior/Messiah and mommy has brought them to church to convinced them. Jesus put a stop to that.  Now we know later his brother James later believed and became the leader of the Jerusalem church.

Point 2: The transcendence of a family affair.  2 Sam 12:10 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, …

 2 Sam 7:16 - 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”

Now for this second point we can get into our text.  There are two things I want to point out as a contradiction in the text. On one hand God said David as a result of your sin, calamity will always be a part of your family. On the other hand, God said the Kingdom will go through your family. Here is why.

1.    If you are persistent with the promise on your life you're proud public pain won't stop God's blessings.

2.    The Kingdom can come through all of our lives if we don't give up. David never gave up on God nor himself so God could transcend his life for his glory.

Point 3: The transgenerational of a family affair. Gen 9:25 - 25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.”; 10:6 - 6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan.

There has been no other set a family so humiliated and endured so much pain as African Americans. The world misinterpreted that text an enforced a worldwide slave industry.

Point 4: The trust of a family affair.  John 13:34…love another

1.      Grace is simply love.  It’s a continuous caring, an offering of opportunities, and a meeting of needs. This kind of love isn’t a biochemical rush. Feelings can change in a second. Grace doesn’t change. Grace is what every family needs.

2.      Intentionality which is simply a sense of purpose. Prov. 19:21 - Many are the plans in a person’s heart,

    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Family life in this chaotic confusing rushed world must be intentional. Randomness won’t raise a fabulous family. Intentionality is a compass, a roadmap.

3.      Intimacy Romans 12:10 - Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Intimacy is closeness, an openness, a sharing of what’s in your heart and on your mind with others, especially others you trust and are close to. Transparency between family members builds trust to get through the difficult times.

4.      Empowered families beat the odds in three ways. 1 Thes. 5:11… build one another up… Roman 12:9 - Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves..  It possesses authority, a sense of identity, and a sense of direction. A covenant family knows who it is. It permits family members to develop into individuals.  It celebrates and uses its strengths and weaknesses. 

5.      Life’s lessons. Romans 8:28…all things work together…  Bad things happen to everybody. A covenant family has a history and learns from it.  trouble, difficulties and setbacks happen to every family  - learning from it makes it a fabulous family.

Life Application:

1.    Listen to the podcast on family.

2.   Zoom with First Lady and I for the family prayer call

3.   Hold your family close – pray as they return to school.