Jesus warns His followers about the sad reality that there will always be those who cause others to stumble…either by their words or actions…cause them to turn away from following Him. Don’t let it be you. For those who do fall into sin…confront, confess, forgive, repeat is our mantra. It won’t be easy…it requires faith and obedience. Faith because forgiveness is a supernatural act; obedience because it’s not an option.
Where are you struggling today? Are you making lifestyle choices that may be causing others to stumble, maybe even becoming a barrier to others coming to know Jesus? We are to live lives worthy of the calling…doesn’t mean that we’re perfect, but it means that we are choosing to love God more. More than our other relationships that may not be honoring to Him. More than our careers. More than our popularity. More than our stuff. It means saying “no” to the things that might trip others up.
Maybe your struggle’s on the other side…forgiving those who have caused you to stumble or have wronged you in some way. That’s a tough one. It’s hard to confront those who hurt us…especially in a loving way. And it’s even harder to forgive those who hurt us, especially when we begin trying to evaluate whether or not they really mean “I’m sorry” when they say it. And when they do it over and over…forget about it. But forgiveness is not an option for those who have been forgiven by God. So if that’s you today, ask God to help you forgive. The main issue isn’t faith but obedience.
Sometimes our forgiveness problem is a love problem. Remember…he who has been forgiven much loves much. Until we see ourselves as sinners who have been forgiven a tremendous debt, we, like Simon, are going to have a hard time loving others, much less forgiving.
And maybe you have yet to be forgiven yourself. Maybe you haven’t yet trusted in Jesus. Maybe you don’t think He can or will forgive you…like that woman. But that’s exactly why Jesus came…to save sinners. Sinners like you and me. You simply have to ask.
This post is based on a sermon from our For Future Reference series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the iTunes App Store.