Tom Scott - 18/02/2018
Date: February 19, 2018
Rejoice! We rejoice in the decision made by Zorina Ali to transfer her membership yesterday after the morning service.
The month of February only has 28 days which can be a good thing. The long winter has been tough on a lot of individuals with the bad weather and harsh flu season. Despite another Sunday with several individuals dealing with cold and flu symptoms; we had a good worship experience. Let’s pray that the Spirit of God will blow all this junk out in the coming days so as many as want to come to church and get here.
Yesterday, we launched into a new series of messages that deals with the seven statements uttered by Jesus on the cross. The first statement deals with the topic of forgiveness which is always tough. Many of us know the joys of being forgiven by God, but struggle when it comes to forgiving one another. How do we find the ability to forgive people who are mean, rude, cruel, and vengeful? We have to look to the cross upon which Jesus died and observe his actions in those final moments of his life. Here are five questions for us to work through this week as we reflect upon the message.
1. All of us have had to deal with those moments when we were called upon to forgive someone that we would rather not forgive. Why is it so difficult for us to forgive some individuals?
2. Jesus was being nailed to the cross as he spoke these words which we find in Luke chapter 23. His first word is “Father.” Jesus would ask his father to forgive those who were murdering him. How difficult do you think it would have been for Jesus to pray for this knowing what he did about those carrying out his execution?
3. Sometimes forgiveness is difficult and sometimes it will be rejected. In the message we looked at the story of Judas and Stephen. What are some of the connections between Stephen’s death and that of Jesus?
4. Forgiveness is something that must be repeated from time to time. Jesus may have spoken these words a number of times while hanging on the cross. Peter was told to forgive his brother 77 times. How many times has the Lord forgive us for a sin we have committed repeatedly?
5. At the end of the message I talked about the power of forgiveness and how it can influence the lives of others. Forgiveness may have influenced the criminal hanging next to Jesus. It changed David’s life in the Old Testament. How has God’s forgiveness affected your life and how might this influence others in your life?
It was good to be in the house of the Lord yesterday. We are seeing some great things happening within the church. Let’s keep praying for the Spirit’s leading as we travel along on this spiritual journey. Let’s keep inviting others to join us as we seek to Impact Lives for God.
In His Service,
Sunday morning worship (2)
Impacting Lives For God
Father, Forgive Them
Introduction: As we turn our attention to the cross of Jesus, we find seven statements which were spoken in those final moments of his life. Today, we are going to look at the first of those statements. Jesus will pray that God might forgive those who are responsible for his death. There is a powerful message for us in these words.
I. Jesus speaks.
How do you picture Jesus in those moments leading up to his death on the cross?
A. From the parsonage.
Every individual goes through those moments when you are hurt by someone. How do we respond to those hurts?
B. From the cross.
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
II. Jesus prays.
Which one of Jesus’ many prayers carried the most weight and which one do you best relate to right now in your spiritual journey with the Lord?
A. The first part is a petition.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
B. The second part is a plea.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
III. Jesus teaches.
This morning we are going to look at four lessons about forgiveness that we can learn from Jesus’ statement on the cross.
A. Sometimes it will be rejected.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
B. Sometimes it might be difficult.
Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
C. Sometimes it must be repeated.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
D. Sometimes it can be powerful.
But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
Conclusion: Forgiveness is much easier to receive than to offer for many of us. Jesus shows us that we can forgive those who hurt us, if we choose to follow his example. This week; let’s be open to the possibility that we need to work on this issue of forgiveness. Let’s not allow forgiveness to become a roadblock on our spiritual journey with the Lord.