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Men’s Group Accountability Questions

 

                      MEN’S ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS

 

  1. Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?
  2. Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
  3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material on Internet of visually such as Victoria Secret Catalog in brassiere section?
  4. Have you lusted after any woman other than your wife with your eyes or thoughts?
  5. Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
  6. Have you given priority time to your family?
  7. Have you handled hurt and frustration well this week?
  8. Have you started a kingdom conversation this week? Tell me about it?
  9. Have you just lied to me?

Additional question to discuss

  1. Have you prayed daily for the people God has laid on your heart to witness to in the near future?
  2. Have you and your wife prayed together daily this week?

 

 

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Men’s Group – Commitment Sheet

Men’s Group – Do for 4 months – 16 week 

Week 1 and Week 2 – Instructional

Week 3 through 16 – Report on individual progress

 

COMMITMENT SHEET 

I do hereby commit myself for four (4) months, before God and the other UA men in this study, to the following actions. It is understood that this commitment is intended to enhance and further my spiritual development into the image of Jesus Christ, my relationship with my Lord, and my development into the spiritual leader that God intends me to be.

1)             That I will endeavor to spend daily time in the following manner:

  1. 10 minutes in prayer
  2. 10 minutes in the reading and meditating of the Bible
  3. 10 minutes in reading of the book, “How to Start a Kingdom Conversation.”

2)             That I will learn to use the mayishare brochure so well that I can teach it’s use to other Christians and to new believers.

3)             That I will endeavor to share Christ with a blood relative or close friend at least once per week and then report back to the group of my presentation and discussion of how to better improve the mayishare presentation.

4)             That I will consistently attend the designated sessions and will come prepared, both physically and mentally, to learn the lessons that the Lord has for me.

5)             That I will endeavor to allow the time and lessons of this study to cause change and growth in my character, my spirituality, my ability to improve my witnessing techniques and my leadership capabilities.

Name: ________________________________________________

 

Signature: _____________________________________________

 

Date: _________________________

 

1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

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Evangelism material when talking to different cultures

 

Evangelism material for UA Grace

 

Questions are to start a spiritual conversation when you are presently engaged in a cultural conversation.

Possible questions to ask people when trying to find out if someone has made a commitment to Christ.  (Cultural conversation into a Kingdom conversation)

New Christian or Christian who is timid

Use three questions that everyone can ask:

1)   – “What is happening in your life that your excited about?” (Listen to what they are saying and show high interest about their excitement)

2)   – (After they slow down their explanation about their excitement, say) “Can I tell you what I am excited about in my life?”

3)   – “I prayed to accept Christ as my personal Savior and I am so excited about having Christ in my life when I look around and see the turmoil United States is going through at this time.” “What are your thoughts about that?”

 

Situational opportunities

Grocery Store/Restaurant – check out person – “Make a great day, you can make it anything you want!” They usually will say, “Yes, that is right. We really can make it what we want.” I then add if appropriate, “You can really make it a great day if you have the Lord in your life.”

Waitress or Waiter – “We are getting ready to bless this food. Is there anything we can pray about for you or a member of your family?”

 

Acquaintances (Assuming you know where they attend church)

Ask them this question, “What evangelism tools does your church use?”

Listen and then ask them if you can show them what you are using to get

their advice on your evangelism tools.

Timing to share with people at work.

Realize that you cannot force your views on others you work with but you can do the following:

 

Do F.OR.M.  Questions to find area of concern in their life. Could be

fear of losing a job, wife’s health, daughter’s friends, etc.

 

Family – Ask questions about the personals family – (Parents, sister,

brother, children, grandchildren) “Tell me about your parents,

or your sister. Where did you meet your wife? How many

children to you have? Do all of your children appear to be

fairly happy in life?”

Occupation – Ask questions about their work employment. “Do you like

your work?  How long have they been working at this

particular job,? Are they looking to find a different job in

same or different area of employment?”

Retirement/Recreation – Ask questions about retirement. “When they

plan to retire? What do they already do with their retirement

activity? Are they still active participating in sports or are

they just observers? Do they exercise regularly? What is

their exercise regime?”

Motivation/Money – Ask questions like, “If money were not a concern

and you had all you wanted, what would you do? Do you think

that would make you happy? What is there in your life that when

you get out of bed; you are just so excited to do? Do you ever

read motivational books? Why not? Do you think money can buy

happiness? Do you know any wealthy people that are really

happy and have a great relationship with their spouse and

children and God as well?”

Suggested approach after finding out a personal concern of a co-worker or relative they may have in their life:

With your permission may I pray for_______?”

(Duke has found this to be the best lead-in at any time) Write the request down on a piece of paper making sure the individual sees you writing down the requests.

As you are writing down the prayer requests, you may want to say:

“You do agree that God answers pray, don’t you?” – (Obviously they do as they have just asked you to pray for the request

When they acknowledge God answers pray, ask,

“What do you think about God?”

 

Follow-up: Perhaps you can ask, “As you know I have been praying for_______. I have been praying this prayer ____________. How can I best pray for _______?”  This will allow you to do this at work and then when timing is right, you can ask them to go to lunch with you away from business property.

 

Accountability with 1 or 2 other Christians who also want to share their faith and need someone else to hold them accountable. By calling your accountability partner you can ask them, “Have you started a Kingdom conversation this week?” Each partner will tell of a situation they found themselves in this week that they could or did take advantage of to start a Kingdom conversation and the results of that encounter. Those who force themselves to share Christ will feel so good about their sharing that they will be excited to share with their accountability partner.

 

Prayer is mandatory:

If we have blood relatives or certain people that we want to share Christ with, it is imperative that those names be held up to Christ daily and that part of  your accountability is also praying for those individuals.

It is also imperative that we ask Christ every morning to bring someone into our life to share Christ with that day. God will answer those prayer requests.

Questions that could be asked:

“ Do you believe in absolute truth?”

“What do you think about absolute truth; is there such a thing?”

“What would be your source of finding that truth?”

“Do you believe the Bible contains absolute truth?”

“Do you fell if the 10 commandments were followed we could find absolute truth?”

“What do you think is the Christian World Viewpoint in 2010?”

“Is there a difference between Moral truth and Biblical truth?”

“Do you believe we should be tolerant of those who do not believe in absolute truth? What suggestions do you have to help me try to be tolerant?”

 Statement of fact:

         “Christianity is the only religion where God reaches down to man rather than man having to prove himself to be ‘good enough’ for God to accept them!”

“God died on the cross for our sins, we did not die on the cross for God.”

“There is nothing you and I can do to find favor with God to erase our sinful nature.”

Muslim faith:

The following suggested questions are to ask someone you do not suspect to be a Muslim but only trying to engage in conversation to lead up to talking about your faith in Christ.

“What do you know about the Muslim faith? How does it differ with your views as a Christian?

“Do you think USA should be concerned with the Muslim influence? What do you think we can do about it?”

“Do you think Allah is the same as God of the Christian faith?”

“Where did the Muslim faith start? Isaac vs. Ishmael origin?” How old was Ishmael when Isaac was born?” (age 13) “Would that account for the Muslims understanding that they are the descendents of Abraham?” (Biblical culture gave most inheritance to oldest son)

Atheist faith:

“Do you believe there is such a thing as an Atheist? Do you feel there are any Atheist in foxholes when the bullets are hitting around them or they have been in a car accident and are bleeding?”

How to combat an atheist:

When approaching an atheist say, “You have got more faith than I have!” “How do you look at a tree, or the moon or a new board baby, and not know that it is created rather than evolved?

Tell a Story – Atheist has more faith that the Christian – easier to believe in creation.

Fingerprints – Thousands born each day and none alike – even twins

Formula of H-2-O –  Can not make water with those chemicals.

Acorn buried in King Tut’s tomb – grow if planted and scientists can use

chemicals to make an acorn but not get it to grow

Tell a Story – Take watch apart and put all of the parts on the table. As you show putting all of those parts in your pocket ask the question, “How long would you have to jump to hear it tick?”

 

“I Didn’t Have Time” – Poem

 

I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day;

I had so much to accomplish – that I didn’t have time to pray.

 

Problems just tumbled about me and heavier came each task;

“Why doesn’t God help me,” I wondered.

He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

 

I wanted to see joy and beauty BUT the day toiled on, gray and bleak,

I wondered why God didn’t show me. He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

 

I tried to come into God’s presence; I used all my keys at the lock,

God gently and lovingly chided, “My child you didn’t knock.”

 

I woke up early this morning and paused before entering the day,

I had so much to accomplish, that I had to take time to pray.

 

Duke Heller

614-746-1636

www.mayishare.com

 

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Fear/Faith Definition – It is same definition

FEAR/FAITH DEFINITION

 

“Believe something you can not see, hear or feel will come true”

 

dukeheller@copper.net

614 – 888-4830—HOME

614-746-1636—CELL

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Using Christian Principles to Maintain a Positive Attitude in 2013

Using Christian principles to maintain a positive attitude in 2013

What choices of attitude are available to you and I in 2013?

1- Negative2013 will be a horrible year – inflation, health care uncertainty, job loses, teenage use of alcohol and drugs, divorce rates, lack of Christian principles – Fox News

2- Can’t do anything about future attitude. God is in charge, just need to get through the year. Don’t have much influence over culture so just pray children and grandchildren will make it through and use God in decisions….and then we die!

3- Grumbling attitude – Numbers 14: And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Penalty of Grumbling????  40 yrs Wilderness,

Health Issues, Ulcers, Headaches

 

4- Trials that we will learn so we can help someone who is going through that same trial

What should be the goal of a trial?

 How can God use me to share Christ!

Can you point to the exact time you accepted Christ? Duke’s story

5- Positive attitude directed to making a difference in your family, your work place, your church, your marriage, and your walk with God to see how you best can serve Christ in 2010.  

GOAL OF TRIALS: How can God use me to share Christ!

Everyone is:

  1. In the middle of a problem
  2. Just got over a problem
  3. About to have a problem

Zig – Story – waitress – Make a great day!

How should we approach trials in our life?

  1. Joy
  2. Thankful

 

JOY IN TRIAL

James 1:1-8          James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3     for you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6         But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. [i]

Trials are not to be seen as tribulations but testings. A test is given to see if a student can pass, not pass out. James gave sound advice on how to score high on every test.

One who brings the right attitude to the trial, who understands the advantage of the trial, and who knows where to obtain assistance in the trial will certainly end up on God’s honor roll.

How do you handle interruptions in your schedule??   Trial or Opportunity?

It is important to note that James did not say that a believer should be joyous for the trials but in the trials[1]

When surrounded by these trials, one should respond with joy. Most people count it all joy when they escape trials. James said to count it all joy in the midst of trials

Our attitude toward trials (James 1:2–4). James called on us to actually welcome trials and difficulties. These are to produce unmixed joy, not because the trials themselves are pleasurable, but because we look beyond the immediate experience to foresee the result.

God permits such experiences as a test (intended to show the validity, not weakness) of our faith. Such trials call for perseverance, which in turn produces maturity and spiritual wholeness. If we are able to look beyond the present and see the product God intends to produce through our suffering, we will experience joy.

This perspective is impossible for most men. But those who have confidence in God value character above pleasure, and eternity above the present moment.

Our expectation of God’s aid (James 1:5–8). Trials are likely to panic us. When a person doesn’t know which way to turn, he or she may fear to make decisions or may constantly change his or her mind. James reminded us that ours is a giving God, and one of His gifts is wisdom.

This “wisdom” is practical: it is the capacity to apply spiritual truth to daily decisions.

James promised that God will show the person who asks the way to go. “Belief” here suggests a willingness to respond and act on God’s guidance. The wavering individual, who hesitates to respond obediently, will be unable to receive what the Lord is eager to give.[ii]

Trials can be faced with joy because, infused with faith, perseverance results, and if perseverance goes full-term it will develop a thoroughly mature Christian who lacks nothing. He will indeed be all God wants him to be.

James’ argument may seem logical, but it is still difficult to see how trials can be welcomed with an attitude of joy. Where does one turn for help to understand this paradox?

 

1:5. To those who feel confused and frustrated by the high goal of “not lacking anything,” James wrote, If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God. Assistance is readily available from “the giving God”. To those who lack wisdom, this valuable resource is available for the asking. James assumed his readers would feel the need for wisdom, not just knowledge. God will not only provide wisdom, but will do so generously, not grudgingly.

 

SUPPLEMENTAL DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Heavenly Father, you are in charge of everything that will happen to me today—whether good or bad, positive or negative. Please make me thankful for everything that happens to me today. Please give me your wisdom to handle events of today. Expand my ministries for you today.  I give you the right to set the agenda for my life today. Help me to do those things that are on your agenda as well as those you have given me on my list of items to do today. Please forgive me for____________? I am grateful for______________?

THANKFUL FOR TRIAL

Philippians 4: 6-8

6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Duke – stolen computer

 

TRIALS THAT HELP OTHERS

 

2 Corinthians 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.  Past trials –Divorce, bankruptcy, what to look for in marriage – grandchildren

FORGET THE PAST

Phil 3:12-16

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

 

RENEW YOUR MIND IN 2013

Romans 12:1-2

1. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

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ATTITUDE poem by Charles Swindoll

 

ATTITUDE

 

         Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life.  The longer I live, the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.

I believe the single most significant decision I make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position.

Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there’s no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.

                                    Charles Swindoll

 

 

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Entry Words to start a Kingdom Conversation

POSSIBLE ENTRY WORDS TO KINGDOM CONVERSTATION

F.O.R.M. –  Family, Occupation, Recreation, Motivation

Talk about their Family and remember where they grew up  and what their children interests are.

Talk about Occupation and remember where they work and why they work at their job. If money was no object, would they do what they are doing now? Do they have any fear about losing their job?

Talk about Recreation and remember what they really like to do. Hobbies? fishing, sports, hiking, knitting, painting.

Talk about their Motivation – What makes them tick. May be a doctor during day but  enjoys working on old cars at night -this is what makes them really enjoy life.

Goal: to find out some areas of stress in their life or the life of their children.

Then use a sentence that will allow allow quick entry into Kingdom Conversation:

“With your permission may I pray for _______?”

When permission is granted, then take out a pad and pencil and write down the prayer request; name, circumstance for them or family member, etc .Ex. Child dating someone you disapprove of or Husband unsure about his job or marriage relationship.

As you are writing prayer requests down, ask second sentence: “You do believe God answers prayer, don’t you?”

Since they gave you permission to pray use third sentence: “What do you think about God?”

Everyone has an opinion about God, even the non-believer has an opinion about God.

Time for fourth sentence: “May I share something with you that someone else shared with me which made it easier for me to understand God?

USE MAYISHARE BRIDGE ILLUSTRATION to share Christ with them in a non-threatening way.

 

1) “Are you a Christian?”- Not a good question to ask!

2) When you die and go to heaven, and God says ‘Why should I let you in?’ What are you going to say?”

3)   “Can you point to the exact time you accepted Christ?”good to ask!

Additional questions that are used effectively

1)“Is it easy for you to share your faith?”

2) “May I show you how I share my faith?”

3)“What do you think about God?”

4)“Who do you think Jesus was?”

5) “Where do you take your children to Church?”

Best short-cut to get right to the  most important question

“May I share something with you that someone shared with me that made it easier for me to understand who God was?”

 

www.mayishare.com

dukeheller@copper.net

Duke Heller Phone Numbers

Cell – 614-746-1636

Home – 614-888-4830

 

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I choose to forgive as a Christian

I choose to forgive as a Christian – Sermon given by Duke Heller

If Christianity is about anything, it is about forgiveness.

How far do we push this Christian forgiveness thing? It is great to forgive and all of that but we live in a real world, not in church.

Some people do horrible things. Kids get murdered. Women are raped. There is cheating on marriage vows with close friends. There is domestic violence and embezzlement. Results are: broken hearts, broken lives, broken bodies, broken marriages, and broken psyches.

Whether we live in the church or outside the church, we would all acknowledge that we could not live in a world without some level of forgiveness.

In the modern world when we talk about massive evil, the prototype of great evil is, of course, the Holocaust.  There was a book written about 40 years ago by Simon Wiesenthal called The Sunflower

Wiesenthal was an Austrian Jew, who was imprisoned in a Nazi Concentration Camp during WWII.  He was assigned to a work detail to do cleanup work in a field hospital near the Eastern front.  While he was working at the field hospital, a German nurse ordered Wiesenthal to follow her.

He was taken into a room where there was one lone Secret Service Nazi soldier, who was dying.  The SS soldier was a 21-year old German boy named Karl Seidel.  Karl asked the nurse to “bring him a Jew” because he was dying and he wanted to make his last confession.  He wanted to make his last confession to a Jew.

So this SS soldier was wrapped in bandages covering his face and there was Simon Wiesenthal alone with him in a room. Karl said that he was raised in a Christian family; he was raised in church.  His parents were not supporters of the Nazis, but he decided on his own to join the Nazis and specifically, at age 18, he decided to join the SS.

And then he told Wiesenthal that he joined a group of SS soldiers to round up Jews in a certain city.  300 Jews – men, women, children and infants – were gathered and driven with whips into a 3-story house which he then helped to set on fire.  Any Jews who tried to escape from the burning house, Karl and the other SS soldiers shot.

So Karl said, “Now I am dying and I wanted to confess to a Jew how sorry I am for what I’ve done and for what I’ve become.”  Here are his final words:

I am left here with my guilt.  In the last hours of my life you are here with me. I do not know who you are, I only know that you are a Jew and that is enough…I know that what I have told you is terrible.  In the long nights while I have been waiting for death, time and time again I have longed to talk about it to a Jew and beg forgiveness from him.  Only I didn’t know if there were any Jews left…I only know what I’m asking is almost too much for you, but without your answer I cannot die in peace.

Simon Wiesenthal believed the man was sincere, that he was truly sorry, but he got up and silently left the room without offering a word.  Wiesenthal himself died in 2005.  He was 96 years old and he was a great humanitarian.  But in his book, The Sunflower, he posed the question: What should I have done?  Should I have offered that young man forgiveness? 

In the second part of The Sunflower, 53 prominent thinkers – Jews, Christians, atheists, and philosophers responded to Wiesenthal’s question:  Should I have offered him forgiveness?

28 of the 53 said, “Absolutely not. You can’t offer forgiveness in this kind of situation.”  16 of the responders said, “Yes.  There is a way that forgiveness could be offered.”

9 weren’t sure.

Of the 16 who said yes, 13 of them were Christians and 3 were Buddhists.  All of the muslims and jews so NO.

You don’t need to hang on to a hurt in your life.

God can take that hurt from you. You can forget the pain in the process of Forgiveness.

Capacity choices.

I have a limited capacity. I can’t do it all. I can’t fix it all. I can’t carry it all. I can’t carry all the problems of the future.

Talk about choices of the past. Young – make mistakes, make bad choices.

Need to find a Biblical way to handle past disappointments. People will disappoint us.

I choose to forgive the past. How many things would you change? We can’t go back. God did not give us the capacity to carry the burdens of the past.

I am not able to carry the past with me.

I need the Lord to help me change my ability to accept the failures of the past.

Matt 6:14-15  I choose to forgive “ If you forgive others….BUT…..neither will your father forgive your trespasses.”

Do you get it? Need to grab this verse.

People who are REALLY SAVED forgive other people.

We need to be the most forgiving person you work with. She is not petty. He is not a score keeper….He is forgiving…You choose forgiveness.

Jesus has just said the Lord’s prayer –previous verses…. Matt 6:12, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – Forgive others

Jesus was hoping that people would listen to what the prayer is really saying…Jesus was thinking about people needing to forgive.

How many people want God to forgive them more than they want to forgive others?

Forgive me my trespassing PLEASE.  God I need you to forgive me.

Need to choose to forgive others….so God will forgive me …

Forgiveness definition – (143 times in Bible)

Release person, legal context – to release them from a previous obligation.  Canceling a debt

Forgiveness is a decision. It is an act of my will.  It is a choice. Choice to release a person from an obligation that resulted when they injured me. People injure us in relationships.

What choice do you have?

God did not give you the capacity to carry the past with you.

What can you do?

You must forgive or it will tear you apart.  Be very hard to forget.

Tangible forgiveness:

You took my place in traffic. You took my friend Bill to the ballgame and not me.

You took my pencil.

Intangible forgiveness:  Harder to forgive these –

You took my right to fairness.

You took my dream as a person to have a happy marriage.

You took my confidence.

You took my dignity.

You took my safety.

You took my purity.

Forgiveness is a decision to forgive the person from an obligation when they injured me with their action.

Unforgiveness:

You owe me.

I am going to make you pay by hurting you.

By hating you.

By telling others what you did to me.

By recruiting others to my side.

I am going to make you pay.

You say something unkind to me; I say unkind things about you in an email.

You blog about me; I slash your tires.

You punch me; I sue you.

You bomb my house; I bomb your country.

This is what actually ended up happening in this Lamech approach to doing life and it resulted in the massive outbreak of evil that took place in the day of Noah that God had to judge.

But it may be that Jesus is proposing a very different way of doing life than the Lamech way. Instead of escalating violence, tit for tat, back and forth, Jesus is saying, “There is a way of doing life, of not returning fire, of repeatedly forgiving, repeatedly offering pardon, and repeatedly offering restoration instead of vengeance.” 

Do you have sufficient imagination, Jesus is asking, to enter the world that I have come to introduce?  I am bringing a different kingdom. I’ve come to introduce you to a new world, a new creation.  Do you have the imagination, the space in your heart to embrace the new world that I am introducing?

What does Biblical Forgiveness look like?

Scripture: Matthew 18:15-35

If brother sins against you?

(Mt. 18:15-18)

How much must I forgive?

(Mt. 18.21-22)

How much did Jesus forgive?

(Mt. 18.23-27)

One Talent = 20 years wages – 10,000 talents = Billions

King moved with passion –v27

How much do we understand forgiveness

100 Denari = $20,000

(Mt. 18.26-31)

How much will I suffer if I don’t forgive?

(Mt. 18.32-35)

Slave said, “Have patience with me??” Debt could not be paid.

Do you understand who the King is in this parable? God is the King and we are the servants…who cannot repay God for what he has done for us. 

We are the slave…despite the fact that we have done a lot of good things and helped a lot of people…in front of a Holy God you owe a debt that can never be paid…only grace of God that keeps me from falling into pit of Hell.

I cannot pay my debt for sin. You can’t work to resolve it. I have nothing to earn God’s grace. My only chance is to ask God to pay it for me….

But God says HE will not lightly reduce the penalty for sin….Jesus came into the world to pay a debt he did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay.

Forgiveness:

You don’t owe me. The debt is paid.

I am not looking for payment.  Not looking for a chance to pay you back.

I am not going to do it. I am writing it off. I can’t carry this with me.

God did not make me be able to carry the past with me.

It is crushing me. I can’t carry the weight.

I am choosing to forgive you.

Problem: I forgive on Thursday and Friday I am trying to carry the weight of what you did to me again.  AGREE

Forgiveness is a crisis and a process. First thing I have to do is realize that my unforgiveness is a sin.

If I don’t forgive “you” then God is not going to forgive “me”

I must stop reviewing it. Stop thinking through it again and again. Stop explaining it. Stop defending it. Need to have crisis…then there is the process.

Forgiveness in the process:

I won’t bring it up to the person. I won’t bring up to other people. I am not going to bring it up to myself. I am not going to remember it.

See that person on Thursday, my mind goes BAMM! Back to the offense or the hurt.

Yes I know

Forgiveness is a Crisis and a process.

Crisis— you decide

Process— you live it out.

Key sentence:

When you fail in the process, you must return to the crisis!

When you find your mind takes you back.

Return to the crisis and ask God to help you forgive.

Tell God, “I commit afresh to let it go. Please help me do that.”

Crisis Process  Crisis Process  Crisis Process…..after time you will let it go.

Rationalization for not forgiving.

Unforgiveness is cancer in your soul.

Why people don’t forgive:

Hurt is too big….I am thinking that is why I need to give it up. The bigger the hurt the more I would want to get it out.

Time will heal it….Not true…Time heals nothing!  It is not going away with time. This thing is getting worse even though you flipped a few pages on the calendar. This thing is getting really bad…getting red, ozzing. Doc – get it out. Antibiotic is not taking care of the problem.

I will forgive when she says she is sorry. People usually do not come back very often to tell you they are sorry.  Person probably is off doing that same thing to someone else because they probably don’t care if you are bothered with their action toward you…even though it hurt you.  Main reason person sins against you is because they are selfish.  When you say, “I will forgive her when she says she is sorry” will not solve the problem. No that is not coming. You will only become more bitter. Bitterness is like a hot coal in your hand, the more you hold it, the more it burns your skin.

I can’t forgive unless I can forget.Sorry you have got that backwards…because you not not forget…on your own.  You won’t forgive until you forget. Forgiveness is needed before you forget….over time God will bring you to the place that you will not be reminded of the pain the other person caused you.  You don’t need to hang on it. You will forget the pain through the crisis and process  of forgiveness.

If I forgive them they are just going to do it again. Someone has to make them pay. I agree someone does need to make them pay. That is God’s job. Romans 12:19 that it is a righteous thing with God to make them pay for your tribulation. “Vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay.”  You don’t want to get between the hammer and the nail of that situation. Let God be the hammer. Let God do HIS thing and you show God that the love of Jesus has penetrated your heart….by choosing to forgive.

But Duke, “If I forgive them, they are just going to do it again.” Forgiveness does not mean you put yourself in a position to get injured again if it is avoidable.  Forgiveness does not require that you can’t say to a person, “Hey we are not going there again.” I am not going to put myself in that position again when I got hurt.

How can I protect myself. You can bring something up to the person if it will be for their own good? I have in the past got myself in a real high-pressure situation and the Lord will bring it up to my mind,you better slow down and speak more carefully. You are going to blow it here.” It is OK for me to listen to God’s leading as HE attempts to remind me of my past sin. God does not forget my past sin, HE just does not bring it up to me anymore. God treats me as if it never happened…which is what forgiveness really is.  I therefore don’t bring it up EXCEPT where it would be to their advantage. I know they don’t want to fall into the thing they did that offended me.

Biblical motivation for asking for forgiveness:

I choose forgiveness because: Benifits

Forgiveness has no limits. Forgiveness lets you to forget and go on serving the Lord. Matt 18:15, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, if he listens to you, you have gained a brother.”

“Seven times Peter, you are just wonderful to think that many.” But Jesus did not agree with Peter and said, “How about 70 times 7?” That could mean 77 times but it really means there is no limit to the times you forgive someone.

Way through what Jesus Christ did for me. I need to throw my arms around the fact that I need forgiveness….have you done that?   Starts there first

Eph 4:31 says to put all bitterness and clamor away from you, tender hearted, forgiving one another…even as God in Christ has forgiven you…

If your life has been altered by what Christ did for you…the surest demonstration of that is that you want to extend that forgiveness to other people….

How is that going for you???

Bible says that if you will not forgive others, perhaps you are not born again… Perhaps you need to rethink your commitment to Christ…

It does not happen over night but it does happen over time. If you truly have embraced what Christ did for you then you will have to forgive others.

Unforgiveness destroys relationships….how many would agree that when he started to choke him that that relationship was pretty much over?

BUT the King says, “You wicked servant”…I forgave you…could have had a great relationship…instead…King puts the guy in prison to pay the debt…you owe me so much money that you are going to prison till you pay…

Not see wife or kids again…because he did not forgive

Not see friends or relatives….because he did not forgive

Not see co-workers again….because he did not forgive

Unforgiveness is destructive to innocent people…how many people are suffering from unforgiveness in you that has nothing do to with them? But it plays into the tone of your conversation with other innocent people, plays into the impatience and your rashness…plays into your shortness…but people who have done nothing wrong are suffering because of you…. but has to do with unforgiveness in your heart toward someone that you are holding onto….

Times in my life I had to let it go and forgive:

Someone on my faculty 20 years ago…had to release him from my faculty because he could not bring himself to teach a surgery technique the way I wanted it taught for the safety of the students…..he later criticized me and to this day undermines my teaching institution.

Dr. Steven C. Restoration with father– “Forgive me for the way I feel about you.”              A dental friend of mine came to me saying that he “hated” his father because he had left their family when he was a teenager. Steve explained that he had gotten a couple Christmas gifts while in high school and then had not heard from his father since; Steve was in his 50’s now.  His dad had not seen his children and he felt so bad for them. He said it really did not bother him that much as he had shut his dad out of his mind and out of his life! I told Steve, “That is not true you have shut it out of your mouth as you have brought it up to me. I explained that his feelings were generated because he had never forgiven his father for what he had done; thus that is where the hate had come into his heart.

 

Daughter’s girlfriend got a divorce. Felt she could not forgive her x-husband for commiting adultery with her best friend….talk to her on the phone…suggested she pray for her x-husband…said she could not…told her you can not hold a grudge against someone if you pray for them… over a long period of time…One day she called me and explained she felt free…last night she asked God to help her forgive Jeff and she felt free…..RESULT…of praying and forgiving….Ex-husband came to her house and asked her to forgive him for what he had done to her….she said she did forgive him but he probably needed to ask God to forgive him….

She did not tell kids of adultery but edified their father to them. Felt her children needed father influence more than she needed revenge.

How did that work out – doing it God’s way?

He has spent Christmas in family house after spending the night in that home Christmas eve. He has gone on baseball trips with grandparents and ex-wife. Parents and ex-wife still get him a Christmas and birthday gift each year…

What are benefits of my daughter’s friend for forgiving her ex-husband?

Made payments of alimony on time, paid extra money for dental braces, for extra clothes.     Loaned ex-wife money when she was trying to fix up her house to sell it….Paid for children’s college education….

Because she has given him a key for her house, he comes and stays with the kids when she is gone to help protect them….

Duke’s lifeput names down on prayer list and ask God to help me forgive them….Help me God to write these names off my list…I know God does not want me to carry this hurt with them.

Unforgiveness destroys me…..

absolute opposite of what God calls us to…got to let it go….don’t have to prove you are right…  Matt 18….delivered the wicked slave to the torchers…to pay all of his debt…

Prayer: Close your eyes and think of those people you need to forgive. Faces are probably in your heart. It may be a choice you need to make and return to the crisis and then use the process to forgive them.

Is God bringing names to you?

Can you see their faces?

Maybe a family member.

Maybe it is someone you have not seen for a long time.

Forgive me for my unforgiveness. Lord, I forgive _____(name person) and name the offense_______. Lord I forgive my mom for ______. I forgive my wife for___.

I forgive my brother for ____. My sister for _____. I forgive my boss for ____.

I know that feelings may not be there now but I know that feelings will follow obedience.  Joy comes through obedience.  You Word is true. Your Word is my blueprint…Lord I choose.  Name the offense and then choose to forgive person

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Forgiveness Leading to being Saved

PS 103:12  put sin far from you and not remember

 I choose “forgiveness” by choosing to forgive,

I am forgiven by God – is a true statement.   Change view of yourself.

I CHOOSE to be forgiven by God.

Matt 9:

Getting into his boat……Your sins is forgiven……Son of Man on Earth has the authority to forgive sins.

v. 6 – Jesus can forgive sins

The problem in my life is – SIN

Matt 9: – People thought man had health problem….God’s eyes …..sin and sickness is not that far apart…..arise…your sins are forgiven.

Sin is behind every problem in the world

Psunami – because of sin

Hunger in world – because of sin

Earthquakes – because of sin

Flooding is because of sin

Universe is broken – sun is burning out

Universe is turning slower each year…..it is breaking down

Romans 8:  Universe is in bondage to decay.  Universe is breaking down

When Adam and Eve choose to sin – plunged earth into sin

God is not trying to fix the universe now – Going to let it burn down

 

Every planet problem – because of sin

Every people problem – because of sin

Every physical problem you and I have – because of sin

Every heart problem, every cancer – because of sin

 

We were not made this way. When man was made in garden of Eden, made perfect

But when Adam/Eve choose to sin – tore at fabric of perfection.

 

God allowed them to become twisted and broken.

We were not made that way but we are that way now.

Every break in God’s law is broken

Subject to decay

 

Newspaper – Sexual sin, truth is not found easily

Earth will become worse and worse

All because of sin

Romans 5:12  – One man sin entered the world

Sinful by birth, actions

Exec 10:23 – No other Gods before me

 

Don’t take God’s name in vain

Don’t joke about God

Don’t minimize God

Keep Sabbath for God

Honor your father and mother  – Always honor them

Don’t murder – If you hate someone in your heart you are a murder

Don’t commit adultery – Lust in your heart is like adultery

Don’t steal

Don’t lie – even to your self

Don’t covet things – neighbors wife, money, jewelry

Think it is a problem is our lives. 5 things

 

1)    We are born in sin -Ps 51:5 – David said I was brought forth in sin my mother conceived me – reason Duke says in folder that “It is not entirely your fault you are a sinner.” I have never needed a pep talk about sinning…..”Hey Duke, make sure you keep that sinning going today!”

2)    We are determined sinners – We have a disease. Gen 6:5 “say the wickedness of os his thought. Sin is Cancer

3)    We are deceived about sin inside us. Jer 17:9 – heart is deceived….try to convince yourself sin is OK….blind to reality

4)    We are desperate sinners Jer 17:9 – we are despirate because of sin….no way out of it by ourselves

5)    We are destined Rom 6:23 – wages of sin is death. Ezekle 18:20 – soul that sins will surely die…physically and spiritually.

 

Prognosis is parish – John 3:16….shall not perish…If you don’t believe in HIM, they will parish.

Perish – eternal death sentence. Shocking people that will not ignore reality. Hebrews 9:27, “appointed unto man to die…..one chance.  No one knows when death is coming to you. …accidents happen, auto accidents, earthquakes, etc.

Did not see that off ramp coming so quickly

Better make sure NOW.

Everyone thinks they are going to heaven!!

“I know so many people who are worse than I am…”

God is not your college professor – who grades on the curve.

Jesus said broad is the road that leads to destruction, many are going there and narrow is the road that leads to eternity life and few are going to find that narrow road……many are going to parish

 

Many people will say, “God, I did all of these things for you – taught Sunday school class, served on the men’s ministry planning committee, disciple a woman….Jesus said, “Get away from me I never knew you”  Matt 7

People are slow to grab this principal even though they are perishing…

Lump in your breast  “Doctor, am I going to die?” the answer is yes. He can not do anything with “If you are going to die” only “when you are going to die.” 100% disease. No cure for eventual death.

 

How can people not be ready for death?? Everyone knows we are going to die.

You can choose where you are going to spend eternity.

What would think of an accountant that did not tell you that you were bankrupt?

What would you think of a lawyer that did not tell you your will did not leave anything to your children and the city gets your house and the dog pound gets the furniture.

What would you think of a doctor that would not tell you that you have two weeks to live?

How much more worse a preacher that will not tell you about the certainity of your perishing and your eternity in Hell

Hell is eternal, conscious torment; place of God’s wrath and God’s judgment.

Punishment where pain never ceases, darkness never ends, flames never stop.

 

Do you want to go there? As good as heaven is, hell will be so bad you would not wish it on your worst enemy.

Problem is sin, prognosis is death and separation from God. If God had not stepped in, nothing would change that course of action for our sin.

 

Are you ready to choose…some good news?

 

Provision – increadible the provision is forgiveness

You and I can be forgiven for our sins…Matt 9 – Jesus healed paralytic of his sins.

Scribes said – you are blaspheming.

Jesus was not going to heal the man of his health first and then his eternity problem

Spiritual problem was greater

 

Only Jesus is the one to have authority to forgive sins…There is no B plan

 

Jesus is God and has authority to forgive sins

 

Ex 34:6 – Lord slow to anger, forgives inquity, will not forgive the quilty!

Ps 86:5

Mica 7:8 – Pardons inquity, does not retain anger

Ps 103:12 – sin put far away

Mica 7:19 – Cast all sin into depths of sea

Ezk 23:5

Ps 32:1 – sin is covered

Ezk 36:26 – new heart

 

Don’t you want to be forgiven?

 

We can’t fix our sin probem.

No amound of sin can be washed away by itself

External cleasing agaent

Payment is Christ – good news of the Gospel

This is what separates all religions

False religion – I will do this my self…prove to God  I can do this myself

Trying to do for God what HE did for us.

 

When He says he loves you

He who knew no sin died for sin for us.

 

I owed a debt I could not pay,

He paid a debt he did not owe.   What Gospel did”

 

1 John 4:10 – Love for payment of our sins

Faith overcomes obstacles

Gift – You must reach out and take it

 

Pride of thinking you can do it

Pride of subborness….I can do it later

Time is now…

Do you understand that you need a Savior….sin is your problem,..hell is your future….forgiveness is your need….and faith is your choice

 

Are you ready to choose forgiveness

I am going to choose FORGIVENESS FROM GOD

 

 

 

 

 

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