TT

The Rifleman
"Welcome to The McCain Ranch"

Parables from North Fork
The Rifleman Bible Stories

The Rifleman: Trail of Hate ó Episode #77
 

 

Theme:
Bitterness & Vengeance: The Settling of Scores

When wronged, every fiber of our being can scream for retaliation.
What we do next is not only a window to our soul; it can affect the lives
(and yes, eternal destinies) of others.

Key Verses:
Job 14:1 NIV
"Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.

Rom 12:17-21 NIV Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful
to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is
written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the
contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him
something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his
head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

1 Cor 13:4-7 NIV Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Key Idea:

Is our life so long on this earth that we can harbor bitterness and enmity toward others? (Nope!)

Introduction:

A band of bank robbers hold Mark hostage and force Lucas to go along with a bank robbing scheme. Lucas returns to his ranch to
find Mark injured, and a seething hatred rises within him and
he takes off to locate the robbers and dispense his own brand of justice on them.

LESSON PLAN

Hook:

Respond to this thought: ďWe create most of our own problems.Ē

Q. Do you agree or disagree? Why? (This question will help students discuss times when they were hurt physically and/or emotionally)

Q. Should all be forgiven?

On April 5, 1999 Time Magazine ran a poll with this title: Should all be Forgiven?

Here are some results of their survey: (use ones you feel appropriate for
your class)

1. Would you forgive someone who murdered someone in your
community? 33% said yes they would and 59% said they would not.

2. Would you forgive someone who raped someone in your family?
19% said they would and 77% said they would not.

3. They asked the women directly would you forgive someone who raped
you? 22% said they would and 73% said they would not.

4. In response to the question would you forgive someone who murdered
your children? 15% said they would and 81% said they would not.

Book:
Teacher: With this episode, focus on Lucas McCainís fury, and
how he realized towards the end that he messed up big time.
You will see that the ending segment is weak from a Christian
standpoint (Lucas should have asked the Lord for forgiveness
before trying to forgive himself). It does however show his
remorse, a good springboard for you. Two avenues you can travel
to help your students:

∑ Forgiving others (primary focus)

∑ Forgiving oneself (a good closer for this exercise)

Utilize good readers to take a look at the following passages.
NOTE: Never ask a person to read unless you know they are comfortable reading in public. If in doubt, ask students in your class privately if they would be comfortable reading in the classroom setting. (yeahÖ you knew that)

Job 14:1 NIV "Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.

Rom 12:17-21 NIV Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful
to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If
your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

1 Cor 13:4-7 NIV Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

The overwhelming majority of Time Magazine responses show that if we had to choose we would choose bitterness rather than forgiveness. Very possibly each one of us today is holding an undercurrent of bitterness
towards someone. Yes, even Christians can be in bondage to the master of bitterness. There are three rules to forgiveness:

The Golden rule:
You should forgive others the way you would want others to forgive you.

Godís rule:
You will be forgiven the way you forgive others.

The Grace rule:
The way you should forgive others is the way God has forgiven you.
Forgiving one another even as God for Christís sake has forgiven you

Now, letís look at it from the other direction

∑ I should forgive you the way I would want you to forgive me.

∑ I will be forgiven the way I forgive you.

∑ The way I forgive you is the way God has forgiven me.

Look:

The reason why forgiveness doesnít come very easily is because it never comes naturally. Do you know what the word forgiveness literally means? It means to let go. When you forgive someone you release both the offender and the offence to the Lord and say, ďGod Iím turning it all this over to you and Iím going to let you handle the matter.Ē Take a look at a portion of Jesusí Sermon on the mount:

Luke 6:26-37 NIV Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets. "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.

Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Do to others as you would have them do to you. "If you love those who love
you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

There is only one cure for the cancer of bitterness and that is the cure of Forgiveness.

Forgiveness is giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. Most people say Iíll forgive you but I want my pound of flesh first. True forgiveness means no strings attached and no conditions. Forgiveness must be free, full, and final. How many sins has God forgiven you? If you are his child God has forgiven all of your sins. When God forgives, God forgets.

Bitterness is like a cancer. You must remove all of it to heal. You know some people might think that when you become a Christian and take a stand for Jesus Christ and be the witness that God wants you to be that everybody will like you. But if you stay in Godís will long enough people will mistreat you, people will miss judge you, and people will misuse you. Toss upon that heap this thing called life, where most people are out for themselves. If you want to be a witness for Jesus, you had better do it for Jesus, because if you donít youíll wind up a bitter person. Sure, bitterness can get into your life. But it can hook onto you and follow you all the way to the grave. Donít let it.

D.L. Moody said that the one sin that is keeping revival from coming to the church, more lost people from being saved, and more of the blessings of God from coming upon his people is the sin of a unforgiving spirit.

Took:

The Bible says in Job 14:1, "Man that is born of a woman, is of a few days and full of trouble."

So, trouble is just a part of life. You can't escape it. But with the right
attitude, you can make it a lot easier. Do you hold grudges?
Are you bitter? Do you have a hot temper? Do you want to get back at somebody? Wronged is wronged. It is always terrible. But most of our problems we create ourselves, by adopting the wrong attitude. Yes, you
have been wronged. But there is emotional healing and victory for everyone who chooses to take the high road. This (morning) you may
yourself need to ask the Lord for forgiveness. And you may want to choose to forgive someone today. Make the choice, and fly with the eagles.


Thanks Pastor Stan for these Parables!