Sermon Series: Forgiveness, Week 1

Sermon Summary: Sitting in church one day, I wondered how I could improve retaining and acting upon the sermons our minster preaches. I decided that I could summarize them here which would help me remember them and create a log of them. Hopefully, I will be able to do this weekly (baring traveling, sickness, or bad weather) so that I can do a better job at intentionally living.

Our church is starting off the New Year with the Sermon Series "Forgiveness." The timing for this series is incredible for me on a personal level! This week's title was "As Far As East is from West," and it was based on Psalm 32:1-5.

Almost everyone on the planet, at one time or another, has experienced hurt from another person's actions. When this happens the results can be larger than just hurt: missed deadlines at work, embarrassment, dissolved trust, etc. After experiencing feeling wronged, we might find ourselves carrying a sign saying, "You Owe Me!"

You Owe Me! sign. Once you've started to carry around this sign, it becomes a part of you all the time. For example, just because you picked up the sign after someone hurt you at work, doesn't mean you put the sign down when you leave work. You carry that sign at home, with friends, and around town. 

At first, when you carry that sign, it feels powerful: you've been wronged, and this sign shows that you're taking a stand against that wrong! But.....the sign starts to get heavy. And the people around you stop reading it. And you start becoming consumed by the sign which causes you extra pain, hurt, harsh words, bad thoughts, etc. Slowly, carrying that sign becomes a force field that keeps others away from you, and it prevents you from connecting to yourself.

Christ invites us and encourages us to put down that sign, and to pick up the sign that says: "I Owe You!"

I Owe You! The "You" in this sign means God. It means that we owe God. By carrying that other sign, we are unable to look at ourselves and recognize that we've sinned against God. We need to ask, "where have I gone wrong, where have I sinned, who have I hurt, and how will I amend with God?"

When we carry the other sign, it beats us down. It puts us in a metaphorical jail. Our pastor reminded us of the parable of the man who owed a lot of money to the king. The king told the man that if the man was unable to pay, then the king would sell him and his family into slavery. The man begged to be forgiven of the debt, and the king agreed. When the man left the palace, he ran into a friend that owed him money. The friend didn't have the money and asked for more time. The man refused the friend more time and had the police arrest him and throw him in jail. The king heard of this news, and the man was jailed for life for not forgiving his friend as the king had forgiven him. 

By carrying around the sign "You Owe Me," we are putting ourselves in jail. If we choose to put that sign down and pick up "I Owe You (God)" sign, then we free ourselves! God could have held up the sign "you owe Me" in regards to all of our sins, but instead He had Jesus pay for our debts. Surely, we can work to forgive others!

Personally: For me personally, I felt a little lighter and a little freer leaving church today. I've been carrying around the "You Owe Me" sign for quite a while now (read into this: years!). Like the pastor said, I picked that sign up in one area of my life, but over the years, it spread to all areas of my life. Without realizing it, I became burdened a lot of the time by carrying around this sign: it got bigger, heavier, and stuck to me. I put it down today. 

I don't know how I'll completely forgive yet, and I don't know how I'll deal with future hurt. I do know, though, that today I truly made the first step. I put down the "You owe me" sign. I picked up the "I owe You" sign. I'm not sure where it'll take me, but I'm excited to feel freer and a little lighter!! 

Additional Verses: 1st John 1:9; Psalm 103:12; Psalm 103: 11-12; 2nd Corinthians 5:21

1 comment:

DandW said...

A good message for all.