1. Hello, listening friends. We are glad you joined us today.
2. As most of you who are following this series of messages know, we have been talking about the Lord's Prayer;
3. and I want to talk to you, today, about my experience.
4. I find that, everywhere I go in the world, I find men and women who, deep down inside, feel that something is missing in their lives.
5. They have that empty feeling that nothing seems to be able to fill or satisfy.
6. They have a sense of restlessness and dissatisfaction.
7. When I talk to people, whether it be on airplanes or at functions one-on-one,
8. they often confide in me and they tell me, "I feel something is missing in my life."
9. Invariably, I quickly put my finger on it.
10. If they were not believers,
11. I try to explain to them that that emptiness is sin, which is separating them from God,
12. and that their only cure is turning to the only One Who can fill that void.
13. If they are believers,
14. most often, it is unconfessed sin or bitter roots that they are carrying in their lives.
15. People try to cope with that emptiness and restlessness in a variety of ways.
16. Some try to bury themselves in their work.
17. Others may bury themselves in travel from one exotic spot to another.
18. Others try to bury themselves from going from one relationship to another.
19. Others will try to bury themselves in achievements and rewards.
20. They may bury themselves in doing of good works for which they get recognition,
21. or, they may bury themselves in hiding away from churches that have convicting messages,
22. or, they may bury themselves in a church that is soft on sin and repentance.
23. All of this, or some of this, may give them the feeling of a local anesthetic;
24. but they will get no permanent relief, until they deal with the root of the problem.
25. Jesus taught His Disciples to pray, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”
26. Jesus gave them the key to fill that emptiness and restlessness in their lives.
27. He gave them the key to contentment and true joy in life.
28. Now, if you have never accepted the death of Jesus on the cross to be for your sin, then, you are still living in your sin;
29. and you will have that deep, empty feeling, until you come to Him and ask for forgiveness;
30. and, if you are a believer, but not seeking daily forgiveness, you will have an even worse feeling of emptiness.
31. You may ask, "How can I receive this daily forgiveness?"
32. The way you receive that daily forgiveness is by your willingness to forgive others.
33. "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us."
34. Matthew calls it "debt."
35. "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."
37. Because sin is a debt.
38. For the believer, his or her eternal debt is paid on the cross once and for all.
39. Our daily sin incurs daily debt.
40. It may not affect your salvation, but it will affect your relationship with God.
41. The person who feels no need for confession and forgiveness is a person who has not yet been regenerated and born again.
42. As Judge, God is eager to forgive repentant sinners;
43. but, as Father, He is even more eager to keep on forgiving His children.
44. Listening friends, listen carefully to what I’m going to tell you.
45. Asking for forgiveness implies confession.
46. Feet that are not presented to Christ cannot be washed by Him.
47. Sin that is not confessed cannot be forgiven;
48. and that is why 1 John 1:9 gives us the condition, if we confess our sins, then, He’s faithful and just to forgive our sins.
49. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses them will find mercy.”
50. Here is the catch.
51. There is a prerequisite for receiving daily forgiveness.
52. What is it?
53. As we forgive others.
54. Listening friends, you must not miss this point.
55. Forgiveness for the salvation of your soul is freely given.
56. Forgiveness for the salvation of your soul is graciously offered.
57. There are no conditions, no probation period.
58. You cannot do anything to earn it.
59. It is freely given.
60. Daily forgiveness, on the other hand, has a condition attached to it.
61. Did you notice I did not say that forgiving others is easy,
62. especially those who falsely accuse you or abuse you;
63. but what I can tell you is this:
64. if you are a child of God, you do not have another option but forgiveness.
65. Have you ever asked yourself, "Why is it that we have trouble forgiving those who have wronged us?"
66. Why is it so hard to give up old resentments and ill will?
67. Why do we harbor grudges and animosities?
68. Why do we allow bitterness and antagonisms to cripple our character?
69. Why do we allow bitterness and antagonisms to twist our personalities?
70. But there’s even a more important question than this.
71. Why do we do this when we know that this is the one thing that blocks out God’s forgiveness and blessing from flowing freely in our lives?
72. I’m convinced that there are very few things that have short-circuited the power of the church of Jesus Christ as unresolved conflict among its members.
73. Our unforgiveness of others cripples our effectiveness for God.
74. The Holy Spirit cannot work freely among those who carry grudges and harbor resentments.
75. I actually have met people who are carrying resentments and bitterness toward their parents, who have long since been dead.
76. I ask you again, have you ever asked yourself why?
77. Why do we do this when we know of the dangerous consequences?
78. Probably, I will get as many answers to this question as the number of people listening to me;
79. but, whatever your answer may be, at the core of these outer reasons is this:
80. are you ready for the answer?
81. Human pride.
82. Deep down, you’ll find that there is a big "I" standing like a huge steel beam at the very core of our makeup;
83. and that steel beam refuses to budge.
84. That steel beam refuses to bend.
85. That steel beam refuses to be broken.
86. Husbands and wives, friends, colleagues, co-workers, neighbors, all can easily get into a situation where love and friendship gives way to animosity and hatred.
87. Millions of people utter this prayer-“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us...”
88. yet, they have absolutely no clue what they’re saying.
89. There are two things that I want to share with you about this prayer.
90. Number one,
91. when you forgive others, you are manifesting the divine nature of God in your life.
93. when you are forgiving others, you are bringing delight to the heart of God.
94. First, let me discuss the divine nature.
95. There are some people who think that this prayer is a trade-off with God.
96. I just have to forgive in order to get forgiveness, and that’s all mechanical.
97. Not at all.
98. Jesus did not say, "Pray saying, 'forgive us on the grounds of the fact that we forgive our debtors.'" No;
99. but, rather,
100. "forgive us as we also have forgiven."
101. What is He saying?
102. One of the signs that you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ,
103. one of the signs that God is your Father and Jesus is your Brother and the Holy Spirit dwells in you,
104. one of the signs that you have the divine nature working in you,
105. is when you freely forgive.
106. When you say, "Forgive me as I forgive," you are saying, "Lord, I belong to You.
107. Lord, I do what You do.
108. Lord, I love, just like You love.
109. Lord, I am following in Your footsteps."
110. To manifest the divine nature is a privilege that only God’s children have;
111. and, when you exercise that privilege, you are opening yourself to receive more of God’s nature;
112. and the more you exercise it, the more you receive; and the more you give it away, the more He will give you.
113. There is one person who never, never forgives.
114. Do you know who it is?
115. That person is Satan.
116. The word, "Satan," means "adversary," and he is called the "accuser of the brethren."
117. When Satan sees bitterness and jealousy, he reinforces it.
118. When Satan meets goodness, he holds it in contempt.
119. When Satan sees forgiveness, he hates it.
120. He first tempts people to sin, and, then, when they sin, he accuses them of sin;
121. and Satan wants us to act in the same way when people sin against us.
122. Well, my listening friend, listen and think with me.
123. When someone takes advantage of you,
124. when someone lets you down,
125. when someone speaks ill of you,
126. you have a choice.
127. You can act like the accuser of the brethren,
128. or, manifest the divine nature that has become ours the day you said "yes" to Jesus.
129. First, forgiveness manifests your divine nature.
130. Secondly, forgiveness brings delight to the heart of God.
131. Many of you would testify with me about the incredible love and joy and peace of God that floods our hearts when we are forgiven.
132. Forgiveness is hard and painful.
133. It is not easy;
134. but there are few things that please the heart of God more than when we forgive.
136. Because He sees His reflection in us.
137. Because He sees His nature in us.
138. Because He sees His likeness in us;
139. and Heaven rejoices when you and I freely forgive those who deeply wound us.
140. There is something very important I want to tell you.
141. The deeper the wound, the greater forgiveness is needed.
142. Just as the doctor has to keep the physical wound in our body clean from infection so that it can heal properly, so must we.
143. We must keep our emotional wounds clean from bitterness so that we can be healed.
144. Forgiveness keeps the wound clean.
145. Spending time talking with your heavenly Father is the only strength that you need to strengthen you and your resolve to keep on forgiving,
146. because when you do that, you bring delight to the heart of God;
147. but I want to tell you that they are preaching the cure without prescribing the medicine.
148. Without the power of God in the Father through the example of the Son and in the strength of the Holy Spirit, you cannot fully forgive.
149. Let me ask you this:
150. is there someone in your life, the moment his name or her name is mentioned, you tense up,
151. your heart beats a little faster,
152. your pulse races away,
153. you begin to grind your teeth?
154. Then let me tell you, you have not forgiven that person.
155. You say, "Oh, but I have."
156. Well, can you pray that God will bless that person?
157. Can you say, when that person’s name is mentioned, "Oh, Lord, bless him or bless her?"
158. If you cannot, then, you have not forgiven, and you need to do that today.
159. It is my prayer that you will do that;
160. and, until we meet again, I wish you God’s richest blessing.