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Forgiveness: The Power of Letting Go

Eric Walsh
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Eric Walsh

Pastor and Physician

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  • December 24, 2020
    7:00 PM
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Here again to present another message. This one during this holiday season and as we're talking about things that present towards the end of the year we thought about. A message of them before. But probably has no relevance in the era of the pandemic the separation of families what I found is that there is some even some families having some family hostilities in this 2020 year dealing with this pandemic interacting only through zoom and Facebook and so forth. So I spoke to one gentleman who hasn't spoken to his sibling for about 67 years and he told me that he fell out even further when something this year was posted on Facebook that he had no idea that this baby was born and he made a comment and they kind of fell out all over again this is been a tough year and even now we're preparing for vaccination we now have more information about the virus that in fact if someone has had corona virus there probably is some natural immunity that comes with it great article came out that talked about the power of. The phytochemicals flavonoids in in plant foods and their ability to actually work as good as many of the medications that have either been proport it or use for the treatment of covert a simple whole food plants. Are powerful in fighting crowbars as we've talked about many times so as this year comes to a close there are some healing that has to happen a lot of economic loss a lot of loss of life a lot of loss of. Of trust in systems and so the message tonight is the to really deal with that our scripture reading is taken from Luke Chapter 23 starting a verse 34 it says then said Jesus Father forgive them for they know not what they do and they parted his arraignment and cast lots I message tonight the power of letting go 2020 version forgiveness as an agent for healing forgive this as an agent for healing we go to Genesis Chapter 50 but let's pray 1st Father God we thank you for this opportunity to study your word or ask once again you make me just the nail upon the wall in a rusty sorry male Lord Lord don't let the world see the nail that is Eric Walsh hang the portrait of Jesus Christ upon that nail that only Christ the seen tonight is precepts of his ways this is our prayer for this message in Jesus' name amen so in Genesis Chapter 50 there is a great loss just like I said many of the Lost I found out one of my good friend's mother. Passed that I worked under in California. His mother lost his mother to coven just yesterday. So this is a year of a lot of loss in the Genesis Chapter 15 verse 15 is in one Joseph's brother and saw that their father was dead they said Joseph will prevent you hate us and will certainly Requip us all the evil which we did and to him they sent a messenger to Jules of saying that father did command before he died saying. So shall you say on to Joseph forgive I pray thee now the trespass of the brethren and their sin for they did not unto thee unto the evil and now we pray thee forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of the Father Joseph wept when they speak and to him in a year of loss one of the things that happens. Is that those who remain after the loss have to make sense of what is happening families are being strained as year because the Wonder has been a lot of loss of life lost as mentioned in previous Armin's. My mother sister who I loved dearly and like another mother to me very difficult. But others this year and we've lost as we've gone through a year of coronavirus Not everyone to corrode of ours there are those. Who lost a good friend of mine in California who worked at me a nurse while I was there committed suicide that was very painful of a good friend of mine is Your her son was murdered in California. So it's been tough on the sleeve. As if a dark cloud sat over 2020 in many ways what all of that loss happens somebody's got to stay behind to try and put together the pieces and sometimes the person that we're most angry at is God himself how could God allow such loss how could God allow such tragedy and so it's difficult and families will often begin to infight and bicker as they try to put the pieces back together and it can be incredibly stressful. The Bible says that when Joseph brothers came to him after their father died that they begged him to remember what their father had said their father had said Listen forgive them Joseph for all that they did and Joseph had clearly already forgiven his brothers he told them already what you meant for evil God meant for good you know already taken care of his family and the Bible tells us in Genesis 50 in verse 17 that when Joseph realizes that his brothers are still thinking that he remembers and holds against them what they did Joseph begins to weep because Joseph only ever for real the child wanted to be accepted by his brothers whereas 80 to his brother also went and fell down before his face and he said Behold we be thy servants Joseph said unto them fear not for I am in the place of God am I in the place of God He says this because the Bible teaches that vengeance is mine saith the Lord I shall repeat Joseph understands that revenge is not served. By the People of God they allow God to do it just recently we had an Adventist who was. The youngest of they want to youngest people ever put to death in a federal criminal justice system after a crime he committed when he was 18 and I think is only like 40 years old campground actually and tried to come to his rescue and I don't often wrong. Refer to think him good actually and said But I think she said it very well when she said putting this person to death could never bring back the people who died then and I'm not saying I'm not for or against what happened in terms of a legal standpoint but I will say that in your own heart you can't if you hold that the other person someone must be destroyed for all things to be made even sometimes what happens is there is a hollow ness that happens when you try to play take the place of God and Joseph was wise enough not to want to take the place that was his listen and mine the place of God There is a 50 in verse 20 says but as for you you thought evil against me but God meant it and to good to bring to pass as it is this day to save much people alive verse 21 now therefore fear you not I would nourish you and your little ones and he comforted them and spake kindly unto them Joseph says No In fact I don't want revenge what I want to do is take better care of you does or says I'm not going to do harm to you because of what you did to me Joseph says instead I want to make sure your children are taken care of Joseph was able to live a life free from the weight of all the trauma he experienced because Joseph let go he understood the power of letting go of forgiving his brothers and accepting what God did because of all of that harm that he used Joseph and he would Joseph would not have been who he was as a man who had not gone through those difficult times one of people who taught a lot about forgiveness as Dr Martin Luther King Jr who said we must we must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive he who is of the void of the power to forgive is the void of the power to love there are some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us when we discover this we are less prone to hate our enemies. This was the mantra of the philosophy even of the civil rights movement that Dr King was a leader of not like much of what goes on today between the different groups and sides in all of the political wranglings in the world today not many are looking for a way to love and even bless those who might be considered their enemies so the 1st lesson around forgiveness comes from. Mahatma Gandhi and this says forgiveness takes strength rheumatism and brought to the British today and me nonviolently says the weak can never forgive forgive this is the attribute of the strong you have to be able to forgive your enemies if you're going to ever be successful in moving the world forward or making things better the Sabbath school lesson from the last quarter of 2018 the teachers comment says this forgiveness involves a conscious choice to give up feelings of resentment toward another person and consequently it also removes any right to seek revenge for what he or she has done Forgiveness does not require you to be the guilty party or imply that the other person deserves forgiveness rather forgiveness roots out of anger and bitterness from our own lives helps heal wounds and builds a basis for restoring relationships Forgiveness does not mean excusing wrong behavior or removing any consequences that might result from the behavior true forgiveness recognizes the seriousness of the offense but chooses a path of healing God forgave humans even though we were undeserving of his forgiveness but divine forgiveness did not undermine the seriousness of sin or remove all the consequences of sin indeed Jesus took the ultimate consequence of sin suffering death on our behalf forgive the says that I'm going to allow God to deal with it forgive the Says I recognize how serious the offenses. Forgiveness says I'm not going to allow what was done to me doing me a slave to someone else Oh I says like this in the testimony she says the real greatness and nobility of the man is measured by the power of the feelings that he subdues not by the power of the feelings that subdue him the strongest man is he who while sensitive to abuse will yet restrain passion and forgive his enemies such men are true heroes Matthew 18 and verse 21 then came Peter to him and said Lord how oft So my brother sinned against me and I forgive him till 7 times verse 22 Jesus said unto him I say not on to the until 7 times but until 70 times 7 to truly forgive us I want to talk about is a consistent thing it doesn't mean that you allow people to keep walking all over you but it means that wouldn't even with repetitive injury you drew fuse to hold on to anger and malice and the desire for revenge Why is that so important one of the reasons is our 2nd point Forgiveness is good for health. You know the study showed craze about our relationships in fact the reason many relationships don't work I mean romantic relationships is because people come into the new romantic relationship still mad at the person from the old one and they treat the person in a new relationship as if they wronged them because that's the person standing in front of them but you want to have good relationships if you can't forgive Of course it helps your mental health in decreasing Zaya the stress and hostility lowers blood pressure as we'll see in a 2nd I'll give you less the press of system depression symptoms bills and boosts the immune system to be forgiving helps your immune system we'll talk about why that isn't a 2nd question of the time of a pandemic when you want your muses them working as a full throttle. Improve heart health and improves self-esteem so there's a study that was done in this and a journal of health psychology research looked at $140.00 young adults what it showed of course is that those at high stress levels had more health problems we know health and stress go together but a study also indicated that in cases where people showed forgiveness of both themselves and others the connection between stress and mental illness practically disappeared that's how important it is well what are some other health things that matter here well being hurt and disappointed it carries a bird it literally carries a bird a weight sits emotionally on the individual who has been hurt and cannot let go of it chronic anger puts an individual into a mode of fight or flight that is the call Allo Stace is a fight or flight mode resulting in numerous changes in heart rate blood pressure and immune system so this is also called allostatic load so what happens is if you are constantly angry if there's someone you're so mad it an ex-husband a parent whatever to care child whatever it is and you stay super angry at that person it is like every day you're being chased by a dog like every day you are in a fight or flight mode so your heart rate never comes down because that's what has to happen for you to run from a dog you have to lift your heart rate your blood pressure stays up because when you're in a fight or flight mode blood has to get to your brains you can think as clearly as possible the pupils constrict blood is shunted away from the big big muscles of a star from the digestive tract to the big muscles. But of course the immune system gets lower priority so when you're a constant state of fight or flight your immune system does not work as well. And knees changes increase the risk for conditions like depression heart disease and diabetes how when cortisol is released in large amounts it blocks. The in pro-inflammatory cells of the immune system but when cortisol is always available eventually resistance to the cortisol develops just like people become insulin resistant and eventually there is inflammation that happens now I've been saying this since the beginning of this pandemic coronavirus is an inflammatory disease so if you can't forgive you carry this burden and you have these high levels of cortisol to the point where because of your stress of not being of not forgiving and of being angry so now your immune system eventually becomes resistant to reporters all so the inflammatory components of your immune system now run wild and you become hyper inflamed if you get coronavirus in that condition because you're stressed because you haven't forgiven your cortisol level stay high you're actually probably more likely to get sick or get very sick from a coronavirus at 1st if you're younger person shouldn't get sick so when I say listed as young healthy person we have no medical problems got sick and got super sick want to be icy or even died from coronavirus it would be curious to ask how many of those people were in a hyper inflammatory state because of trauma because of anger because of a mental health and emotional issues that were never resolved forgiveness can help to mitigate those stress levels I was setting it in the increase in cortisol levels cause inflammation in the real system but it does something else it decreases activity in the prefrontal cortex. Increase activity in the limbic system that we've talked about this in so many other messages we've been doing since the pandemic started but the prefrontal cortex is the most holy part of the brain if your body is a temple the most holy place is the frontal lobe the prefrontal cortex this is where we reason that's why I say I want to verse 18 says Come let us reason together though your sins be a scarlet they shall be as white as snow if you cannot reason you cannot fully accept salvation this is why the devil wants you intoxicated when you're intoxicated you don't reason well you block the release of a chemical called gavel we're going to a message on Gabba in the next few weeks and you brought the release of Jabba And so you are uncontrolled you're disinhibited here's what you've got to get if you do not forgive the studies show that you decrease activity in the part of your brain that is the equivalent to the most holy place in the sanctuary your body is a sanctuary or a temple you want a party of brain to be sharp and clean is why the Bible says Be sober be sober be vigilant because that's the part of the brain that reasons and keeps you alert and awake if you have not forgiven people you are allowing your cortisol levels a say high you actually don't have the same a functionality of the prefrontal cortex I remember one of messages we talked about this is where either the seal of God will go or the mark of the beast will go in your forehead in your prefrontal cortex could it be that there will be those who are so angry so and able to forgive that in fact they don't receive the seal of God more about the spirit around you but also the increased activity in the limbic system the limbic system is the is a motions of memory. It's also in part where the reward pathways of the brain sit so it could be that when you're more angry and you won't forget folk who have harmed you when you won't let go of things the reward pathway is that is also where the diction happens. Could be that some of us eat more than we want to drink more alcohol smoke more cigarettes mess with drugs or other addictive behavior it could be because of a self medicate in an overactive limbic system because we have not emotionally healed from trauma we've not emotionally heal because we have not decided to forgive that person or persons who harmed us with this is the danger as an African-American this is the danger of just being mad at the system all the time always angry at what was done and always recounting the history not that it should be recounted but unless you can manage to let go and forgive even those that have done you wrong you will never fully heal in the mind and that might have eternal consequences why because the 3rd point is this forgiveness is key to experiencing God's love Matthew 6 and verse 12 says and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors for if you forgive men their trespass trespasses you haven't a father will also forgive you but if you give if you if you forgive not mend their trespasses neither will your father forgive your trespasses I want to read that in the amplified version of the Bible same verse and forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors look at Amplified Bible says letting go of both the wrong and the resentment verse 14 for if you forgive others their trespasses the Amplified adds this their reckless and willful sins your heavenly Father will also forgive you but if you do not forgive others nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God then your father will not forgive your trespasses that you get that what Jesus really saying is listen you've got to forgive because if you don't forgive it will ball lock your ability to develop a proper relationship with the God of heaven. Luke 7 verse 47 continues the theme of why being able to forgive is important to experiencing God's love Luke 7 in verse 47 says wherefore I say unto thee her sins which are many are forgiven for she loved much but to whom little is forgiven the same love with little wherefore I say under the her sins which are many are forgiven for she loved him much why our sins which were many forgiven her because she loved much but to whom little is forgiven the same love with little shows like an inverse relationship here. You have if you if you love the more you love him the more you'll be forgiven and you got to forgive others in order to be forgiven that's what the Bible says Here in and Matthew 6 you got to forgive others in order to be forgiven but as you forgive others you develop a greater relationship of love with your father and he forgive you even more otherwise as a like this she says we are not forgiven because we forgive but as we forgive the ground of all forgiveness is found in the unmerited love God but by our attitude toward others we show whether we have made that love our own wherefore crisis with what judgement g. judge ye shall be judged and with what measure you meet it shall be measured to you again Matthew 7 verse 2 and so the Spirit of Prophecy tells us that as we forgive others we are forgiven your ability to forgive measures heavily on your relationship with him and let me let me point back to this I believe this connects back to the seal of God and a mark of the beast not in that this is it but in the ability to think clearly to choose because one of the things the spirit of prophecy said is that those who do not accept God's forgiveness. They're being prepared for the market a beast Matthew 18 of the great story of the of this king who had a man you know what equivalent to probably a $1000000.00 us just say and a man and his family were going to be destroyed and he begged to this king for mercy in a king forgive the man fell down and worship the king and beg them for mercy the king had mercy on him and told him you know you're fine go and go away and this guy found someone who owed him money a small amount of money maybe like 50 bucks 50 dollars he wanted to harm a guy even when a guy begged him just as he begged the king he threw the man into prison the man's friends went and told the king all that happened and I want to reverse 30 to 35 it says then his lord after he had called him said unto him although we could servant I forgave the all that debt because thou desires me shouldn't you shouldn't you not also have compassion on your fellow servant even as I had pity on you and as Lord was wrought he was angry and delivered into the tormentors that he should pay all that was due and to him 1st 35 says so likewise shall my Heavenly Father do also on to you if you form your hearts forgive not everyone is Brother their trespasses you got to get this you see what we've done to God specifically to Christ being sinners by violating his law man's inhumanity to man all the the sneaking in sinning we did all our lives all the hidden envy and the hidden. Hidden dirt that we have in our lives the skeletons in our closets the sins we everyone knows about in the sins no one know about every one of them is we have grieved God we have we've injured God every single one of them. And yet with all that we've done causing Christ Himself to come to earth and die on cry over his cross that we would have a 2nd chance he is willing to forgive us and to my Bible teaches that God does not just forgive you of his sins he remember your sin no more he would go all that way to forgive you how then do you not go all that way to forgive those who have hurt you if God is willing and the wages of sin is death the God of the universe could cause every one of us who have sinned to die tomorrow tonight if he's willing to forgive you if the blood of Calvary was shed and when applied is faithful in forgiving and washing away sin how do we not forgive that family member who did us wrong that ex-husband and ex-wife that did us dirty the parent who neglected us or abused us again we're not saying that it makes what they did right we're not saying that you allow them to keep doing it but if you're ever going to be whole and full you've got a Lego Jesus on the cross as our scripture reading showed even as they were brutalizing him tormenting him mocking him he said Father forgive them for they know not what they do is read a prophecy says this. In a letter 333388 comfort your heart my brother by believing that the Lord wants you to be saved that you are his child do not think that your mind must be in a certain state of feeling or else you are not accepted of God your faith must rely not on feeling but on the promises of God walk by faith in a verse say of the Lord rusher case with the Lord and believe in His word believe obey leave the word of the Lord and walk by faith not by sight consecrate yourself a new To God be loyal and true to it thus saith the Lord and stand fast in the Liberty wherewith Christ thus make you free it is imperative that we understand. That we are liberated when we are forgiven by Christ that liberty is the power and the strength that allows us to forgive other folk James $516.00 says confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that gee maybe he'll be effective fervent prayer of a righteous man available much the 4th point is found here it is to request and to confess Yeah we've got to be willing to forgive others but sometimes we've got to go and tell folks we're sorry and ask for forgiveness otherwise as I like this in Christ object lesson paid 100 for one of Christ last commands to his disciples was love one another as I have loved you John 1334 we'll be this command or are we indulging sharp un-Christ like traits of Crick Erik to her if we have in any way grieved or wounded others it is our duty to confess our faults and seek for reconciliation this is an essential preparation that we may come before God in faith to ask his blessings in other words Christ commands that we love one another but he says listen if you want to ask a blessing from me you've got to be reconciled some of us we pray and our prayers are not answered they bounce off the ceiling because we are holding a grudge against someone else or we have done someone wrong and I'm not willing to go and say I am sorry but the 5th point is this when you must be willing to forgive yourself and I don't mean you can forgive yourself and save yourself but I mean you cannot hold on to whatever it is that you've done Philippians 3 thirteenth's as brothers and sisters I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it but one thing I do forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead Paul says I press towards the mark. The High Calling that is in Christ Jesus let me say something some of us our own worst enemies we have had we've made our mistakes in life we've we've fallen down but my Bible teaches me that a just man falls 7 times and rises every time let me ask you this that is a just man right and my Bible says that the just shall live by faith and that righteousness is by faith to be just is to be righteous so to just thought man fall 7 times rise every time he's not just because he fell clearly the fall is what you don't want to do he's just because he gets up every time I here's the question would he get up every time if he was concentrating on remembering the fall if all he thought about was how he fell the mechanics of how he fell the reasons of why he fell the humiliation in falling if all he thought about was the fall he would never get up and there are many Christians who are who I remember there was a there was an elder in a church I went to once so phenomenal Christian man who kept the church in order but he couldn't forgive himself for some of the messes he had made some of the failures and mistakes in me that affected his children he could not forgive himself and let me tell you something Satan loves that because then he can hardly tell you because what we don't realize is there is none righteous no not one we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God Some of our sins are much more visible than other folks and what we have all failed perfection let me tell you something I know I know you may have made some mistakes in your past but you've got to forgive yourself if not forgiving others can cause all of the psychological emotional and physical damage that we talked about a magic what happens when all you do is dwell in the past. All you do is live behind you constantly looking in the rearview mirror and not seeing the bright road in front of you that God has paved in let me you will not be prepared for the time of trouble you will not be able to stand the last day persecution you are not be able to avoid deception because if you are thinking that you are not worth. What Christ is offering Satan will deceive you into taking what he is throwing away we must look past our past failures our mistakes this let me taste of the devil you know to buy because I'm saved means isn't a kid is he's an accuser and I'll tell you even for myself there are folks who want to reach out to me to remind me of the messes of once made they want to bring it up and right and and regurgitate it that is the work of Satan Satan want to do all in on your past failures same wanted Adam and Eve to constantly think about how they fell Satan want to Jacob to think of what he did to Esau Satan wanted Joseph brothers to come to him as we stalked about the beginning story and talked to Joseph about not getting revenge Satan is the one who wanted who even when Jesus would have forgiven Judas it was Satan to convince Judas that he was beyond saving let me tell you some church you cannot go into the future that God has for you if you're living in the regret of the past forgive yourself and I don't mean forgive yourself in a theological way I mean do not hold yourself accountable for things you can no longer change if you truly believe that God can do the impossible he will make amends for where we have come short but you've got to forgive yourself because if you keep yourself bound up one you'll become a slave to somebody. Someone who you hurt will constantly use that thing against you leverage that thing against you at some point you got to say you know what if God has forgiven me I'm going to let go of this thing and the wife says it like this and counsels for it for the church preach 353 she says the tempter stands by to accuse them as they stood by and to resist just what he points to their filthy garments their defective characters he presents their weakness and folly their sins of in gratitude their unlikeness to Christ which as this honored their Redeemer talking about forgiving yourself now endeavors to affright the soul with the thought that their case is hopeless that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away he hopes to so destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations turn from their allegiance to God and receive the mark of the beast council to change churches through for they did you get that whether or not you can accept God's forgiveness is a touch to whether or not Satan will press upon you to receive the mark of the beast if you cannot let go of what's happened if you cannot trust the blood of Jesus Christ has done its job and I say this all the time and I preach a lot of us have more faith in tide and in Clorox than we do in the blood of Jesus we will put tide and poor ox in a washing machine we will walk away and we don't even we never wonder if the tide of the Cross is going to wash the clothes clean but some of us spend our whole lives who are standing whether or not the blood was able to wash away the stain of sin from off of our lives so forgive and be made free Louis b. Smead said it like this to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you to forgive us to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you let me taste of the church. As message is a message for mean you know I grew up one of her persons I could have been very angry what was at one point with my biological father but somewhere in there my mother's attitude toward him allowed me to forgive him accept them the best I could miss ironic myself and my younger brother David we were proud of the last 2 by his side David for sure was when he died a man who left us neglected us and basically want to nothing to do with us and I was able to sit there and in those last times I met with my father share with him a new the Gospel of Jesus Christ so if I had a cat held on to my anger I could not have shared with him a gust the gospel before his death I'm telling you church don't allow the devil to bind you by what has been done to you don't allow them to bind you by with the mistakes you have made instead I would pray that each of us would make a decision to accept the liberty that comes in Jesus Christ the peace that passes all understanding that comes from knowing Jesus as r.c. are you going to me that peace to make it through the time of trouble you don't need that piece to ward off the temptations of the devil you going to be that peace to receive the seal of God and not the mark of the beast you don't need that piece so the God's Word is always clear in giving its instruction let us pray Father God we thank you for this opportunity Lord to study your word you thank you for the power of letting the power of forgiveness to heal us Mind Body and Soul father god someone who listen to his message is still angry at themselves. Still angry at an ex-husband ex-wives a parent the child of a neighbor a family member and old boss they are still furious at what was done to them some of us a lot of matter what whole groups of people did to our people Father God teach us from your word just as Christ hung on the cross and said Father forgive them we ought to be able to forgive even the violence the Via. The board we were you or it. Is our prayer and Jesus for sins. In. This media was brought to you by audio force a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave visit w w w audio verse or.

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