The War — SERMON NOTES
These notes go along with the message "The War," preached on March 17/18, 2012:
In Song of Songs 5:2-8, our couple are no longer newlyweds. He no longer refers to her as his bride. The newness has worn off.
Perhaps this passage seems to tell the story of a simple, meaningless situation. But, it seems there is undertow here, more going on.
It’s the small things (foxes) that build up, lead to big things.And in the end, it is the small things that end up breaking the camel’s back.
The reality is: Conflict will define your marriage. And ALL marriages have conflict. Sometimes, the first step is admitting we have a problem.
LAST WEEK: “Satan’s key strategy is to get you to see your mate—rather than him—as your enemy.”
THIS WEEK, ADD TO THAT: “Marriage is the union of two good forgivers”
Even after Solomon’s bone-headed mistakes, his wife says in SONG OF SONGS 5:8, NLT — "Make this promise, O women of Jerusalem—If you find my lover, tell him I am weak with love."
FORGIVENESS IS NOT:
- Approving of what they did
- Excusing what they did
- Justifying what they did
- Pardoning what they did
- Reconciliation (something that happens between 2 people)
- Denying what they did
- Blindness to what happened
- Refusing to take wrong seriously
- Pretending we are not hurt
So what IS forgiveness then?
- Being aware of what they did and still forgiving them
- Choosing to keep no records of wrongs
- Refusing to punish
- Not telling what they did
- Being merciful
- An inner condition
- The absence of bitterness
MATTHEW 18:21-22, modified —“‘Lord, how often should I forgive [my mate] who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’”
God asks us to forgive our spouses because He understands that without forgiveness, the flame of love dies; bitterness and resentment extinguish it.
Extending forgiveness is one of the most difficult things that we are asked to do as Christians.
Especially true if we’ve been hurt/betrayed by our soul-mate.
But God says forgive, even if they did not ask us to forgive.
Forgive, as you have been forgiven
- Forgive unconditionally
- Forgive freely
- Forgive repeatedly