Matthew 18:21 (NKJV) Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Let’s see what Jesus has to say about forgiveness in today’s message.
One day Jesus’s right-hand man, Peter, went to Jesus to have this whole forgiveness thing spelled out for him.
Peter said, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?
Up to seven times?” Seven seemed like a generous number to Peter.
If somebody does the same thing to you over and over, you might put up with it once or twice, but after seven times surely you get a pass to stop trying.
But Jesus said, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Life is hard, and getting along with others is definitely one of life’s greatest challenges.
But Scripture tells us clearly to “live in peace.” (Romans 12:15 NKJV).
Knowing how hard it is to get along with coworkers, many people have asked us how we all work together and still enjoy being with each other.
There’s no secret to how this works, we get a close up look right there in the Bible.
Forgiveness is a very difficult act of grace we must learn for our lives.
Jesus laid out a way of life for His follower that was “upside down” from the way the rest of the world lived at the time He walked the earth and still is today.
Forgiving other people who have wronged us or hurt us or embarrassed us is not easy. In fact, sometimes it seems impossible.
But this is what God did for us and what He asks us to do for others.
Forgiveness is a grace action we must consider for our lives here on earth. No other virtue encompasses such a great sacrifice of self and is defined as self-less.
It is a conscious decision of risk, and vulnerability, instead of indignation and vindication. But in the sacrifice of oneself, we find God’s grace and embrace.
As we make a decision to embrace forgiveness, we are literally denying our own proclivities and instead submit ourselves to the Lordship of God.
Thereby forgiving our family, friends, spouses, and friends we create the opportunity for them to recognize and receive God’s amazing grace and to be transformed by God’s transformational Spirit.
Point to ponder
When we have experienced the Lord’s kind of radical, extreme forgiveness, then forgiving others suddenly makes all the sense in the world.
Be advised the Lord does speak Hope into our futures, and He declares good and we can expect it any day now over every broken promise and hurt we have experienced (Jeremiah 29:11).
Let us do likewise for each other. God’s way often does not make sense but I promise you, family, it’s the best way.
I know this is a challenge that we all have to take action. I am submitting my life to this forgiveness message and praying for you as well.
- Do you need to forgive someone?
- In today’s message, is it time for you to embrace forgiveness?
- What is your understanding of forgiveness?
- Have you forgiven yourself?
- When we forgive others, do we really help ourselves?
- Why is forgiveness necessary in the first place?
Pastor James Baker, Jr. and our leadership team are especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of May 2020, by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Ms. Cynthia Waiters-Artis, Ms. Annette Straker, Mr. David Straker, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Ms. Darlene Simmons, Ms. Mable Bazemore, Ms. Evelyn Rosado, Ms. Itholear Abbott, Mrs. Barbara Mason, Ms. Theresa Lewis, Ms. Ashley Baker, Ms. Rebecca Hogue, Ms. Rita McGuffin, Ms. Evonne Bazemore, Ms. Chisa Tolliver, Mrs. Lola Moore, Ms. Angie Scraders-Murphy, Mr. Calvin Jackson, Mrs. Robin Baker, Ms. Sylvia Sumpter, and Ms. Gertrude Scott.
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Pastor James Baker Jr.