To learn how to forgive someone else, you need to learn how to forgive yourself. Read on to see what Jesus says about forgiveness.
If you're an extra note taker, Matthew chapter 18 is a powerful story. And Jesus teaching about forgiveness, that was a theme of his ministry, he told a story about a king who brought all of his servants in to pay their debts and settle accounts. And Jesus says, there was a servant who owed millions of dollars, he literally couldn't have paid it back in his lifetime and the king said, you're gonna have to pay by being tortured, and your children and your wife will be sold.
And the guy just begged the king, please have pity and mercy on me, and the king did. The king said, okay I'll forgive your debt. Then that guy went out of the king's presence, after being forgiven millions of dollars, and found someone who owed him a few hundred dollars, and that person said, I can't pay you back right now.
And that guy got all over this guy, and threw him into prison to be tortured because he didn't pay back his small debt, after being forgiven millions of dollars. And in the story, Jesus says that people came back to the king and told him this, and the king brought that guy back in and said, you're an evil servant.
I've forgiven all this debt, a huge debt, and you can't forgive a little one? You see, today the question you wanna write down next to let go is, where is my focus? What am I focused on? Because if you wanna forgive, you can't focus on that hurt anymore, you can't focus on that wound anymore, you can't focus on that abuse anymore.
Because as you focus on that, it just keeps all of that bitterness, and resentment, and anger tight and close. But if you focus on the cross, if you focus on what Jesus did, I wanna make you a promise. As I focus on what Jesus has done for me, and how my sins stack up and all he's forgiven, I've never forgiven anybody more than Jesus has forgiven me.
I love what's happened at our camps in the last few weeks. But at the Trek Camp for junior high, middle school kids, it was pretty amazing what happened. They started dragging a cross through camp a couple of hours before worship. I wish I could drag a cross right through your living room about Wednesday of this week.
Just a cross going right down your office hallway, right through your workplace, right down your neighborhood, right across your Facebook page. But the cross just started going by, and the middle schoolers started following that cross as they prepared for worship, and that cross went into the room.
And as everybody gathered into that room and everybody was in their place, all of a sudden everything went dark and the cross was lit up, and I just took a picture of it. It looks like something I got off of iStockphoto, but this is your middle school camp Lake Pointe. This is sixth, seventh and eighth graders are saying, it's all about Jesus.
All of a sudden they were so focused on the cross, there was nothing else they could see, there was nothing else they could do. It's all about him, Jesus. Yes, he's the one we're focused on. And today if you focus on Jesus, you can forgive because you've been forgiven. If you focus on Jesus you can let go because, because of that cross he's let go of all of our debts, and all of our regrets, and all of our mistakes.
And on every campus today in a moment, I'm gonna give you an opportunity to experience the decision of forgiveness. And there's these white pieces of paper all across the room at every campus, and I'm gonna ask you when they're singing the last worship song, to go and write a name on this card.
And then I'm gonna encourage you, your campus pastor will tell you what to do with that, but we're gonna offer you an opportunity to really let go today. At the service last night, the Saturday night service, a guy came up to me after the service and he was crying. He said, seven years ago my wife walked out on me and I just realized today I've never forgiven her.
I just wrote her name there, and said I'm letting go today. It's powerful. So why would we forgive? Listen, I hope the names are coming to mind. A spouse, a co-worker, a roommate, a friend, someone who's hurt you in the past, we're gonna let go today. Why would do we do that?
Well, Colossians 3:13 tells us, it's very simple. It says this, it says, bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Would you read this with me ? Let's say this together, forgive as the Lord forgave you. Let's bow our heads and close our eyes. In this quiet moment, how can we focus on the debt that someone else owes us, when we focus on the cross right now and realize how much Jesus has forgiven us? And right now, over the Internet, here in this room, at every campus today, there is someone, you need to receive the forgiveness of Jesus.
How to Forgive Yourself
You need to receive what Jesus Christ has done for you, and the love he offers to you. It's free and you can't earn it, you don't deserve it and neither do I. But would you open up your heart right now, and maybe the name you need to write on this card is your own name, and forgive yourself as Christ forgives you.
Prayer for Forgiveness
But let me just pray for us. Lord, on all the campuses, over the Internet, Lord help us to release these people who've hurt us, people who've done us wrong. Help us to let go of the debt that they owe us because of the debt You've forgiven in us. Help us to declare Lord, that they don't owe us anything anymore because we've been set free.
Please Jesus, forgive me of my sins and be the Lord of my life. Thank you so much for what you have done for me so that I might have abundant, joyful, and eternal life with you.
And right now, I pray that You would set people free from the prison of bitterness and unforgiveness. And as people come to our minds today, whether it's a small offense or some huge hurt, we're gonna give them forgiveness today because all we're doing is giving them, God what You have given us through Christ.
So do what only You can do today, and help us to experience the power and the freedom of letting go, the power of forgiveness. And we pray this in the name of the one who's forgiven us, Jesus Christ. Amen..