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Sermon #101: Yes, You Can!

I remember when I was still a teenager. I kept grudges; real grudges, I mean. I did not know how to forgive; neither did I have the willingness to do so. If somebody did me wrong they were supposed to pay for it!

I was a stranger to God back then - I had never experienced the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in my life. Any talk about God actually had a jarring effect to my ears; it still does to some folks.

I also would tremble in my anger, sometimes to the point of shedding tears - even against an elder!

I recall a day I got so angry at an elder that he almost fell off the chair on which he was sitting. The elder was evidently wrong; I could not tolerate it anymore - but seething in anger did not make me right either - it's only that I did not know at the time and actually felt justified in my actions.

But then the Lord moulded me. Praise His Holy Name! If you see me now, you see a totally different person. Simple. I now can forgive and do forgive. I associate with everybody, of whatever station in life, without any problem at all. It is now very difficult for anybody to make me angry - and if I do become angry, it will be for only a brief moment.

But it is not my power or genius that is at work in all this. It's simply because He touched me; He continues to touch me up to this day. I give Him all the room to do so.

I really love this life; I just wouldn't function without God!

Here is a lesson that I learnt from my experience: God will mould you only to the extent that you permit Him to - to the extent to which you are flexible in His hand. God cannot and will not mould clay pots from dry clay; no potter I know can. Only wet, 'mouldable' clay will do. So remember this - you are the key to what God can do to and for you.

If you are a Christian, the power to forgive is already in you. Victory over anger has already been deposited in you. But the deciding question is this: Are you willing to forgive? Are you willing to let go of the bitterness? Are you willing to neutralize your anger? It's one thing to be holding a gun and a totally different thing to be willing to fire a shot from the gun, even if the ability to do so is assured!

Is your will subject to God's will? If it is, just say, "I am willing, my Lord!" and you will activate the abilities already resident in you.

In the end it is entirely a personal decision and a personal step to take. It's not the Pastor's, or mine; the decision is entirely yours to make. 

Remember: Willingness and surrender, from the depth of the heart, is the key to unlocking the life and character that you long for.

Think about this during your quiet moments.