The Power of Forgiveness

    First Wednesday Service Sermon Summary (9-2-15) – This was my second time to attend First Wednesday at Celebration Church in Fairhope and it is crystal clear to me now that Pastor Johnny Hunt uses this service as an opportunity to set the tone for the month ahead and tonight he was on a mission to spark a season of forgiveness in the hearts and minds of our congregation.

    Offenses against us can lure us into a trap of unforgiveness, and if we allow ourselves to dwell in that prison of bitterness, our faith will surely suffer as a result. Bitterness has a very dangerous root, thus we must see to it that its roots don’t take hold of our soul and bare poisonous fruit, shattering the hope and love that surrounds a purpose driven life.

    There is a path to freedom and it begins by recognizing that bitter people:

    1. Justify their bitterness
    2. Are overly critical of others
    3. Secretly celebrate the misfortune of others
    4. Have the ability to drop people from their lives completely
    5. Struggle to see the bitterness in the mirror

    Personally, I can identify with each of these 5 traits of bitter people. Looking back, I think I have been a hostage to my own bitterness for as long as I can remember. I have used it as an excuse to justify my every fault, failure and transgression. Yet, the entire time the answer has been starring me right in the face. I have been my own worst enemy, for I alone have been able to choose a different path all along. I don’t think I’ve been ready to hear the real solution until tonight and while the solution is a simple one, it definitely won’t be easy.

    We must keep in mind that they beat the very man who was sent to bring hope to the world and so began the lesson that anything worth doing should never be easy.

    The simplicity of the path exists among these truths:
    1. Forgiveness does not always have to mean reconciliation
    2. Forgiveness does not mean you have to forget what happened
    3. Forgiveness does not minimize the offense

    The people to which we offer our forgiveness, don’t even have to agree to receive it for us to be set free. However, forgiveness is often the first step towards salvation. The path of forgiveness is the journey that will bring us wisdom in this life. Forgiveness will become the fuel we need to love those who have hurt us the most. Forgiveness will evoke the Spiritual Maturity from within, allowing us to walk in freedom and leave behind a trail for others to follow. Just remember moving forward that the saved don’t have the right to hold bitterness against others.

    So, if you are reading this message and bitterness exists in your heart, close your eyes and reply the movie of your life in your mind. Identify every episode of anger, hatred and resentment from as far back as you can remember and simply let freedom happen.

    Fairhope Church – The Power of Forgiveness – Pastor Johnny Hunt sermon summary by Jason Will of Jason Will Real Estate, LLC 251-866-6464.