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May 10, 2019 3:00 am
We have looked at the model of a gauze winner as example of the life of Joseph, the quality of the characteristics of God's words in the motivator last message we looked at how God's winners must forgive.
They have no other option but to be forgiving people. That is what distinguishes believers from the rest of the world.
That is what makes us different from the secular society that what makes us different from the humanist society and we saw six things in the very last message number one in forgiving Joseph did not overlook the wrong that his brothers did to him. Secondly, we saw that in forgiving Joseph did not excuse or whitewash the wrong that was done to him. Further, we saw that in forgiving Joseph did not try to psychoanalyze the wrongdoer. Fourthly, we saw that in forgiving Joseph did not put the blame on himself as so many of us do physically, we saw that in forgiving Joseph waited for their brothers, repentance, and lastly we saw that in forgiving Joseph raised the wrong that was done to him. We saw that as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have no choice in the question of forgiveness. We forgive because we are forgiven. Did you know that is really easy to spot an unforgiving Christian.
It really doesn't take long to discover an unforgiving Christian should only undefeated Christian and I'll show you an unforgiving Christian, surely, and enslaved to addiction. A Christian is enslaved to addiction and I'll show you an unforgiving Christian should only a prideful Christian and I show you an unforgiving Christian surely a Christian who is uptight, unhappy, supersensitive and resentful in his life or her life, and I show you an unforgiving Christian. Surely somebody with a critical spirit in his heart to heart and I show you an unforgiving Christian why because critical spirit does not come just from nowhere. Christian believers invite the critical spirit into the life when they cultivate the spirit of unforgiveness. It happens it always happens when unforgiveness is cultivated in the heart always invites his twin brother, and that is a critical spirit their kissing cousins. They got together how to develop the spirit of forgiveness. What it might take time and I'm not going to tell you glibly that is easy, but it begins with publishing in your heart and in my heart. It begins with a determination. It begins with the decision of the mind and the decision of the heart and the decision of the will that I do want to forgive and God will do the rest is all he's asking you to do.
In fact, to be blunt about it, there is no use praying and say, God, help me to forgive God help you to forgive if there is no determination on purpose in your heart that you want.
Forgive, what do I mean by this. Well, if you turn with me to the New Testament reading of Mark chapter 9 beginning at verse 14 oh Lord, to 29 there is a magnificent story. There of Jesus healing of a little boy. The man comes to him and he said he'll my boy Jesus. I don't know whether you can hear my boy are not in Jesus said what you mean I can't of course I can. Of course I want to. Everything is possible to those who believe. Do you believe in has a question.
This man, like all of us stumbled all over the place and that he come up with the statement he said will, I believe, help my unbelief on the surface it looks like doubletalk. What is this, I believe, help my unbelief. You believe without you I'm in one way or the other.
So what did Jesus say go home and when you have enough faith come back. So what he said not sure I could go home.
I get a set of tapes by Dr. super Dr. unforgiveness. And when you listen to them come back and then I'll take care of your boy normally get yourself a good book on faith and then come back in and I hear you bought none of that was said by the Lord Jesus, you know what Jesus understood perfectly.
The deep desire in this man's heart. Jesus understood the imperfect yet determined faith of this man Jesus understood this man's willingness to believe his willingness to be willing to believe and that's what I mean by the desire and the will to forgive.
It is saying, Lord, I am willing I am determined and purposed in my heart. Empower me to forgive Lord I genuinely desire your power to enable me to forgive and the rest is up to him and the rest will be done by him. That's a step he is asking us to take you know, I hesitated a great deal of sharing this with you always hesitate the kind of open my heart and be vulnerable.
It's not always easy but in the sense it is a representation of where I am in my life. My first-hand experience with that whole question of forgiveness back in 1972 while I was going through my similar training it came to my attention that a man in authority was trying to persuade the academic committee to stop me from continuing on, that was very hard for me to take that point of my schooling. This man is never taught me anything, has nothing to do with me. I have not had dealings with him whatsoever, and therefore that made me furious.
It made me angry. Obviously he failed in his attempt. That's why I'm here today and now is my very good friends like you became a very good friend. Two years later I'm going to tell you this.
How do you react every time I saw this man, this man that he was about to ruin my future ministry.
This man was about to destroy a very important part of my calling to preach the gospel in my training every time I saw this man I wanted to pin into the wall and then pray for forgiveness later. I was 24 years of age and here I am being trained for gospel ministry. I knew what the Scripture said about forgiveness, but that's about it. God would use this experience in my life to teach me something upon which is built. The rest of my ministry, he began to teach me not the theology of forgiveness, but the practice of forgiveness and are two different things. Trust me, you know the Scripture of my heart.
You can know all the passages about forgiveness of my heart. You can recite the words of the Lord's prayer.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us and you can decide at times in the day, you can become a seminary professor be a famous preacher, but if you do not understand the practice of forgiveness. I want to tell you all means nothing. I remember one time when I go to prayer and start praying in restaurant know Jesus that I've got to pray for my enemies and pray for this man so out of obligation start praying for me. What happened as I begin to pray for him. I find my spirits filled with anger. I lost my joy.
I had no peace of mind which literally ruined my prayer life and hampered my effectiveness in ministry and affected my demeanor.
It's solid every area of my life until several months later. In this kind of miserable condition. I knew it was not right.
Lord Conniff whispered in my head. You want to learn the practice of forgiveness. I'm not sure this is the voice of the Lord. Four months was this problem is them you in fact I was like that old timer who was so stubborn was riding his mule. You know the story, and he is riding his mule was plowing his field and was pulling on the rain so hard and literally ripping the jaw of the mule and finally a nearby farmer yelled at him and said look is a neighbor. He said I don't want to but in but you know you can save yourself a lot of trouble by just saying G and how instead of jerking so hard on the reins of the stubborn old timer, wiped his brow on this idea.
I know about this here mule kick me six years ago Anand spoken Thompson's but you know what this is how we react when we hold resentment toward somebody. This is how we react when we cultivate the spirit of unforgiveness in our lives.
This is how we react when we allow the rest of anger will allow the rest of hatred to corrode our inner souls. This is how we react when we allow the poison of my last deceived into our inner being and other some Christians who go to church Sunday after Sunday and walk out with that same unforgiving spirit with which they came there some Christians who come to the Lord's table in the walkout with the same unforgiving spirit with which the king will and fury want to know how the Lord finally got me to do with this thing, I'll be happy to move on but I tell you what the Lord had done in my life became the pivotal foundation upon my whole life, ministry is growing every day. With the way the world got me to deal with. This was not easy.
It was not easy and I want to tell you that exercising the spirit of forgiveness is not easy.
I began to sense the spirit of God to be saying to me invite this man in your home with his wife to have dinner with you. Is that really the voice of the Lord on choice of flesh sentimentality. The Lord said to.
It took me a while but I knew at the end that I have no option. So with the help of my gracious wife. We did it not incising to the men of that time that night. I didn't say anything to him except during the night. Couple of times confessing to you on the why. I just hope that he gets choked in his food. I didn't say anything. The next time I saw him all the next time all the next time or the next time what happened that night, is that the Lord taught me the practice of forgiveness long time later already passed successfully all my external examinations.
One day he said to me said you know I owe you an apology needed an explanation, but before he could finish a sentence I said to him I said I forgave you the night that you and your wife came and had dinner with us. I had to obey God. I don't have an option. I do not do what is pleasing to the flesh. What is pleasing to me. I do, what is the God call me did I do know what is not natural because Paul said to Timothy that we believe is in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are part of the divine nature. A man therefore we do the supernatural and not the natural God is a vast one got taught me from that experience is that always forgive never hold a grudge. Never hold a grudge. I think it's in a much larger scale. This has happened in Joseph's life. He had certainly forgiven his brothers long before he saw the again how do I know that because he never would've made it that far.
If he did not have the forgiving spirit. She would've never survived the slavery he would've never survived the injustice he would never survive the imprisonment. He would never have survived the disillusionment. If you have not forgiven his brothers, but when he faced those Richard brothers when he faced him after so many year's he had to deal with the mind full of memories in the heart full of painful feelings and I is most likely filled with bitter tears. I want to ask you today and be honest with yourself because the spirit of unforgiveness tormented her for long enough spirit of unforgiveness stolen your peaceful long enough as the spirit of unforgiveness. Rob you of your joy long enough as the spirit of unforgiveness imprisoned you behind bars for long enough to hug the father of the boy in Mark nine you can say Lord I believe, help my unbelief. It all begin with the decision of the heart and determination of the will and the rest is up to God, he will intervene supernaturally. You work it out.
What Jesus wants is our willingness because Jesus knew that our willingness is the key.
Some of you perhaps are unable to forgive someone because you have not asked God to forgive you. You have been deflecting you have been deflecting the attention and the searching light of the Holy Spirit off yourself. You have been deflecting your need for forgiveness, thinking that by carrying this garage thinking that by blaming somebody else.
You don't need to ask God to forgive you and by so doing you really have minimize you need to be forgiven. You have convinced yourself that those who have hurt you so deeply those who have abused you so severely those who have wronged you so badly they are the guilty ones you have stuff to ask God to forgive you the truth is because of that very thing you are unable to experience God's forgiveness you are unable to enjoy and revel in God's forgiveness you are unable to fully participate in the joy of God's forgiveness. All because of your on willingness to forgive please him the right. It is not only forgive so that you might be forgiven, but also forgive because you forgiven now longer have a word with those who have difficulty forgiving himself. In other some Christians who would say I know that God has forgiven me.
I know that I have forgiven others, but all I have things in my life that I cannot forgive myself and saw you go through life beating themselves up.
They go through life flagellating themselves.
They go through life doing dependence of perpetual regret and they live the Christian life on two cylinders instead of eight. Look with me at verse five of Genesis 45. Here you going to find one of the most significant dramas of this whole story of Joseph. Joseph knew full well he knew his brothers. He was young when he left, but he knew his brothers well enough to knew his brothers are going to have a hard time forgiving themselves to you that they don't have a hard time accepting his forgiveness. He knew there were prideful and you will find it difficult to receive his forgiveness and forgive themselves and rejoice in it. Joseph knowing all of that. Therefore, in an unbelievable incorruptible unselfishness. He went out of his way to comfort them. Listen to what he said in verse five he said do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here. He cared more for their feelings than his own.
Yet in spite of all this assurance please brothers lived for 17 years to sleep but this is a long time 17 years never forgiving themselves. You want to see it right there in the Scripture when the father died. Chapter 50 when Jacob died in know what they said they said Joseph now is going to take revenge on Todd Betty's dad why because for those 17 years. I really have never forgiven themselves 17 years and after all magnanimous and the forgiveness of their brother in the practical demonstration of his forgiveness. After all, that they were living with the guilt of not being able to forgive themselves and I did not think that his forgiveness is going to extend beyond Jacob's life. In verse 17 of chapter 50 Genesis Joseph was so shocked at the lack of trust in his forgiveness there in verse 17 of affair. He worked for exist, please listen for second.
Isn't that exactly how so many Christian St., God with all of his promises of forgiveness with all of his assurance of his full pardon, yet we go through life unable to forgive ourselves. Consequently, we indulge in self belittling, we indulge in self punishment we indulge in self atonement.
Joseph went over his brothers distrust of his forgiveness.
You know what I believe in a very careful to say things about God, but I believe God is not honored. I believe God is grieved when we go about life itself. Flagellating Jesus doesn't want us to be bound by the spirit of unforgiveness.
Jesus wants to set us free will set us free to love him. He wants to set us free to sign them. He wants to set us free to fire him. He wants to set us free to praise him.
Once a set us free to tell about him in word and action tell you is I conclude this message only just magnify something I said my last message. Unforgiveness, while forgiveness takes place in the heart between you and the Lord an inappropriate time, you offered it to the offender. When they asked for. Yet it does not mean that free conciliation is always possible please him right on this one. Many Christians put themselves under the terrible load of guilt when they forgive someone having genuine truly forgiven someone the other person does not respond in kind. That is not your responsibility. That is not your responsibility. Many preachers erroneously preached that all forgiveness must be culminated in reconciliation of necessarily so. Life is not always that simple and you cannot be responsible for the reaction of somebody else, as between them and God. Joseph forgave his brothers and he demonstrated that the symbol of naming his sons. The first one was Manasseh. God had made me forget and then another one was Ephraim God made me fruitful. He dealt with the past. He forgave his brothers. Some will say well really that was forced upon Joseph P. He didn't have a choice in the matter really. Maybe in the first 13 years but did you know that usually the Prime Minister of Egypt to run your country. He could've sent Air Force One on horses Air Force to got to Canaan with Pharaoh's chariots pick them up.
No questions asked during the seven years he reigned even another two years nine years.
Altogether, he could've done it, but he didn't. Why because Joseph believes in God's timing. He believed in the sovereignty of God. He waited for God's timing, not his own healing to force the issue. God's timeless in God's time is always the right time God's time is always the right time God's time is always the fullness of time.
Don't try to force God's time or confuse it with your own time you forgive and let God bring about reconciliation in his time, you purpose in your heart. Let God do the rest going to do some self-examination between you and the Lord is the Spirit of God has moved in your heart to some of you might say Michael. The reason I'm not able to forgive this because I really haven't come to God in humility and brokenness and ask him to forgive me. You can do that today if it is a desire of your heart to ask God to forgive you. It is your decision as between you and God. Someone say Michael. The reason I have not been able to forgive is because I have not really purposed in my heart I thought I have, but we have not purposed in my heart I did not cry out to God and say, Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.
I believe you can do that today.
Father, we are so blessed to have that power.
And yet we deny it in our life we don't comprehend it.
Most times that supernatural power that is given to us, the Lord Jesus Christ himself said greater things you shall do because I go to the father I pray now on the part of the Holy Spirit chains might be broken spirit of forgiveness be delivered for Lord Jesus just as you deliver that little boy that you will deliver your servants from the dumb spirit of unforgiveness for your name is power. Jesus asked why people who don't know you don't want to hear that name because your name is power. The cost of them is an anathema to assess the power thank you that you not always only always answer our prayers with you answer them perfectly because we pray in Jesus, thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way.
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