SETTING THE STAGE
Matthew 22:36–40 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And he [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
THE STORY: THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN CAN BE COMPARED TO…
Matthew 18:23–35 23Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” 27And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, “Pay what you owe.” 29So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” 30He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32Then his master summoned him and said to him, “You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” 34And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.
ACCOUNTS GET SETTLED, BE READY: BELIEVE.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Colossians 2:13–14 13And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
LIFE CHANGE: THANKFULNESS.
Colossians 3:12–13 12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
PEOPLE ARE WATCHING: SELFLESS AND AWARE.
Hebrews 13:1–2 1Let brotherly love continue. 2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
RESPONSIBILITY AS WE GO: COMMITMENT.
Matthew 28:18–20 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
GOD IS SERIOUS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: BELIEVE.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Matthew 18:35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.
GOD SETS US UP TO GROW IN FORGIVENESS: ABIDE.
Matthew 6:9–15 9Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread, 12and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” 14For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.