CELL NOTES 11/6/08

(As requested)

 

ICE BREAKER

 

How many credit / store cards do you have? When do they tempt you most?

 

 

THEME

 

Can I really pray that?

Reading Matthew 18 : 21 – 35

 

SERMON OUTLINE

 

1) The topic of forgiveness is one of the most important in the world.

 

2) It affects us all in two ways :-

            We all get hurt, and so have the issue of forgiving others.

            We all do things which hurt others, and hurt the Lord – for which we need forgiveness.

 

3) Forgiveness is not a natural reaction. Instinctively we are much more likely to want to retaliate or seek revenge.

 

4) Story of woman, estranged from sister, whose response to an attempt to bring them together was, “Perhaps, but she’s got to make the first move.”

 

5) Man in reading was forgiven a huge debt, but insisted on payment of a small one. We can be like that, in holding a grudge over small things, and being oblivious to the way we have abused somebody else etc.

 

6) Comment from mother of Jimmy Mizzen.

 

7) Grudge-bearing has damaging physical, psychological and social effects.

 

8) “Grudge-bearing is like taking poison, and waiting for the other person to die.”

 

9) Story of Kim Phuc and John Plummer

 

10) Our need of receiving forgiveness is huge – as brief reflection on our lives makes clear. If there is no way to find it, the world is very dark.

 

11) It is found in Christ (“Father, forgive them...”)

 

12) We need to choose forgiveness, choose Jesus – and realise that it is a process, and a daily choice. So we need His strength daily to find it.

 

13) Phrase in Lord ’s Prayer is plural ( Mat 6 : 12). We need to encourage each other, and walk the road together.

 

QUESTIONS OF APPLICATION

 

Read the passage? What strikes you most? What did God say to you through Sunday’s message?

 

1) What have you found helpful in forgiving those who have wronged you?

 

2) Which do you find easier – forgiving others or being assured of forgiveness yourself?

 

3) How do you feel about the idea that there is a link between forgiveness, health and wider wholeness?

 

4) Is anybody wrestling with an issue of forgiveness – in either direction – at the moment?