new year

Fresh Start // Part 4

Part 4: Forgive More

(Jeremiah 4:3 NKJV) For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: “Break up your fallow ground (unplowed, uncultivated), And do not sow among thorns.

(Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT) The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness, his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Forgiveness is not…

Excusing the behavior
Minimizing the hurt
Enabling the offender
Forgiving and forgetting
Waiting for an apology
Fully trusting
Always a one-time event

Reconciling 

(Matthew 6:14-15) For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

(Colossians 3:13 AMP) bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. (Reference Verse: John 13:35)

What is forgiveness?

“When we strive against all thoughts of revenge; when we will not do our enemies mischief, but wish well to them, grieve at their calamities, pray for them, seek reconciliation with them, and show ourselves ready on all occasions to relieve them.” (Thomas Watson, Body of Divinity, p. 581)

How To Forgive

Forgive first.

(Romans 5:8) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(Luke 23:34) Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Forgive intentionally. 

(Matthew 18:21-22) Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

(Luke 6:27-28 AMP) “But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Reference Verses: Matthew 5:23:24)

Forgive unconditionally.

(Ephesians 4:32 NLT) Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

(Romans 2:4 NLT) Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? (Reference Verse: Romans 12:19)

KEY TRUTH: If you want 2018 to your best year of your life, then it must be the best year of your life spiritually.

Fresh Start // Part 2

(Jeremiah 4:3 NKJV) For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: “Break up your fallow ground (unplowed, uncultivated), And do not sow among thorns.

(Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT) The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness, his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Prayer should be our first response, not our last resort.

Why pray?

(Matthew 6:5-8) “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

The primary purpose in prayer is not to get something from God, but to know God.

(Acts 2:42 CSB) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

(I Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV) Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

How to pray

Pray relationally.

(Matthew 6:9-13) This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, (Ref. Verse: Matthew 11:28)

Pray intentionally.  

(Mark 1:35) Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Pray dependently. 

(John 15:5) "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (Ref. Verse: Philippians 4:6-7) 

Pray desperately. 

(Psalm 16:5 GNT) You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands.

(Exodus 33:15) Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.

KEY TRUTH: If you want 2018 to your best year of your life, then it must be the best year of your life spiritually

Fresh Start // Part 1

(Jeremiah 4:3 NKJV) For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: “Break up your fallow ground (unplowed, uncultivated), And do not sow among thorns.

(Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT) The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness, his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Can we trust the Bible?

(Psalm 19:7-11) The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

The Word is perfect. (The Bible is free from error in all it affirms.)

The Word is true. (The Bible is true because it identifies truth as a quality intrinsic to the very nature of God, as truth was fully manifested in His Son Jesus Christ.)

The Word is relevant. (The Bible is relevant because redemption of mankind is still needed.) 

The Word is good. (The Bible is good because it reveals an infinitely good God to us and makes us more like him.)

The Word is clear. (The Bible is clear because the same spirit who wrote it now lives in you to illuminate it.) 

The Word is eternal. (The Bible is eternal, because it’s author is eternal.)

Study and Apply 

To know God and his will.

(Psalm 119:105) – Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Reference Verse: II Timothy 3:16-17)

(Proverbs 3:5-6) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Reference Verse: James 1:22) 

To kill sin and fight your enemies. 

(Romans 8:13 AMP) for if you are living according to the [impulses of the] flesh, you are going to die. But if [you are living] by the [power of the Holy] Spirit you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, you will [really] live forever. (Reference Verse: Psalm 119:11 AMP)

(Matthew 4:4) Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Reference Verse: Duet. 8:3)

To grow and sustain us. 

(Hebrews 4:12 ESV) For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

(Jeremiah 15:16 TLB) Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me. How proud I am to bear your name, O Lord.

KEY TRUTH:
If you want 2018 to your best year of your life, then it must be the best year of your life
spiritually

Self-Examination

Self-Examination

Haggai 1:5-7

Psalm 139:24

2 Corinthians 13:5

James 1: 23-25

Where are you in your relationship with God?

Psalm 63:1-11 

Do you earnestly seek him?

Does your Soul thirst for him?

Do you behold his power, glory, and steadfast love?

Moses said to the Lord, “ See, you say to me, Bring up this people, but you have not let me know whom you will send with me, Yet you have said, “ I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight. Now therefore, if I have found favor in you sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people. And he said, “ My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “IF your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And He said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name The Lord. And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” But, he said, you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”  Exodus 33:12-23

Why pursue God

In order to know Him 

Philippians 3:7-8 

When you go hard after Christ, to know him, the reward is your joy and His honor

To confirm our justification 

Phillipians 3:9

Saving faith is not merely a one time decision for Christ but is an ongoing preference for Christ over all other values

Because we are so imperfect

Phillipians 3:12

Not to go hard after Christ means either you don’t trust His power to change your imperfections or your willingness to cling to your imperfections.

Because he has made us his own

We must go hard after Christ because he has gone hard after us. 

Our conversion is not a cage to hold us back but a catapult into the pursuit of being like Christ Jesus!