Faithlife
Faithlife

The Power to Forgive

Living the Dream  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The world has come to the conclusion that holding a grudge is power. Through the example of Jesus and others we find that real power is only found in forgiveness.

Notes & Transcripts
Introduction

Holding Grudges. How to stick it to the Man.

Have you ever talked with someone who holds grudges?
They seam to have the goods on everyone don’t they. Your conversation goes something like, “I was talking to so and so....”
“Oh, I don’t hang around them anymore.”
“Why not?”
“You didn’t hear what they did to me.”
But what you find is the more you talk to that person the more you find that they have a grudge on everyone and sometimes everything.
“I was thinking about going to this restaurant.”
“Oh, I won’t ever go back there.”
Broken people view grudges as a means of power and protection over others that might try and hurt them.
It is a defence mechanism that isolates an individual from having deep relationship with others.
Today, as we look at the story of Joseph we are going to see that if anybody ever had a right to hold a grudge it was Joseph against his brothers.
Let’s say for a moment that Joseph did hold grudges what do you think the conversation with him would sound like.
“Hey Joseph, How’s your family.”
“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t talk to those back stabbing people. You didn’t hear what they did to me.”
My brothers hated me so much they were going to kill me literally.
Now that I older I realize it was Dad’s fault for playing favorites with me the way he did.
They sold me into slavery.
Then I was doing just fine until Potiphar’s wife lied about me. I hope I never see her again.
But Potiphar was no better. I told him the truth about what happen but what does he do? He throws me in the dungeon and just forgets about me.
So I’m down in the jail minding my own business when these two prisoners had dreams. I did them a favor and interpreted their dreams.
But, the butler forgot about me. Didn’t give me any credit when he got out.
So what are you going to do now that you are in power and have their lives in your hands? I’m going to make them all pay. They are going to wish they never knew me.
The sad thing is that there are many people today who are living just like this. Just waiting and hoping for the day that they can get justice and vengeance for all the wrongs done to them in their lives.
But what if you didn’t have to live broken?
What if you could be whole in the midst of all the tragedy in your life?
What if you could take the bad things and turn them into blessing for others?
The true story of Joseph is the power of Forgiveness.

Forgiveness Restores Relationships

Genesis 42:6 ESV
6 Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground.
Gen 42
Genesis 42:9 ESV
And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.”
Gen 42:
Joseph now had the power to make them all pay.
He could starve his hateful and unbelieving brothers.
He could kill Potiphar and his wife.
He could behead the forgetful Butler.
The most important thing in your life is healthy relationship.
The problem is your dealing with sinners.
No one does everything right all the time.

If you’re not willing to forgive sinners, you’re destined to be alone.

If you are looking for grudges it won’t take you long.
But these relationships are all that you have and should be the most valuable things to you.

“If you’re not willing to forgive sinners, you’re destined to be alone.”

Genesis 42:9 ESV
9 And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.”
Gen
Joseph remembered the dreams that God had given him.
Joseph remembered the dreams that God had given him.
Can’t you see the flashback. I he runs through the course of his life. And all of a sudden the whole thing makes sense.
He realizes that his demotions were just God in motion setting up his promotion.

Forgiveness Removes Consequences

Genesis 45:4–5 ESV
4 So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.
Gen 45:4-
Genesis 45:7–8 ESV
7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
Gen 45:

“Forgiveness is not power to control but a gift to pass on.”

The problem is your dealing with sinners.
No one does everything right all the time.
If you are looking for grudges it won’t take you long.
But these relationships are all that you have and should be the most valuable things to you.
As Jesus teaches the disciples to pray, forgiveness is a major theme of the prayer.
Matthew 6:12–13 ESV
12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:12
Matt
Matthew 6:14–15 ESV
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 6:14 ESV
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
Your attitude toward forgiveness determines God’s attitude toward your forgiveness.
All God is asking us to do is to pass on the forgiveness that you have recieved.
Colossians 3:12–13 ESV
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Forgiveness Reestablishes God as Sovereign

Who is the master of your circumstances:
Is it that friend that did you wrong.
Is it that family member that abused you.
Is it the boss who seems to hate you.

“Forgiveness changes your perspective and allows you to see through God’s eyes.”

Genesis 50:15–17 ESV
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.” ’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Gen 50
The brothers couldn’t believe that Joseph had the power to truly forgive.
They wouldn’t have forgiven him.
They were viewing Joseph out of their brokenness.
Gen 50:
Genesis 50:19–20 ESV
19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
When you see through God’s eyes it is easy to forgive.
When you understand that God is working it all out you can rejoice in the journey.
Romans 8:28 ESV
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Conclusion:
So who’s eyes are you looking through:
Your eyes of brokenness and pain
Or God’s eyes of healing and salvation

“If you’re not will to forgive sinners, you’re destined to be alone.”

“Forgiveness is not a power to control but a gift to pass on.”

“Forgiveness changes your perspective and allows you to see through God’s eyes.”

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