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Love Someone Today 3

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One-to-One Discipleship for Catholics by Bo Sanchez

One-to-One Discipleship for Catholics by Bo Sanchez

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  • 1. Forgives You Even Before You Ask God LOVE SOME ONE TODAY: Lesson 3 One-to-One Discipleship for Catholics by Bo Sanchez
  • 2. My friend Pio Español shared with me this amusing story. I thank God that He is like Pio. In a sense, He’s very Filipino. When we stopped “working,” He didn’t throw us away and get Himself a new human being. He kept us, kept shaking us, kept blessing us until we started working again. But Doug said, “I threw it away. It isn’t working anymore.” Pio said, “Let’s have it fixed!” But Doug said, “Throw it away. If you can fix it, it’s yours.” Pio looked at the watch, shook it a bit, prayed over it a bit, and voila — it started running again. His sister is married to an American named Doug. In one of their trips here in Manila, the couple slept in Pio’s home for a few days. One morning, as Pio was collecting the trash from all the rooms, he noticed Doug’s watch was in the wastebasket. So he picked it up and gave it back to his brother-in-law.
  • 3. Forgiveness means God brings us back into a relationship with Him. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
  • 4. God Gives His Forgiveness Freely It is heart rending. My friend’s son has been taking drugs for years. He’s been in and out of rehab four times. It is absolutely painful to see the young man destroy his life. One day, I asked my friend an awkward question. “I’m sure your son has hurt you deeply. Will you ever forgive him?” His eyes moistened. With his voice breaking, he said, “Bo, even before he asks for forgiveness, I’ve already forgiven him in my heart.” His answer floored me. And I believe that this father was reflecting the Father’s love. In the heart of God, He has already forgiven us even before we ask for it. The question is not whether God will forgive us. He already has. The question is if we will receive that forgiveness or not.
  • 5. Here’s the truth we find in the Father that Jesus introduced to us: Even before you repent, God already forgives you of your sin. It’s not repentance that brings about His forgiveness. It’s His forgiveness that brings about your repentance.
  • 6. Read the story below. The adulterous woman never asked for forgiveness or repented of her sins before Jesus forgave her. Jesus simply gave it. And it is this love that changed her life.
  • 7. John 8:3-11 (selected verses) The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and placing her in the midst they said to him (Jesus), “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?” And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone as her. “But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? She said “No one, Lord. “ And Jesus said “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.”
  • 8. You find the same truth in the story of the Prodigal Son. Luke 15:11-24 Finally he came to his senses and said, “My father's workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death! I will go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’” The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him. This was the reason why he wanted to go back to his father. Initially, the boy wasn’t going back because he was repenting. He was going back because he was hungry. So he prepared a speech of repentance. But before he could even say it, forgiveness was given. Read what the father did when he saw him from afar. You know the story. A man had two sons. The youngest son asked for his share of his property and went away to spend it all in wild living. When he was as poor as a rat, he worked as a caretaker of pigs. He was so hungry. He wanted to eat the rotten food the pigs were eating.
  • 9. Here’s the reason for this extravagant love: Only love can change a person’s heart. Fear and wrath can never do that. The only response we can give to such relentless love is repentance. We repent because we are loved.
  • 10. Application: God forgives you of all your sins. Do you sometimes doubt that He forgives you? Do you sometimes think that your sin is bigger than His love? Only love can change a person. Do you see this happening in your life now? Make a decision now to love the Lord — because He loved you first.
  • 11. Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You for loving me. I thank You for forgiving me from all my sins. I repent from all my sins and I turn away from them. Cleanse me and wash me and purify me. I want to follow You all the days of my life. Because You love me, I will love You forever. Bless me, in Jesus’ name. Amen. One-to-One Discipleship for Catholics by Bo Sanchez