In this episode:
Are you feeling tangled in resentment, grudges, and unforgiveness?
Join me, Chris Granger, in the Lion Within Us podcast where we unravel this complicated emotion and explore the essential act of forgiveness, drawing insights from Matthew 18:22. We’ll discuss how unforgiveness clouds our joy and creates a foggy barrier between us and others. I’ll be sharing perspectives on how forgiveness, rooted in love, can clear this fog and bring back the joy in our lives.
Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.' Click To Tweet Matthew 18:22
Welcome to the Lion with Ennis, a podcast serving Christian men who are hungry to be the leaders God attends you to be. I’m your host, chris Granger. Let’s jump in. All right, guys. Spirit to kick off time, let’s get into it. So we’re going to be in Matthew 18, okay, matthew chapter 18, one verse. Verse 22 says Jesus said unto him I say not unto thee, but seven times, but until 70 times seven. So we’re going to really unpack that one verse and see how we can simplify and apply it to our lives, guys, because this week we’re going to be talking all about forgiving our neighbors. What that looks like and that can be so hard for us. Fellas, I totally get it. This is something I struggle with, so I know that there are a lot of guys out there struggling with this. So let’s just unpack it. Let’s see what God’s word has got to say and what the Holy Spirit ultimately reveals to you. Okay, first thing, we need to know God, know where Matthew is right and even know where Matthew is. That is the first book of the New Testament. Okay, so if you go to your Bible, go through your entire Old Testament, get used to it. There’s a break right there for your New Testament. It may just be one page, and right there, matthew is the very first gospel. So you have Matthew, mark, luke and John. That are your four. They are your four gospels, okay, so Matthew is the very first one. Matthew was a disciple of the, hung out with Jesus, did a lot of things with Jesus. He was a tax collector A lot of things there that, just when you read Matthew, it’s a really good book of the Bible, very detailed, a lot of good information. So that’s where we’re at right here, okay, so what’s going on?
At this part of the scripture, peter just asked Jesus a question, and his question was how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times. Now, it’s his question. Okay, pretty, pretty innocent question, you would think right, and it’s very interesting because we, typically, when we think about forgiveness, we like to put parameters around it, don’t we guys? I’m just telling you, we do like to put parameters around it, and the same thing was happening.
Here is what Peter was doing with Jesus. So, back in this time, rabbis would actually, though, were a rabbiotic Judaism taught that four times meant genuine repentance had not occurred. Okay, so by saying three times, basically they taught you need to forgive them three times and if you go past that, then their forgiveness doesn’t exist. Okay, so, knowing this, peter probably thought that that number seven was astronomical. That’s basically he doubled down on what the rabbis taught and then he went one more Right. So from Peter’s standpoint he’s like yo, bro, use, this is how they do it. This is how I think we should do it, because that is a big number and you know it’s kind of a big deal. I mean, when you think about forgiveness, but look what Jesus did, he didn’t just shoot that down, he shot that down quickly and actually dumped all over this thing, man. And when you think about it not no, bro, not just 70 times, but 70 times seven.
And also when you think about this you know, this is not saying that you actually need to take that little number what Jesus is saying is like no, it’s not 490 times forgiveness, no, that is completely missing the point. Your point is we should always be forgiving. And when you start saying stuff like that, particularly to guys, say what that can be hard for us to swallow. Why? Because that’s it’s so hard to even wrap our minds around. What do you mean? I gotta keep forgiving, I gotta keep forgiving, I gotta keep forgiving.
And Jesus is saying this is what it’s about, this is how you show love right. This is how, ultimately, that we’re gonna show love and mercy to others. Because what this is going on here, this is Jesus is teaching us mercy field thinking, okay, mercy field thinking. Now you got grace and you have mercy right. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. So many times we don’t need you know, we don’t deserve that to forgive others. And what Jesus is pointing us to is like look, it ain’t about us, it’s about explaining that forgiveness, about leading with love, and that should lead us to do everything that we do each and every day. So you can’t put parameters around it, right, you should be spiritually whole fellas.
You gotta let unforgiveness go. Because what happens when you let unforgiveness just sit down and just take root and start building and building, and building? It’s kind of like a cancer. It probably starts off small, but next thing you know, it starts taking over and what happens? Unforgiveness robs you of joy and if you have, and just it removes so much of joy from your life, and you’ll find this. It’s kind of like a fog that just gets around you and the more and more bills it, bigger and bigger and bigger, and the next thing you know, you’re just this bitter person and no one wants to be around.
And if you find yourself in this state of mind, you gotta gotta just break free of this. And you can break free by forgiving others. And remember there are no perfect people the only perfect one we crucified. There’s no such thing as perfection. So you have to learn what forgiveness truly looks like. So Jesus is just pointing out right here that, look, you need to untwist your thinking Because, no, it’s not about a number, it’s not about a law or rule or anything like that. He only gave us to love God, love others, and at the root of forgiveness you will find love. That’s just where you find it. You’re never going to be forgiven, be able to forgive others if you can’t have love in your heart.
And that’s my encouragement to you guys is to think about forgiveness from that standpoint. What does it actually look like? How can I walk this out? How can I love all of others? How can I show love towards others? By actually walking out forgiveness and I’m not talking about just saying the words, but the words mean so little.
You know how you show forgiveness to others, guys, this is a totally spirit-filled moment right here. You show forgiveness to others by the actions, the actions that take. So are you walking out your actions of forgiveness and truly showing others that you, that you’ve not only just say the words, but that you mean it and you’re leading love? Remember the fruit Love is the very first one Peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, and you know self-control. You have all these fruit that are coming out of your life, but you’re showing it to others when it comes to forgiveness, because it doesn’t mean like, yeah, I’ll forgive you if it’s not contractual. Right, it’s not. You can’t have forgiveness tied around a contract. That’s not true forgiveness. That’s not what Jesus is pointing to here. He’s like no, I didn’t say to you up to seven times, but to seventy times seven. Basically, just do all your math, all your thinking, out the window.
The forgiveness I’m talking about here, simon Peter, the forgiveness that I want you to think about, is outside of your thinking. It’s not tied to anything that you try to put rules around. I just want you to love others and forgive them. And look, that can be hard. I know some, some stories right now. I’m thinking about some Two guys right now that are real close to me, and one of them has lost a daughter. One of them, son is is battling a disease or sickness, a medical condition rather.
And you know, when you see stuff like that, you’re like how do you forgive stuff like that man? Like how do you forgive someone who kills your daughter? How do you forgive when your son is basically battling for his life? And it can be such a dark path and at the root of it. All I can do is look at these verses right here. You know he doesn’t say it up to seven times, but seven times, seven Just. You have to find that forgiveness in your heart somehow, and you can’t do it on your own. There’s no way we could forgive that, this type of stuff, on our own. The Holy Spirit has got to come and dwell you. Give you that wisdom, give you that discernment, give you that ability to extend this type of forgiveness, because we’re not talking about, we’re forgiving somebody because they cut us off in traffic. Maybe that’s the tough one for you guys too, but when you get real life, things really happen Like losing a child or sickness or things like that.
Man, it can be hard to just forgive Right. It doesn’t come natural. We want justice, we want vengeance. We want, you know, for people to pay. You know, while there’s a time and a place for that and I totally get to there’s a time and a place for that, at the end of the day, we got to be careful because our pursuit of that sometimes can rob us of our own joy. Guys, you got to be careful with that because that’s the piece that you can’t let start taking root in your heart. Because if that takes root in your heart, next thing you know, you’re letting other circumstances dictate what’s going on with you directly. Man, it could be so scary, it can really have such a big impact and I don’t want that to be for you guys.
I want you guys to be just extravagant forgivers, just to where it’s so natural, a part of who you are. It’s just what you do. You just forgive and you forgive for a reason, because God, he has called us to do that and we know that is how we can unleash the line with it. Be that extravagant forgiver, guys. So I pray you learn something here for this one. This is a pretty important verse here. This is one you need to make one of your interest-written fellows, no doubt about it. And I want the question I want you to think about this week as you move forward how can forgiveness extend beyond the limits that we set? Because we put limits on forgiveness a lot, don’t we fellas? I want ourselves, we put our own expectations around forgiveness and we define these parameters. What would that look like if that went beyond what we think and we forgave the way Jesus called us to? It would be beautiful, wouldn’t it? It would. And that’s how you unleash it, buddy. That right there, get out of your way. Do it God’s way, unleashed in line with it.
Now, if you’ve never accepted Jesus as your savior, on our spiritual kickoffs each and every week, we wanna just share the good news of the gospel with you. Right Now, many of you guys maybe tune out from here on out or maybe flip to another podcast. Hey, and that’s fine. If you accept the Christ as your savior and you don’t need this reminder, fine. My challenge to you is this If you’re not sharing the gospel on a regular basis, use this spiritual kickoff as a quick way to remind you how to just do a basic gospel presentation.
My gospel presentation is very simple. We’re all sinners. We’re all sinners in need of a savior. I say it every week, we’re not mistake us in need of a life coach. We are sinners in need of a savior. And we have to first understand that. And a sin is anything that separates us from God. And that’s it Now, as there’s nothing we can do to overcome the sin, that gap between us and God. Because when sin entered the world, we can’t work our way there, you can’t nice for your way there, you can’t help a wage cost to treat you way there, you can’t give the charity there, you can’t volunteer to get there. Nope, there’s nothing you can do. That’s called work, work’s based righteousness, and there’s no such thing. So we are a center separated from God.
Now, second thing you have to believe, truly believe, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that what he came down from heaven and he took on human form and he lived amongst us and he taught us and he did these signs, he did all these different teachings and he showed us the way and then, when they crucified him, when his blood ran, he poured out his blood for us. He was thinking about you when he went to Calvary and paid the price for your sins. That was it. You were on his mind and Jesus died. He didn’t pass out, he didn’t just go to sleep, he died. He was laid in a tomb. But three days later he overcame death and at that moment, when he walked out of that tomb, he said he proved right, there he was the penalty for our sin. Death no longer holds it, death no longer holds us.
There’s nothing that will happen to us here, that Jesus Christ, right here, as a bloodbrawl, a believer in Jesus, that we cannot overcome by putting our faith and trust in him. I’m just telling you I’m not saying it’s gonna always be easy, but I will tell you, if you put your faith in him and you let him guide and direct you, you will have that wisdom, you’ll have that discernment, you’ll have that insight to do what he’s called you to do. But he had started believing that he is the Son of God. Then he had to confess him as Lord and I’m not talking about as a teacher and just. Thank you, jesus, for showing me the way and for loving me, deciding to know before the Bible tells me. So no, you have to confess him as Lord, lord of your life. That’s a big deal. That’s a big deal Because all of a sudden he becomes Lord of your finances, lord of your marriage, your intimacy in your bedroom, lord of your how about this one?
Lord of your money, your career. When you start talking about that kind of stuff, guys start backing down. Wait a minute. I don’t know if I wanna surrender to him for all these areas. What I’m telling you, fellas? If you don’t, you’re missing an opportunity. You’re missing an opportunity for a major freedom that you cannot find anywhere. The rarest commodity on earth is peace of mind. You’re never gonna have it and you’re not gonna have it, and you’re not gonna have it. I’m offering you the best thing I can ever give you, and that is salvation through the one called Jesus Christ. So if you have never put your faith in Him and you’re ready to do that, let’s pray, and my Father just thank you so much for this opportunity to use the line within us to point others to the good news of the gospel.
I pray that there’s a man or a woman listening right now who’s ready to accept you as their savior. I pray that they’re ready to turn from their ways and understand that they don’t got this, lord, but you do, and I know the way you openly receive others. That’s the way you love others, the way that you would just receive them into your kingdom. I pray you just pour out that Holy Spirit upon them right now, that they feel your peace, they feel your presence, they feel your touch, lord, they guide and direct them. I pray you just shut doors around them and need to be shut. Open doors that need to be opened, god for them. You guide and direct them on their path, father, and let them have a deep relationship with you that they also now, lord, take the opportunity to share their salvation and what they found by putting their trust in you with others. I pray all this to go according to your will in Jesus’ name, amen. All right, so just a few just accept the Christ as your savior.
First and foremost, congratulations. The biggest news you could ever do for you, the biggest part, the biggest steps you can ever make in your life. I wanna say just congratulations to it. Also, I wanna hook you up with some things because you have now entered the battlefield. I always do that after we do the prayer of salvation, because you know what. Not many people would probably do it if they knew that you know what. We’re getting ready to go to battle. But the reality is you have been in a battle all along, you just didn’t know it. Now the scales are off your eyes. You can see that the Holy Spirit’s going to guide you, it’s going to direct you, it’s gonna give you that conviction to do what you need to do for the work that God’s calling you to.
And I wanna hook you up. I’m gonna give you our Bible study. I’m gonna give you some resources right now to get you started, to get you ready. I’ll get all this to you for free. Send me an email supportatblionwithinus. That’s supportatdthelionwithinus. I’ll hook you up with those resources.
I was actually able to do that for a gentleman just this week and he reached out to us and wanted to Bible study. I’m like, absolutely I’m gonna hook you up. You know you’re a new blood ball believer. Let’s get this thing going. So definitely I’ll reach out to him. He’d let me know if you need that, would love to support you and I also just wanna give you a virtual high five. Love to jump on a Zoom call pre with you, answer any questions you may have and just welcome you to the brotherhood, all right, fellas.
So, look, come on back on Wednesday. We’re gonna have a really good episode here, gonna talk a lot about forgiving your neighbor, what that actually looks like and how we can actually take God’s word. Okay, simplify, play it. Make a huge difference, huge difference, fellas. Okay. So, look, share this out with others. For sure, that’s a great way to do it. You like the Daily Spirit for kickoffs? We do a Monday through Friday in our community.
Go to the lionwithinus If you wanna be part of that. That’s a great way to support our ministry. We would ask for your support, we’d ask for your donations. Help us out, Be a monthly member, be a monthly donor to just give you know what. Maybe I’m not ready to be in a community, but I wanna support you guys and be able to just sponsor someone. We have people who sponsor members every month and they just pay their membership dues and it’s a great way to pay it forward to help others. Maybe that’s a little bit further down the road and you just wanna help out someone. This is a great way to do it, okay, because we’re putting tons of effort, time, resources that help men be the leaders God has tends them to be. So go and check out the lionwithinus. Hop on our 30 days to unleash the lionwithin. That’s a great way to get started, an easy way to get started and a free way to get started. We wanna give you some resources to help you get going. So come on back on Wednesday. Look forward to seeing you guys. Remember to make this Matthew 18.22 and start practicing forgiveness true forgiveness this week. Okay, get after it, fellas. Start forgiving, stay strong, unleash the lionwithin.
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