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Summary: How do we love the unlovable? We can flee them, fight them or forgive them.

Jesus
shows us the forgiving heart. We want to (1) release them through forgiveness, and (2) change
them through love.
Series: Just Like Jesus Series
Scripture: Colossians 3:12-3:14 (add scripture)
Tags: Forgiveness For Others, Mercy, Forgiveness (add tag)
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Audience: Believer adults
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Christian Cheong
Kim Tian Christian Church
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Sermon:
One of the greatest attributes of Jesus is His forgiving heart.
Jesus said at the outset that He has not come to condemn, but to redeem.
This is remarkable because Jesus, being just and holy, has all the right to condemn.

We have failed in many ways; we have done wrong countless times. Yet as imperfect as we are,
when we come to Him we know we will not be despised but accepted, not spurned on but loved.
This is the heart of Jesus we see in the Gospels. We saw it at its best on the cross when He
prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them!"
How do we treat those who have offended us or hurt us? People we find it hard to get along,
people we are stuck with?
This is what we want to cultivate - the heart of Jesus is a forgiving heart. A heart that is BIG
enough to accept the imperfections and the mistakes of others.
This is what the Lord wants us to be. Lets read Colossians 3:12-14.
Jesus puts it more blunt - Matt 5:44-45 "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those
who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven."
The fact that the Bible says "bear with each other" means we will not always see eye to eye and
agree on everything. There will be "grievances against one another."
The question is not WHETHER people will step on your toes but WHEN. Those times will
surely come.
What do you do next? You have 3 ways to cope with it:
FLEE - you run as far as you can from him, you cannot even stand the look of him);
FIGHT - you go against him, you harbour resentment in your heart and seek for revenge, or you
choose to be more generous, you
FORGIVE - leave it to God to judge him and refuse to take it personally.
You are not solving the problem by fleeing and fighting. You get into more trouble and
experience greater stress.
This passage gives us an answer. We see here a picture of what we need to PUT ON (clothe
yourselves) and what we need to PUT OFF grievances. How? Do it through forgiveness.
To forgive is to release that which is holding me - resentment, hurt, revengeful spirit. I refuse to
take it personally.
So Id like to sum this up in 2 lines:
(1) RELEASE them through FORGIVENESS; (2) CHANGE them through LOVE.

(1) RELEASE IT THROUGH FORGIVENESS


You release it and you flourish, because it is no longer holding you back or locking you in.
Jesus had all the reasons to be disappointed in life - He faces many wrongful accusations and
unjustified persecutions.
Not just from without - the religious leaders and people who do not know Him, but also from
within his small group of inner circle - His 12 disciples.
For most part, they do not fully understand Him. There were doubts, denial and even betrayal

from among the 12 who were closest to Him.


I wonder if Jesus had, at some time during His ministry, regretted calling the 12.
They were "slow of heart to believe" Jesus said. They argued about who is the greatest among
them, they slept when they should be praying and standing by Jesus.
Think about this. Jesus not only knew their private doubts and unspoken thought, He saw their
future failures. He knew about Peters denial and Judas betrayal.
Imagine this. What if you knew today every mistake that a person had made and every mistake
he would ever make? What if you knew every thought he would
have about you, every slander, dislike, or gossip about you?
Do you think it was hard for Jesus to love Peter, knowing Peter would someday
deny Him? Was it tough to love Thomas, knowing Thomas would even questioned
His resurrection? Would Jesus love them less knowing that they would all flee when
He needed them most, at the Garden of Gethsemane?
Why would Jesus love them? Why would Jesus stick with the original 12 and not
recruit a new batch?
Because right at the beginning, Jesus had already decided to accept them as they
are, with all their imperfections and failures.
He is not going to leave them as they are, but He has accepted them as they are.
Right from the start, He believed in them and sought to help them grow up! God
see the potential in the person He calls!
This perspective is crucial, and this attitude is what we want to cultivate today.
Learn to accept the imperfections and failures of others. Be forgiving, because we
too need that.
God is not finished with them yet, neither is He with us.
We believe one day, by Gods grace, anyone who put their trust in Christ can grow
up to be JUST LIKE HIM.

(2) CHANGE THEM THROUGH LOVE


You cannot change someone by fleeing from him or fighting him; you change him
with love.
Jesus loved His disciples into the Kingdom of God. Jesus embraced them first (with
all their imperfections and failures, doubts and foolishness, denial and betrayal),
and then we see the change took place.
Most would write them off, but the Lord changed them into great servants of God.
It is the love of Jesus that changes them.
If that is the case, then we need to embrace those who hurt us, those whom we
cannot get along with.

Jesus did an unforgettable act at the Last Supper (John 13:4-5).


He took a basin of water and washed His disciples feet and dried them with a
towel.
It was not His duty; He shouldnt be doing this, since this task was for the lowest
of servants (not even servants of the house).
He did it because this was His last opportunity to show His care and love for them,
before He dies.
Jesus knows the future of these feet He is washing.
These 12 pairs of feet, in a couple of hours time, will not be there defending Him;
these feet will be running from Him when the soldiers arrive.
Only one pair of feet will not abandon Him in the garden - Judas, the one standing
with the soldiers coming against Him.
It would be better to read, "Jesus washed all the disciples feet except the feet of
Judas." But He did. He washed the feet of the one who sold Him.

Jesus says in Luke 6:35-36 "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to
them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and
you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
Jesus offers us grace, before we even understand our need of it. Jesus offers us
mercy, before we even know how to cry out to Him for it.
Do what is right, do what we need to do, and leave the rest to God. God will show
up and do His part with "our enemies". Our part is to be merciful, kind, gracious,
and loving.
This is how people usually think. "He should be the one to say sorry; he is the one
who needs to do something, not me. I did not do anything wrong, I am not theguilty
one."
Perhaps you are not. You are really innocent. But so is Jesus.
Of all the men in that room, only one was worthy of having his feet washed Jesus. Someone should be washing His feet! He ought not to be doing that!
But He was the one who washed the feet of all the "undeserving" ones. The One
who is worthy to be served, served others.
So be like Jesus, we are not fighting for justice. We seek to bless. We seek to restore.
If someone has fallen, done wrong, we can to help them learn the errors of their
ways.
How? Love them. Love them back to God. Love them back onto His ways.
Release our grievances through forgiveness, and change them through love.
Embrace them first, and we will see Gods work in their lives.
Let me close with these 2 quotes:

Max Lucado: "Relationships dont thrive because the guilty are punished but
because the innocent are merciful."
Samuel Johnson (18th century British author): "The true measure of a man is how
he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.