From Forgiveness to Blessing

May 11, 1996
Presbyterian Church of the Master - Mission Viejo, CA

Dallas spent a Saturday morning at the Presbyterian Church of the Master in Mission Viejo, CA, teaching on the topic of forgiveness. You'll find encouragement, hope and freedom as Dallas shares definitions and practical steps to understand forgiveness, be able to receive and extend forgiveness, and ultimately live our daily life with God in a continual flow of blessing.

The DWM volunteers have created these videos from cassette-based audio recordings using slides that will help us follow along with key thoughts and scriptures while listening. The two teaching sessions have been divided into five parts for the video series. The original 2-part audio is available here to listen or download.

 

 

Resources

1: Session 1A - Forgiveness

Dallas introduces the series with an overview of how our lives are meant to move from embracing forgiveness, to forgiving others, to living from God in a life bathed in prayer, and into a continual flow of blessing. He shares a number of Scriptures, shows us how unforgiveness hurts us, discusses mercy, anger, and how the Bible has the best information available for life. There's a lot packed into these 27 minutes, so be sure to make use of the notes as you follow along.

2: Session 1B - Forgiveness

The session continues with Dallas teaching us four things for life that are absolutely irreplaceable and what happens when these things are missing, giving us great insight into the degree of depression, negativity and addiction in our world today. He discusses repairing the break, and why and how God loves to forgive. Don't miss his comments in response to audience questions about struggling to love oneself, and being downsized!

3: Session 1C - Forgiveness

Dallas concludes the first session by defining forgiveness and outlining three things that forgiveness does NOT mean.  He shows us how to determine if we are being unforgiving, discusses forgiving oneself, and gives practical suggestions around training children in the way of forgiveness and blessing. This is quite possibly the most pivotal segment of this teaching, so download the notes and jump in!

4: Session 2A - From Being Forgiven to Forgiving to Living from God

Dallas shows us the simple way to move from forgiveness to being forgiven, and puts forgiving in the larger context of giving. This is key, as we so often misunderstand the nature of God and reality. He gives us God's street address, explains the importance of confession, and then shows us how to move from being forgiven to being forgiving. This segment wraps up with great encouragement and hope that we really can continually live in an ambiance of forgiveness.

5: Session 2B - From Being Forgiven to Forgiving to Living from God

Dallas shows us the way to live in a continual flow of blessing. He shares the hope of living without offense and challenges us to learn the reality of the Kingdom of God and the joy of blessing others in our daily life. He explains death to self, prayer and praying in Jesus' name, and shares the most effective approach to evangelism. He concludes the conference with an overview of the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) and an exercise in blessing your neighbor.

In typical Dallas fashion, there's a lot here, so grab the notes so you can come back to it again.

Session 1A - Forgiveness

Highlights:

  • Inseparability of Forgiveness and Blessing: Dallas begins by setting the stage for a profound discussion on forgiveness and blessing, emphasizing their absolute inseparability. He articulates how the journey from forgiveness to blessing forms the essence of Christian living, illustrating the transformative power of forgiveness not just as an act, but as a pathway to living a life imbued with God's grace and blessings.
  • Process of Forgiveness: Dallas delves into the mechanics of forgiveness, explaining its significance beyond the surface level. He differentiates forgiveness from related concepts like mercy and confession, guiding the audience through the stages from recognizing the need for forgiveness, to receiving it from God and others, and ultimately, to the act of forgiving. 
  • Role of Prayer in Forgiveness: Highlighting the critical role of prayer, Dallas connects it intrinsically to the process of forgiveness. He advocates for a life of prayer not as a separate activity but as a state of being where every action is performed in communion with God. 
  • Living in the Flow of Blessing: Dallas emphasizes living in the "flow of blessing." He challenges the notion of impossibility in Jesus's teachings, asserting that living according to God's ways — in constant forgiveness, prayer, and communion with God — naturally leads to a life where blessings flow unabatedly. 

Session 1B - Forgiveness

Highlights:

  • Fundamental Need for Recognition and Relationship: Dallas emphasizes the irreplaceable need for recognition, starting from infancy, as a crucial element for the soul's development. He argues that recognition is not just about being seen but being accepted and understood within a relational context. 
  • Role of Love and Acceptance in Personal Development: Dallas discusses the importance of love and acceptance as foundational for personal growth and well-being. Love is not about fulfilling personal desires but about supporting what is genuinely good for a person. This active engagement in love is necessary for individuals to flourish and achieve a state of well-being. 
  • Impact of Early Life Experiences on Coping Mechanisms: He reflects on the reality that everyone experiences some form of hurt early in life, which shapes their ability to cope with future challenges. The extent of love, recognition, and support one receives early on can significantly influence their resilience and capacity for recovery.
  • Forgiveness as a Path to Restoration: Dallas frames forgiveness as essential for healing and restoring broken relationships, including our relationship with God. He presents forgiveness as a dual pathway—towards God and others—which is vital for overcoming the harms and wrongs we've experienced or caused.

Session 1C - Forgiveness

Highlights:

  • Nature of Forgiveness: Dallas clarifies that forgiveness is more than just mercy; it involves the decision to release the intention to retaliate against someone who has caused harm. He emphasizes that forgiving does not mean one stops feeling hurt immediately. 
  • Misconceptions About Forgiveness: Dallas points out common misunderstandings about forgiveness, notably that forgiving does not equate to forgetting the offense or returning to the same dynamics of relationship that existed before the wrongdoing. He argues that remembering the injury and adjusting future interactions based on the knowledge of the offense are not only wise but necessary for genuine forgiveness. 
  • Forgiveness in Relationships: Dallas suggests that forgiveness doesn't mandate the continuation or resumption of a relationship in the same capacity as before. For example, choosing not to re-enter a business partnership after betrayal is not an act of unforgiveness but a prudent decision based on a realistic assessment of the other person's character. 
  • Internal Work of Forgiveness: Dallas touches on the internal conflict and the challenge of forgiving oneself, differentiating between unforgiveness towards oneself and the natural feelings of regret or shame associated with past actions. He underscores that self-punishment for past deeds is a form of unforgiveness. 

Additional Assets

Session 2A - From Being Forgiven to Forgiving to Living from God

Highlights:

  • Forgiveness and Being Forgiven: Dallas emphasizes the simplicity required in seeking forgiveness: honestly asking for it. He uses the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector from Luke 18 to illustrate the pitfalls of self-righteousness and the genuine humility necessary for forgiveness.
  • Nature of God and Forgiveness: Central to Dallas's message is the portrayal of God as inherently generous and forgiving, a giver who responds to honest requests without reservation. This divine attribute is encapsulated in the imagery of a Trinitarian universe, where the ultimate reality is a community of giving persons. 
  • Confession and Restoration: Dallas discusses the role of confession in the forgiveness process, both towards God and between individuals. He emphasizes honesty and transparency in confession, which initiates the restoration of relationships. 
  • Living in an Ambiance of Forgiveness: Dallas advocates for a life enveloped in an "ambiance of forgiveness," where individuals continuously forgive as they are forgiven. This lifestyle is key to understanding the depth of God's forgiveness and its implications for human relationships.

Session 2B - From Being Forgiven to Forgiving to Living from God

Highlights:

  • Living Without Offense: Dallas emphasizes the transformative power of living without offense, seeing challenges like traffic as opportunities to practice kingdom living and turn potential frustrations into moments of blessing.
  • Living from God: He discusses the importance of making decisions directed by divine guidance, fostering a life of forgiveness and integrating prayer into every aspect of life, leading to a miraculous way of living grounded in God's power.
  • Power of Blessing: Dallas underscores the significance of actively blessing others, illustrating how this practice extends God's grace and peace, profoundly impacting their lives.
  • Community and Spiritual Growth: He advocates for communal engagement in blessing one another, emphasizing the impact of personal faith and actions on the broader community, encouraging a lifestyle radiated with forgiveness, peace, and love.