Sunday, March 22, 2009

SOAP: Forgiveness

SOAP {Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer}:

1277 DaysAfter trying several churches in Indianapolis, and finally choosing one, then trying that church's Saturday evening service and being a little disappointed, we finally headed back to the Sunday morning service today, and I felt that the timing was not accidental. The church is in the midst of a series called 1277 Days, exploring the last 3-1/2 years of the earthly life of Jesus Christ. Today's message was on forgiveness, and I wanted to share my notes from the service.

  • Our greatest need right now is forgiveness.
  • Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin.John 8:1-12 [NIV]
  • For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17 [NIV]
  • Jesus didn't come as God to condemn us, but rather to release us from our debt (forgiveness).
  • Jesus didn't just take away the circumstance of sin, he took away the heart of sin and gave us a new heart.
  • Jesus set us free from sin so that we don't have to go back to our lives of sin.
  • Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." Matthew 18:21-35 [NIV]
  • We must offer forgiveness without limit, just as God has done for us through His Son.
  • Release the debt. Forgive it and forget it.
  • Sometimes we forget what God has forgiven us of -- the depth of His forgiveness.
  • We bear the weight of not forgiving those who wrong us. Forgiving others lets us move on and free ourselves as well as those we have forgiven.
  • Unforgiveness is a mountain that we cannot overcome. By forgiving others as God forgives us, we -- like Him -- can move those mountains.

I found the message to be quite moving, as we often find it difficult to actually release others who have wronged us by offering them sincere forgiveness. Is there someone you should forgive today?

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