There Must Be Something in the Water…

Thursday , 4, September 2014 Leave a comment

There must be something in the air.  This was a comment made at a lunch meeting I recently attended, and was in reference to all the conflict that seems to be swirling in town.  The School Board, evidently, is about to go to war with itself…  The town Alderman are about to get (another) earful over some issue…  The County Court is divided into camps…

Jesus warned in Matthew 24 that one of the signs of the end times would be a spirit of offense jumping on people.  John Bevere wrote a great book on this issue about twenty years ago entitled The Bait of Satan in which he reminds us that the spirit of offense is Satan’s trap to catch and sideline believers.  Once we have “bit the bait”, we lose our effectiveness in the Kingdom and spend our time angry, bitter, separated, isolated, and defeated.  Offended Christians become consumed with a cause, looking for allies to get or stay offended with them.  The result, of course, is an ever-growing number of folks who are mad, or hurt, or bitter, and who have therefore pulled back, stopped belonging, and otherwise quit serving Jesus while tending to their sores…

Jesus, warning about the last days, speaks these words: And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another and shall hate one another (Matthew 24:10 KJV).  Welcome to the last days!  Indeed, there does seem to be something in the water, or the air, or more correctly, in the spiritual realm that is jumping all over good, sweet, sincere, Bible-believing, Spirit-filled, long-time Jesus-loving people—and reducing them to frustrated, sidelined people who are so mad…so right… so wronged… who have been mistreated, misunderstood, under-loved, neglected, forgotten, and so forth.  The feelings are VERY real, and the hurt is often very deep.  Still, there is one little problem with nursing a grudge…

…As Christians, we gave up the right to be right!  As Christians, we do not have permission to hang on to a grudge!  As Christians, we are called to forgive quickly and completely!  As Christians we are called to let go of every offense!  As followers of Jesus, we are called to turn the other cheek!

Jesus’ point in Matthew 24 is to be aware of Satan’s bait—and resist falling for it!  His point is that we NOT betray, NOT hate, and therefore NOT get offended in the first place.  When we do, we need to quickly forgive.  As Pastor Tom Halliburton used to say, we just need to get over it.

No doubt, someone has hurt your feelings, neglected you in your pain or in some other way let you down.  If it was me, I am sincerely and deeply sorry.  (I am a flawed human and can bring out offense in the best of people!)  Still, Jesus forgave me—and you—and has called us to a place of reconciliation.   As followers of Jesus, we MUST reject the spirit of offense, “get over it,” and love each other with the Love of Jesus.  We may be in the last days, but we don’t have to bite the bait polluting the last days!  We don’t need to breathe the air… We don’t need to drink the water… We don’t have to become trapped by a spirit of offense!!!

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