Sunday, 24 July 2011

Offenses (2)

"Offenses must come!" Here's another statement of fact that Jesus made when He taught on the subject of offenses. With this statement, He highlighted the reality that humans know so well: the world in which we live is saturated with offenses. Whether you want it or not, whether you cause it or not, that evil, corrosive thing called offenses will come your way. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

The very atmosphere of Eden was offense-free, until the spirit of deception, the old serpent, found a way to corrupt the heart of Eve and her husband. Outside Eden, however, offense is the order of day. Whichever way you turn, it is always making its way towards you. Like invisible radio waves, offense is a part of the fallen world - so also is the unregenerate mind of man that so easily picks them up. If only believers will operate in this life as Christ did! He chose not to tune in to the "offense channel", neither did He receive or broadcast worldly offenses. He was tuned to the Father; He spoke words from the Father and responded to earthly words in the way the Father's Spirit led Him - no matter the consequences. He did this always and never for once faltered.

The result of Christ's spiritual disposition was that provocations never provoked Him; accusations never bothered Him; misrepresentations never unruffled Him; betrayals never surprised Him. It did not matter how many times the prince of this world came to Him, nothing of this world could be found in Him.

How unlike the average believer today! We easily offend and are easily offended. Is this not an evidence that we are more attuned to the flesh than to the Spirit? Those who are led by the Spirit always, whose heart are consistently manifesting His fruit, will know the blessedness of an offense-free life. Surely, offenses must come, but we need not be the originators, receptors, transmitters or facilitators of them.

"My little children, keep your hearts from offenses" - GOD!


Friday, 15 July 2011

Offences! (1)

I recently found in the book Matthew, a statement Christ made about offenses. It just stood out to me and left an indelible mark upon my heart. After seeing this statement, I understood more than ever before why the Lord used very strong words whenever He discussed the matter. The statement I found is strong and true.

In Matthew 18:7, the first part, Jesus said, "Woe to the world because of offenses!" What a precise statement of fact. If there is anything that has caused much moral and spiritual decay in the world today, it is offenses. In fact, the first sin man created was facilitated by an offense at God. The devil succeeded in making Eve think that God was keeping something good from them, and this thought process led to rebellion and sin. What about the murder of Abel by Cain, was it not because of the feeling of offense aimed at God and Abel?

I have found out that some of the most frustrated believers today, not to talk of those who are not in the faith, do not know the reality of peace with God and the peace of God. They are offended at what they consider to be God's slowness or His seemingly uncaring attitude to their predicaments. This offense at God so easily manifests as offense at man - the root of a million atrocities in this life.

Woe to the world because of offenses! How true. Every war, feud, genocide and disharmony since the beginning of time has offenses written all over them. Just a little feeling of offense, real or perceived, is enough to cause unspeakable havoc between people and nations. Offenses have literally tipped us all in the direction of irreversible destruction. If not for the cross of Christ, the rock of offense that corrects this deadly imbalance, the world would have imploded long time ago. The privilege we have in Christ is the ability to lay hold of divine wisdom that can help us maintain an offense-free heart in an offense-ridden world. We need not be victims of the world's woes. We can find refuge in Christ and be partakers of the divine nature of God - our only guarantee of a life of victory over the force of offenses.

Thank you Jesus for this immeasurable victory!

(To be continued...)


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

JESUS IS MY LORD! The full implication of this

After Thomas placed his finger in the nail piercings in Jesus' hands, he exclaimed "My Lord and my God" (John 20:27,28). From that moment on, all his doubts about the resurrection of Christ and the glory of His Person faded away. In their place rose faith and a lifelong commitment to the purpose for which Christ had called him. When I declare, "Jesus is my Lord", I would like to believe it is borne out of no less a realisation and resolve.

First, Jesus has ownership over me. I do not own my life and thus cannot determine my course. The devil once owned me but he can no longer stake a claim on me. The blood flowing from the hands of Jesus is proof of His purchase of my life.

Second, Jesus has the rule over me. He directs my going out and coming in. He is Lord over my pursuits. His word is the light guiding all that I do. He establishes my purpose and sends me forth to be fruitful for Him.

Third, Jesus holds all rights to me. I am His through and through. I cannot hold anything back. His rights over my time, treasure and talents are exclusive. There's nothing that I have apart from what He has given me.

Fourth, Jesus is worthy of glory from me. My pursuit of purpose is for His glory. Everything I do is to make His name great in the earth. Every well I dig in this life is for His praise. He is Lord over all I my achievements.

Fifth, Jesus entrusts His authority to me. I am His ambassador in this life. All I do is in His stead. For this purpose, I have access to all that He has. All that my Lord has is mine and I am His. I don't take this lightly but live with a sense of responsibility - as one who would one day give an account.

There is no fear, doubt or pretense as I declare Jesus is MY Lord!


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