Demolition precedes renovation.
Deconstruction precedes reconstruction.
We buy into a deception.
This produces something new in our lives, division.
The result of deception and division in our lives, destruction.
Demolition precedes renovation.
Deconstruction precedes reconstruction.
We buy into a deception.
This produces something new in our lives, division.
The result of deception and division in our lives, destruction.
Awesome. Well, I hope you're doing well. Welcome. I'm glad you're here. Um, I know a lot of you folks that were involved in graduation things over the weekend, so congratulations to you and your family. If we're Facebook friends, I celebrate that with you. If we're not, I'm just assuming you all had a great time, so thank you so much for that. That's incredible. And a, that's a big achievement for our students and kind of grateful for that. Um, we're uh, also weekend of Memorial Day and uh, you know, we started service with that video, but that's a pretty big deal. I know some of us have family members of course that pay that ultimate price. Um, and, and that's a, that's a, that's a big deal. Something we all carry. It's weird to say it's something we celebrate, but it's certainly something we remember this time of year and I'm kind of thankful that, that we have an annual time to remember that. And so I'm going to have a word of prayer and specifically talk a little bit about that. So let's pray. Jesus, thank you so much for your goodness. Thank you for these good folks and them, Lord. It's, it's kind of just this weird emotional collision of sorts over this weekend where we all, we get this day off. And yet we also remember the tremendous sacrifices that allowed us to have this time and live in this country. And we're grateful for that. And as our world seems to get smaller because travel is so, you know, people come in and leave and all, and that's all a great thing, Lord. Um, but we do remember and we're thankful, we're thankful for the way that you've created humanity, that, um, we are actually willing to serve. We're willing to sacrifice even for the good of the whole. And that's, that's something we're celebrating. So thank you for that. Now pray for family members that are part of alive that I'm even recently, they'd gone through a situation where this is a difficult weekend for them and where we feel that and we carry that with them. And so, Lord, may we all be sensitive to that as we enjoy our time with family and friends. Uh, we just are grateful. So Lord, for the next few moments. Now as we jump into the message now, would you be so kind as to hide me, deepen your cross, and just allow me to speak kind of really today just from my heart about different things and um, and use it for your good and your glory. Use it to encourage a heart today. I pray in your name. Amen. Well, we've been, uh, in this series of a demo day, and this is the last Sunday in that particular series and I'm demo day. Basically last week I introduced this concept for what I mean by it. And Demo Day basically means this, that demolition is always going to precede renovation. Demolition always precedes renovation. So here's what that means. So as we grow, as we discover, as we walk with God, will learn that there are some beliefs and some attitudes, maybe even some, some behaviors that really need to be torn down in order for God to continue to make us more like him. There are some things in our lives that, well, they're not like Jesus and so, and most of us don't need convincing of that, but there's some things that in order for a true soul renovation to take place, those things that had to be turned down and, and, and the easiest time to see this is when we first start following God. Or maybe we as a family, we'll say, you know, from this point forward, I'm going to, I'm going to walk with God. I want us to walk with God as a family. And we start doing that. And immediately when you make that decision, some things become very apparent. Don't go with God with me. I didn't need a preacher, anybody to tell me when I decided to start walking with God, the things in my life that really didn't go with God. There were some things that I said at that that needs to end, but that needs to stop. And so that's the beginning of this demolition process. And then as we live our lives out in this new found faith and we start maybe getting involved in church, we start growing deeper understanding of who god is. And as we sort of grow up in that relationship with God, well God begins to reveal other parts of us that need to be torn down. But they're not just like these major sin areas of our lives. They're actually deeper than like the inner parts of us. It's like identity issues or maybe maybe it's how we treat our spouse or, or how we treat our friend group and the responses and reactions to those things. And God says that's got to be torn down dude. And that, that's not of me. Or sometimes God has, uh, has to tear down how we perceive ourselves and the things that were maybe what we're building a life on, whether it's success or achievement or attention. Sometimes God has to tear down a plan that we have for our lives because well, he's got another plan. He's got some other ideas of how he wants to use us in this one and only life. Does that make sense? So, so another way that I said it last week was this, that, um, you know, deconstruction precedes reconstruction. And this is just a simple change model. If we're going to change anything, there is going to be this process where we deconstruct what is there so we can reconstruct something new. Uh, easiest example for me is when I was single, Tom versus married Tom. So single Tom, you know, would live a certain way. I acted a certain way. I wasn't accountable to anybody about where I was or what I was wearing or what I smelled like. You know, it didn't really matter at all. But then Mary Tom, apparently he had to learn there are some things that need to change there and you know, I needed to turn and let least know some things that were happening and she had some hygiene things that she wanted to address with me. And so, you know, and, and I had to tell her if I was going to buy a golf club, you know, all those things are sort of things that have to change as I got married. So that's kind of my illustration. So as our final discussion of this series, what I want to go after is um, kind of you will like an inspection idea or or a solid or we need this solid inspection. Here's what I mean. When you're, when you're building something, when you're constructing something, there is this periodically throughout the process where someone will come in and make sure that it's being done right and like that'll be plumbing, there'll be electrical insulation, you know, the actual construction of the house on a framing. All these different pieces are all inspected along the way. And what I want to go after today is one particular point of inspection because if we don't pass this point of inspection, the rest of it's going to be uphill. I mean there's going to be major uphill. In fact, I know people that believe in God and have followed him for a long time that actually failed this part of the inspection and it still reeking havoc in their lives. And so I want to go after that one area as our final discussion today. Now we all start out in life. Like, we just saw these beautiful kids on this platform and it's a little bit like this, this is called a Rubik's cube, although now they make it different colors than the one anybody else around when they invented these things, you know, he'd say, I remember those came out. Anybody else like solve them by going home and popping them off and putting them back in on the right place. Yeah, me too. Yeah, I got so good at that. So, um, so this is, this is a newer one. So anyway, we all start out in life like this, these beautiful kids that you just saw up here, you know, they start out like this. There's a fallen nature, which I know, I understand, but they haven't made any decisions to cause hurt. They haven't like made decisions, their life that's going to pile up regret or they're not like, there's not anything they've done it they're ashamed of, they're just kind of, they're just beautiful. They're just these innocent until they turned to than it. It's all kind of illustration breaks down. But you know, for right now, this is kind of how they started out. We've haven't been selfish. They haven't intentionally hurt anybody. It just been a blob of baby. And you know, they just enjoy their life and they enjoy making mom and dad's to mile. No shame producing events. But what we could tell them if we were going to like tell them this was that it's not going to stay that way. There's going to be some things that come along in life and, and actually there's going to be eventually a point in your life where you will buy into what I think is one of the biggest deceptions that all of us have to identify in our lives when we begin to experience temptation and the temptation that will come to them. And the temptation that they'll have to deal with in this area of deception is this. They'll be tempted to buy into something that will produce something that it can't deliver. There'll be tempted to actually say, oh, this is what this, this will deliver. Get rich free. Or this person will make me happy, or all I need is this and I will be happy. And they'll be tempted to buy into something that can't deliver. And this is what I would suggest Satan does. He's called the father of lies because this is his area of expertise. He's this deceiver. And we begin to think, hey, if I could have that, if I could have him, if I could have Herve, if I could just have my freedom, if I could be accepted, if I could just get high one more time. And we give into these, this deception because we all want to be loved, we all want to be liked and we all want to be satisfied. But the moment we start giving into that deception, what God made begins to get marred. It looks different than when it first happened. Does that make sense to you? And it's no longer this perfect, beautiful little cube of perfection. At some point we wake up to our new reality, namely that our lives have become well a mess because we bought into some deceptions that we should have never bought into. Uh Oh, if I do this, they'll love me. And we bought into that deception and it's caused some pain. And then we started to lose trust. We started to hurt people we love and we've been lied to and lied and caused pain. And this produces something new in our lives the first time. It's now we have this division in our lives and you can track this in your own heart and life. What was once this blanks blank page is now this mess and sane wins. If he can cause division at any level, whether it's division in our central Maine family unit or whether it's division in the family as a whole or division at a workplace or even division within the walls of the church. And, and we get divided from our sense of self and all this happens. And then if that happens, deception and division than we all could give testimony. The fact that there's one more step in the process and that's destruction and you can map this out in your own life. I bought into that lie at caused this division and here's the result. And before we all know where this messed up cube, it's taken a toll on our lives. We have relationships that's been destroyed. We have trust that's been destroyed. You know, we have our bodies that had been destroyed. Innocence has been destroyed. Now this dynamic of moving from deception division to destruction is what led to the story that Jesus is getting ready to tell. And in this story, Jesus was going to reveal something that he says addresses all of this. So instead of like, I normally talk and then like interrupt Jesus, his story to tell you some things. I'm not gonna do that today. I'm just going to read through the story all at once and then we'll come back and talk about it if you want to follow. It's Matthew 18 and we're gonna Start with verse 21 if you have a little phone or something to that has it on, you want to follow. And I'm going to read the new living. I'm not going to put it on the screen today because it was just too much work. And so I decided we were gonna put it up there. So it's Matthew 18 verse 21. And uh, and let me read you the story. Peter came to Jesus and said, Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? And then Peter, those in seven times, and the Peter is actually shown out here. He thinks he's being like overly spiritual. No, not seven times, Jesus said, but 70 times seven. Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him and the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars or the dude couldn't pay. So his master ordered that he be sold along with his wife and his children at everything he owned to pay off that debt. But the man fell down before his master. He begged them, please, please be patient with me and I'll pay it all. Then as masters filled with pity form and released him and he forgave his debt. But when that same man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand bucks and he grabbed him by the throat and he demanded instant payment. Well, this fellow servant fell down before him and beg for a little more time. He said, be patient with me and I'll pay this off, but as credit or wouldn't wait, he had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. When some of the other servants saw this, they were upset and they went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called and demand. He'd forget and I said, you evil servant. By the way, if a king ever addresses you that way, it's gonna go downhill from there and just a good, just write that away. File that away from your own memory. So Evil Servant, yet I'm in trouble. So you evil servant. I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Wouldn't it just made sense that you'd have mercy on your fellow servant? Just as I had mercy on you. Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. That's the story Jesus told, but in that story, Jesus reveals the vehicle by which he can afford. He can fix the effects of deception, division and destruction in our lives. And here's the vehicle forgiveness, forgiveness and make no mistake. Forgiveness is the most difficult piece of what God will ask you to do. Forgiving someone who has hurt you will be the most difficult thing God will ask you to do. And do you know why? Because forgiving you was the most difficult thing for God to do. It didn't come easy. Only forgiveness have you required the sacrifice of his son fair and so forgiving me for giving you was the most costly thing for God so it makes sense. That would be difficult for me to forgive someone who has wronged me. A Catholic priest and author Ronald Role Heizer he writes this can a single or is there a single moral or religious issue that will become the litmus test in terms of defining the very essence of and non negotiable heart of Christian discipleship. Is there one thing that you can look to? I can look and say, Yep, there it is. He says in the gospels, the moral heart of discipleship is articulated by Jesus and this challenge lies at its center. Can you love and forgiveSpeaker 2:
your enemy?Speaker 1:
Just before Jesus dies? He goes into this upper room and you've heard this story before and they go on the upper room, but nobody washed the feet. This is whole custom. A Jewish thing is, it was a whole different climate. So like, you know, feet were dirty, they were nasty, and usually there's a servant that helped wash people's feet so they could have dinner together, not be gross. So nobody washed the feet. In fact, everybody who walked in ahead of Jesus walked by the basin and the towel that would be used to wash the feet also all sitting there in a room with dirty feet and Jesus gets up and he goes and pours water intubation and grabs a towel and he starts washing the feet of the disciples in the room. In fact today, you know, sometimes people will do this and youth groups or of weddings or religious traditions that still practices, but the real power of the story for me isn't necessarily the feet were washed. The real power of the story. Like the real power of the stories. What happened when he came to Judases feet? So you like some of us that, that we might know each other, uh, you know, in a more intimate kind of close setting. And so if there's anything you needed in your life that I could do for you, I would be willing to do that. And so that would make sense. We do for our friends. We protect whatever we have to do, our family. But the real power of this is that Jesus did what we did for family, what we do for family to do this. So even though at that very moment, Jesus is Washing Judas his feet and Judases texting, where to pick up his pieces of silver after he betrays Jesus, even though Judas is selling Jesus out in the very moment, Jesus still performs this humble task of washing Judases feet. It would've made more sense to me if I were the one doing it. Thankfully I wasn't. But you know, to kind of calm and do Peter's feet, you know, and you know the John's feet and, and juice, forget you and then go on to the next one. You know? But that's not what Jesus did. He just, he washed them all. He didn't skip the one that he knew because Jesus knew Judas was the dude. He didn't skip the one that would betray him and wound and lie and ultimately to lead to his own death. And the fact that Jesus doesn't skip any one's a pretty big deal. Let me, let me tell you why. So let's imagine that Jesus is sitting on this stage right here. Not the only resemblance so far is sitting okay. I'm not saying this is Jesus and I'm just so we're both sitting. So let's say we're sitting on this stage right here, and Jesus is sitting on the stage up here. And let's just say that we all have this opportunity as we're sitting up on this, on this chair. And um, we were able to kind of line up here and come before Jesus and say, here, Jesus, this is what I'm holding on to and why I don't forgive. What do you think his reaction would be? So like, Jesus is up here and we're all somewhat, Jesus, did you hear what they said about me? And Yoshi said, oh, I never thought about that. That must be horrible for you. Can you imagine Jesus saying that? Or did you hear what this person did to me or what they, they heard that I did and they stay and then Jesus said, Oh yeah, you're right. I never thought about that. You should get a pass. You don't have to forgive anybody. Yeah. Let's see. When you're looking into the eyes of one who is actually had his life betrayed because of, because of Judas and he forgives them, that seems like a big deal. I don't think he would have this desire in my life for your life to look at me and say, Tom, just forget about it. You should keep being angry with them. And the fact that all that took place challenges me because I suspect that some of us in the room are still living our lives, holding on to whatever was done to us. And if we were to push on the tender parts of who we are, eventually what we would push on is, well, this person bailed on me. This person betrayed this person crossed the boundary. And the scary thing about all that isn't so much that it happened, although that sucked and that's terrible. But the scary thing about all that is it's now become part of your identity. So that lack of forgiveness in that hurt that happened, that person continues to win because they're part of your identity now. So you're mad at your dad for whatever he did, but you're taking it out on your kids. You following what I'm saying? Right? Or you're mad because this happened or or whatever. But you're living it out now on the people you love the most, your bitterness, your critical nature, you're callousness. And that's what people know about you. It's not who we want to be, it's just how people know us now. And all has to do, we can trace it right back to that cycle of Canada, this deception and division and destruction and how we're never going to let that go. Mom was an alcoholic and this did this district, you know, deception, division, destruction.Speaker 2:
no, that person never should have taken advantage of me. I said forever, they didn't, whatever. And we hold on to this lack of forgiveness. I can remember going through a season of my life where I struggled with forgiveness. In fact, honestly, there've been several seasons where I struggled with forgiveness. I think it's part of it. So a few years ago, um, it was a typical Sunday morning [inaudible] like the one we're in today. And uh, Beth came back and she goes, Tom, there's someone in the lobby who'd like to meet with you. And I said, Oh, you know, who is it? And, and not that you couldn't meet with me if I didn't know you. I mean just, I just thought I'd ask, who is it, you know, do they own Nike or do they, you know, yeah, there's the thing, but you want to kind of touch base with. Um, and so, um, they told me the name and she told me the name and man, when she told me the name as the name I hadn't heard for 35 years, and, uh, it, it was like I got punched in the gut. And, um, because um, uh, it was, uh, a person that resulted in tremendous pain for me as a kid. And, uh, so that said, well, bring him back. So I brought, they brought the person back and, and we met there between services and, um, a conversation that morning was, was awkward and it was emotional. It was, it was surprisingly chill, not the one that I had fantasized about many years about how, you know, six, 389 pounds of raw muscle would actually, there's 189 pounds of muscle. The rest might be something else. But that was the first part was true. And now, you know, maybe that I've kind of opened a can and you know, there'd be a great day, you know, that would be awesome. And then can I thought about it? Um, but it was chill and, and, and uh, and nothing, nothing that I'd often thought would happen if our paths ever crossed. And maybe it's cause I knew I had another service to do and I didn't want to come in here all bloodied up or anything. And I know he's like, I just beat somebody to a pulp and let's talk about Jesus, his love. And I, I didn't feel like I could do that with you. And so I kind of, everything was sort of, we're laid back. Uh, this person had traveled several states to attend a alive that morning. They looked at this up online and I finally got around and ask the person, why are you here? It was tough to verbalize, but they were basically here to seek forgiveness. But as that difficult conversation played out in those precious minutes between services, here's what I realized that was so powerful for me. Um, it wasn't, it wasn't important for me that that person be forgiven. And I know that sounds like, I shouldn't say that as a preacher, but that really wasn't the main thing that really struck me. What really struck me was this, that relationships don't thrive because guilty people are punished. Relationships thrive because innocent people forgive. That's where the chewy chocolate center things is.Speaker 2:
That's the placeSpeaker 1:
of course. Guilty people want forgiveness. You ever been pulled over by a police officer? Yes, I did. It absolutely did. Got You. For speeding. We all say no, I was, yes, you were. Stop it. So yeah, we were speeding and you know, I just would love to be forgiven for this. Let, let go. Of course we, that's normal. But what isn't on normal is when innocent people forgive. And I suspect some of you are still holding on to whatever was doneSpeaker 2:
to youSpeaker 1:
or maybe you're holding on to whatever it isSpeaker 2:
you did. Okay.Speaker 1:
Maybe you're holding on to the home that you grew up in. Maybe you're holding on to something that happened sexually to you that should have never happened. Maybe you're holding onto some abuse. Maybe you're holding onto some of betrayal. Maybe you're holding on to what somebody said about you here. Here's a question I would ask you. What if you left that here today? I mean, just dropped it off.Speaker 2:
and left it here today. I mean, can you imagine what life might be like for you if you were able to, I'm not saying this is easy, but drop it off because I would suggest that this is probably one of the most important things inspection wise that we could all do if we want to have a serious renovation. Anne Lamott writes these words, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die while I'm punishing them. How's that? I'm just not gonna forgive him all year. Right? You're fixing them, but it's killing you. Here's the university, did a study on forgiveness and they had a person, a subjects come in and they would have the person talk about a relationship in which they had forgiven someone who had hurt them in a, in a big way. And they would talk about that and talk about the forgiveness. And then they had the subjects go over and jump up as high as they could on a wall to see how high they could reach. And then it had the same subjects come back. And this time they had them focus on relationship with someone they hadn't forgive, you know, father, mother, brother, sister, friend, whatever, husband, spouse. And so they hadn't focused on that and kind of process that with them. So tell me what that means for you and you know, all that forgiveness. And then they had the same subject after thinking about unforgiveness, go and jump on the same wall. And on average what they learned was there were three inches shorter after thinking about not forgiving. And their conclusion from the study was this, that a state of unforgiveness is a little bit like carrying a heavy burden, a burden that victims bring with them when they navigate the physical world. Forgiveness can actually lighten the burden. So again, what if you just dropped it off here today, but if we just left it in the room?Speaker 2:
New Testament has a bunch of words for forgive, but Jesus, his story, he uses this words a fee AME. I love this word for forgiveness because what the word actually means is to send away, to send away what, what, what if we tried to do that? What if this hold it has on you mom, dad, whatever. What if we just sent it away?Speaker 2:
Forgiveness is actually sending the hurt, the pain, the betrayal away from who you are. It's letting it go. What if you just did that today? What if you sent it away from your life? Would you be in a better place if you knew how to do that or could do that? Here's a question. Would you be a better parent? If you could do that, would you be a better spouse? Would would you be a better friend if you could just send it away, would you with those you love be in a better place? Practically speaking, I would say there are sort of two truths because this idea and this desire to send it away in this desire to drop it right here is one thing. Being able to do it as another. So I just have two thoughts for you as you processed that. Here's the first one of forgiveness is not a feeling. Forgiveness is not a feeling. I feel like people are struggling and they're praying and they're sweat blood and they fast and you know they rubbed themselves the oils or whatever they do to try to get to this point where you're trying to forgive and her seat and achieved some forgiveness nirvana. But forgiveness actually isn't a feeling. Sending away is an act of your will. It's something you and I decide to do. We're going to send this away and it happens and we are so dead gum tired of misplaced anger of people. We love the most. It happens when fear is our constant companion. Fear of rejection, fear of hurt, fear of victimization. It happens when the bitterness in our hearts is so strong. We can't love anything. It happens when, when the imprisonment from some hurt we experienced or we caused is so profound that we get to the point you just Lord, forgive, just send it away. They helped me to send away. And how does that happen?Speaker 3:
For me, in part, it happens when our realize of how much I had to be forgiven for. Because if you hurt me, all I can think about is how much you've hurt me. I can't think about anyone that I've heard. I just think about how much you've hurt me and you're a jerk for it. But I forget that I've got the gift of jerk to the Psalm has said it a little better than I just did. Um, when the Psalm has said, uh, he does not punish us for all of our sins. He does not deal harshly with us as we deserve. Aren't you grateful for that? So God has forgiven me for good many things. As I was speaking to my uninvited guests that particular Sunday, the overwhelming thought for me was how God has blessed me, how God has washed my feet, if you will, even though he knew that these very feet would cause him pain, even though he knew these very feet would make decisions. I'm not sure how much longer I can do this. It's kind of like an ab workout. But these very feeds, you know would please very feet would cause relationship pain and regret and draw trauma. He knew these very feet with deceive. So here's kind of where I am on this. I sometimes action goes before feeling, sometimes we decide to do something and while my feelings were all over the map that day I stood up and embrace that person. And then when it finished, that person invited me and my family to visit them in their house. And this leads me to the second truth. Forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgiveness is not forgetting. You see, a memory can be a friend and an enemy. Christians aren't called to forget what someone said or what someone did. Just because you are choosing to forgive doesn't mean you stick your head back into that situation. Do you follow? Just because you forgive someone doesn't mean you should go home and let them pound on you a bit more. Just because you forgive someone doesn't mean who betrayed you that you should throw your trust all after that person again. That's not wise. That's like the scripture says that that's stupid. It doesn't say that, but it should. I mean maybe I talk to God about it, but it just seems like that's not real bright and sometimes we think that's what Christianity is. We become these doormats for everybody else. That's not Christian. That's not biblical forgiveness. I have no need or desire to put me or my family and close relationship with that person. This is where my memory helps me and your memory helps you. It's where we begin to form boundaries to the people who have heard us. We can forgive, but that doesn't. It's not the same as trusting. We can forgive, but it doesn't mean we're going to be the best of friends. Okay. So I want to illustrate this. I invite my son to the platform. I hope he's in here. Good job, son. Thank you brother. Good, good. I'll feed you lunch. Yes. Uh, so this is my son Thomas. Yes. Yeah. He hasn't done anything but so, um, in the story that Jesus told, the man owed this impossible amount, there was just no way that he would ever be able to repay just like me, just like you when it comes to God. And so we've all hurt God. In fact, in the story that Jesus told, the man would have to work 165,000 years to pay back the great debt that he owed. And then the man goes out and he sees this guy that chose not to forgive him. He'd have to work somewhere around three and a half months using the amount that Jesus shared in this story to actually pay off his debt. And so the man who was owed 165,000 years, he forgave that debt. But when he had the guy owes him three and a half, he doesn't. And this is kind of the reality that I think we have to live with us as people. Is that how you doing? Wow. See, no matter how much, we'll never have to forgive as much as God's forgiven us ever.Speaker 3:
Because what's going to happen is we're going to mess up again here. You taught, you messed this up a little bit for me. Wait, I messed that up a little bit. This mess it up. Good for him. Do you know how to do it? If you know how to do it or don't, don't do it. Don't you can't do that. That's cheating. So it just messed it up a little. Just yeah, that's good. Yeah. Don't fix it and pass it back. Okay. That's good. Can I have it back now? Yeah, that's great. I gotta end this. Very good. Yes. And so what's gonna happen is we're going to go to the father. We're going to go to God because we've messed up our lives again, and we're going to do it over and over and over again. It's not like we just got to fix it once and it's going to be perfect. But over and over and over again, we're going to go back or cause I, God, I did it again. I've messed it up again. I've betrayed, I've heard someone, I've done a shame producing event. This never should have happened but it did. I still mess up my life. I still go through these renovations if you will. And God keeps doing his thing. He keeps forgiving over and over and over. Can you give Thomas A. Little hand? Thank you son. It doesn't matter for me and for you how often we messed it up because God keeps forgiving over and over and over again. So here's my thought. What if we said this week, this is my chance. What if the invitation that I gave you earlier to drop it all here? What if that's a real invitation? What if God has you at such a point in your life that that's time and you say, this is now my chance. And we drove down this hill today feeling like we're on as new chance. And the people that have co I should the greatest pain people that have caused the greatest hurt and that's legit. It's part of us. We get it, but we start to forgive. We start to decide to forgive will be easy.Speaker 3:
No, it won't be easy at all. It'll be very hard, but if we do it will be free. You'll be free and I think it's what God wants for you. That's what he wants from meSpeaker 1:
or thank you for these good folks. Thank you for the high honor of sharing with them today. Thank you lord for allowing us to have such an intimate conversation even in this moment about forgiveness. I know it's hard. I can't imagine lord being able to hear the prayers of people just in this room and carry the weight of those prayers and the things that we're all battling and wrestling with the people that have wronged us in the wrongs that have been committed. Lord, we're not pretending like those wrongs didn't happen. Polaroid. I do believe your scripture teaches that we can be free. I believe the opportunity to drop it right here is a real thing, and that some of us in this room can make a decision. I'm going to forgive dad. I'm going to forgive mom. I'm going to forgive the first wife. I'm going to forgive the first husband. I'm going to forgive the kid. I'm going to forgive the parent. I'm gonna forgive the person at work, and we could take this opportunity not to forget, but just to decide and just leave it here. Laura, thank you for giving us this chance. Thank you for the number of times you've actually forgiven me over and over and over again. Now, may we pass it on to those in need of our forgiveness in your name. Amen.