5 JUNE 2017 BODY OF CHRIST NEWS It’s Time To Let It Go Jesus said that in this world we shall have tribulation, but cheer up because He’s working things out. No matter who we are, we all face difficul- ties in our lives. We all need a break- through in some way. We all have some mountains that need to be moved. In verse 23 Jesus referred to the mountains in our lives. The moun- tains may be debt or problems in our finances. The mountains may be sick- ness or a weakness in our bodies. The mountains may be family problems. But a mountain is something that is so big that unless God moves it, it can’t be moved. Jesus told us to speak to our moun- tains and God would move them. He tells us to have faith in Jesus and then speak to every mountain. (Notice He uses the word SAYS three times… You have to speak up… I speak to my immune system… I have a piece of property to sell) As you read further, you will see that God has a condition attached to your breakthrough. Before your mountains will move, you have to forgive folk and let go of what they did to you. You didn’t deserve to be forgiven and God forgave you. Now you must forgive oth- ers that don't deserve your forgiveness as well. The nature of God is to forgive people that don't deserve it. "But Pastor, you don't know what they did to me. You don't know how unfair they have been. You don't know how they treated me." Jesus told a story about a king who had a slave that owed him millions of dollars. The slave couldn't repay the huge debt, but the king forgave him anyway. That same slave had a friend who owed him only a few dollars, but he had him thrown in jail. He refused to let it go. The king heard what the slave did and he told him, "I forgave you of an impossible debt. But since you refused to forgive, you will pay for the rest of your life." (I owed an impossible debt against God and He forgave me… I must let go of any issues…) Any time an injustice occurs in our lives, it can leave us hurting. Any time an adult steals someone's childhood; it can be difficult to let it go. When a drunk driver kills someone we love, it can devastate us for a lifetime. No mat- ter who we are, life can be very unfair. When something or someone we love is taken from us, we can become bit- ter. Anytime people are unfair we can become bitter. Jesus told us to pray, “Lord forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” I must let it go if I expect the mountains to move. We hurt ourselves the most when we don't release others. We set ourselves up for failure when we don't let go of the things that others done to us. They have gone on with their lives, but now bitterness is stealing our future. (The only way to be released from the heart- ache is to let it all go…) Even if a great injustice has been done to you, God says, "Vengeance is Mine." Any time we try to get even with someone for the things they've done, God will take His hand off of us. (Jesus said pray for your enemies… Your mountains will not move until you let go… Tell someone, “It’s time to let it go.”) If I let go of the things you’ve done, God will do miraculous things for me. If I forgive the unforgivable, God will move mountains that I cannot move. I don’t forgive others for their benefit. I forgive others for my benefit. That’s why, “It’s time to let it go…” "Well Pastor, what about the person that murdered my child? Do I just turn the other cheek and let them get away with it?" (The government has the responsibility of bringing them to justice… Let it go…) Jesus said, "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." In other words, whatever you hold against others on earth is held against you in heav- en… (Peter asked our Lord how many times should we forgive. Seven times? 70X7…) The reason you can't build new rela- tionships is because you won't forgive old ones. The reason you have such a hard time forgiving yourself, is because you refuse to let it go. God cannot release you, until you release others. When you choose to forgive others, then you can forgive yourself. It’s the law of sowing and reaping… If you're going to see mountains move in your life, you have to let it go. When you forgive others, you can forgive yourself. "By your standard of measure it shall be measured to you." The way you treat others is the way life treats you. The way you forgive others is the way God forgives you. (No wonder some folk never get blessed… It’s a love thing… It’s a Jesus thing… HCC is the most loving church in America…) Any time you let go of an injustice in your life, you put yourself in a position to be blessed. Any time you let go of the past, you put yourself in a position to receive all of God's blessings. (No good thing will He withhold…) Listen, God cannot move financial mountains when you are bitter. I don't know what needs to be moved in your life, but nothing will change until you deal with your angry self. Dr. King said, “I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” You know you have a problem with your mother in law… your father... You have an issue with your brother or sis- ter. You have an issue with your boss. You have a problem with the white man, and you wonder why God won't move the mountains in your life. The reason you can't get along with your husband is because you keep making him pay for the things your ex- husband did. The reason you pray and nothing happens is because you won’t let go of your issues. (Give no place to the devil…) If you keep talking about the things that people have done to you, it's because you haven't let it go. Sometimes you need to face your issues so you can let it go. (Quit pretending that you don’t have an issue…) If you're going to talk about forgive- ness, you have to talk about Joseph. His own family abused him and sold him into slavery. He was sent to Potiphar's house to be a slave. Mrs. Potiphar lied on him, and he went to prison for twelve years. But he always let it go and God gave him favor… (He was faithful… God promotes faithful people…) When God sees someone that is lov- ing and forgiving, He always puts favor upon them. You see, favor is better than money… If you want to see the mountains move in your life, let it go and trust in the Lord… Any time you forgive a race of people for the things they've done, God will move mountains for you. Any time you forgive your parents for the things they did or didn’t do, God will open the win- dows of heaven. If I hate you, I have to carry you on my back for the rest of my life. If I am bitter towards you, the resentment ties us together with invisible cords. The only way I can get rid of you is to let it go. When I let it go, the cords are cut and I am finally set free. Maybe you are experiencing a lot of pain and heartache today. When you truly let it go, the memory may stay but the pain will leave. You might not forget what happened, but the Lord will stop the pain. Jesus was completely innocent of all charges. They shoved a crown of thorns on His head. They hung Him on an old rugged cross. But He prayed for those who hurt Him and said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Anytime people hold on to bitterness, the power of the enemy is released. Any time people forgive each other; the power of God is released. It’s time to let it go and speak to your mountains. Jesus said, "Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you. Judge not lest you bring judgment back on yourself. Pardon others… release others… You will never be released from your bitterness until you let it go. Sometimes you need to show love and pretend it never happened. Job lost everything. His friends judged him and kicked him to the curb. It hurt Job real bad and he became bitter. After months of going through hell and high water, Job began to pray for his friends. When he let it go, God restored double for his trouble. The key to restoration is to let it go… When you ask God to forgive you of your sins, you must forgive others of theirs. If I am going to see the moun- tains move in my life, I have to drop the charges against you. If I expect favor on my job, I have to let go of how they lied on me… They conspired against me… Unless you become like a child, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. In other words, you have to quit hold- ing grudges and let it go. If I'm going to see my mountain move, then I have to let it go. (Thy kingdom come thy will be done…) If you can think about someone and it causes your blood to boil, then your emotions are controlling you. Don’t give anybody that much power over you. It's time to say, "It doesn't mat- ter any more. I have to let it go today. What's done is done." (Forgiveness doesn’t mean I trust you… Trust must be earned) Before I gave my life to the Lord, I didn't have the ability to forgive people that hurt me. Now that I am a new creature, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Through Jesus Christ I can let it go. Even when folk are not fair, if you’ll let it go God will restore everything you've lost. God has a way of making it up to you. Even if folk are talking about you behind your back, just let it go and God will turn it around. Let it go and God will move your mountains. The bitterness will destroy me if I don’t let it go. Some things aren't worth losing sleep over. Some things aren’t worth being tormented over. I need to put myself in a position to be blessed. “It’s time to let it go”. You can come to church seven days a week. You can read your Bible eight hours a day. You can sing in the choir or take food to the needy. But unless you get that chip off of your shoulder, you will never see the mountains move in your life. “It’s time to let it go.” You can wear your hair in a bun. You can wash the make-up off your face. You can take off all your jewelry. You can wear your dress to the floor. But if you don't forgive, you are not holy. If you don’t let it go, your mountain is not going to move. It’s time to release others so God will release me… “It’s time to let it go.” By Bishop Dennis Leonard Dennis Leonard If you can think about someone and it causes your blood to boil, then your emotions are controlling you. Don’t give anybody that much power over you. SERMON