Tuesday, April 23 2024 - 11:26 AM

Sharing Scripture — February 17, 2024

Your Mercy Reaches Unto the Heavens

 

For use: February 11 – 17, 2024
Texts: Psalms 51, 113, 123, 130, 136

 

“You lied, you cheated, you stole. You betrayed me, and my family, and everybody else … and you did it at the cost of my mom’s death,” Tony Satterfield bravely testified in his victim impact statement against Alex Murdaugh, a convicted murderer who is also suspected in the suspicious death of Gloria Satterfield, Tony’s mother.

“I want you to know that I forgive you. I will pray for you every day, that God gets ahold of your heart. And you may not know the gospel, so I’m going to share it with you.” Tony proceeded by summarizing the gospel message, crediting his faith in Jesus for giving him the strength and desire to forgive.

“My heart is with you. My prayers are with you. And I just wish the best for you.”

Although Murdaugh’s sins are great, Tony recognizes that Christ died for all and has the power to deliver any repentant murderer from the guilt of bloodshed by creating within a renewed heart (Psalm 51).

Tony’s amazing testimony, though intended to reach Murdaugh’s heart, also serves as a praise for God’s enduring lovingkindness (Psalm 136). Even while in the depths of despair, Tony can still see potential for good and the Hope for the future. And now Tony’s Christ-inspired act has drawn in countless curious spectators who wonder about the ability to forgive, the gospel message, and hope.

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: Imagine you are on trial for your most egregious transgressions. The victim(s) forgive you and extend an olive branch. How do you respond?

Sharing: Is it more difficult to forgive someone for hurting your loved one than if they had committed the same offense toward you?

  1. When living the gospel, forgiveness should come easily in any circumstance
  2. Yes, our love for others should outweigh love for ourselves
  3. Yes, so I try to move on and let God do the forgiving
  4. Not if my loved one deserved it
  5. Yes, because the one inflicting pain on my loved one is me
  6. Other

Applying: Study Matthew 18:23-35. Practice expressing the message of this passage in your own words (you may ask a peer to offer constructive feedback). Prayerfully keep this Scripture in mind for the next time you come across someone struggling with forgiveness or grasping the gospel message.

Valuing: How do you personally reconcile God’s lovingkindness which endures forever (Psalm 136) with God’s judgment carried out by those in power whom we consider enemies (see Ezekiel 21)?

~ Stefani Leeper


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Much has been written about how the ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can be more effective. There is a continued need for new approaches to ministry, guided by new and rigorous research. This volume honors the contributions of Monte Sahlin, who has dedicated his career to ministry and research spanning more than fifty years. The research, tributes, and other information presented in this book were each submitted by those who worked closely with Monte Sahlin during his career or were strongly influenced by his research, his many books, articles, presentations and blog posts and focuses on areas where Monte Sahlin has made significant related contributions:

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