Taking Up an Offense

October 15, 2015

Proverbs 18:19
An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

Taking Up an Offense

How many of us today are carrying offenses in our heart towards another. They said something to us, they did something to us, they wronged us in some way and now they are on the black list of our heart to stay. We have all been offended, hurt, disappointed, emotionally wounded and wronged in some way. I guess that is pretty normal behavior in the world, but what about in the identity that God has given us in Christ. In our identity with Him, are we still justified in holding on to these offenses, no matter how justified we reason within ourselves to do so?
Colossians 3: 13 says, ” Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” That is not a request, but a command. Have we never offended or hurt anyone? Are we so unwilling to forgive what we ourselves have been guilty of?
One revelation we all need to get is that we are not of this world and yet we keep thinking like it and acting like it. That is not a renewed mind in Christ, it is being conformed to the world which is an offense to God. When we are unwilling to forgive then we spit in the face of Him who forgave us. That is strong and it should be, because that is how the Lord takes it. He forgave us so much, shouldn’t we be willing to forgive little. Jesus spoke parables about forgiveness and He taught a word concerning it that very few of us are walking in.
Now someone might be thinking, “Will you don’t know what they did to me, I can’t ever forgive them for that.”
Jesus said, ” “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)
Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” (Matthew 5:43-46)
Somehow we can all become self-righteous about things. We can see all of the faults in others. We may be carrying an offense against someone that isn’t even our own. We have taken it up for someone else because they were wronged. We tend to somehow feel that we have been given the right to judge others for their wrongs and are justified in condemning them and holding it against them.
Jesus said, ” “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Romans 2:1-4 also addressed this issue, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” It goes on to say that because of this stubbornness we store up wrath for ourselves, because we are going to be judged by the same standards that we judged others and if we showed no mercy, then we can’t expect to receive mercy.
How can we fully walk in who we are in Christ when we hold offense against a brother or another. God is love. His love and forgiveness has been shed abroad in our hearts as believers. Are we now going to annul what He died for? Listen to what 1 John 2:9-11 has to say about this. “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”
Are people, and even brothers and sisters, going to hurt, disappoint and offend us? You can count on it, but what you do with that offense speaks volumes to how real your identity is in Christ. If you really know Him, you will keep His commands. If you really love Him, you will allow His love to dominate and guide your heart. Your mercy will triumph over judgement and you will be the hot coals of love poured over the offenders head.
I would just like to end this with the exhortation given from Roman12:9-21 about how we are to walk in love toward one another. May the Holy Spirit help us acknowledge, to release and forgive any and all offenses that we have been carrying.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
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.

Blessings,
#kent

Enveloped in His Nature

October 1, 2012

1 John 4:7-12
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice forc our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Enveloped in His Nature

One of the things that we know about God is that His nature is Love. He may have many attributes, but all that God is, all that he does is birthed out of His nature of Love. All true and pure love comes from God, because God is a giver and He proved how large and wonderful a giver He is when Jesus, His only begotten Son, came down from the place of rulership and dominion to suffer and die a sinner’s death for us, that He might redeem us back to the Father. Never has there been a greater expression and example of love than that.
When we received Christ into our hearts and spirits we became identified with Him in every way; in His cross, in His death, in His burial, resurrection, in His life and ascension and now we have the revelation by His Spirit that indwells us and the Word of God that bears witness that we are “in” Christ. Because we are “in Him” we are to no longer live our lives through our souls (mind, will and emotion), but “through” Christ. Now Christ is in God and Has expression out of and through the Father and 1 John 4:9 says God sent His Son that we might live through Him. We have the privilege, but we also make the choice. We live “in Christ”, “out of Him” and “through Him” we are one with Him. His name and His nature become ours, because we are His. When we live out of Christ, who is God manifest, then we, in like manner possess and live out of His nature of love.
How do we recognize that love?
By the way we honor and treat one another.
1 John 4:12 says, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” The way we walk in love toward one another exemplifies and testifies or bears witness that God is in us, because His love is manifesting through our actions and our life. It doesn’t say that it is because we tell each other that we love them. That’s good, but the proof of our love is in our actions and life with one another. Do we earnestly care for one another as expressed through our actions and honor we bestow upon one another?
John tells us here something that should convict each of us that are not truly walking in the love of God. 1 John 4:19-21 tells us, “We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” If we truly know God and God is in us through Christ and His Spirit then how can we still be living in offense and rejection of our brothers or sisters. It is not God’s nature to harbor these things in our hearts. That is an anti-Christ spirit and if we carry this spirit how can we say that we are His? The two natures don’t line up.
If we are going to truly call ourselves believers and disciples of Jesus then His nature had better be showing up in and through our lives. That nature of love.
A quick reminder of what God’s love is from 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails.”
If love never fails then how can we, as His expression of love in the earth, fail to love and forgive one another?
I see so much of this throughout families and the body of Christ where people have taken up offense, feuds and walk in rejection and unforgiveness of one another. What scripture did we get that out of and how can we justify, by the Word of God, that manner of behavior? Where is the love of God in that? We can justify to ourselves if we want, but according to God’s Word that we just shared I would say that we are deceived, because Christ died for that brother or sister you rejected, just like He died for you and He loves them, just like He loves you. It doesn’t meant they may have done everything right or they may not have acted out of love, but what does that have to do with you and me, if we say that we are “in love”?
God is telling us to get over our pettiness. You and I lost our rights at the cross and the only right we have is to be who He wants to be in us, “love”. Maybe it is time for a lot of us to either step up into who we are called to be or step off, because the love of God is not in you if you continue to walk in rejection, hate and unforgiveness. Sorry, that’s not God and those walking and living there are not of God, not because I said it, but because His Word says it.
What is our nature? Are we enveloped in His love?

Blessings,
kent

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