This is the material I am using for my Sunday School lesson. Not mine, just a few tweaks of my own. We were on this same lesson last week and will work on the rest today!
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Galatians 6:1-3
1 Samuel 30:18-20 “And David recovered all that the (1) Amalekites had carried away: And there was nothing lacking to them, (2) neither small nor great, (3) neither sons nor daughters, (4) neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all. And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David’s spoil.”
Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
Quickly reviewing 1 Samuel 30:18-20 shows David’s ambition to retrieve what God had given him.
- Amalekites had carried away. The Amalekite being a picture of Satan.
- Neither small nor great. Church members, choir singers, nursery workers, pastors, missionaries, evangelists.
- Neither sons nor daughters. Church members who have lost sons and daughters to the world.
- Neither spoil. Those that once gave sacrificially to the ministry of the church to help keep it running now spend their money to help support the devils work leaving our churches in a financial bind.
The Bible than says that David recovered all. And not only that, but his attitude was “These things (his wives, sons, daughters, flocks and herds) are mine. God gave them to me and I’m taking them back!” It is quite apparent that David did not do this all on his own, but he had help. They were all of the same mind, and had the same motive; to rescue and bring back to their homes all that God had given them.
As Christians, we are in an army. And our goal should be the same as the worlds, to be in shape, to be ready to go to war. We also have battles and casualties. However, our view of the p.o.w. is different than that of the worlds. Unfortunately, Christians have little use for those that have either deserted or have been taken captive by Satan. The general feeling among most is “they are reaping what they’ve been sowing” instead of getting angry at the wiles of the devil and making strategies of how they can be recovered. Most forget what the Bible says in
1 Corinthians 10:12, Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
However, our strategy for recovering those taken captive is quite different than that of a regular army. Those taken captive in a war wait earnestly for their liberators, while those taken captive by Satan most times do not wish to be liberated, but to stay in captivity. The objection of this ministry is to show them their need to recover themselves out of the snare of the devil.
However, that is not the only reason. When we see one of our brethren fall away from church, from service to the Lord, we need to do everything that we can to try to rescue them. Bitterness and anger is a very tough enemy to face. Feelings get hurt intentionally and unintentionally. As we move closer and closer to the Lord’s return, it takes less and less for Christians to drop away. Not only will we use the Word of God to restore them, but also we will use longsuffering, patience, understanding, and wisdom to restore unto them the joy of their salvation. (for there is no joy in the clutches of Satan.)
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
Acts 7:60 And he (Stephen) kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.
Genesis 50:17 … and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. (Joseph’s brothers)
The first step back into fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ is being back in fellowship with other Christians.
- We need to learn to settle our differences between ourselves in a Biblical manner Matthew 5:23-24 and to do so now.
- This may be the hardest step taken because of the hurt they might have felt, whether intentional or not. Our human nature is one of revenge. We don’t want to forgive, but rather we want to retaliate.
Hurt people usually strike back outwardly
- By gossip
- Evil communications toward others
Hurt people strike back inwardly
- They do not explode but they implode
- They carry a grudge
- They harbour ill feelings
- They strike out against God
- Quit church
- Stop Bible reading
- Stop praying
- Blame God for all their situation
God however is patiently trying to draw them back
- By the situation they have put themselves in Luke 5:15
- By the conviction of the Holy Spirit Luke 15:17
- Through others 2 Corinthians 1:4
Three areas of forgiveness
Genesis 50:15-21 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
Are you ready to forgive? Although Joseph’s brothers did him much wrong, Joseph was ready to forgive.
- How was he able to do that after all that he went through because of them.
- There was no malice in his heart towards them. In Colossians 3:8 we are to put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (All these take care of the first way we try to strike out with) and we are to put on kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; and we are to forbear (put up with) one another, if any man (or woman) have a quarrel against any; (that means you against them, or them against you!) and we are to do it even as Christ forgave us (we didn’t deserve forgiveness, but He made a way anyway; that being the cross at Calvary) so also do ye. (That is a command, not a suggestion)
Joseph forgot about it and he didn’t continue to bring it up! (And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.) It was his brethren that brought it up, not Joseph. It was never mentioned again after Joseph put them at ease about it. If you are ready to forgive, then you must be ready to bury it and never allow it to resurface again.
Micah 7:19 “.. thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
Jeremiah 31:34 .. for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
The Lord is ready to forgive because He is ready to forget. The question is: ARE YOU?
- Are you willing to forgive?
- There are two kinds of forgiveness: us hurting others, and others hurting us. In these lessons, we will be looking at the latter. Although Joseph’s brothers did him much wrong, Joseph was willing to forgive them. What is needed to willingly forgive someone when you know perfectly well that it was not your fault, it’s cause you much pain, and bitterness is springing up in you.
You need to overlook the cause of the problem. (“God meant it unto good”) Yes, they caused Joseph grief, heartaches, and loneliness. Yes, they caused him to be accused falsely, caused him to spend time in prison, to be sold and treated like a slave. Yes, they cause him anguish to be separate from the ones he loved, his father Jacob and his brother Benjamin. When there was a famine in the land, he made sure his father and brothers were taken care of. Why? If anyone had a reason to be bitter and get revenge, it certainly was Joseph. Being the second most powerful individual in Egypt, he was in the position to do serious damage to them if he wanted to. But he didn’t. Long before king David penned these words, the Lord already showed Joseph that the LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Psalm 145:17 He was able to overlook what they’ve done to him.
That kind of attitude can only be a result of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. I’m thankful that the Lord overlooks many of my faults and He tells me to do the same. Matthew 18:32-33
We need to look at the cause of the problem. The reason Joseph’s brethren sold him in the first place was because of jealousy and envy. Genesis 37:4, 8, 11 These are the same reasons that the scribes and Pharisees delivered up Jesus to Pilate John 11:47-53; Matthew 27:18 But yet both these men were able to forgive. Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
When we can fully grasp this Scripture and understand what it means, we then can see the cause of the problem; know that it is the satanic empire attempting to disorganize the body of Christ through our hurt feelings and our pride (only by pride cometh contention Proverbs 13:10 and overlook anything and everything that will stand in the way of our spiritual growth and walk with the Lord.
- Are you able to forgive?
- Has someone done you so wrong that you are willing to give up:
- His mercy Matthew 5:7
- His rewards Luke 6:27-35
- His forgiveness Mark 11:25-26
- His compassion on you Matthew 18:32-35
- His blessings 1 Peter 3:9
Check out bcwe.org