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Summary: our response to opportunities in life determines our future. It is the same in the spiritual realm. Every response has consquences and has an impact on our future. Offenses seems to be one of the major events in the church today.

‘Your Response Determines Your Future”

I. Introduction

A. Your response determines your future:

1. Deception is not knowing while thinking you know.

2. Holy Spirit will reveal, that which is hidden.

3. Unknowingly you will look at “offense opportunities” through

the glasses that you put on,

a. Love walk

b. Self walk; (flesh)

B. Your response must be determined prior to “offense opp”

1. Through knowledge, by being taught how to respond

2. Through prayer, by being strengthened prior to the ‘off opp’

C. Disciples response to command to not be offended but to forgive.

^”lord increase our faith”^

1. Did not consider an increase in faith needed to do miracles!

2. Considered it necessary to operate in forgiveness.

D. The promise of ‘offense opportunities’ are direct and plentiful

1. Lk. 17:1) “it is impossible that no offense should come..”

a. forgiveness and non-offense = forgiveness &ministry b. unforgiveness (by us) = Unforgiveness from God (sow and

reap principle)

E. Offenses come from those closest to us.:

Ps. 55:12-14)

1. those we attend church with

2. those we confide in; grow up with; sleep next to.

3. the one delivering the sermon

^The higher the expectations the more severe the offense.^

F. Balaam put a [stumbling block] in the path of Israel” (Rev. 2:14)

- [stumbling block] = [Trapstick]= [skandalon]

- [offend] = [skandalon]= [Trigger of the trap]

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G. The Lord wants to refine us as GOLD

1. Offense opps’ will allow the impurities {slag} to rise to the

surface during the heating process.

^how many can testify that during the heating process you had some slag problems?^

2. Where there are no trials (firery) there is no refining! -{ in good times anyone can look like a saint}

3. Where there are not tests there is no test-a-mony!

H. Two groups of offended people

1. Genuinely mistreated and response was wrong.

2. Not mistreated but misunderstood the circumstances.

^Does not matter which group you find yourself in -

-YOUR RESPONSE DETERMINES YOU FUTURE.^

I. Joseph - example of one genuinely mistreated

1. Gen. 45:5)*r

2. Gen. 50:20)*r

^His response determined his future - pit or palace^

-had he become resentful/vengeful he would have had to have

remained in pit, because He would have destroyed the heads of the

tribes of Israel and ruined the plan of God.

J. David - example of one genuinely mistreated.

K. Samuel - example of one who given a great opp to become offended.

Conclusion of Introduction

ICor. 10:13 - with the temptation will come a way of escape.

II. ESCAPING THE TRAP

“And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.” -Acts 24:16

A. IT TAKES EFFORT

1. Paul likens it to excercise -

a. takes a commitment before it will happen

b. it has to be done by the person it will benefit

ill. Man climbing a wall and tears muscle. “if you had been in shape it wouldn’t have happened. Now must re-habilitate. *-r

B. THERE ARE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE

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