Today was an awesome day in the life of our church! We witnessed hundreds of people in our church family take giant steps in their walk with Christ as they extended forgiveness to someone who has harmed them. We called today's message, "baggage." We all have it! It's is the sin of offense. It is when we carry unforgiveness towards someone that has wronged us. John Bevere calls it, "the bait of Satan." Today we made decisions to not take the bait, to shed the baggage and to walk in freedom & forgiveness. Here are the notes:
ARE YOU AWARE OF YOUR BAGGAGE.
"Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit…. Job 7:11
Give a name to your baggage: THE SIN OF OFFENSE
“Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come...”
Luke 17:1 (NKJV)
The Greek word for offend in Luke 17:1 comes from the word skandalon. This word originally referred to the part of a trap to which the bait was attached. In the New Testament it often describes an entrapment by the enemy. A trap needs one of two things in order to be successful. Either it must be hidden, in the hope that an animal will stumble upon it, or it must be baited to lure the animal into the trap’s deadly jaws. Satan incorporates both of these strategies as he lays out his traps. They’re hidden and baited. If we’re not trained by the Word of God to rightly divide between good and evil, we won’t recognize his traps for what they are.
(John Bevere, Author of ‘The Bait of Satan’)
The truth about offense is this:
Those you care about the most can offend or hurt you the most.
David laments, For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. …But it was you, a man my equal, my companion, and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng. Psalm 55:12-14 (NKJV).
An offended friend often times seeks protection & retribution
rather than forgiveness.
An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars. Proverbs 18:19 (NLT)
GOD, HELP ME TO BE HONEST ABOUT MY BAGGAGE
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
You were taught...to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds… Ephesians 4:22-23
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
ARE YOU READY TO CHECK YOUR BAGS
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
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… Luke 6:35
Who do you need to forgive?______________________
Are you willing to forgive others so that you might receive forgiveness?________
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! James 2:12-13
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:14-15
GO AND FORGIVE!