The Power of Forgiveness

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.

The Power of Forgiveness

Joey and Carla Link

April 17, 2019


I will never forget the day I attended a church camp as a teen and I heard an ex- pro football player talk about what Jesus went through when He died on the cross for us. He spoke from the text in John 19 about the last days of Jesus. He was flogged, meaning they used a whip on His back, they made him a halo of thorns and jammed it on His head and put a purple robe on His bloody back and mocked Him by bowing and saying “Hail, King of the Jews.”


Pilate, the governor of the region announced Jesus was innocent of any crime and released Him, but the Jews would not be satisfied until He was crucified. Jesus was forced to carry His heavy wooden cross on His bloody back the long walk to the place He would be crucified. He did this for me, for you and for all who believe in Him.


Middle school kids and teens need to know and understand what Jesus actually went through for them so they will have a greater reason to commit to living their lives for Jesus all their lives.  It’s like soldiers going into war. When they understand why this was necessary, the stronger their commitment will be for the fight ahead of them.


You are developing soldiers starting with teaching your little warriors how to obey you. Being characterized by obedience sets them apart from most kids even in the church. As your kids grow, they will become soldiers who will “fight the good fight for the faith” as Paul told his young prodigy Asha in I Timothy 6:12 to do.


Easter is the greatest time of celebration for Christians, as it rejoices in the event that cemented our faith. It is a great time to remind your kids what Christ did for them, and to challenge them to live their life for Christ.


Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian and their families went to the jungles of Ecuador in 1956 to share the Gospel story of Jesus Christ with people who had never heard of Him. The Auca tribe was known to be violent but they went because God called them to. On one of their trips, landing their plane near the village, all 5 men were violently killed. They were all in their late twenties and early thirties.


Can you imagine being one of those wives or children, knowing God wanted you to forgive those warriors? That is what forgiveness is – being willing to forgive those who hurt you the most.


Nate Saint’s sister, Rachel and Jim Elliot’s wife, Elisabeth went back to that jungle and worked amongst the very tribe that took their husband and brothers lives, showing them the true power of forgiveness so they could understand why Jesus would die for them. Pete Fleming’s wife, Olive, went back to the jungle 33 years after the massacre to find out if any good came from their sacrifice. She found that because of that fateful day, a whole people group came to faith in Jesus Christ because of 5 men who said “Yes” to God.


This quote was found in Jim Elliot’s journal:

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.


Our questions this week are:

  • What are your kids chasing after?
  • What is most important to them?
  • How much have they taken hold of to follow Jesus Christ?
  • Have they truly committed their lives to following Jesus or have they only learned to believe because you believe?
  • Are they confident in the facts of their faith?
  • Can they defend their faith?
  • Do they truly understand the power of forgiveness?


The death of these 5 men was reported worldwide. They set out to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and they ended up proclaiming the gospel to the whole world.


These men were living out Philippians 3:10:

I want to know Christyes, to know the power of his resurrection

and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”


As Easter approaches,


I would recommend a family movie night for older elementary and teens to watch. It’s on Netflix titled “The Case for Christ” It’s a true life story of a man who tried to prove Christ did not rise from the grave so he could disprove his wife’s faith. They show his pursuit of the facts (where your kids will learn the facts too) and ultimately he comes to the conclusion like the soldier guarding Jesus crucifixion on the cross who said, “Truly this is the son of God.” This family night will be a helpful confidence booster to your kids’ faith and hopefully challenge some of them to increase it in their hearts.


It truly saddens our hearts when we read statistics of over 86% of kids that grow up in Christian homes and go to church regularly end up walking away from their faith in the teen years. We write this to challenge and encourage Christian parents to not only help your kids develop sports and musical skills, but ultimately help them want to know Christ and pursue Him with their lives.