Monday, April 11, 2011

Red Letter Day 02: Father Forgive Them Follow Up

Talking through the message during the week helps you turn what God is saying to you into action steps. These talking points, questions, and scriptures are designed to help you take the next step.
With your Bible read Luke 23:33-34.

This passage tells about Jesus being taken to die on the cross. One of Jesus’ final actions was to ask God to forgive the very people who were killing him.

What has someone forgiven you of that you are most grateful for? 
Before you knew Christ as your Savior, how did you treat others who wronged you? Do you treat them differently now? 
Describe a time when another person hurt your feelings and you had a hard time forgiving them. How did that bitterness and resentment affect your life? 
How has withholding forgiveness poisoned your relationships? 
God is so willing to forgive us. Why are we sometimes unwilling to forgive others? 
In what ways has God shown you mercy by forgiving your sins? How has that forgiveness impacted your life?

Read Matthew 18:21-35.
This parable told by Jesus describes a servant who couldn’t repay a debt that he owed to his king. The king forgave his debt, but later when that same servant refused to forgive someone who was in debt to him, the king sent the servant to prison to be tortured.
Describe a time when you forgave someone who hurt you. How did your act of forgiveness impact your life and the lives of others?
How is it possible for us to forgive the wrongs others have done to us? Why is important that we forgive? 
What does forgiveness look like in your life right now? What are some things you can do to develop an ongoing attitude of forgiveness? 
What are some practical ways you can show mercy this week to someone who has wronged you? 
Who are the people you haven’t forgiven that you would commit to pray for regularly?

next steps
Here are some specific things you can do this week to help you begin to show mercy and forgiveness towards others and break the bondage of bitterness.
If someone has hurt you, begin the process of forgiving that person. Ask God to soften your heart so that you can forgive. Think about an appropriate time to share with that person that you have forgiven them. Don’t rush through the process of forgiving. Take enough time to be sure you’re sincere.

Spend some time this week asking God to help you turn away from bitterness, and ask Him to help you become a forgiver instead. Read the following scriptures this week as you pray for those you need to forgive:
Matthew 6:9-15, Romans 12:19-21, Luke 6:27-37, Luke 11:4 and Luke 7:47-48.

Use these prayer tips to talk it over with God and to expand your conversations both in person and online:
Thank God for the power of forgiveness that you have experienced in your own life.
Ask God to remove any bitterness you have. Ask Him to give you a heart of forgiveness in its place.
Pray for any people who have hurt you. Ask God to help you begin the process of forgiving them.
Ask God to help you treat others with mercy and forgiveness. Ask Him to help you and guide you.
Ask God to help you receive and understand His complete forgiveness..


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