5/1/2011 Sermon: "Receiving Forgiveness"
Posted 1st May 2011 at 12:07 AM by eyeofthestormministries
Welcome friends! God Bless and welcome to Eye of the Storm Ministries! I am so glad that you have stopped by to read today's message. If you haven’t already, please visit our website at: www.eyeofthestormministries.org and sign up for our exclusive weekly email bulletin which is packed full of information as well as music!
"Father, I pray in the mighty name of Jesus that you are with everyone affected by the tornadoes that have struck our nation this past week as well as continue to be with the people in Japan. Bless those people and allow them to find strength and courage in this time of need. I pray for everyone that is in contact with this Ministry and pray that it continue to reach people all over the world.” Amen!
In Johnstown, Pa., a tool-supply company received in the mail a $45 check to pay for a stolen hammer. The hammer was stolen more than 20 years ago. According to news reports, the check was accompanied by a letter that said, "Enclosed is $45 to cover the hammer plus a little extra for interest. I'm sorry I stole it, but have changed my ways." The company donated the money to the Salvation Army. This can teach us two lessons. First, it can teach us how debilitating unforgiven sin is. It can haunt us for years. This story also can teach us that it is never too late to repent, change your life and receive forgiveness. (J. Michael Shannon)
When we suffer from shame and unforgiven sin as a believer, we tend to have it riding on our shoulders weighing us down with unneeded weight and worry. We ask the Lord for forgiveness but we miss another question that we must ask. We must learn when we ask forgiveness from our Lord we must also ask to receive the forgiveness He has to offer us. Once we do our sins are forgiven and we can put it past us. The following message will discuss this in detail and will teach us as believers to learn to let go by receiving forgiveness.
1. Seeking God.
As believers, we must continually seek God every day as He is our direction and personal life coach. If you turn in your Bible to Deuteronomy 4:29, it teaches us, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” We must learn to seek Him with all we have because He is never going to leave us nor forsake us. When we accept Jesus into our hearts and believe that He died for us and paid for our sins in full, we have started a personal relationship with Him and that is such an honor and one that will remain as long as we do our part. The Bible teaches us in 2 Chronicles 15:2, “…The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” The Lord never changes and is constantly there for us as long we reach out to Him as He yearns to be close to us and be loved by us with all of our hearts. Deuteronomy 6:5, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your Soul and with all your strength.” If you remember the Michelangelo painting that is on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel of the Lord’s hand giving life to Adam, you will notice that God’s finger is outstretched and pointing in the direction of Adam’s hand and finger and Adam’s hand and finger is pointing downward away from God and is completely lifeless. This painting to me is metaphoric of the relationship that we have with our Lord Jesus. He is always there waiting for us to reach out to Him and even though at times we may not be reaching out to Him, we know in our hearts that His hand will never stop reaching for us. Psalm 9:10, “Those who know your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” We must place our entire trust in Him always and forever.
2. Asking for forgiveness.
Even though we are believers of Christ, we will not live perfect lives and will stumble from time to time. The only perfect person is God in Heaven and we cannot equally match Him with perfection. That is why Christ came to this earth to allow us to be saved and receive salvation through Him. Romains 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Hallelujah! What an amazing scripture and one that we must take to heart every single day and especially when we mess up from time to time in our daily lives. Whenever we do make a mistake, we must ask for forgiveness from God and repent. Just as in the opening illustration, this person that stole the hammer had that on his mind for many years and felt complete conviction because of the sin he committed. This is a perfect example of the power of unforgiven sin and failure to ask and seek forgiveness. We have many other problems in our lives that are more important than carrying around the extra baggage of unforgiven sin. We worship a gracious and forgiving God and one that we must continually confess our wrongdoings too and ask for forgiveness. Psalm 130:4, “But with you there is forgiveness…”
3. Receiving Forgiveness.
After we ask for forgiveness from our Lord, we must also pray and ask to receive that forgiveness. Many believers miss this step and it is a crucial one to allow us to “let-go” of the sin and extra baggage that we carry for no reason at all. We must learn to receive forgiveness and “let-go” of the things in our past because we can’t change them once we have committed them. A great scripture about this can be found in Job 11:14-15, “If you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.” If we “put away” the sin forever, we will be able to live with zero shame and stand firm as well as will live a more joyful and fruitful life in Christ. Even through adversity, we must continue to remain faithful and trust in the Lord at all times. Acts 10:43, “All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”
In closing, I would like to encourage everyone reading this message to really be serious about asking and receiving forgiveness and most importantly, letting go of the past. Just like the man in our opening story, attempted and successfully seeked forgiveness and sent a $45 check for the hammer he had stolen. The company obviously forgave him because the money was donated to the Salvation Army. We must remember the saying, “to forgive is to forget” because with God that is exactly how it is. Once we ask and receive forgiveness, the sin is history and that is exactly where we need to leave it. I am going to leave us with a scripture that will give us reassurance that God forgives and remembers our sin no more; Jeremiah 31: “…for I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Amen!
If you are reading this message today and haven't started a relationship with Jesus Christ, I want to give you an opportunity to make him your Lord and savior. I promise, it will be the best thing you have ever done. If you do not know Jesus and you want him to come into your heart and change you for the rest of your life, please pray this prayer:
"God, please forgive me. I have sinned and deserve to die. I place my trust in your Son Jesus and accept Him as the sacrifice for my sins. Christ Jesus, I invite you to live within me as my personal savior and Lord forever. Amen!
If you prayed that simple prayer and meant it with all of your heart, you are now a born-again Christian and I want to personally welcome you to the family. Congratulations on starting your new Journey in Christ, and I would like to personally hear from you.
Please send me a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our ministry will be here for you every step of the way!
God Bless, Pastor Michael
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