How Much More?
Delivered By
From Pastor David
Delivered On
July 3, 2016
How Much More?

   In a perfect world, we could live together without any disagreements. Unfortunately this isn’t a perfect world; it’s a fallen one.  We hear of atrocities taking place in our state, our country and all over the world.  Conflict is as real as the breath we breathe.  Not only is conflict “out there,” conflict is right here in the church as we see our share of conflict between members. We hear about it every day, pastors argue, professing Christians hold grudges against their brothers and sisters, and Churches split. These are things that infect our fellowship, whether we want to face it or believe it.  We might even wonder why these things happen, and we struggle with how to deal with them.  

A few years ago a person came to me and the hurt was very evident.  He was feeling hurt and angry because of something a fellow believer had said to him.  When he finally confided this to me, he said, “I just hate them so much.” 

This is nothing new.  The disciple Peter had been in a similar situation. Look at what Jesus said to him, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?"  Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22) 

Thank goodness that Jesus didn’t stop there.  He continued by telling the parable of the Servant and the Master.  It begins with a kind man who dismisses his servant’s enormous debt, “"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.  He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.  "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'  "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.  When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.  "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.  Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?'  In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.  "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."  (Matthew 18:28-35)

Friends… …as Christians, we are commanded to forgive those who wrong us, not just because God wants us to love one another, but because he first loved us.  When we really think about this, God’s love isn’t determined by who we are or what we think, say or do.  God loves us because that is who God is.  

When we are upset with someone, how do we determine what we do?  Do we go to God first, or do we let our human nature burst forth with vengeance?  We need to do as Jesus did and always go to God in prayer and seek His guidance, not our so-called natural response.  To pray first and allow God’s patience to hold us, then we can follow Jesus’ prescription to go to that person with whom we have a difference, praying that both of us can settle the disagreement or concern.  (see Matthew 18:15-18)

As we begin a new day in faith with Jesus, let’s consider if there is anyone in our life we are struggling to forgive?  If so, remember the parable of the King and his servant.  Praying that I continue to grow in peace, patience and love…

Pastor David.

Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.      ---Marianne Williamson