by James Merritt

Forgiveness: How Sweet It Is
James Merritt
Matthew 18:21-35


1. I heard about a man that went to see his doctor because he was feeling absolutely terrible. The doctor gave him a careful examination, left the room to look at some tests, came back in with a very somber expression on his face and said: ''Sir I don't know how to break this news to you, but you have rabies and you're going to die very soon.''

2. The man very calmly got out a piece of paper and began furiously writing. The doctor said: ''What are you doing, making out your last will?'' He said, ''No, I'm making out a list of people that I am going to bite.''

3. You can go to any church in America of practically any denomination and regardless of its size, location, or creed I promise you in that church one thing your would definitely find among the congregation are bitter hearts. Just as airports have metal detectors I wish churches could develop ''bitterness detectors'' to keep people who are harboring an unforgiving spirit and bitter heart out of the church.

4. The Apostle Peter came to the Lord Jesus on one occasion and asked him a question about this matter of forgiveness.

''Then Peter came to Him and said, ''Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?'' (v.21)

Now that is a good question, because I'm going to tell you a little secret that if you live long enough you already know - but nobody I repeat NOBODY makes it through life free of hurt or personal injury. Either someone somewhere at sometime has hurt you or they will. The question is not whether or not people are going to hurt you, whether or not people are going to do you wrong, the question is how are you going to respond?

5. I am not going to tell you that this is going to be an easy message because the subject itself is a difficult subject even the very word forgiveness tells us how difficult forgiveness is. The word literally means ''to let go'' or ''to ...

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