If your forgiveness is going to look like and be modeled after Jesus Christ, then you have to be a pursuer of people. We are to be pursuers of peace. Why? Because Jesus Christ pursued you.
I love that Jesus Christ is a pursuer of me. I need Him to pursue me. And I want you to know this: if your forgiveness is going to look like and be modeled after Jesus Christ, you have to be a pursuer of people. You say, well what if they have sinned against me, Jesse? Well, read Matthew chapter 18, what does it say? If your brother sins against you, do what? What do you do? Go to Him. Go to Her. Pursue them.
You know what we do sometimes? You sinned against me, so I am going to wait till you come to me. No! When your brother or sister sins against you, you go to them. You pursue them. You pursue forgiveness. “Well, OK I can get with that one, but what if they think I did something to them and I didn’t do anything to them?” What does Jesus tell us in Matthew chapter 5? If you’ve come to offer your gift at the altar, and there you remember what? That your brother thinks you have offended, sinned against him, what are you to do then? Did you hear what He said there? “Leave your gift at the altar.” We are coming to worship you God, but I know this brother thinks I’ve offended them. There’s something between us. Set the worship down, Jesse. Go! Be reconciled to your brother first and then come back and offer that gift.
I am not saying every one has to do this. Every Sunday in our service, we begin our service with a time of confession. Cos I am not going to stand up there and sing songs when my heart is not right. That is just going through the motions. So we sit and we pray and we ask, “O God, search me and know me; try me and see if there be any evil way in me.” And we encourage, if there is an issue in this assembly between relationships, you go be reconciled first. Why? So you can worship in spirit and in truth. The onus is always put on YOU in forgiveness. If your brother sins against you, you go. If your brother has something that you have done against him, you go. We are to be pursuers of peace. Why? Because Jesus Christ pursued you. We must pursue one another.
This is an excerpt from the full sermon, “Forgiving One Another As Christ“.