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Matthew : Chapter 6

12)  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13)  And lead us not into temptation,[a] but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’ 14)  For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15)  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Fasting

Book of the Month

Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe.  For all other books…

Sammy Tippit: In our last session, we were talking about forgiveness and the power of forgiveness and confession in prayer. We’re talking about praying Jesus’ way, the way Jesus taught his disciples to pray. He was the one who said, “…and forgive us our debts…” He taught his disciples to pray that way.
“…forgive us our debts [our sins, our transgressions], as we also have forgiven our debtors.” So not only do we need to be forgiven, but Dave, we need to be able to forgive others. This is critically important. I find that this one may be more difficult than the other one sometimes because when you’ve been hurt…
Normally people are hurt by people they love, people they care about deeply. Where do we get the power? Jesus told us to forgive others, so where do we get that power? How do we forgive? How do you forgive someone who has hurt you, who has slapped you, who has cursed you, who has thrown you into prison? How do you forgive them?
Dave Butts: It is going to be critical for us to understand that if we’re to really be a people of prayer. Jesus seems to indicate pretty clearly that if we do not forgive others, our sins will not be forgiven. That’s serious. Suddenly we have to deal with our own sin because we’ve not been willing to deal with others’. Once again, I would push this all back on Jesus.
The power to forgive comes from the one who, hanging on a Roman cross, looked at the people who put him there and said, “Father, forgive them…” That’s astonishing. Arms stretched out in great agony, he prayed, “Father, forgive them…” Now because Jesus has come to dwell in you, in me, and in everyone who is his, Jesus still has the ability to do what he did 2,000 years ago.
We would all confess that. We’d all agree, wouldn’t we? Jesus, who hung on a cross and forgave those who put him there, can still do that today. Ultimately, then, it comes back to my coming to Jesus when I have been hurt, when people have done those things against me that they should not have done. We’re not making excuses for them.
We’re simply saying, “Now, Jesus, would you do in me what you did 2,000 years ago? Would you show me, Lord, how to forgive? Lord, would you forgive first through me to them and then, Lord, continue to show me how to do that?” I believe that becomes a process. There are very few people (if any) who just, as full-blown believers, find themselves easily able to forgive.
We’ll say things like, “Well, I’ll forgive them, but I won’t forget,” or things like that which really mean, “I’m not going to forgive them. I’m going to hold on to this. It’s going to become a big obstacle in my life.” Ultimately, this comes back to Jesus, though. It isn’t just my being nice, my being just naturally forgiving, or those sorts of things. It’s none of that. It is one of the clearest indicators that we have been moving toward Jesus in prayer and that he now has the freedom in us to do that which is natural for him but unnatural for us.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: It is not natural for a human to forgive another human who has really hurt him, but it’s natural for Jesus to do that.
Sammy: Yeah. You know, when we’re talking about this… It seems like there’s a thread woven all the way through prayer, and that is the cross.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: You just mentioned it right there. We started off there at the cross. That’s how we come into the presence of God, but it’s from the cross that God’s love flows, his grace flows. When we look to Jesus and see him say, “Father, forgive them…” we know, “One of ‘them’ is me.” Another thing that has helped me a little bit, Dave, in this thing is that I realized that when Jesus prayed that prayer, he had done no wrong.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: I mean, he was perfect. He was absolute purity. He had done no man wrong, yet when they beat him, cursed him, spit upon him, ridiculed him, and crucified him, he loved them. Now here’s the difference. I’ve done wrong. I’ve messed up. Like a friend of mine says, when someone criticizes you, just remember that if they knew the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, that would be a lot worse than the criticism.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: Because we’ve all messed up. We’ve all failed.
Dave: Yeah.
Sammy: So when people hurt us, yes, they may be totally wrong, but we still have our own problems, our own wrongs.
Dave: We certainly do.
Sammy: But Jesus wasn’t like that. He was perfect, so his grace is pure. I know it’s that grace that has enabled me to forgive those who have hurt me.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: Speak to the word grace and how that plays out. The forgiveness we were talking about in our last session is grace, and in this session we’re talking about grace again. It takes grace, God’s grace, to forgive others.
Dave: Think about it from this perspective. A way to translate grace is gift. God gives us something that we did not earn, that we don’t deserve. He simply gives it to us. Now if I say to you, “Sammy, here. I have something to give you, and after I give it to you, I want you to also give it to others,” and you say, “Okay, I’ll be glad to do that,” but then I don’t give you anything, you can’t do anything with it.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: Because you’ve not been given that. But if I have given you this, you have it in your hands. You can turn around and give that away. That’s what grace is.
Sammy: That’s good. That’s really good.
Dave: Grace has been given to us. It’s a gift. We didn’t earn it. We can’t work for it. We don’t deserve it. Some use an old theological term and say it’s God’s unmerited favor. He just gives it to us because he wants to.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: We have now been charged by Jesus, who said, “I want you to turn around. I want you to give what I’ve given you to others. They didn’t deserve it either. They’re not going to come to you and say, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry.’ No, no, no. You simply give to them the way I gave to you.”
When we understand that, we understand that forgiveness of others is not so much an emotional response or even my feeling anything. It’s my saying out of obedience, “Okay, Lord, I get this. You’ve forgiven me when I haven’t deserved it. I’ll just do this because you’ve already given me that. I’ll take that and pass it along.”
Sammy: I want to share you a story with you. Last night, I was with a friend of mine from Rwanda. He was there during the genocide, and I went in right after the genocide and preached a message of reconciliation to the nation. When I was in Rwanda right after the genocide, I had lunch with the mayor of a town. When the order had been given for Tutsis to be killed (he was a Tutsi), he had had seven children.
This man’s best friend and neighbor came to him and said, “There’s no way you can hide all seven children. Let me take half of them. Let me take four of them and hide them, and you and your wife hide with the other three.” He said, “Oh, thank you. Thank you so much.” They took them and then called for the militia to come and kill them.
When he told me that, my mouth dropped open. I said, “What did you do?” He said, “I forgave them.” I said, “Whoa. Wait a minute. How could you do that? That’s not natural.” He said, “No, it’s not natural; it’s supernatural. It was only by the grace of God, but I drew from God’s grace, and I was able to forgive those who hurt me.” I think sometimes the people who hurt us the most are the people we love the most.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: That’s why the hurt is so deep. But God’s grace is sufficient. You can’t do it yourself. You can’t forgive that person. But I want to encourage you to do something. Go and find that place we were talking about in a previous time, just get alone with God, and just go before him and say, “God, I need your grace. I need your grace at this moment.”
You let him pour his grace into you, and then you give it away. Just say, “I forgive that person.” God will use you in prayer to bring a mighty revival, because that’s where it begins: at the cross with God’s grace. God bless you.

About Sammy Tippit Ministries

STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
Contact: info@sammytippit.org

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