LIVING WITH YOURSELF: “Forgive Yourself”

Sermon Series: Living with Yourself
Sermon Title: Forgive Yourself
Scripture: Psalm 38
Matthew 22:37-39:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
What does unforgiveness feel/look like?
-Occupies my thoughts
-Changes how I view myself as compared to others
-Keeps me from doing things that I should feel free to do
-Hinders relationships with people and God
Psalm 38
Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. 2 Your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down on me. 3 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin. 4 My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. 5 My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. 6 I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. 7 My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. 8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart. 9 All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. 10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. 11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away. 12 Those who want to kill me set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they scheme and lie. 13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear, like the mute, who cannot speak; 14 I have become like one who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply. 15 Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. 16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.” 17 For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. 18 I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. 19 Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous. 20 Those who repay my good with evil lodge accusations against me, though I seek only to do what is good. 21 Lord, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. 22 Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.
Forgiveness is not an emotion, it is the reconciling of a debt. Either the debt is paid, or the debt is forgotten. It’s a fact.
Paul writes to the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 6:9-10)
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
All of us fit into that list somewhere. But keep reading because Paul goes on to say “That’s who some of you were.” That’s not a statement of their improving goodness. That statement is about the grace of God. The Corinthian church was not defined by the past. Was it there? Sure. Was it who they were?
David writes in Psalm 103:10-12
. . . he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
1 John 4:16
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
What does forgiveness feel/look like?
-I can move on mentally from my mistakes
-Confidence in who I am becoming
-Embracing the life God has set before me
-Unburdened in my relationships
Who are we to hold things against ourselves that God has already handled?

Take God at His Word

Sermon Series: Take God at His Word
Sermon Title: Take God at His Word
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:9-11
Almost everyone has a fear of not having enough money – either to meet their current need or for their future needs. Inside most of us is a unspoken thought that says “Lord, I’m scared to give!”
God’s answer/response to our fears is that we must not rely on ourselves to provide for our needs!
We are to trust God to provide for all our needs (including financial).
Two foundational truths about God that we must first understand before we can start even thinking about the topic of giving:
1. Take God at His Word.
Hebrews 11:6 “6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.“
Is God trustworthy? Do I trust Him? Do I trust Him completely?
2. He is the Source of all we need
God says that He will provide for us.
Luke 12:22-31 – Do not worry about what you will eat, drink, wear, etc. God knows you need these things.
Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
2 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
Two laws or precepts about giving:
1. The law of the harvest: “You reap what you sow”.
2. God rewards the givers
Matthew 6:3-4: “3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Our fears about being able to provide for our needs and about not having enough for the future are real. Telling ourselves we should not feel that way is just foolish and doesn’t help us one bit.
What does help is to walk in the ways in which God has told us to walk: trust completely in His infinite love for us and in His promises that He will provide for our needs.
And it is from that position that we can truly give – give secretly and joyously and generously from what God has given us!

Take God at His Word: “You are the Investment”

You are the investment.
Luke 16:1-15
1. Decide: Who will you be?
2. Give today.
3. Plan to give.
Luke 16:1-15
The Parable of the Shrewd Manager
16 Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
3 “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— 4 I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
5 “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 “‘Nine hundred gallons[a] of olive oil,’ he replied.
“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’
7 “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’
“‘A thousand bushels[b] of wheat,’ he replied.
“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’
8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.