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Fall Festival and Trunk-or-Treat

October 30, 2015, 6:00pm - October 30, 2015, 9:00pm

Join us for a night full of fun, games and fellowship. This year's fall festival will include: Trunk-or-Treat Games with prizes Free Food (Hot-Dogs, Chips, Smores, Cocoa, etc) Black-Light Maze Bike r...

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Good day. I hope you are having a blessed week so far. This month I wanted to talk to you a bit about forgiveness, which is something we all struggle with from time to time. But church in Ephesians 4:16 we are told that Christ is the head of the church & we are the body in which we must support one another just as each part of the human body support its self and builds itself up. We are the body of Christ and we are the witness to the world. It is so important for us to be able to mirror the forgiveness of Christ so that we might carry on His legacy of ministry to our community and to the world. Are you ready to open your heart? Here we go:

In the following verses in Ephesians 4:30-32 we are taught some other practical commands from God for daily living as a Christian. That is we are to be a forgiving people that treats one another with compassion. Verse 30 & following: & do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage & anger, brawling & slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind & compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

How do you handle your emotions when you’ve been hurt? Maybe someone has hurt you and you can’t shake the feelings of pain, hurt & bitterness from your heart. Refusing to forgive is costly both spiritually, emotionally, relationally, & physically. This wears on our relationships with others.

Two things to understand about unforgiveness: 1. You remain bound by your own emotions to the person you won’t forgive, & you’re never free of them or the situation until you forgive & let the Lord take it. 2. If you don’t forgive & this pain, resentment, & bitterness controls your life you will never be the person God has created you to be.

Ephesians 4 gives us some more words of wisdom when it comes to forgiveness:

4:1-3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble & gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

4:26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 & do not give the devil a foothold. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
& if we don’t forgive, & if we don’t be the person God is calling us to be we won’t/can’t enjoy the full fruit of His blessing & our life. We don’t have rights when it comes to forgiveness & obedience to God. We are to be a forgiving people because He commands us to forgive. This is not to say that the person who you feel hurt you didn’t hurt you, this is merely to forgive because God desires us to. On the cross, Jesus prayed for the heavenly father to forgive the very men who crucified Him. He didn’t wait for them to say, “oh I’ve made a horrible mistake”, He knew that wouldn’t happen. But even in His darkest hour, He was willing to forgive them thus giving us a perfect reflection of God’s unconditional love for each one of us. Even some of Jesus’ disciples apparently had the same problem with forgiveness, & on one occasion Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive someone as many as seven times. Jesus replied, “I say not … seven times: but, until seventy times seven” Matthew 18:22, What Jesus meant by this expression was that we ought to forgive others without limit. Why is this? The reason, Jesus went on to say, is because we should treat others the same way God has treated us. You see, we owe God a debt that is far greater than anything we could ever repay—a debt caused by our sin. But God in His grace has forgiven us anyway—not because we deserve it, but simply because of His love & mercy. & once we have experienced God’s forgiveness & grace in our own lives, we should treat others the same way. No, they may not deserve it—but neither did we when God forgave us.
I hope sharing these words today will help you find some since of Christ’s presence in your life & I pray that you will join me in the challenge of being a living witness for Christ. May we as His body find our forgiving & compassionate nature once again.

Go in peace, Go be a blessing!
Sr. Pastor George Sipp
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