• This week I want to begin a series on practical living. This week I want to start off with avoiding offenses.
• To many people, especially Christians, Believers in Christ Jesus; take offense and miss out on the blessing of God.
• In order to avoid offenses, we must look at Jesus and His lifestyle. He showed us how not to become offended. Shout…. Love is the answer.
• It is important for us to continually walk in the love of God in order to avoid becoming offended.
• Satan will try to do everything in his power to get us to step outside the love of God. Once we step outside the love circle, the power of God is disconnected or disrupted from our life.
• Everything in the Kingdom of God is based on love; therefore, we must choose to love even when we are offended.
• Let us look to the Word of God and learn how to apply the principles for avoiding offenses.
(AMP) Psalm 119 165 Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.
1) A Key to Avoiding Offense is Loving God – Loving Others.
a) Shout…When I show love to all people, I won’t walk in offense.
b) Shout…Lord I love you! I will love others like I love you!
(NKJV) 1 John 4 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
c) The devil tries to lure us away from God through offenses.
i) Whenever we experience offense, the first thing we should do is pray.
ii) Offense is based in selfishness and it produces fear.
iii) Fear gives Satan access to our lives.
(1) There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear.
(2) Fear is a tormenting spirit.
(3) When you walk in love you are dead to self.
2) Offense is a Blessing Blocker in Our Lives.
a) Shout…Jesus help me not to take offense.
b) Jesus said blessed are those who are not offended in Him.
(NKJV) Luke 7 23 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
c) Offense is a blessing blocker; it is a negative reaction to a condition or comment.
i) If there are things going wrong in our lives, it may be due to offense.
ii) We should refuse to question God when we are offended.
(NKJV) 1Timothy 1 3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
iii) It may seem harmless to be offended, but it damages our lives and relationships.
(NKJV) Matthew 18 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
iv) Offense is a type of pressure applied to our flesh. It is a temptation.
d) Patience is a solution to offense.
i) We must consistently demonstrate the love of God when we are offended.
ii) Offense disrupts our commitment to walk in love.
e) Example …The woman whose daughter was possessed.
(NKJV) Matthew 15 21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” 23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” 24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
i) She was persistent and refused to be offended.
ii) Offense could not stop her from receiving her miracle.
iii) We must not allow offense to lure us away from what is important.
iv) There are people who are offended with God. (Example)
(1) If we become offended with God, we destroy our destinies.
v) How can we prosper if we harden our heart against God?
(1) Get rid of foolish anger.
(2) Offenses block the hand of God in our lives.
f) Love for the Word of God delivers us from offense.
• One of the keys to practical living is avoiding offense. When we take offense, we are taking the bait of Satan.
• When we choose to take offense we choose not to walk in love. Walking in love is exactly what Jesus did.
• We must walk in love and love the Word of God.
• Whenever we experience offense, we should pray first.
• Offense is based in selfishness and it produces fear.
o Fear gives Satan access to our lives.
• Offense is a blessing blocker. Don’t walk in offense. It moves you off course on what God wants you to do. You get disconnected from Jesus.
• Be patience and don’t take offense.
• Shout…Jesus; help me not to take offense. Jesus help me walk in love. Jesus, teach me to be patient and pray when offenses come my way. Jesus thanks for being a great example for me in my life. Amen.
• Let us pray.