by Steve Wagers

This content is part of a series.

A FORGIVEN Church Member (1 of 4)
Series: The Handbook for Church Members
Pastor Steve N .Wagers
Ephesians 4:32
July 18, 2010

1. Forgiveness Appropriated
a) Fully Forgiven
b) Freely Forgiven
2. Forgiveness Demonstrated
a) What It Means
b) Why It Matters
3. Forgiveness Reciprocated
a) A Gracious Exchange
b) A Glorious Experience

I recently read of a Spanish father who had become estranged from his son after years of fighting. The son ran away, and the father set out to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in the Madrid newspaper. The ad read:

"Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday."

On Saturday, 800 Paco's showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers.

I read about a New Jersey artist who came up with the idea of selling "guilt kits." Each kit contained ten disposable paper bags and a set of instructions that read, "Place bag securely over your mouth, take a deep breath and blow the guilt out. Dispose of the bag immediately." Amazingly, he sold about 2,500 kits at $2.50 each, because many people were carrying around a load of guilt, and searching for some way to remove it.

The story is told about a prank pulled by the famous playwright Noel Coward. It is said that he sent an identical note to twenty of the most famous men in London. The note read, "Everybody has found out what you are doing. If I were you I would get out of town." Supposedly, all twenty men left town. It would seem that something from their past filled with guilt.

We live in a world starving for forgiveness. We live in a world seeking forgiveness. The guilt and shame of past follies and failures serve as a ghost which haunts the lives of millions of people. We long for forgiveness. We look for forgiveness. And we live for forgiveness from a friend, a parent, a spouse, a parishioner, or a priest.

The sad tragedy is that t ...

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