What makes forgiveness difficult?
Problems with forgiveness:
1. Intensity of the pain - whether we have been hurt spiritually, emotionally, or physically.
2. Identity of the person who caused the injustice to us - stranger or someone close.
3. Intent of the one who did it - accidentally or premeditated.
4. How often - once or more than once.
Genesis begins with selfishness (Adam & Eve) and ends with selflessness (Joseph). Doors that were closed at the beginning of Genesis were all opened by the end of Genesis.
Three examples of grace in Genesis:
1. The flood - Noah found grace (6:8).
2. Esau forgave Jacob (chapter 33).
3. Joseph - a story of redemption, mercy, and grace (45:1-15).
We can learn 4 things:
1. Forgiveness is necessary only when one suffers an injustice - damage to a person or to physical property - a car wreck, etc.;
- Joseph - Genesis 40:15;
- Jesus - I Peter 1:17-19; 2:21-23; 3:18;
- Us - I Peter 2:18-20
We should respond in a Christ-like way.
2. Forgiveness demands that we bear someone else's sin (they robbed us of freedom, happiness, etc.). Justice demands that the debt be paid.
- Joseph - Genesis 45:11 - Joseph provided for his brothers. He forgave them, rather than exacting a price;
- Esau - Genesis 33:9 - Jacob thought Esau would want justice because Jacob stole Esau's birthright, but Esau forgave Jacob;
- Christ - I Peter 2:24 - His forgiveness liberates ...
- Us - I Peter 3:1-2 - This woman gives to her husband what he does not deserve.
3. The security of God's love loosens the chains of fear, giving us the freedom to forgive.
- Joseph named one of his sons "Ephrain", which means "God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction - Genesis 41:52.
- Jesus and Stephen both put confidence and faith in God - I Peter 2:23; Acts 7:54-60.
- Us - I Peter 4:14,19.
4. Forgiveness involves sacrifice of self to accomplish God's purpose.
- Joseph knew that God sent him - Genesis 50:19-20.
- Christ - I Peter 2:24-25.
- Us - I Peter 2:12; 3:1-2.
We are to deny ourselves, take up our cross (forgiveness is a cross), and take on the mind of Christ - Philippians 2:1-8.
- my notes from David Maxson's sermon on November 10, 2010 -
To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!
- I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!
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