Beth Moore — Living Forgiving

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I wonder if you'd turn with me, Ephesians chapter four, the very end of the chapter and the very beginning of chapter five.

Don't you worry if you can't stop and grab your Bible, I'm going to read these scriptures to you. If you can, sit down and take a look with us.

But no, I'm going to make sure to read everything to you and never forget for a second that you're there. Ephesians 4, I want you to start reading with me at verse 31 through the second verse of chapter five.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Here's where we're going over the next couple of series. It will be weeks to come. I want to spend several weeks on the first half, a couple of weeks on the second half as we begin addressing our need to forgive as a lifestyle.

What I want to lay before you in the Word of God today and throughout the coming weeks is to literally begin living a forgiving life. I want to put it to you this way and I'll repeat it over and over again: living forgiving, to become a person who habitually forgives, to stay in practice with the day-in, day-out smaller offenses, so quickly getting over something and forgiving that when the big ones come we're practiced up.

We're going to learn exactly how to do that. You and I need some dress rehearsal for the biggies.

So here is what we're going to do. The next couple of weeks in our present series we're going to spend on forgiving the smaller day-in and day-out offenses that can build up in such a way that for some of us listening and viewing and in this present audience here today, there is someone we have not spoken to in months or years, not over something big but over finally so many offenses adding up that we've just decided, you know what? I cannot handle you in my life anymore.

How often do we find that we're just mad at someone? If not mad, totally annoyed. Surely, you know what I'm talking about -- the smaller offenses.

And then in the second part of series we're going to spend several weeks on the big ones. Not just on an offense, not because someone has offended us but because someone has devastated us.

I wonder if I could ask you today, is there anyone listening, anyone participating who has not been through the full realm of experience in both of those categories? We know what it is like to be offended; we know what it is like to be deeply offended. But every single one of us who have lived any life at all know what it is like to be completely devastated by somebody -- that will be the next series.

For now, we are going to settle in on those offenses, the day-in, day-out opportunities we have to get offended at somebody and it will be almost every single day. Would anybody agree with that? -- Almost every day. So we're going to stay practiced up where we can start living forgiving.
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