Summary: Unforgiveness is a trap that we’ve all been caught in at one time or another. This series attempts to help people find release people from the trap.
Baiting the Trap
Series: Escaping the Trap of Unforgiveness
July 9, 2006
What I’m going to be talking to you about the next 4 weeks, is possibly the most important confrontation with truth that you’ll ever have! Not because I’m preaching it, but because of the subject we’re going to deal with. With that in mind, I want you just to pause with me for a moment and pray a special prayer. Asking God to open your heart and mind to His truth. “Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask that you would expose any hidden areas of my heart that have hindered me from knowing Your and serving You more effectively. I welcome the conviction of Your Spirit and ask for Your grace to carry out what you desire of Me. Amen.”
The issue of “offense”, is probably the most difficult obstacle that you and I will ever face and overcome. Jesus’ disciples witnessed incredible great and powerful miracles. They watched in amazement as they saw Jesus make blind eyes see, paralyzed legs walk, raging seas calmed, and thousands fed with only a few loaves and fish. On more than one occasion, they even saw Jesus raise people from the dead! But, even though they witnessed all of these remarkable miracles, they were pushed them to the brink of doubt like when Jesus told them in Luke 17:3-5 that (READ) When they heard that, their immediate response was... “Lord, increase our faith!”
They didn’t cry out for greater faith to do miracles... but when the simple command was given to forgive... they knew they were out of their league! Do we have anybody here today who has ever tried to catch a mouse in a mouse trap? (may I see your hands? Hmm... very few women. I wonder why?). Do we have any bear trappers here? Well, if you’ve ever tried to trap an animal... you know that there are 2 things you need to have if you’re going to be successful.... ( I hear!) The first thing you need is a bear to trap… and then you need to make sure that the trap is hidden from view.
It has to be camouflaged in the hope that some unsuspecting animal will stumble onto it. The 2nd thing you need is bait. The bait is used to lure the animal into the traps deadly jaws. Now, Satan (the enemy of our souls) is a good trapper and he uses both of these strategies as he lays out his most deceptive and deadly traps. They’re hidden... and they’re baited! And one of Satan’s most deceptive and insidious kinds of “traps”... is something that every person here has encountered... OFFENSE. The “trap of offense”... When you’ve been caught in the “trap of offense” you become offended at something someone has said or done to you... When that happens, it severs relationships, causes divisions, splits churches, and imprisons countless Christians in it’s jaws.
Jesus warned us about this trap in Luke 17:1... (READ) Jesus doesn’t say you ‘might’ get offended… He says you WILL be offended. It’s impossible for you not to be offended at some point in your life. (turn to your neighbor, say, “You will be offended”. ) It’s not a matter of “will” you be offended... it’s just a matter of WHEN!