Well, this is a continuation of my last post on “Christian Living-part1”. I hope it answers many of your questions and unveils Jesus, even as you see yourself in him.
A believer in Christ MUST not live in offense.
No matter how logical it is, we must never be found holding grudges against anyone.
An offence is a poison- it destroys us and those around us.
An offence is a viper- it subtly stings those who listen to us.
Be careful around anyone offended!
1 Corinthians 15: 33 Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character. (Amplified Bible)
Don’t hang around offended brethren!
They oftentimes infect you with the killer virus.
That said, offences lead to dishonour, disrespect and disregard of sacred things.
NO ONE IS IMMUNE, NOT EVEN CLERGY.
Ministers easily spread offences to their members, who in “loyalty” make the enemy of their Pastor their targets of insults, disrespect and abuse.
We must watch it and NEVER use the pulpit as a platform for settling personal scores.
IT IS A SIN.
John the Baptist was the greatest prophet of the Old Testament.
Matthew 11: 10 This is the one of whom it is written, Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who shall make ready Your way before You.
11 I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist…
He had the single privilege of being the FIRST to point out the messiah.
His revelation was the greatest.
He acknowledged he was lesser than Jesus.
He acknowledged Jesus was to continue while he (John) was to decrease.
However, he continued! Was imprisoned.
Jesus’ ministry became popular.
John was still in prison.
He couldn’t pay for airtime on television.
He had no church building.
No private jets. No cars.
To make matters worse, Jesus wasn’t criticizing Herod on John’s behalf.
John is aggrieved.
The limelight is gone.
No one is waiting at Jordan anymore (at least in case he comes back) to be baptised.
John remembers how he baptised Jesus.
He remembers they are cousins.
Younger cousin. Small boy!
Who does Jesus think he is?
After all I was also a miraculous conception.
My Dad was a priest.
John was offended!
Matthew 11: 2 Now when John in prison heard about the activities of Christ, he sent a message by his disciples
3 And asked Him, Are You the One Who was to come, or should we keep on expecting a different one?
When we are offended, we begin to get critical of others.
We say things like ‘so called pastors’, ‘so called “Christians’.
Men who laid hands on us to be healed.
Ministered to us.
Taught us what we knew before what we “now know”.
We call fellow brethren ‘so called’.
We begin to question the miracles, the crowds, the success.
We are plainly JEALOUS.
Jealousy is the child of offence.
When we can’t celebrate the progress and success of others, oftentimes we are offended.
Jesus added salt to injury.
Mathew 11: 4 and Jesus replied to them, Go and report to John what you hear and see:
5 The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed (by healing) and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up and the poor have good news (the Gospel) preached to them.
6 And blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is he who takes no offense at Me and finds no cause for stumbling in or through Me and is not hindered from seeing the Truth. (Amplified Bible)
Offence reduces us to brawlers.
We become petty.
We draw some examples from the Old Testament.
They were written for examples and for our learning- 1 Corinthians 10:11, Romans 15: 4.
Miriam and Aaron were Moses’ brethren.
But God placed Moses above them.
Miriam was a prophetess, Aaron, a priest (High priest).
Everybody had his role and place.
We all can’t be the same.
Yet they were aggrieved.
My kid brother is the “man of God”.
Hear what they said.
Numbers12: 1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
It seemed they had legitimate reasons.
But it was just an excuse to get back at Moses.
He was stealing the limelight.
His books were popular.
His conventions were full.
They had forgotten God made it so.
Now let’s listen to them.
Numbers12:2 And they said, Has the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Has He not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.
It’s like saying ‘what is special about him?’
They were offended.
By the way, it appeared from the text Miriam was the lead speaker, Aaron was a supporter.
Again, he shows weakness of leadership in him.
God heard and responded thus.
Numbers 12: 4 Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, Come out, you three, to the Tent of Meeting. And the three of them came out.
5 The Lord came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the Tent door and called Aaron and Miriam, and they came forward.
6 And He said, Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make Myself known to him in a vision and speak to him in a dream.
7 But not so with My servant Moses; he is entrusted and faithful in all My house.
8 With him I speak mouth to mouth [directly], clearly and not in dark speeches; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? (Amplified Bible)
God NEVER is behind critics.
They are ill-motivated.
They may have logical reasons.
But it’s never scripturally correct.
God yet again approves Moses.
James 1: 20 For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires]. (Amplified Bible)
Your anger is not God’s anger.
You are only sometimes frustrated and jealous.
Deal with it.!
Miriam became leprous.
Both nearly lost their lives.
It took Moses’ intervention. Imagine!
Offences lead us into more evils.
2 Samuel 13 & 14
Absalom was angry with Amnon his brother.
Amnon raped Tamar. David, the king (their Father) was not decisive.
Absalom felt aggrieved but said NOTHING.
2 Samuel 13:22 And Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon because he had humbled his sister Tamar.
23 After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons.
HE WAITED FOR TWO YEARS.
The matter had died down.
HE KILLED AMNON.
He would later move to dethrone his Dad.
He wasn’t a bad boy from birth.
But when you allow offences to set in, you shall be transformed into another man!
Offences led him from hatred to bitterness, conspiracy, murder, rebellion and strife.
WE MUST DEAL WITH OFFENCES BEFORE THEY DEAL WITH US!
We shall examine how to do this later.
Paul admonishes us this way.
Ephesians 4: 26 When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.
27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him. (Amplified Bible)
STAY AWAY FROM OFFENDED PEOPLE or you will become offended too.
I refuse offences in my heart and around me, I walk in the Spirit, I don’t fulfil the lusts of the flesh!
Jesus is Lord,We win!