Preacher: Julie Williams

This past Sunday, guest speaker Julie Williams spoke about how our experience and understanding of vertical forgiveness (receiving forgiveness from God) is as important as horizontal forgiveness (extending forgiveness to others). As you spend time in worship this week, listen to the worship song What He’s Done by Passion and reflect on what God has already done for you and how the debt He has already paid for each of us, opens the door for us to extend forgiveness to others. 

As part of your check-in, share what resonated with you from this past Sunday’s service? 

Synopsis of message: Forgiveness
“Forgiveness” is a topic that plagues most of us. Julie likened the lack of understanding of forgiveness to the poor foundations of a building, like “The Millennium Tower” that began sinking and falling apart once the residents moved in. She reflected on Matthew 18:21-35, where Jesus indicates how many times we are to forgive; 70 x 7 (or into infinity).

Julie shared that forgiveness is never easy or pain free and while it may feel unnatural, it’s also costly. It’s a process and seldom instant.

Yet, the problem with unforgiveness is that…

  1. We get bitter, not better
  2. We get harder
  3. We want revenge
  4. We get weaker, not stronger
  5. It blinds us to itself

While we don’t have what it takes to forgive, Jesus fully absorbed the cost and He has what it takes! Through Jesus we have the power and authority to forgive (John 20:21-23) and so we can forgive because we have been forgiven much. The power of forgiveness is that it humanises us and makes us resilient. It stops the cycle of pain and gives us a new future.

Discussion questions:      

  1. What has been your foundational understanding of forgiveness? How has what Julie shared challenged you in this regard?
  2. Share with your group your experience of either receiving forgiveness or having to extend forgiveness to someone in your world?
  3. Forgiveness allows us to experience healing and freedom. Is there someone in your life whom you need to forgive? Consider the impact of unforgiveness as mentioned above. What steps can you take towards choosing to forgive the person/s?
  4. Perhaps there’s someone whom you need to ask for forgiveness. What do you sense God is saying to you about approaching the person and confessing to them?

Additional Resources:

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