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Title:           “Confidence and Compassion in Prayer – VIII”

FCF:            expecting answers when in unforgiveness

D-Theme:   forgiveness comes through forgiving

M-Thrust:   we must forgive

App:           We must forgive because forgiveness comes through forgiving

Comment:  Put your post-sermon comments here

Subject:     Necessity of Forgiveness

Date:          D7F92367CCEE43F3BB9D295401572E0C

Text:           Mark 11:23-26

23For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 25“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

• Introduction

•   We have been studying prayer since the first of the year…

•   Beginning with 1st John 5:14-15 under the title…

•   “Confidence and Compassion in Prayer”

•   Our focus has been what it would take…

•   For us to have that confidence and compassion…?

•   We have looked @ it both from the positive standpoint…

•   And in recent weeks…the negative standpoint…

•   In recent studies I asked the question…

•   What keeps us from seeing answers to our prayers…?

•   And you all said…

•   Unbelief—doubt—lack of faith… wrong motives—selfish desires… unconfessed sin… unforgiveness…

•   Last time we focused on unconfessed sin…

•   Tonight we are going to focus on unforgiveness…

•   And I want to ask you…

•   Is it right to be expecting answers when in unforgiveness…?

•   Should we expect to hear answer to our prayers…

•   When there is unforgiveness in our hearts…?

•   When there are people whom we’ve not forgiven…?

•   When there is bitterness / the potential for bitterness…?

•   …lurking in the depths of our hearts…?

•   Yes or no…?

•   If yes, how do you support that from scripture…?

•   If no or not, why not…?

•   Discussion

• Read Text....................................... Mark 11:23-26

•   What does this passage of scripture teach us…?

•   More discussion

•   More than all of that it teaches us that…

•   …forgiveness comes through forgiving…!

•   We can pray with all of the belief we want

•   …that we will receive whatever things we ask…

•   But the promise comes with a very clear condition…

•   If we are unwilling to forgive—no forgiveness…

•   And we should assume that there will be no answer…

•   And no receiving of the things that we have asked for…

•   If we truly want confidence and compassion in prayer…

•   Then we must forgive…!

•   And perhaps the question is… what is forgiveness…?

•   Or what does it mean to forgive someone…?

•   Often that is best answered by saying first what it is not…

• What forgiveness is not

•   Forgiveness is not…

•   Excusing a person or the sin / wrong they have committed…

•   Many people refuse to forgive because the feel it is…

•   …saying to the offender… what you did to me is O.K.…

•   Many people refuse to forgive thinking that in forgiving…

•   …they are condoning the sin/wrong of the offender…

•   Forgiveness is not…

•   And does not require saying to the person “I forgive you…!”

•   In fact, oftentimes it is practically impossible…

•   For they have moved away or have died…

•   Plus, there can often be a great deal of emotional stress…

•   …involved in facing the person and saying to them…

•   “I forgive you…!”

Mark 11:25

25“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him…

•   This means that you can forgive them in a moment…

•   Even as you are praying…

•   Forgiveness is not…

•   …putting yourself into a compromised position…

•   …because you have forgiven them…

•   …where they can commit the same sin against you again…

•   You can say “I forgive you but I am not ready to trust you…!”

•   But you must be wise in dealing with the offender / sinner…

•   …before you allow that person back into relationship…

•   …either with you or your family…

•   Forgiveness is not…

•   …forgetting…

•   We are unable to forget our past…

•   Every significant event is permanently etched in memory…

•   Especially those associated with strong emotion…

•   So, we may not be able to forget the past…

•   But we can be free from the past by forgiving others…

•   Forgiveness is not…

•   …cheap…

•   It cost the Father his one and only Son…

•   In order to purchase our forgiveness from sin

•   What then will it cost us to be free…

•   …from the bondage of unforgiveness?

•   The fact is… we live with the consequences of others sin…

•   Our only choice is whether we live…

•   …in the bondage of bitterness, or…

•   …in the freedom of forgiveness…

•   To feel the pain of sin against us…

•   …is part of the cost of forgiveness…

• What forgiveness is

•   for·give·ness (fər-gĭvʹnĭs, fôr-) noun

The act of forgiving; pardon.  [1]

•   for·giv·ing (fər-gĭvʹĭng, fôr-) adjective

1.  Inclined or able to forgive. [2]

•   for·give (fər-gĭvʹ, fôr-) verb

1.  To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon.

2.  To renounce anger or resentment against.

Forgive means to refrain from imposing punishment on an offender or demanding satisfaction for an offense: to forgive is to grant pardon without harboring resentment. Pardon more strongly implies release from the liability for or penalty entailed by an offense [3]

•   Forgiveness is…

•   According to Pastor Bob…

•   …relinquishing our right to anger, revenge, or getting even…

•   …relinquishing our right retaliate…

•   It is giving up the constant plotting and scheming

•   It is giving up a constant rehashing and rehearsing…

•   …of the great and terrible wrong that has been done

•   Forgiveness is…

•   …a choice—a decision of the will.

•   You forgive for your sake, so that you can be free.

•   Don’t and you’re still hooked to those who hurt you!

•   Don’t wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving.

•   Don’t say, “Lord, please help me to forgive.”

•   Don’t say, “Lord, I want to forgive,”

•   Say, “Lord, I forgive.”

•   Forgiveness is…

•   …letting go of the person who has wronged you…

•   …letting go of the anger that you feel each time you…

•   think of the wrong, the person, the place…

•   Forgiveness is…

•   …releasing the person and the wrong done…

•   To God—the One who said…

Romans 12:19

19Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

•   Forgiveness is…

•   …to release them into his grace and mercy…

John 20:23

23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

•   Does this mean that if we refuse to forgive a person…

•   That God also will then refuse to forgive a person…?

•   My personal testimony of Dad and Clint…

• Who are we commanded to forgive

•   We are commanded to forgive others

Ephesians 4:32 NKJV

32And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

•   Is it possible to not forgive those who sin against us…

•   …and still claim that God in Christ has forgiven us?

•   This is just a given—one we all should understand…

•   We must forgive those who sin against us…

•   But there are others to forgive where it is not so clear…

•   We are commanded to forgive self

•   Is there a part of your life that is consumed with guilt…

•   As you remember some awful thing or things…

•   That you have done in the past

•   A sin committed, trust betrayed, moral failure lived with…

•   Have you confessed that sin to God?

•   Have you laid it before his throne?

•   Have you asked Christ to cover it with his blood?

•   And yet still find those persistent feelings of guilt…

•   Then perhaps you need to forgive yourself…

•   …reaching out and receiving the gift…

•   …Christ offers to you through his cross…

•   You know it is there—that he has done it for you

•   But you have to claim it as your own

•   We are commanded to forgive God

•   There are those events in everyone’s life…

•   Where we wonder why God allowed something to happen…

•   The kind of events that can leave a person…

•   …mad at God—angry with God—blaming God

•   …where we might say something like…

•   “God, if you really loved me…

•   …you wouldn’t have let this happen” or…

•   “God, what did I do to deserve this?”

•   “Why are you punishing me God?”

•   Where we blame God for the sin in the world…

•   …and the sin committed against us

•   We need to forgive—we need to let go

•   We need to let God be God…

•   …in all of the areas of our lives

• Conclusion............... whenever you stand praying

•   If we want to have confidence and compassion in prayer…

•   Then we must forgive…

•   It is foolish for us to expect answers to prayers…

•   …when in unforgiveness we demonstrate disobedience…

•   …to the commands of God…!

•   In fact for us not to forgive ourselves or others…

•   Is to say that we are in some measure greater than God…

Luke 23:34 NKJV

34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

•   Do you think if Jesus forgave those who crucified him…

•   …and through his shed blood those who turn to him in faith…

•   …the One who is God in the flesh…

•   …the One who humbled himself and became obedient…

•   …to the point of death—even death on the cross…

•   That if we refuse to forgive we’re saying we’re greater…

•   The sins committed against us are somehow greater…

•   …than those committed against God in Christ…?

•   If we are forgiven Christians…

•   What does it say to God if we refuse to forgive ourselves…

•   The one he has said is forgiven through the cross…?


----

[1]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

[2]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

[3]                                                                                                                                                                                           verb, intransitive To accord forgiveness.  [Middle English forgiven, from Old English forgiefan.] Synonyms: forgive, pardon, excuse, condone. These verbs mean to refrain from imposing punishment on an offender or demanding satisfaction for an offense. The first three can be used as conventional ways of offering apology, as for minor infractions of social proprieties: Please forgive me for being late. I hope you'll pardon the length of this letter. Excuse me, but I disagree with you. More strictly, to forgive is to grant pardon without harboring resentment: “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them” (Oscar Wilde). Pardon more strongly implies release from the liability for or penalty entailed by an offense: After the revolution all political prisoners were pardoned. “God may pardon you, but I never can” (Elizabeth I). To excuse is to pass over a mistake or fault without demanding punishment or redress: “There are some acts of injustice which no national interest can excuse” (J.A. Froude). To condone is to overlook an offense, usually a serious one; the word often suggests tacit forgiveness: Failure to protest police brutality may indicate a willingness to condone it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

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