The forgiveness message continues with part 2. Titled “Forget About It” with a sub-title of “Strength To Forgive”. Pastor is still on point (1) “Holy Kiss”.
Pastor Giardino prefaced the sermon, reiterating from his previous sermon, that “Forgiveness” is the greatest theme in the bible. (It truly is ultimately the message of salvation.) There is nothing that God cannot forgive. There is enough “Forgiveness”, there is enough “Blood”, there is enough “Principle”, and “Sound Doctrine”.
Again, going back a little to bring us up to speed, Pastor had us turn to Gen. 41:51: “”Made” to forget, and 41:52 “Caused” to be fruitful. After prayer for the service and asking for God’s hand in it, he read a bit from Gary D. Stratman’s “Mathematics of Forgiveness” which illustrated how sometimes we need to swallow what is not easy to swallow. Comparing lumps in foods as to how life isn’t always an easy, smooth meal and how “Forgiveness” is one of these lumpy foods that often is hard to swallow.
Before even going to the outline we turn to Gen. 37:30-31. There was a deception going on to make it look like Joseph is dead to their father, Jacob. Pastor threw in Rom 8:28 “All thing works to good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.” Then Gen. 39:1-6. The Lord was with Joseph … Now isn’t God with us as well, if we remain in Him?
When Joseph was going through it, he never complained, didn’t get bitter and hold grudges. He kept on going and did not shut down. Pastor used the analogy of putting on the flood lights and moving straight through the fog of his affliction. The Lord blessed the Egyptian house for Joseph’s sake… Joseph was trusted and well favored in Egypt. Can we learn from Joseph? Can we live in patient endurance, trusting God, and letting God use us to bring about His will?
Here is a quote from Pastor, with the meaning of the words in parenthesis: “Forgiveness is the antithesis (contrary to any other), the mecca (center), the paramount (greatest) of independence.” Speaking of the blessings on America because God was in it just as God was with Joseph, Pastor asked, “Is God’s hand coming off of America?”
Now, trouble comes again and this is the first quote from Joseph since he entered Egypt. Being wooed by His master’s wife he says, “Behold, my master wotteth not (Knows not) what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Joseph knows what sin against God is before the Ten Commandments were delivered through Moses generations later. He denies her advances repeatedly, day by day, and when she becomes demanding she grabbed his garment but he runs out leaving his garment in her hand and she claims Joseph attempted something on her. That landed him in jail. (Before continuing, we need to ask: what would have happened if Joseph succumbed to the temptation? God was using Joseph to save the bloodline of Abraham.) At this point we can wonder what Joseph might be thinking and going through but God is still with him. Instead of hardening him he is becoming soft to the Lord’s will, breaking to God’s will. (Awesome thought, to break to God’s will.) Joseph was able to interpret the dreams of two other prisoners, the Baker and the Butler of the Pharaoh. Joseph asked the Butler to mention Joseph to the Pharaoh when he is restored to his position. However, that never happened, the butler forgot about Joseph. Joseph did not become bitter. Remember Gen 41:52 and how God caused him to be fruitful in his affliction. You cannot be fruitful with an unforgiving spirit. We have past-tense affliction and we have present-tense affliction. They are the lumps in our lives. We can be fruitful in these afflictions and NOT cop an attitude. (Attitude also means a spirit, in this case, a bad spirit.)
Pastor asks, “Do you think God is able help you to forget?” As in Mat 9:28 Jesus asks the blind men, “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” Do we see how God is on top of all of Joseph’s situation? To add to that pastor suggested that maybe after we have been through spiritual boot camp, (Like Joseph), God may be able to bring people back into your life again, after resigning yourself to forget what people have done to you. The temptation of (what would be considered normal), to hold resentment, will a temptation greater than that of youthful lust. Maybe God won’t bring people back into your life because He knows you cannot handle forgiveness. (Forgiveness is not something we do, but something we “become” or “are” in Christ. It is an attribute of our Lord. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” Mat.6:12. Because he first loved us. A Holy Kiss to our Lord of great gratitude and appreciation and thankfulness, Ps 2:12) Joseph Kisses his brothers in forgiveness, also Luke 15: The prodigal son returns and his father falls on his neck and kisses him when he sees him and doesn’t even allow his son to finish his prepared speech, begins to call for a great celebration. Pastor noted that the son was always the son of the father throughout the whole time of his wanderings, even in the pigpen of the world, he was always called the son.