Pastor Barry Roberts - Forgive? You must be joking! The earth is enormous and God's heart is that none should perish. If you are someone who takes time out to be with the Lord, then the fruit of that is the world will find your Godly character attractive and will be drawn to church and to God. The world's population is huge but the Lord Saves people one by one - if you play your part then people will be saved. Romans says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. You are good enough, you are worthy. Will you agree to open your ears to today's message? Everyone will, at some point in your life, have been; embarrassed, let down, stabbed in the back. It's worse when it is your friends or loved ones who do these things to you. Sometimes you can be the one hurt but end up looking worse off. Forgiveness is huge. It is so important. It enables us to be who God wants us to be. We are made in the image of God and we have the ability to forgive and choose to trust people again. Unforgiveness destroys family life, husbands, wives, parents, children, team ethic. Unforgiveness never rehabilitates you. It never heals you or pushes you forward, we need to be people who run with the Father. Hebrews 12:14-15. You cannot have peace with someone if you are holding unforgiveness. A bitter root rises within and many become defiled. Choose not to feed yourself with ungodly worldly attitudes. We need to become people with a lifestyle of forgiveness. Unforgiveness can grow into bitterness, take root and become a part of you. The Bible says offences will come. People who are bitter are easily offended. Bitterness leads to anger, frustration and resentment and that leads to sickness which can lead to death. It is so important, forgiveness makes you strong and puts you in a position to flourish in life. It's not saying you're not hurt or it doesn't matter, but it is as much as for you as it is for the other person. If unforgiveness is held in your mind year after year you are stuck in that place. Forgiveness enables you to walk forward. Let's be a people that are willing to forgive. Ephesians 4:32. We are called to be imitators of God, Jesus forgave people who didn't deserve it, be the same kind of person. There is a very real, negative impact on your life for holding people in unforgiveness. God is able to work all things for good. Joseph is a great example of how to forgive. From a favoured son he sold into slavery by his brothers and became a prisoner for something he hadn't done. He could have reacted and become bitter, but he chose still to seek God. Through that faithfulness he interpreted a dream for Pharaoh and became highly esteemed. His brothers, who had sold him to slavery came to him - this highly esteemed and powerful man - in a time of famine. Joseph had an opportunity to be bitter and resentful yet he chose to forgive and have his family restored. From that God was eventually able to save a nation. Psalm 103:12 - God forgets your sins as far as the east is from the west. Once we have asked for forgiveness the Lord forgets and we don't need to repent again. If you can't forget that sin is that because you haven't really forgiven that other person? The Lord forgives continually, His grace is sufficient and empowers us to do our best for Him. You hold yourself back sometimes with your own unforgiveness. Let things go, forgive those people, address those things that are holding you in the past. We can't look at the subject of forgiveness and not look at Jesus. He gave up all of Heaven to come down to Earth. He is love. The personification of love. The very people who said they represented God on Earth - the scribes and the Pharisees - sought to destroy Him. One of His inner 12, Judas, betrayed Him. Jesus was at the beginning and is at the end, He is outside of time, and He knew that the only way to offer us the opportunity to have life with Him was to come to earth, go to the cross and die a grisly death, but He did it because you are worth it. Matthew 26:47-50 even in betrayal Jesus calls Judas 'friend'. He knows what is coming, His betrayal, His death, but there is no unforgiveness in Him. Luke 23:33-37 - Jesus prayed for forgiveness even in agony, bleeding, dying. At any moment he could have come down from the cross, but He didn't because He wants a relationship with you and He wants you to represent Him well. After He rose, He folded the grave clothes - He's never going to wear them again - and He walked out of the tomb with the keys to death. Let us make a choice not to let our potential future be robbed by something that happened in the past. Let's be people who forgive and let past hurts go. Will you forgive? It is worth it every time. It's all through God's word, that the Lord wants us to be forgiving and loving.