"Keeping God FIRST" (#1: FORGIVEN to Press Forward)

Sermon Date: 
Jan 01 2017
Sermon Audio: 

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Please feel free to use the following as a reflection, personal study, or for your Life Group. Please be sensitive to other views expressed.

“BIGGEST REGRET”

A group of students from Stayer University in New York set up a chalkboard on the sidewalk for one day. At the top of the board was written, “Write your biggest regret.” The chalkboard attracted many people walking by and was soon filled to overflowing with written regrets that were poignant and though-provoking. Some wrote: burning bridges, never speaking up, not being a good husband, should have spent more time with family, staying in my comfort zone, not saying ‘I love you,’ not making the most of every day, etc.
The students noticed that almost all these regrets have one thing in common. Nearly all of them involved the word “not.” Chances not taken, words not spoken, dreams never pursued. But then they gave these same people an eraser and wrote “Clean Slate” at the top of the chalkboard. As one young woman erased her regret she said, with tears in her eyes, “I feel hopeful. It means that there are possibilities.”

Take a moment and think what you would have written on the chalkboard…

We all carry deep regrets and remorse over that which we had done or did not do.

1. What might happen within us if we continue to hold on to our deep regrets (guilt & shame)?

2. What might be the reasons for talking negatively against ourselves?

“FORGIVENESS”

Forgiveness is a choice not an emotional response. It’s a decision to say you will forgive yourself or others even when you feel hurt. This also means forgiveness is a gift. Forgiveness is not earned or deserved. It’s a decision that says, “I am going to release you from the debt you placed upon my heart. That debt may come in the form of holding a grudge, bitterness, resentment, or hatred upon yourself or others.” Your gift to forgive removes this debt from within your own heart and grants permission to release any guilt or shame you or the offender may have to develop a healthier soul.

SCRIPTURES - Share Reading
Is. 43:18-19, 25; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:9; Rom. 8:1; Phil. 3:12-14
1. What do you hear God saying from his Word?
2. How does Satan try to snare or deceive you from believing you are fully forgiven in Christ?
3. Why did Apostle Paul desire to forget his past?

IN CONCLUSION
God’s power of forgiveness allows you to press on to which God has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus. It’s time to press on beloved child of God, in Christ, you are free to go!

Blessings!
Pastor Trevor