THEMATIC BACKGROUND from: The Unforgiving Servant
READING: Matthew 18:21-35
KEY VERSE: Matthew 18:35
"This is how my heavenly Father will treat you, unless
you each forgive each other from your heart."
THEORY: God has had mercy upon us and forgiven us a huge
debt – going right back the treachery of Adam in the Garden.
Therefore, God expects us to show mercy to those who hurt or offend
us – being merciful as He is merciful. Failure to forgive from
our heart, with deep sincerity and change of attitude, breaks our
communion/identification with our heavenly Father – at least in
this area of our life. The result of this break in
communion/identification with our heavenly Father is that we reap
pain – torture, torment, and imprisonment. It seems like Satan gets
access to us where we are cut off from God. The promise is that
this torment will stop when we forgive from our heart.
RESPONSE: I will outline an exercise in listening prayer
that brings about a change of heart, a new spirit and you will
experience both forgiveness from you heart and the end to some
torment that you have been reaping in your life. Your part is to
do the exercise.
CREATIVE CLOSING / PRAYER ENCOUNTER
Choose one person with whom you have unfinished business – you feel
some hurt, some resentment, etc.
(The following step may be omitted in a church service: Write down
10 negatives patterns, behaviours or attitudes in this person. Write
down 10 positive traits, patterns or attitudes in the person.)
Pick one significant incident, one painful pattern of behaviour in
this relationship. In a time of quiet and listening, ask God “What
have I believed about myself because of this persons’ behaviour?
What have I believed that is causing me so much pain?”
When that is clear to you then ask God for His truth. “Jesus, you
are the Way, the Truth and the Life, what is your truth for me?”
When a truth comes, try it on like a new set of clothes. Does it
feel good? If this feels good, if it is a good fit, then keep these
clothes on. Wear them. Live your life in the light of Gods truth
for you. Thank Him for his truth.
(The more memories that are dealt with like this the more one’s
attitude toward the other will change until forgiveness from the
heart is accomplished.)
copyright - George Hartwell, 2002
Page by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 2002 - 2005
please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these resources.