Summary: God has given us a new heart
B When a person has trouble with their heart (diseased, damaged) any thing that can be done to help them is a reason to shout.
1 A good medicine, surgical procedure, pace maker . . . in some cases a heart transplant is in order.
a Ezek. 36.26, tells us that God has given us a new heart!
b This heart transplant is no little thing, nor is it an option or a luxury or a nicetie that we can do without.
2 When we first get saved we start off so good! (We love everybody, everyone, best pastor/church/Sunday school teacher ever)
a No one ever says, “I can not wait to grow cold, hard hearted, hateful and develop resentment.”
b These things into our hearts under the radar, stealth.
c You may be doing fine today and tomorrow you get wounded, something happens, someone says something and it happens. (Maybe right now!)
d Matt. 24.13, “endure till the end.” It’s not how you start the race it is how you finish it.
3 Matt. 24.3, 10,12 NKJV, Jesus warns us that near the last days there will be an epidemic in the church that serves as the catalyst for people to flee from the church: OFFENSE.
a Offense (gk. Skandalizo from skandalon) which means stumbling block, to make angry, sin.
aa A “skandalon” was the stick that an animal would trip to engage a trap or snare to trigger its capture (bad day). Can’t go any further.
bb Offense can grip our hearts, trap our hearts!
b I know people who go from one offense to the next.
aa Instead of letting God dress their wounds they just carry around the weight of offense until it disables their walk with God.
bb God wants them to go to a new level but there is now way that’s going to happen until the drop the burden of their offenses.
c Jesus tells us what happens next: betrayal, hatred & cold love.
d The Church should grasp these verses with holy fear.
aa Unsound doctrine is dangerous but Jesus is saying offense is just as dangerous.
bb Why do we tolerate one more than the other?
4 People don’t typically trip/stumble over boulders, but relatively small stones.
a Maybe it’s your pastor’s/teacher’s personality over you.
b Maybe it’s that your expectations have been unmet by a friend or member of your family.
c Regardless of what we stumble on we hit offense when we fall.
C There is a danger in harboring offense. (Not letting go and letting God)
1 We cannot or refuse not to put an incident in the hands of the Lord, then we should to the individual . . . but no so fast.
a Wounded Spirits are not Offended Spirits.
aa An offense is only an offense because we picked it up.
bb Sometimes (many times) if we would let Jesus heal our wounds then they would never develop into an offense.
cc “Look, Mike’s working...better take a picture.” Wounded me, my spirit . . . not offended, not angry.
dd You do not have to get angry every time someone does insensitive or stupid.
b When the wound is not put in the hands of Jesus, the infection of offense sets in.
2 We get sideways with that person & move from the intimacy of close relationships once shared and move toward betrayal.
a We will find ourselves talking about the person who offended us behind their backs.
aa Our conversations are sprinkled with negative “hints” that expose the offending persons weakness to others.
bb We hide our betrayal with clever camouflage but before we know it we’ve spoke very negatively about that person to far too many people.
b What camouflage you talking about, preach?
aa Can I get your advice/opinion about something?
bb How should I approach this person because ...?
cc Would you pray for me about this situation?
c The goal is not really about getting advice, spiritual help for ourselves but to get revenge on the person who has offended us. (Manifestation of hatred)
d An offended spirit always leads to betrayal, hatred & cold love.
D This pattern is played out the same way in families, friendships and churches.
1 We must remember that our friends, families, preachers are not our slaves; they do not work for us: under contract to fulfill our needs and if they don’t we’re not going to love them.
a We have not hired them to do the job of keeping us happy, content or even fulfilling a need.
b If they fail to meet our expectation in some way we get offended.
aa Husband expects wife to be there at his beck & call, massage his shoulders when he gets home, have favorite meal prepared when he gets home...unmet expectations.