Which disciple betrayed Jesus? Most people immediately go to Judas. This is true but Peter also betrayed Jesus. The difference is that Judas never recovered from his mistake while Peter rebounded in grace and strength.
Your mistakes do not have the power to take you down. Only your response to your mistakes has this kind of power. Make sure you’re responding well!!!
1 John 3:16-24 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. TLB
1 John 3:21 If our hearts don’t condemn us, we have confidence before God. NIV
To truly understand that Jesus fully sees you, fully knows you and yet fully loves you will completely change your life. This unlocks something in your life not only for you but also for those around you. You were designed by God to live in a place of complete and total confidence before Him knowing you are fully loved allowing that to transform heart, home & world.
When you embrace guilt and shame you are not your best for others. Your inclination is to medicate these feelings by taking note of mistakes others make reflecting on the idea, “At least I’m not that bad!”
It is a reality. The less I love me the more I judge others. Clearly God’s plan is for us to love others AS WE LOVE OURSELVES. I read an interesting article years ago that referenced a study that involved asking people to write down ten names of people they didn’t really like. Those who could quickly write down a list of names consistently were people who were disliked by their peers. Those who struggled to come up with ten names or had incomplete lists were consistently favored more among their peers. The way you relate to God directly impacts the way you relate to others.
Matt 6:9-15 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. NIV
We must purpose to forgive because we have been forgiven. A mountain of grace met a mountain of sin and brought with it a mountain of responsibility. Since we experience his grace freely we must learn to express his grace liberally.
Matt 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” NAS
Matt 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. NIV Going on to explain the power of unity and agreement if 2 agree it will be done!
It is interesting that the very next thing we see in this text is Peter asking Jesus about forgiveness. The idea of binding and loosing in these verses is about locking and unlocking pointing to the idea of keys. Hell has gates but we have keys. No matter how big or intimidating the gate may be a small key easily unlocks it. To refuse to forgive is to lock up God’s blessing from your own life.
Jesus only reiterates one portion of the Lord’s Prayer. His reiteration is about provision or God’s Kingdom coming. He reiterates the ever important matter of forgiveness.
Matt 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins Forgiveness: If you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you.
We Bring GP2RL Action Point:
Pray daily for wisdom and guidance to find meaning and strength through your pain.
God doesn’t cause our pain but God can use our pain when we surrender it to him.
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY GROUP LEADERS
LEADER’S NOTES: In this season we are addressing how only God’s love can reach deeply enough into our souls to restore our lives. This is the place where we begin finding confidence and strength to love God and to love others as we love ourselves because we have learned to love ourselves.
THE POINT: God’s love unlocks our lives. We are taking two weeks here to focus on the power of forgiveness and the dangers of unforgiveness.
The mindset of our culture gives us permission to cling to our resentment, broken relationships, and unresolved conflicts, but the Word of God gives us a higher standard.
1. What is the difference in the way the world looks at forgiveness and the way God’s Word sees it?
2. When it comes to forgiveness how are you at letting things go so you can stay free?
Forgiving others may be simple for you or it may be a struggle. God wants us to forgive just as we have been forgiven. The cost of forgiveness is great, but Jesus has already paid the price. The road of forgiveness leads to blessing and Jesus will give you the strength and courage you need to walk it out. His sacrificial example should be our ultimate goal.
Matt 6:9-15 This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. NIV
3. The only part of the Lord’s Prayer Jesus reiterates is forgiveness.
Why do you think this is so important to God?
1 John 3:16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. NIV
4. Sympathy from others can provide a sense of temporary relief when we’ve been wronged. But only forgiveness provides lasting relief and release. Why do you think people are content to wallow in self-pity when the release of forgiveness is available?
5. The unwillingness to forgive keeps us in a victim mindset? How does a “victim mentality” affect our ability to respond to circumstances in our lives?
We Bring GP2RL Action Point:
Take some time in prayer before God this week and ask Him to help you let anything go that might be holding you back.