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Keeping Erasers Handy

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
February 16, 2021 12:00 am

Keeping Erasers Handy

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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February 16, 2021 12:00 am

When asked by His disciples how often they should forgive others, Christ answered, “seventy times seven.” In this message Stephen shows us why living by this divine equation can save a broken marriage, a struggling church, and—more importantly—a dying world.

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Our Daily Bread Ministries
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Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey

Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account same word used for the action of agape, blessed is the man who assumes literally been erased from the ledger. God's account. In other words, those who are reconciled to God through Christ and header files of sin cleared out because of his great love. Beloved your record is completely clean.

That's true for all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ.

But one of the struggles we have, as God's children is that it's not easy to extend forgiveness to other people who have wronged us carrying a grudge refusing to forgive and holding onto resentment are destructive in our counter to how God describes true love working to learn more about the relationship between love and forgiveness today. This is wisdom for the heart and Stephen's message is called keeping erasers and how you chip away at a relationship either in marriage or in ministry or industry you go from, I get lost in your is to get lost go from for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, and in sickness and in health to I despise this person and I want to leave him.

It's actually downright easy.

It all begins when a person decides to abandon agape and pursue the loves of the world you remember those gloves from earlier sessions store gay is the Greek word for love that says in general terms. I love you because you're in my family and I'm supposed to love you even I don't like you I love you. You know all sing at your funeral but out going on vacation with you. Christmas is hard enough, right. Another common word for love is for Leah which is I love you because you love everything I love we love the same music will both of the hike travel we both love crossword puzzles the same design and furniture. In fact, our initials when you put them together spell honey or sugar. Eros says I love you because you make my heart beat fast and meet my needs. Agape however is this new term found outside of Scripture, not even in one clear illustration but the pages of Scripture are filled with and this is the self less intellectual commitments of the life and heart to serve and meet the needs of another agape says I love you and will commit my heart to meeting your needs. Agape is a relationship that is laced with grace.

Agape is the church body marked with humility and deference.

Agape is a marriage without a backdoor everybody wants this kind of love the Internet chat room promised it. People are searching for it.

People want to be loved by it.

I really believe that after studying these words even further.

The that fully and Eros and Stargate are really nothing more than the longing for agape to undergird them. How come so if you have well in the next phrase of first Corinthians 13. Paul will answer that question and in the process he will deliver an assignment that effectively keeps agape alive is returning to first review 13 II warn you, this is one of the toughest assignments in the list. It's only for those who are willing to surrender to pursue this lifestyle of love this lifestyle. The Paul said at the end of chapter 12 is the most excellent pursuit of life. This is the most excellent way to live. Assignment to keeping agape alive tell you had a time is in refusing to keep score.

Paul writes in the very last phrase of verse five we left off our study. Agape does not take into account a wrong suffered by now you know why we struggle with loving like this because we naturally keep a running score, you create a metal file room where you store all the offenses and injuries and hurts and you oil hinges on those doors so they can slide open easily and often the loves of the world.

Keep a record of wrongs. Resentment has an absolutely amazing memory verb Paul uses here is actually an accounting term that refers to making entries in the ledger literally can mean to count to add up to impute to an account is one of Paul's favorite words. You could translate this particular phrase here. This way, agape. This kind of love does not keep books on evil agape refuses to tally points.

It refuses to Rick record offenses in a mental file. It refuses to keep a journal of injustices. It it refuses to maintain some some sort of silent witness against the injuries and the wounds of life. I said it would be a tough assignment. This is how you go from loving someone and wanting to leave someone to keep a list nearby. This is what breaks down relationships and friendships. Everyone in this auditorium has been hurt by some form of evil or some kind of of unkindness.

Everyone has to struggle with forgiveness. Everyone has to let go of bad memories and give up any desire or even the imagination of revenge but the truth remains naturally we we enjoy nursing old wounds. Don't wait that we enjoy nursing our wrath to keep it warm. Agape says fire.

The nurse moved her out.

She set up shop in your heart and she's doing great damage choice becoming between becoming a loving person and resentful person is found in this little phrase love does not take into account a wrong suffered a debt that you can't seem to pay off.

That wasn't yours to begin with plagues you a parent or a boss or a coach that was unfair prejudice or partiality that brought you pain a board member. The major life miserable jury that found the innocent guilty guilty innocent a business partner, failing to act within integrity and smearing your reputation a Dr. making the wrong diagnosis. The other guy or gal at work the got the credit you deserved a neighborhood treat you rudely friend who turned on a child or parent who won't speak to you. True love refuses the urge to write that stuff down for keeps.

It will not take into account all wrong suffered, it will not put it into the ledger and what this means is you gotta keep a mental eraser handy big one.

And you gotta be ready to use it often. Daily as a matter fact sometimes moment by moment. Otherwise, your ledger will easily fill up over time and every day there are new additions of wrong that could be added to the list. That ledger fills up this assignment here is not difficult, it is impossible were always losing our racer or wears down. We have plenty of pencil left all of that scene where Peter asked the Lord, Lord, how often should a man forgive someone who offensive seven times. Peter's patting himself on the back because the rabbis of Christ's day were teaching that a righteous man would forgive an offense from the same person three times so Peter doubles it throws one in for good measure, and says Lord you know I said I suppose it were following you and you are the Messiah that we auto whittle.

You forgive people seven times at the Goodwin.

The Lord said to him, I tell you forgive that man 707. Tennessee Peter tonality, theft, and 490 times. No wonder Luke in his gospel account records that immediately after Jesus Christ said that all of them said to the Lord, Lord, increase our faith is the biblical way of saying you got to be getting 490 times the Lord point was this don't carry a calculator known as as soon as you hit 498. That's it were done.

No forgive. He is saying as a way of life.

Can you imagine the same person offending you in the same way 490 times. The point is, don't keep a record don't hold a grudge as a matter of practice, don't don't add up this account in your heart is a matter of surrender to the Spirit of God and of the disciples were thinking probably then how the world we can get it eraser that big demonstrate that kind of grace and forgiveness will make erasers that big in Galilee, so the Lord will go on and he will tell them in that account that when you recognize what God has chosen to forget regarding your own account. It'll actually help you in forgiving others because no one is sinned against you as much as you have sinned against him. You see, this is the gospel of agape use the same word by the way that he used for screen is 13 doesn't ledger some offense using aromas for a listen to this amazing erasure of redemption. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account same word used for the action of agape prescriptions 13 five Blessed is the man that's an understatement.

Blessed is the man whose sins have literally been erased from the ledger of God's accounting will use the same verb again when he wrote to the Corinthians in figure 519. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their sins against them. In other words, those who are reconciled to God through Christ and header files of sin cleared out. Beloved your record is completely clean because of his great love and atoning for your record of sin fact. However, as I thought about this.

The ledger isn't completely clear. If you take a closer look in the place of sins which we have committed against God is the deposit of Christ's righteousness, which has been imputed same word translated little differently to our account. The same accounting word the righteousness of Christ has been credited.

It has entered into our personal account in the ledger of God. Romans 411. That's like taking your checkbook and in discovering as you look at it you don't have any money you have to use your imagination for this illustration okay your flat broke and then you go to the bank to ask them if they'll not charge you overdraft fees because it took three days before you realize you were overdrawn speaking hypothetically here just coming to my mind, but the bank manager comes out shake your hand gives you a handful of candy smiling.

That's never happened before and you say what will what you so happy that he's is all listen. Evidently Bill Gates got your account number and transferred into your empty account. All of his wealth.

Imagine now the readout fresh from the teller. The Baker standard right there you see a deposit billion dollars plus old by this you can drive right past the dollar store now you go straight to target your loaded with cash. Imagine that. Listen Jesus Christ credited to your account the wealth of his righteousness. You didn't have any.

All you had. And that account was sin. He withdrew that and paid all the administrative fees against you, and then he deposited, he transferred his righteousness.

He imputed it. He credited it. He deposited into your account same word used in first Corinthians 13 only ask a practical question does this forgiving mean forgetting can anyone truly forget offenses and insults hurts and pains. No, Paul doesn't say look again and for strength.

It doesn't say don't ever get hurt, don't be offended. Ignore the pain. He says keep your eraser moving choose to love, which means choose to forget that's different. Webster believer caught the biblical nuance of this word when he defined the word forget.

Listen to this, to cease to remember to leave behind to fail to think of to neglect either carelessly or willfully to cease thinking of something you can be an act of the will. This is the willing forgetfulness of offenses we tend to record our offenses in granite and our blessings in sand and what great cost to our peace of mind to the joy of our salvation. When freedom writing specifically to a church setting, which of course works in other settings, but he says this where love abounds in a Fellowship of Christian many small offenses and even some large one are overlooked and forgotten. But where love is lacking. Every word is viewed with suspicion.

Every action is liable to misunderstanding and conflicts about works not just in the church, but in the home and the marriage on the campus in the shop in the neighborhood and in the board room. Can we learn how to love like this. Yes fact it's no coincidence that the spirit of God would inspire Peter of all apostles, he would be the one to write, keep fervent in your love for one another because love agape covers a multitude of what of sins say, but I just can't forget. I just can't seem to cover it up your right you can't. Agape is impossible. This assignment might be the toughest one in your life for you to surrender to the spirit who will himself accomplish it in your life. Why, because he happens to be a great forget her. Hebrews chapter 8 verse 12 speaks of him who chooses to remember our transgressions no more. That means he's choosing to forget he's ceasing to remember willfully he's choosing to neglect the thought of the record of our sin.

Jeremiah 3134 God says, I will forgive their iniquity and their sin, and I will remember no are God. Forget anything though choosing to act as if the ledger is indeed in fact clear and clean.

Beloved, we allow God to do the erasing. When we surrender to his spirit. When we refuse to keep score. We actually end up winning the only piece joy, release freedom, we ultimately win the one who keeps a list will only break his heart over and over again he's going to relive that offense is gonna feel over and over again. The pain of that insult or that injury.

Agape is the key to escape the prison cell of our own making. That leads us to bitterness and resentment. Agape is the way out is the way it is. The way up is the only way every week. This author wrote Kevin Tunnell was required to mail one dollar to a family he'd hurt deeply.

This article read they had sued him for $1.5 million but settled for $936 to be paid to them one dollar at a time. The family was to receive the payments over the course of 18 years, they didn't want to forget what he done and gotten drunk and drove his car into their daughters car killing her on the first Friday of January, Tunnell was convicted of manslaughter spent time in jail seven years campaigning against drunken driving. Even though the courts required only one year.

He added six years to it, but he often often forgot to send his dollar to this family and time four times. The family took him to court. He insisted he wasn't defined order. He even offered to give the family to boxes of checks made out covering the payments until the year 2001. An extra year thrown in. They denied his request, they didn't want him to forget they didn't want to forgive wasn't about money. It was a weekly reminder. They wanted to haunt him with 936 reminders over the course of 18 years to haunt him wherever he lived wherever he went, that he had taken their daughters life there would be no forgetting, and certainly no forgiving. This author asked few people would question the resentment of this family and their grief but are 936 payments enough when they receive the final payment will they be able to put the matter to rest. Who hasn't really been able to forget his 18 years worth of restitution sufficient, the answer would be no this family had sentenced themselves to a life of private hunting. They were the ongoing victims and every Friday for 18 years. I suffered all over again. Their hatred toward this young man. I read that I thought of how grateful we ought to be ladies and gentlemen, that God doesn't require us to pay back our offenses against him, one dollar at a time, one prayer the time. One act of penance time. This is the agape of God against whom we have sinned. This is the forgiveness of Jesus Christ whom we put to death.

This is the amazing nature of him choosing to forget the weight of our offenses that it was my sin. All the blasts of this glorious thought my sin not in part but the whole is nailed to the cross and I can forget about it.

I bear it no more praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul, listen the willingness to accept this assignment of agape and live within a racer and he comes only when we stay near the cross of Christ recognize our own sin which he has chosen to forget and imitate without Christ, we cannot love like can't even begin. We cannot experience true love to we experience the love of Christ and then to demonstrate that love requires surrender to the spirit of God toward those who have sinned against close with this prose we are most like wild animals when we devoured we are most like men criticized condition. We are most like Christ. When we forget she is there anyone you need to forgive.

I trust God will help you apply this lesson today. You've been listening to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. I'm Scott Wiley Stevens working through a series on love from first Corinthians 13. Today's lesson is called keeping erasers handy. You know it's always encouraging for us to know that your listening. We enjoy having you introduce yourself to us. You can send Stephen a note if you address it to wisdom for the hearts.

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