Forgiven! It’s no small thing
Ask four different people what they think forgiveness is. Now look it up in a dictionary or reference book to see if they were correct. Write your own definition here:
1 Read MATTHEW 6:12. What is the next thing Jesus tells his disciples to pray for?
forgetfulness forgiveness fearlessness fruitfulness 2 Check Psalm 130 verses 3–4 to see why this is so important and write it here: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ 44
Tricky question: The verses we’ve been studying are often called ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ but, while Jesus used this prayer to teach his disciples, there is one section of this prayer that Jesus never needed to pray. See if you can identify which section. (Hint: If you are really stuck, check verse 12.) ___________________________________________________________________________ 3 Why did Jesus not need this part of the prayer? ___________________________________________________________________________
PART 2 1 What is the path to forgiveness? Read 1 John 1:9 and find the way through the road map to reach ‘forgiveness’.
Donate money to charity Admit to God that you have done wrong
Take a shower Ask God to forgive you
God Forgives yoU!
To ‘confess’ is to admit that you have thought or done something.
In some churches people are required to confess their sins to a priest. Although it is helpful to confess our sins to a trusted person—be that a priest or close friend—we do not need this type of confession to guarantee God’s forgiveness. The only person we need to confess our sins to, in order to be forgiven by God, is God himself.
If there is anything that can get in the way of a good relationship with God, it’s sin. Sin is when we decide to live, think or act our way instead of God’s way. When Jesus died on the cross he paid for our sin once and for all. But even after we put our trust in Jesus, we can still make bad choices. When this happens it’s important to be honest with God about it, confess what we have done, ask for his forgiveness and choose to live differently from now on. This is called repentance. In your prayer time today ask God to show you if there is anything he wants you to confess (see Psalm 139:23–24 for an example of King David doing exactly this!). Admit these things as sin before God and ask him to forgive you.
Don’t stress if you can’t remember whether you’ve confessed every sin or not. God is a kind Father, not a grumpy exam master! If there’s something you need to confess, he’ll remind you of it. And he’ll provide you with the strength needed to set things straight. (Remember: God gives us what we need, including forgiveness!) How do you feel knowing that God can, and will, forgive you? ___________________________________________________________________________
1 Asking God to forgive our sins is only one part of the lesson Jesus is teaching us in Matthew 6:12. What is the second part? ___________________________________________________________________________ 2 How important is forgiving each other? Draw an arrow on the dial to show what Jesus would say.
Forgiveness is optional We can forgive if we feel like it
We must forgive each other
We don’t really need to forgive anyone
We must not forgive each other
3 Why does Jesus consider forgiveness to be so important? ___________________________________________________________________________
Forgiveness does not mean that what the person did is OK. When someone sins and hurts us, it is wrong and there is no excuse for their behaviour. But when we forgive that person, we have chosen not to stay angry at them. If the person who hurt us deserves punishment, we choose to let God (and in some cases another authority like the police) take care of that instead of dealing with it ourselves.
FORGIVENESS IN ACTION When someone sins against us, it hurts. This can make forgiving them hard work. But if we don’t forgive them, we’ll end up hurting ourselves even more as we carry bitterness and resentment with us.
Action! Think of someone who has hurt you whom you might still need to forgive.
Action! We know that God asks us to forgive each other. We also know he is a loving heavenly Father and wouldn’t ask us to do something we couldn’t do.
Are you ready to bring your hurt to God and ask for his help to forgive this person?
Dear heavenly Father, You know all about what happened with _________________ (insert person’s name). You know how it hurt me and made me feel angry, sad, hurt, disappointed, betrayed, etc. (circle appropriate words). I choose to forgive them in Jesus’ name. Please help me know what to do when I’m with this person in the future. Amen. 48
Action! Sometimes it’s helpful to actively forgive others. This depends on the situation and what type of hurt took place, but here are some ideas for putting what Jesus teaches us into action: Pray for them. (See Matthew 5:43–44.) Refuse to talk about them behind their back. Send a friendly text message, email or card. Talk to them about how you felt; explain that you have forgiven them. Invite them over to bake cupcakes or play a computer game. Buy them a small gift like a lollipop.
Matthew 6:12 Using an erasable marker, write Matthew 6:12 on a whiteboard. Read the verse aloud as a group. Rub out one word. Read the verse again. Rub out another word. Continue until the entire verse has been erased and you can quote the verse from memory.
Do the above activity on your own, using either a whiteboard and marker, or lead pencil and paper.
Checked by Person #1
Checked by Person #2
Matthew 6:12 Matthew 6:7–12 49
Published on Dec 2, 2014
By Penny Reeve Pray this Way explores Matthew 6:7–13, where Jesus teaches us that talking to God is a gift rather than a rule to follow. Pr...