January 15, 2018 – Don’t Be A Prisoner – Pr. Jerri Dizol

Scripture:
The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, all these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf! – Luke 15:28-30

OBSERVATION:
The heart of this son was not in the right place, because he wasn’t willing to forgive his brother. Anyone from the outside looking in, would say that he was a good son who was doing kind things for his father. But the truth was revealed when a celebration was put together to honor his brother in spite of the things he chose to do. This father showed complete love to his once lost son, forgave him, and didn’t look at the wrong choices he had made prior to coming back home. The brother, in his anger and his unforgiving spirit was no better.

APPLICATION:
We must choose to forgive so that the Father can be glorified. Looking at the poor choices people make, especially our loved ones, and then judging them on it does not make us better people. Instead we should celebrate with them when they do find their way back. Jesus forgave us of our many sins and not once did he close the door on us. He always welcomed us back with open arms.

Harboring un-forgiveness is never good. And unless it is dealt with immediately, it will find a hiding place within us, and stay there until we get rid of it. And every time something reminds us of that hurt, we justify our reasons with making it about ourselves. The enemy keeps us captive in the place and uses every opportunity to keep us away from what Jesus is all about.

I once was a victim of harboring un-forgiveness towards someone who hurt me. I hid it so deep that I actually did not realize I was still carrying it. However, when God revealed this to me, not only did he pursue me on it, but he helped me through it. God loved me through the process of asking for forgiveness and I became free of that burden that was holding me back from the more He wanted for me. A great weight was lifted off of me and I was able to experience the true love of the Father.

PRAYER:
Father, thank you for modeling forgiveness. You truly are the perfect example that we all need to follow. Thank you for your hand of love that always seems to be there when I need it. I pray for those who are still harboring things that are holding them back from all that you have for them. You are the one that deserves all the Glory. Thank you for never giving up on me.

In Jesus Name,
Amen