His First Sermon: Forgiveness

Sunday at church I was inspired and saw things through a different looking glass. Allow me to share…

Sunday I settled in the church pew and eagerly awaited the pastor West Hall Baptist had finally called.

Pastor D’Amico started in Job 3:1. And he was talking about when we’re hurt. When someone else hurts us, wrongs us. I think all of us, from time to time, struggle with forgiveness. Perhaps someone has hurt you with their words. A person’s actions can sometimes cause grave consequences. It’s the right thing to do, to forgive someone. Saying the words, “I forgive you… I forgive him… I forgive her…” are often said, but how heartfelt are the words?

In many cases, it’s down right difficult to forgive someone. Truly forgive them. And when I think I have found forgiveness, and felt at peace about the issue, it never fails someone questions or brings up a subject that raises anger and contempt in me and I’m sure I’m not alone.

I always come back to this scripture, Matthew 6:14-15:
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Does this passage mean that if I can’t forgive a man’s actions against me or my family, or sometimes its a man’s lack of action that hurt as well, that I’ll go to Hell? If I believe in Christ, that He died on the cross for my sins, that He is sitting at God’s right hand, that if I can’t forgive someone of His sin that caused me or a loved one pain, that I won’t spend eternity with Him?

It was a question with out an answer and it’s been dangling in front of me for longer than I care to admit.

Back to Sunday. Pastor D’Amico opens up with Job 3:1-5. Job cursed the day of his birth. Job was hurt.

When Jesus was on the cross, He said, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”
Then darkness fell upon the earth. Darkness = Separation from God. The Spirit is no longer One at the time of darkness.

Matthew 6:22-23
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
If we don’t take our hurt to Jesus, a darkness will settle in our heart.

It’s all about the cross. The cross of Jesus Christ keeps everything in the right perspective. The answer to my question, to your question maybe, about forgiving someone is this:

And Pastor D’Amico put it so simply and beautifully – “Take the hurts of our lives to the cross of Jesus Christ… WE are unable to forgive – only THROUGH Jesus Christ can we forgive them.”

He’s always there, isn’t He? Always listening to our questions. Cradling us when we cry. Alone or in the middle of the crowd, the Spirit is within us, never leaving us. He is at the right hand. Interceding for us. He is the light in the darkness. Through Him, is forgiveness for me, you and for that person who wronged you.

It can be as easy as it sounds.

We must lay our hurts at the foot of the cross, and find the forgiveness He offers.

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