Message for September 22, 2013 from Pastor Jerry

How many times is too many times?

“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  Up to seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matt. 18:21-22(NKJV)

       Jesus told Peter to forgive his brother four hundred seventy times.  Has anyone offended (sinned against) you that many times?  If so, they must be out to get you pretty bad.  Tell me, what is the alternative to forgiving?  Is there a justifiable different reaction?  It is one thing to hold someone accountable for their actions and another thing to forgive them.  Breaking the law calls for justice but forgiveness is a matter of the heart.  You can send someone to jail for their crime, but you must forgive them for their sin.

       Most of the time our forgiveness doesn’t involve criminal activity only moral and ethical issues.  What offends you and why?  I cannot list all the possibilities here.  Be honest with yourself as you think about this.  Are there ways that you offend others?  Do we treat others as we wish to be treated?  If you are offended, let it go.  You are only hurting yourself.  If Jesus forgave, who are you to hold unforgiveness?

       You must remember, Jesus would not ask of us and not do it Himself.  How many times does He forgive you?  The answer is, every time.  The blood of Jesus covers all the sins we commit, past, present, and future.  Luke 17:4(NKJV) says, “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”  Let’s see.  Seven times a day for three hundred sixty five days is two thousand five hundred fifty five times.  Where Jesus is– there is a whole lot of forgiving going on.  It will bless you if you get in on it as much as you can.


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