(SDA Sermon) Mark Finley – “Forgiveness Breaks Barriers”

(SDA Sermon) Mark Finley – “Forgiveness Breaks Barriers”

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As we open the Word of God speak to our hearts each one individually You know our needs You know our family backgrounds? You know the challenges and struggles we face and you are the ultimate solution to each of those So, we come today as a seeker of your heart as an understand ur of your will desiring to have your you speak to us in this service through your word in Christ’s name I’m in Well it’s quiz time you’re ready for your quiz no you are ready girl you’re always ready if you had to define the five most significant documents legal documents in the history of the world that preserved human dignity protected the rights of the family secured the rights of all human beings to fulfill their god-given potential what would they be Now in various ways these declarations and legal documents over the last 1500 years Have made a significant difference in the entire human race So these documents are not perfect. But they really have undergirded human, rights human degradation Family Values let me give you the five that I would choose and some of them might surprise you let your mind go back to 539 BC you’ve heard of the cyrus cylinder which has helped to Confirm the authenticity of the Bible but you may not know what’s written on the Cyrus cylinder The Cyrus cylinder was about that long a little 18 inches to 24 inches long it was a round barrel cylinder that was written upon and it defines the Exploits of Cyrus when he attacked Babylon but here’s what the Cyrus cylinder says and why it’s so significant when Cyrus attacked a Boleyn he did something totally different than most Middle Eastern rulers would do rather than destroying their homes he preserved their homes He allowed the Babylonians religious freedom he rebuilt any homes that his armies had destroyed whereas most rulers took pride in destroying others he took pride in up Building nations that he conquered he allowed the displaced people that had been captive by the Babylonians the Jews particularly to return to their homeland one middle-eastern human rights lawyer today said this He said the Cyrus cylinder is one of the most Important documents that should be studied in the history of human rights It’s an amazing document the second document that I would list is the Magna Carta 1215 ad it’s an intonation ‘old occupant it’s a document of freedoms it was signed reluctantly by King John in 1215 but it’s really the foundation for all constitutional law throughout the world today Third document the United States independent Declaration of Independence you know the Declaration of Independence says this 1776 we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights and among those are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness so it’s really a family oriented document it it preserves life in Liberty and it is a document that was obviously inspired by God the fourth one that I would list is the slavery abolition Act in 1833 it really impacted Europe when the exchequer of England signed the slavery abolition Act in 1833 800,000 slaves were set free immediately in England and throughout the British Empire now the plantation owners argued so much that the Exchequer actually had to give them 20 million pound And it was about 40% of the government’s annual expenditure but that really set the way to abolish the heinous terrible dehumanizing crime that divided so many families of slavery and it prepared the way for the United States to fight that battle in the 1850s 1860s the last document I think that really preserve the family was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 the Second World War had ended three years previously nations were scarred and traumatized and determined to make a better world in the the Declaration of Human Rights really protects freedom of speech freedom of belief Freedom from want freedom from fear and it really protects the human family but after I’ve mentioned those five documents There is one document on the family one document on human rights one document on Relationships that stands head and shoulders Above all the rest there is one human rights family friendly friendly marriage exalting women affirming child Encouraging document that has no parallel in this world now at a time when traditional marriage is under attack and too many women are being horribly abused and Children are being abandoned and the social fabric of society is falling apart the Word of God speaks hope it Speaks hope for marriages for individuals and for children now the Bible is Not merely a book of theology the Bible is a divinely inspired god-given Heaven oriented treatise on the value of every human being in God’s sight it’s God’s manual on what the family is all about and You know in Scripture there are three great mountain peaks three great foundational stones if you please of Interpersonal really in ships and Three great mountain peaks on the family and if you study these three great mountain peaks which we’ll do this morning And if you pom the depths of these great mountain peaks. Or think with these great foundations it makes a dramatic difference in your own personal life and in your own family relationships here are the three creation the cross in the coming of Christ these three mountain peaks of Scripture undergird the family see in in Scripture these three focal points are the foundation of all basic human relationships creation speaks of how much God Christ values us creation speaks of the origin of the family the origin of marriage which will study Any attack on marriage is an attack on the creator of marriage Jesus Christ himself and so creation speaks of how much Christ values us Calvary speaks of the cross to recast to redeem us and forgiveness grace and mercy his second coming speaks of his desire to be with us and to unite the family in heaven and earth forever You see creation shouts that we are more than animated mud that we have worth in God’s sight Calvary shouts of forgiveness pardon mercy and grace the promise of his coming shouts that one day the family will be reunited and Evil will be no more suffering will come to an end abuse will be over the principalities and the powers of hell will be defeated so let’s go back to creation and Plumb its depths as it relates to family values let your mind drift back over the centuries and would take your Bible please and turn to Genesis chapter 1 Genesis chapter 1 we go back to the book of beginnings We dedicated this morning in a baby dedication a little baby called Genesis so, we’re going back to Genesis the book of beginnings Genesis 1 verse 26 and notice what scripture says Genesis 1 we begin with verse 26 you see the family must be incredibly important to God because God created it Marriage in the family are not some human invention they’re not the product of some vague evolutionary process they were created by God they were established in Eden they were Forged in the crucible of Earth at the beginning of time by the hand of a loving creator and Again, I repeat any attack on the family is an attack on the author of the family Jesus Christ himself Genesis 1 verse 26 and God said let us make man in our image according to our likeness Let him have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every Creeping thing that creeps notice let us make man in our image after our likeness then notice verse 26 27 the last part in the image of God he created them male and female he created them Then God blessed them and God said to them be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth so God created Adam he fashioned him out of the dust of the ground God formed Eve out of a rib of Adam God brought them together Marriage was God’s idea first God says to them start a family be fruitful and multiply You see creation speaks of human dignity it speaks of the value of every human being we’re not some speck of cosmic Dust we’re not some enlarged protein Molecule we’re not, some merely skin covering Bones we’re not some genetic accident we’re not some biological anomaly we’re not some random Collection of cells that developed over millions of years we’re not some single-celled amoeba but we came from the very hand of God God created the family God created you and he created me. We are the creation of a loving God Therefore every human being has incredible value before God and when God created the human race He did not create us to be alone he created us to be in relationship look at Genesis 2 verse 18 Genesis 2 verse 18 You and I were created for relationship Relationship within our biological family Relationship within our extended family and relationship within the family of the church Genesis chapter 2 and we’re looking there at verse 18 it says the Lord God said it is not Good that man should be alone you know I have people say to me sometime Pastor, I think I could worship at home just as well as I could come to church Pastor I think you know I just get such a blessing because somebody in the church offended me one time so I’m just gonna stay home that’s the reason why God puts you in the church so you’d get offended and you’d grow in your Christian character So, when somebody offends just say praise God it’s another opportunity to grow we are not meant to worship God in isolation And we are not meant to be alone that’s why God gave you a husband and wife that’s why your wife can knock off some Sharp edges from your husband so rejoice in that that’s why your husband can knock off some sharp edges and you wife rejoice in that and Kids you may have some chiseling to do to that your parents need to do on you and you may not do some chiseling on them to You see that’s why God brings us together as human beings because it is to grow in Christ and this idea that you’re gonna find some perfect family Let this preacher abuse you with that idea right now throw that idea out this idea you’re gonna find some perfect church that’s some kind of utopia and you’re going to walk in it’s gonna be all Hunky-dory and love throw that idea out right now because if that was a perfect church they’d never let you in anyway because you would spoil the place now look the whole plan of God is that we are not alone and at the Interaction that we have with one another we grow in Christ and we? Become more like him Notice what the scripture says It is not good that we be alone were made to be in relationship with God and with one another relationships matter to God now Satan came to distort the relationship between God and the human race and to create conflict and human relationships and When Adam and Eve seem to create a conflict in human relationships and when there’s a conflict in human relationship whether it’s Parents and children whether it’s husband and wife whether it’s in the church Satan is the one that creates those conflicts and human Relationships and Christ came to break down the barrier in human relationships and bring us into Harmony with the harmony that he desired in the book of Genesis now let’s first notice this our Relationship with God is the basis for every other human relationship a healthy relationship with God is the foundation of all healthy family Relationships in all healthy church relationships See if you have a healthy relationship with God you become very tolerant you become very Accepting you become very forgiving you become much less Judgmental you let things go you don’t battle over the small stuff But if you don’t have a healthy relationship with God you always try to defend yourself with other people You always try to protect your turf and protect your rights and as the result of that you get conflict But if you have a healthy relationship with God it Breaks down the barriers with others now a healthy relationship with God begins With an understanding of how God values us take your Bible and turn to Isaiah chapter 43 a healthy relationship with God Begins with an understanding of the value we have in God’s sight and if you don’t understand how much God values you You tend not to value other people So one of the things that leads us in conflict with a lot of other people Whether it’s in the home or in the church is that we fail to understand how God values us and once you understand how God values you that produces in your life a security it produces in your life a Sense of your truth value and your worth and so let’s look at Isaiah chapter 43 But thus says the Lord now who’s speaking in Isaiah 43 verse 1 is Isaiah speaking who’s speaking who does it say thus, says the Lord who created you O Jacob he formed you O Israel Fear not for I have redeemed you I have called you by your name you are mine When you, pass through the waters I’m going to be with you and through the rivers they’ll not overflow you when you walk through fire you’ll not be burned nor the flame will scorch you now notice what it says in verse 3 for I am the Lord your God now God created us Christ redeemed us now notice verse 3 for I am the Lord your God the Holy One of Israel your Savior, I. Have gave Egypt for your ransom Ethiopian Serbia Seba in your place since you are now you are three things Church what are you in God’s sight the first thing you are in God’s sight what does the text say Since you are what precious in my sight Precious things are not cheap things I Might drop a dime out of my pocket and you may pick it up but if a diver dives for a pearl in finds a pearl worth $100,000 that’s a precious thing my dime is pretty cheap but a pearl is precious and Jesus is saying to you Whatever your attitude is towards yourself? Jesus says you’re precious to me you’re more valuable to me than I can possibly imagine What I understand my value to God it doesn’t give me an arrogance or pride it helps me to have a secure Basis upon which to place value upon other people Because if God values me that much he values You that much and because God puts you such value upon you Value upon every man in this church every woman in this church every child in this church I want to value you as God values you I Will never disrespect you and the reason I will never Disrespect you is because you have been created by God and God’s put an incredible value upon you whether you’re black or white or Hispanic whether you are young or old Whether you are spry or whether you walk in here with a cane whether you can speak Or you are dumb whether you can hear you cannot hear whether you’re tall or short skinny Or wide God loves you with an incredible love he values you and therefore we can put value upon one another Because Christ values us and we have security now notice what it says in the text you are precious now notice the next thing it says you are what Honored you are honored now if I write? to my senator I write the Honorable senator so-and-so the Honorable governor so-and-so So, when I write a letter to Milly I write this way the Honourable Milly Monday right nilly I write the Honorable she is Honourable you are honorable when I write to my friends I read no I’m only teaching you that I write the Honourable But look that is true we are honorable he is the Honorable John Samuel from India I mean the Honorable John you see God Created us we are precious as in his life if we only understand how much value we have in God’s sight whatever your home is whatever dysfunction your family came whether your parents went through a divorce or they didn’t sweep all that stuff aside you’re part of the eternal heavenly family and Because of that you are precious in God’s sight because of that you’re valuable you are honorable in God’s sight Notice what it says in verse 43 He says I’ve loved you So you may say I don’t get love for my wife I don’t get love for my husband I don’t get love from my friends or family the fountain of love flows from heaven sanctuary and the river of love flows into your heart and Jesus Christ Can make up from whatever love you don’t get from the people around you so according to Isaiah as We enter into a relationship with God as we know him as we seek God’s heart He says to us. You’re precious he says to us you’re honorable he says to us. You’re loved in the light of that Security we reach out to love and our families so Aristotle said man is a political animal Thomas weld says man is a laughing inoue Ben Franklin said man as a tool making animal Sigmund Freud said man is a sexual animal Charles Darwin said man is an intelligent animal but Christ says you’re not an animal at all you were created you are fashioned by God that there’s a destiny for your life here and a destiny for you and eternity if God had a refrigerator your picture would be on it if God had a wallet your picture would be in it if God had a Cellphone you’d be on his screensaver if angels had iPhones and could take digital pictures your picture would be in God’s iPad of favorites because God thinks about you all the time you see understanding the uniqueness and value that God puts on every human being Dramatically impacts the way we see ourselves and the way we view others it dramatically impacts the way a father sees his son Let’s suppose a dad as a son that’s a teenager that’s somewhat rebellious you could either look at that boy as a rebellious teenager son or you could look at him created in the image of god that’s precious that’s valuable and your Attitude toward him is gonna impact his attitude toward you you you can look at a daughter who’s 21 who’s walked away from the church and you can look at all the problems she might have in her life or you can say look she’s created by God God values her She’s precious in God’s sight and and because of that I want to reach out to her and treat her with the dignity and respect Even though she’s made some choices that are not in a harmony with God’s will you see once you see that Every human being is created by God it opens in their precious to God in value to God and when you can practically apply that in your life it makes all the difference in your Relationship with other people it influences all of our relationships it impacts our Relationship with our spouse our children our extended family our friends every individual we come in contact with Seeing others through God. Ah God’s eyes Recognizing that they’re created by God loved by God valued by God cherished by God makes all the difference you see it’s God’s design That each family be a haven of Refuge in a broken world where members of the family are loved cherished supported affirmed and valued Now this is true of our immediate family that’s certainly true the church family The most challenging time for the church to be a place of refuge the most challenging time is when people think differently than you do and they challenge you on the way they think Differently the most challenging time for a family, is when there’s conflict in the family some time ago I read an amazing story The story comes from about a hundred years ago It comes from the Midwest and there was a family living on a ranch in the Midwest and they produced corn and the corn was shipped out in large Railway cars in fact the railway tracks came right by their home passenger trains came by regular as well as trains to pick up the produce a father and son worked together on the farm the family farm one day they got in a terrible argument and it was bad There, was yelling screaming son yelling at his father he felt that his father was abusing him in work and just making him work and didn’t care for him and The boy said to the father I’m going to leave home and I’m never coming back He yelled I’m leaving home I’m never coming back and the father you know sometimes you get an argument and things are heated You say things you don’t mean have you ever said something you don’t mean And but you said it in the spur of the moment So the boy yells to the father I’m leaving home and I’m never coming back the father says if you want to go go and never come back and the son said okay I’m never coming back he leaves this down to the little train station that’s not far from the home and takes off a Year goes by father in son of no-contact Two years goodbye father in son no contact three years goodbye no gundeck and the father is kind of feeling anxious in his heart he’d very much like to have contact with his son and one day the father got a letter and The letter said this dear, dad I’ve been thinking about my life That I’d like to come home now the father had heard about his son over that three-year period from friends the boy, was drinking living a party life living contrary to the family values the boy had really embarrassed the family quite a bit and The boy said this dad I don’t know if you’ll accept me if I come home or not But he said dad I’m gonna buy a train ticket and I’ll be on the train going by our house and if you accept me tell mom to hang a white sheet on the line if You don’t accept me don’t put the white sheet on the line I’ll stay on the train And I’ll just keep coming by the house as the train rolled on through the miles A father and mother began to think about their boy they said you know God gave us this child He’s created by God he’s valued by God he’s precious by God We want him back? we want our boy home Whatever he’s done home, is where it belongs we want him here and so the mother said I got an idea We don’t want him to miss that white sheet I got about 15 sheets I know what to do they went out to a tree Drape that tree with white sheets put 10 white sheets on the line plastered the side of their house with white sheets and the boy said as he was coming around the corner in the bend in the train his heart began to be faster and faster and faster and faster He said will there be a white sheet there will there be a white sheet there he comes around the corner Shree draped with white sheets you know house filled with white sheets you know and he said I can go home I can go home create an atmosphere in your home parents that whatever your children do they can come home whatever your children do Homes a place of refuge homes a place of security We want to create an atmosphere in this church that whoever you are Whatever you’re done you can come home this is home for you creation speaks of our value independent of our actions creation speaks of our preciousness independent of our actions creation speaks of God’s love independent of our actions Our actions toward God do not change God’s love toward us our actions, can bring sorrow to God our actions, can bring disappointment to God our actions can break God’s heart Our actions can lead us down a road to perdition and destruction But our actions cannot change God’s love for us Creation says you’re valuable now the cross speaks of Reconciliation forgiveness mercy and grace take your Bible Please turn to Ephesians chapter 2 we’ve looked at creation now I want to look at the cross you’re looking there at Ephesians the second chapter Ephesians chapter 2 and we’re looking there at verse 14 Ephesians 2 verse 14 How does the cross bring reconciliation in fractured relationships What role does forgiveness have in all of that Ephesians 2 verse 14 For he himself that is Jesus Christ himself is our peace who has Made both one and broken down the middle wall of division between us. There was a barrier between the Jew and the Gentile Jesus Christ became their peace and broke it down When there’s a barrier between a husband and wife of Bury between parents and their kids a barrier in the church Jesus Christ is the one that can break down the middle wall petition now notice verse 19 Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners but Fellow-citizens with the Saints and Members of the household of God Notice Jesus says that in Christ, we are no longer strangers and foreigners in Christ We are no longer separated, we are part of one family chapter 4 verse 32 Chapter 4 and verse 32 notice what scripture says be kind one to another tender-hearted one to another forgiving one another just as God in Christ Also forgave you now notice what the scripture says be kind to one another tender-hearted to one another forgiving one another just as God in Christ forgave you I have seen Forgiveness transform families transform families now forgiveness is not Justifying the abuse that somebody gave you in childhood that’s not forgiveness Neither is forgiveness primarily an act Forgiveness is primarily an attitude that springs forth in action Forgiveness is not primarily an act Forgiveness is primarily an attitude that springs forth in action Forgiveness says, I release you from my condemnation because Jesus Christ released me from his condemnation forgiveness says that I do not hold the harm you did against me against you Forgiveness says that if you hurt me once I’m not going to allow bitterness and resentment to dwell in my heart Because in the light of Christ I have offended him and if he can forgive me I can have an Attitude of mercy an attitude of grace attitude of forgiveness toward you whether you ever ask me for that or not I Had just preached in a large European country in one of the conventions there wanted to listen to the choir sing when I finished preachy I slipped out in the front row a young woman in her early 20s slipped up next to me she certainly wasn’t dressed Appropriately for church but I was glad she was there she had all torn jeans on knees sticking through very low halter on she Tobacco and she and as I sat down she grasped my hand she said pastor You see the man on the platform yes I see him I Knew he was one of the most prominent families in that country in Europe she said he’s one of them Oh, he’s an elder here. He’s my uncle and she said pastor My parents are sitting over there in the audience I don’t want to come today I just came But there was something about what you said that was authentic Something swept away all the facade something spell deeply to my heart about this Christ that values you this Christ that cares for you Pastor let me tell you my story I wanted nothing to do with religion Walked away from it went into the capital city this country live the party life I live with my boyfriend And he said she said look After a while that was sour in my mouth After a while I was nauseated with that kind of lifestyle I thought it’d be fun at first but she said My health was shot I was sick and all I wanted to do was go home all I wanted to do was go home And I wrote a little note to my mom. I said mom can I come home and she said mom said to me whatever you’ve done you still my daughter you come home and Pastor, I don’t look like an Adventist pastor. I don’t smell like an Adventist but pastor I’m here today because this is my first step in my journey of coming home What if that mom would have said you know you’ve embarrassed the family you know we don’t have forgiveness in our heart for you You you you you put us through so much Reaching out in compassion and kindness to others Often is the very thing that they need that breaks their heart You see forgiveness is an attribute of Christ that flows from Calvary and it’s basic in all human relationships it’s fundamental in relationships between husbands and wives Marriage is a laboratory in forgiveness Marriage is a laboratory and forgiveness because however perfect your wife is or your husband is they’re gonna make mistakes sometime and if they have to ask you for forgiveness you Miss the point Forgiveness is the attitude of God’s heart, whether a person asks you or not when they ask you to forgive them it enables them to Receive the forgiveness that was in your heart before they ever asked They’re asking you for forgiveness Breaks, down the barrier and the resentment in their heart but it should not create forgiveness in your heart Because when I ask God for forgiveness it doesn’t create forgiveness in his heart Forgiveness is there all time It simply enables me to receive the forgiveness that’s there and if you cannot forgive you can have constant problems in human Relationships because someday Somebody’s going to offend you if you hold a grudge if you’re resentful if you Harbor bitterness your relationship without this is gonna sound For give them you’re allowing them to injure you the second time an unforgiving spirit destroys our health and Imprisons us in bitterness it robs us of the joy that the Lord longs for us to have Just as Jesus forgave those that didn’t deserve it we can have an attitude of forgiveness to the people that don’t deserve it now now look Forgiveness will always triumph over fear love will always triumph over hate Reconciliation triumphs over resentment grace defeats guilt now there are those that say oh I’ve forgiven so-and-so for this and that but you know what they do they keep discussing the hurt that the other person caused them they keep nursing the pain they still keep feeding the grief Now there’s times it’s helpful to discuss hurt and pain with another but there are times you need to let it go if you have forgiven somebody and You can’t move on God can only do a new thing in our lives as long as we don’t nurture the old thing God can do only a new thing in our lives if We only don’t nurture the old thing can you say that with me God can only do a new thing in our lives if we only don’t nurture the old thing if you keep Nurturing you keep feeding that hurt you had as a teenager that hurt you had in your 20s that Abusive marriage you went through and now yours if you keep nursing that thing you keep bringing it up you keep bashing it Oh, I’ve forgiven him but but but don’t give me any buts only goats but you know look You can’t once you forgive somebody When Christ forgives you now follow me closely when Christ forgives you? He, does not bring up all your grief and sins to the Angels does he He’s not saying the Angels. Oh yeah I forgive him but this what he did six months ago I forgive him but we have to have a council meeting in heaven now to discuss this thing we have to we have to go over this in heaven is that what happens when Christ forgives He does not keep discussing with the Angels that what you’ve done wrong Christ can only do a new thing in your life if You do not nurse the old thing now there are five eternal biblical Christ centered principles of positive relationships And I want to bring them to you in the next few minutes If you’re taking notes these are worth writing down if you want positive Relationships there are five things five Characteristics of positive relationships number one be willing to accept the differences that you have with other people we find this in Matthew chapter 15 you’ll find these in the life of Christ if you think everybody’s going to think like you everybody’s going to View the thing the same way you do if you want to sit on a committee and you get upset with people that don’t think the way you do because they challenge your thinking you’re always going to have conflict with other people if you think your wife is gonna Always think like you you only been married one day wait to the second day Look Embrace differences Embrace the way people act differently and think differently look Jesus did that the disciples had a real problem with it of course Matthew the fifteenth chapter looking at the story the Canaanite women the disciples wanted to turn her away from Jesus but Jesus nurtured her faith in spite of their differences look Matthew 15 verse 21 to 22 then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon And he beheld a woman of Canaan who came from the region and cried out to him saying have mercy on My daughter is demon-possessed but he answered not a word his disciples came and urged him saying send her away for she cries after us in other words This woman is disturbing us this woman is different than? We are she’s a Canaanite she doesn’t believe like the Jews she doesn’t think like the Jews and Jesus wanted to teach the disciples a lesson That you can only impact people even if they think differently than you think if you’re willing to treat them with dignity and respect So Jesus ministered to the Roman centurion Ministered to Demoniacs you see in the family if we listen to one another when our views are different That’s the strength and bond of marriage the strength of human relationships is not the bond that unites you with people who think like you do but it’s the bond that unites you with people who don’t think like you do when Billy Graham’s wife was asked Ruth do you and your husband always think alike she said if we did one of us would be unnecesarry It’s exciting when you’re discussing something on a committee and somebody thinks differently than you do embrace that it’s wonderful in a family when you have a family meeting and the kids are saying this or that and everybody’s not in Harmonious and you negotiate you talk back and forth and you come out stronger as a family See, it’s the same way in the church if we want people to think like us People affirm our thoughts but that’s not always helpful so we need people who think differently than We do so here’s the first principle good human relationships be willing to accept differences be willing to listen to other points of view second principle is this be firm on principle and flexible on preferences be firm on principle and flexible on preferences You know a number of years ago one of my mentor is an old preacher Taught me this very much be firm on principle you don’t budge on principle but you’re flexible on Preferences so you always have to distinguish what’s the difference between an eternal principle and a preference so We were on a little campus little small Self-supporting ministry campus and we’re going to build laundry and so the laundry was built beautiful little Block laundry sat in a committee of how we’re gonna you know deal with one aspect of it and the Committee said look it’s gonna be more efficient in this laundry if we put the washing and drying machines over here and Then, we build another block wall in the center and divide it with a door and that people can sort their clothes over here And my mentor said look We’d have to spend a lot more money it divides the thing into two rooms And he really spoke strongly he was a chairman of the committee in Sedalia really spoke strongly against it Committee kept. Discussing it discussing it discussing it and they outvoted him they voted to put that wall there Now what did he do did he go out and go around campus try to convince people of his view Did he go out and badmouth the committee did he go out and say did you go out Trent shit he just came to me said mark you know what I gave my six press my viewpoint and we went a different direction in the family you want to go one place on vacation your husband wants to go another place on vacation and you argue and the vacation is spoiled have you ever been going out to eat in a restaurant and One group want to go this way and the other want to go this one you end up arguing it even go to the restaurant at the end Don’t you don’t have to raise your hand please So my friend said look mark, we brought it to the group this, was not a principle it was a preference? that’s really critical What’s more important your preference in your marriage and family? Or the relationship with your wife and children What’s more important? Now incidentally you know what happened on that campus we never use that building for a laundry because we had an influx of students and we needed two extra classrooms and that building with the wall in the center was perfect for two extra classrooms and that’s what happens You know it’s amazing how the Lord can solve problems isn’t it it is incredibly amazing be firm on Princeton and flexible on preferences now here’s the third thing be open enough to discuss all sides of a question you want good Relationships have you ever noticed that God gave us two ears and one mouth Why do you think that’s true God gave us two ears in one mouth He wants us to listen twice as much as we talk in a heated situation So be willing to listen and to discuss both sides of a question have you ever noticed how Jesus Who asked questions and they listened take the woman at the well It was a very tense situation? Jesus asked questions ask questions ask questions and as he did he Drew her out Jesus did the same thing for the man by the Pool of Bethesda asked questions would you like to be made well Jesus was a master listener he did the same thing with the Roman centurion one of the key things now some of you have teenagers and a number of you don’t I’m gonna give you a principle that’s going to be really helpful you may not need this right now and it’s called the banana principle It’s one of the most one of the strongest biblical principles it comes from the Garden of Eden where they grew bananas All right here’s the banana principle When something is taking place between you and your wife no kids you listen to this one because this is going to help you kids you listen to this one this going to help you now It could help you with your parents what I’m telling you right now this is the banana principle That’s gonna help husbands and wives When there’s a tense situation in the family you get a banana and you’re dill you’ve seen your daughter’s going through a little challenge you sent her off to college she’s dating a guy that is not really helpful to her or You see that your son is taking a wrong direction? At night before he goes to bed Or your daughter goes to bed you go up and sit on the bed and you say honey I really care for you a lot And I noticed recently there, was some things going on in your life Now, when you’d start talking you begin to peel your banana then you say I just wanted to ask you you want to share with mom you wanna share with Dad what’s going on then you take a bite of the banana now the reason you do that it’s hard for you to talk back, when you eat in the banana So you take that banana and then they talk and then you chew after you swallow that amount you ask the next question and You draw them out with the banana principle now Women this is a good one for you? when you want to talk to your husband But you’re afraid that he’s gonna do most of the talking just simply say to him go get you a banana please Children you got this one when you want to talk to your parents one of those Special talks you go to your mom and say. Hey mom would you please go get you a banana and you see Christianity is practical it’s practical Jesus did more listening than he did talking at times here’s your fourth principle Be committed to avoiding conflict over things that won’t matter a million years from now Be committed to avoiding conflict over things that will not matter a million years from now in the family is Unity more important than the thing you’re arguing over there are some things in the light of eternity that are not going to make much difference at all let me give you a scriptural principle of Christ doing this turn to John chapter four This is quite a remarkable story it’s the introduction to the story of the Good Samaritan and look at John chapter four This is the introduction to the story of the Good Samaritan and we’re looking at John not the Good Samaritan woman at the well of Samaria it’s the introduction to the story of the woman at the well of Samaria It says Therefore when the Lord John 4 verse 1 knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus may in baptized more disciples than John than Jesus although Jesus himself didn’t baptize he left Judea and departed from Galilee There is so much that is profound in that passage because Jesus knew there was a potential for interpersonal relationship conflict between he and the Pharisees He and the flowers of John and he and John the Baptist himself And when Jesus sensed that there was that there was this was not some eternal principle that he should stay in That area of Judea Jesus said to himself look, I’m gonna leave and so rather than enter into a major conflict Jesus was willing to make a decision in the light of something that was lesser important that, was staying there so Jesus consciously avoided conflict there are times the husband wife enter into a hot discussion and To follow the principle of Christ as we asked the question is this going to make a difference a million years from now How much of a difference is this really going to make is it better for me just to back off this one Now the fifth principle and I know what you’re thinking here the fifth principle is this Be sure you’re fighting God’s Battle of your fight not your own Go the extra mile to please others in areas that don’t violate God’s will Now here’s what the world says and let me repeat this fifth one be sure you’re fighting God’s battle and not your own Go the extra mile to please others in areas that don’t violate God’s will no here’s. What the world says the world says you Can’t let other people walk all over you don’t let people take advantage of you or they’ll keep doing it here’s what Jesus says if they ask you to go one mile go – If they ask for your coat give them your tunic see Christianity is Revolutionary different than what the world has to say now here’s one of the most amazing Passages and all the Bible in dealing with conflict turn to Matthew chapter 6 you recognize it immediately as the Sermon on the Mount Matthew the sixth chapter Again a misunderstood text in the Bible Matthew chapter 6 we’re going to read with verse 43 to 48 Matthew 6 verse 43 to 48 You’ve heard that it was said you’ll love your neighbor and hate your enemy but I say to you love your enemies that’s revolutionary that’s revolutionary if if you only love your children, when they do good if you only love people in the church and only exhibit love when they’re kind to you if you–if you get offended because somebody didn’t say hi to you at church I mean here if you only exhibit love to your wife, when you get when you agree what does Jesus say he says bless those who curse you Do good to those who spitefully use you that you may be the sons of the Father in heaven for he makes his Sun to rise on the evil and on the good since his reign on the just and the unjust For if you love those that love you and reward you What reward have you do you not even the tax collectors do the same in other words love those who? Naturally are more difficult to love it’s easy It’s a Matthew the sixth though I said sixth chapter it’s the fifth chapter thank you Matthew chapter five all right the preacher got ahead of himself Matthew chapter five verse 43 to 47 thank you but notice what it says I knew you knew where it was anyway because you’re good Bible students Alright verse 46 for if you love those who love you what reward of you? So you don’t the tax collectors do the same now notice what it says in verse 48 Therefore you’ll be you shall be perfect even as your father in heaven is perfect That passage comes in the context of loving your enemies So what this passage is saying incidentally the word for a pat for perfect there is teleo spiritually mature So, what this passage is saying is that biblical Perfection is the ability to love Unselfishly others around you even if they offend you and don’t agree with you So biblical perfection is not some super holiness But biblical perfection is the ability to love those that don’t love you Because if you have that love you reflect the character of God and Ellen White puts it this way Love is the basis of godliness whatever profession a man Whatever profession no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother When self is merged in Christ love springs forth. Spontaneously it’s from a little devotional book maranatha page 101 one day in eternity we will be bound together by cords of love one day harmonious Relationships will unite us there One day we’ll live in a world that The very atmosphere is filled with love I love the way Paul puts it When he says the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God the dead in Christ will be rise first then we which are alive and remain shall be what Caught up what’s the next word together? with them to meet the Lord in the air Jesus logs to have you in heaven with him and He wants every husband and wife to be there together he wants families to be there together To miss that great appointment, is to miss the great, day, when Jesus says welcome home children welcome home at last the sorrow and pain and suffering of Earth are over for everyone sitting here today That says I don’t have a family I don’t have a home one day Christ is gonna take you to eternity well you can live with him for millions and millions and trillions of years in an atmosphere of love and For everything you do not have here for all of the brokenness here and all the sorrow here and all the disappointment here love from his throne We’ll fill your heart and he will say to you Welcome home my child Welcome home my child Jesus longs to have you with him forever and ever and ever and ever You

36 comments

  1. Hey guys, I'm a Christian that has questions about religion. Check my latest video to see me ask these questions to a preacher

  2. 1. Be willing to accept the differences you have with others. Matthew 15: 21 – 22

    2. Be firm on principles and flexible on preferences.

    3. Be open enough to discuss both sides of the question.

    4. Banana Principle – To get someone talk less.

    5. Be committed to avoid things that won't matter in million years from now.

    6. Be sure to fight God's battles not yours, be sure to go an extra mile to please others in things that do not violate God's law. Matthew 5: 45 – 48

    Biblical Love is to love others unselfishly even if they offend you or disagree with you.

  3. By grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourself it is the gift of God not of work least any Man should boast for we are his workmanship created in Jesus Christ unto good work which God forodained before the foundation of the world (Bible

  4. Am totally touched by the sermon, finding me shading tears. Pastor, I want to offer my life wholly to Jesus Christ. May you help me in prayers. Thank you pastor.
    Am Dadons Abundu from Kenya

  5. I think we need only Gods Forgiveness to have the right to eat again from the TOL…Forgiving those who done wrong to you personally, is only good for your health…Punishment is closure(Dark Ages)..Jesus actually defined forgiving by telling us that Blessed are the Peacemakers..give your other cheek and dont bring in the marines!

  6. Marriage actually is the power and privilege granted by the Creator to man to become like God..to create life through the union of man and woman..but not to angels….We humans forcibly by our own choosing become like God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge..to know between good and evil..Man was created for His own Glory and enjoyment..Man is the luckiest created in His own image and likeness…There are holy beasts created to sing only 24/7.

  7. O really ..doubtful ..should you now embrace Catholic-ism..forget and forgive dark ages..Jesus actually straightforward told them..your Father the Devil a liar and murderer from the beginning!..But we are not Jesus and no longer sure who Jesus really was! Or simply business is Good in and with Babylon!

  8. If you stand with the Light then expose Darkness…Probation is about to close at the door nearer than it was in 1844!..Blessed are those who mourn, persecuted not those who are relaxing..good luck!

  9. Thank You Pastor Mark Finley For Sharing This Inspiring Message. May God bless Every Steps You Take. 🤗🤗

  10. Forgiveness is supernatural.. It's not a natural thing for us as humans to do. The ability for "True" forgiveness comes by Jesus Christ imparting that ability to us..🕊

  11. Wonderful wonderful massage it can't done any better it moved my heart. I have to share it with my devotional group. Forgiveness is the key in our lives when you can forgive a person who hurt you it brings joy in your heart and doing so it can even draw that person to GOD

  12. Well done mark well done I could keep listening to this massage over and over a lot of homes need this powerful massage to know the joy that forgiveness brings. May God continue to bless your ministry.

  13. I have developed a habit of listening to Mark Finley's sermons on a daily basis…i have been blessed by them.. may God continue using you.

  14. The Title, 'Forgiveness breaks barriers'….

    Freely you have received, freely give…

    Matthew 10:8 "….freely ye have received, freely give."

    It's when forgiveness is not 'freely given' that it costs…

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