ADVENT #2 – FORGIVENESS PRODUCES PEACE – SERMON RESOURCES
ENGAGING THE PRACTICAL TIP
Today we focus on a very challenging word from Jesus via Matthew (chapter 6, verses 14 and 15). I suggest you find some time to read it through slowly two or three times. Invite the Lord to be with you as you do this.
14For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)
The first time through, simply read the passage, being open to whatever Jesus has for you. The second time through, consider times and situations where others have hurt or otherwise sinned against you. If the wounds from these situations are still raw, you might ask Jesus to be with you as you recall these times and for continued healing of the wounds. The third time through, consider times and situations where you have hurt or otherwise sinned against others. This third time through, you might consider how the people you have hurt in some way feel about the situation and feel about you. Ask Jesus to be with you as you recall these times and ask that He heal these people’s wounds.
How do you feel about the people who have hurt you in significant ways? Do you still feel a desire for revenge, retribution, or retaliation? If so, what is standing in the way of forgiving them? Talk to Jesus about these reasons, whether it is because they deny the hurt or sin, they won’t apologize or won’t acknowledge the pain they caused, etc.? Be open to whatever Jesus has for you.
Now consider the people you have hurt. How do you feel towards these people? Can you sense how Jesus feels towards you? Are there any connections between your pain and other’s pain, similarities or differences between the situations. What would like Jesus to do within you and within the others involved? Share these desires with him.
Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.