Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Journey Toward Forgiveness

Below you will find the notes from my recent series called "My Journey toward Forgiveness'.
I feel like I need to issue a bit of a disclaimer. These notes were never really designed to be read. They are my preaching notes, and I don't put much detail into my notes. Some people write out their notes word for word, but I am really more of a headlines guy. I rarely give my notes out because they are really just designed to be a guide to keep me on track during a message. But, I had several people ask me for these notes, so here you go. I think the most important thing is that you can go back over the scripture that I used after hearing the message. My prayer is that we will all pray the prayer found in Psalms 139:23-24, and invite God to lead us on His jounrey for us. If you haven't heard the message, these notes may not mean much to you, so I recommend that you go to and listen to the series.

I have also put the list of books that I mention at the bottom of these notes.

My Journey toward Forgiveness #1

- In September I went on a Men’s event called a “Quest”…

- During this “Quest” I prayed a Dangerous Prayer…

Ps 139:23-24 NLT
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

- God answered my prayer by shining His spotlight on a relationship that I have avoided for years…
= My Relationship w/ my Dad…
= There were several issues from my childhood…

- The Lord brought up what I now call my 35 year Grudge…
= At 5 yrs old I watched my dad beat my mom…

- I Forgave my Dad 23 years ago…
…but never personally told him, and I realized that I still had bitterness in my heart toward him…

Matt 18:21-35 NLT
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, "Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?" 22 "No!" Jesus replied, "seventy times seven! 23 "For this reason, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn't pay, so the king ordered that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. 26 But the man fell down before the king and begged him, 'Oh, sir, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.' 27 Then the king was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. 28 "But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. 29 His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. 'Be patient and I will pay it,' he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn't wait. He had the man arrested and jailed until the debt could be paid in full. 31 "When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him what had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, 'You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?' 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison until he had paid every penny. 35 "That's what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters in your heart."

- God really doesn’t give us an option about forgiveness...

Matt 6:14-15 NKJV
14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

= There is an amazing freedom that comes when we receive forgiveness, and when we give forgiveness to others!
= It’s a Cycle of Freedom!

“Forgiveness is not natural!”
“Forgiveness is super-natural!”

3 Important Truths I’ve learned about Forgiveness:

1. Forgiveness is Releasing People into God’s hands

Rom 12:18-19 NKJV
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.

2. Forgiveness is a 2-Way Street

Matt 5:23-24
23 "So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

3. Forgiveness is NOT a feeling... It’s a choice.

Col 3:12-13 NLT
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.

“Forgiveness doesn’t change the past,
but it does enlarge the future."

During my Quest Father God gave me Clear Instructions:

- Repent for allowing unforgiveness back into my heart
- Make a list of all my major offenses toward my dad
- Release my dad into God’s hands
- Begin to Pray for my dad every day
- Go Share my Offenses with my Dad & Forgive him
- Wash his Feet & Pray for him


My Journey toward Forgiveness #2

3 Things that happen if we “Refuse to Forgive”:

1. We become Chained to the Offense & Offender...

.... Chains

- We end up taking the pain of that offense everywhere we go...
- Sometimes people actually begin to like their chains.
- Often our chains from the past actually become a part of our identity.

2. We Invite the Devil into our Lives...

.... Welcome Sign

1 Peter 5:8 NLT
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

= When we Refuse to Forgive, we invite him in!

Eph 4:26-27 NLT
26 And "don't sin by letting anger control you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

“Foothold” NT:5117
a spot, occupancy; location (as a position, home, tract, etc.);
an opportunity; a sheath, license, a place, a room.

= Because of bitterness people will develop all kinds of destructive lifestyle.

3. We Drink the Deadly Poison of Bitterness...


Acts 8:23 NKJV
For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity."

...Holding on to bitterness and thinking that it hurts our offender is like drinking poison hoping that the other person dies…

"When we forgive, we set the captives free
- only to realize that we were the captives."
~ Dr. Neil T. Anderson

How do we walk out Forgiveness?
= Pray & Prepare

3 simple steps that I learned from Pastor Jimmy Evans in his “Freedom from your Past”…

Steps Toward to True Forgiveness:

A. Repent

= Why would I need to “Repent”?

James 4:17 NLT
Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

Col 3:13 NLT
You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

B. Release

- Forgiveness really takes root in our hearts when we release the offender into God’s hands…

Rom 12:21 NLT
Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

C. Bless

Luke 6:27-28 NKJV
27 "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.

Luke 6:31 NKJV
And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

...Jenny who forgave her uncles who had sexually abused her…
= She began to pray for their salvation!

Jesus is our shining example for this kind of forgiveness…

Luke 23:33-34 NLT
33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Ps 139:23-24 NLT
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Will you pray this prayer?


During my Journey Toward Forgiveness, I’ve read several good books…

= Recommended Books:

- “Get the Junk out of your Trunk” – Duane Vander Klok

- “Victory over the Darkness” – Neil Anderson

- “Life’s Healing Choices” – John Baker

- “The Key to Everything” – Jack Hayford

- “Freedom from your Past’ – Jimmy Evans

- “Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship” – Jack Frost

- “Total Forgiveness” – R.T. Kendall