March 28/Luke 17

Verses 1-10 > These verses are all about being sinned against and forgiving the perpetrator because we are followers of Jesus.

Verse 1 > Jesus told his disciples not to be shocked when they were tempted to sin. He really shouldn’t have had to say that but he knows human nature. We have all caught ourselves at one time or another saying, “I can’t believe they said that to me. or what did I ever do to them. or how could they do that to me, that was just plain wrong?” Life is such that people will do or say things to you that will tempt you to sin; like harbor bad thoughts, curse them, or beat the snot out of them! As long as you are alive there will be temptations to sin. Jesus indicates in the last part of the verse that the tempter will reap bad consequences but those bad consequences are not to come from us!

If we strike back it only makes things worse. Things will just keep escalating. The enemy has then got us trapped; locked up in a prison of hard feelings and hurtful thoughts.

Example: I remember in grade school when a kid pushed me on the playground. I pushed back and he shoved me even harder. I shoved him harder yet and pretty soon fists were swinging, lips were cut and noses were bleeding. The worst of it was that we both got sent to the principals office! By the way he looked worse than I did:)

Proverbs 14:29 (NLT) — 29 People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.

Verse 2 > If you like to argue and insist on your way and push other people’s buttons so that they finally explode and end up sinning, look out! Look out porn industry. Look out drug pushers. Look out Judges who rule that same sex marriage is ok. Look out you pushers of the homosexual lifestyle. Look out you promoters of safe sex. It may seem like you are coming out on top, like you have the edge, like you were right; but look out, like the frog in the kettle, you don’t realize it but you are sinking down into a slow death without any way out. It would be more advantageous to you if someone put you to death before you destroyed anymore lives.

This isn’t meek and mild Jesus. God is serious about defending his people from those who would lead them into sin weaken and if possible destroy their faith. Little ones = believers in Jesus, God’s family, the body of Christ
Sin breaks up the body of Christ(the church). It destroys unity and harmony. It brings shame on the character of Jesus. It doesn’t make Jesus Famous rather it makes him look foolish. God wants righteousness passed on from generation to generation. He doesn’t want offenses passed on from generation to generation as will be seen in verses 3-4.

Romans 15:5 (NLT) — 5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.

Verse 3 > Watch yourselves means to think clearly in any given situation. It is to your advantage to pay attention and think clearly as to what is going on. You don’t want to get caught in a trap. Like a captain watching for rocks and sand bars as he brings a ship safely into shore. Sins = to miss the mark, to cross a line
You don’t want your emotions getting away from you, like some ugly monster that broke loose from its chain; exploding, crashing and burning the whole situation. You also don’t want to stuff your emotions on the inside and then become a bitter person.

Rebuke = to speak frankly, honestly and politely as you tell the person how you feel that he or she has wronged you.
If you brush it off and smile and act as if nothing happened and everthing is ok you are guilty of lying and deception. You are just as wrong as the one who offended you. Jesus said you are to rebuke your brother. If you are going to be a mature person you need to learn how to confront people that have wronged you. Not too many people like to confront others but it is less painful and leaves fewer scars than a soul that is full of resentment and bitterness.
Example: Maybe they borrowed your car and brought it back dirty and with an empty gas tank.
Confront face to face not by phone, letter or email.
1. First Pray, get before God and ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and settle you down.                          You may see that your own ugly attitude is much worse than the person who offended you.
Psalm 73:17 NLT17Then I went into your sanctuary…21…I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. 22I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. 24You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. 25Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. 26My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
Thank God for the person that they uncovered hidden stuff within you. Pray a blessing over the person. During this time God may work a wonderful healing in you that it won’t even be necessary to go to the person.
Philippians 4:6-8 NLT6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
2. Don’t point your finger. “Hey you wronged me and I won’t stand for it.” We have all made mistakes–including you. So start out assuming that the person didn’t mean to offend you. Don’t be negative, be positive. Say, “I know you didn’t intend to do what you did but somehow the enemy got in the middle of this thing and I want to get him out and get right with you.” Now you have the focus on the devil instead of the other person.
The other person isn’t the enemy. See Ephesians 6:12. Don’t treat them like an enemy. The purpose of the confrontation isn’t to prove how wrong the other person is. The purpose is to learn how to work things out and keep the lines of communication open.
Matthew 7:1-5 NLT 1“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. 3“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
3. Remember the Grace and Mercy God has shown you.
Romans 5:8 NLT8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
That ought to help you regroup and change your attitude. Probe your memory and you will probably come up with a time that you innocently offended someone else. You wouldn’t of known except they came and told you. Aren’t you glad they confronted you instead of walking around harbor bad feelings and telling other people how insensitive you were?
Hebrews 12:15 NLT15Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

Forgive = to liberate, to set free, to send away, to cancel a debt, to give up the right to hold a person captive, to give up being resentful or holding a grudge. Let it go.

Proverbs 9:8-9 NLT8 So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. 9 Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.

Titus 3:10-11 NLT10If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. 11For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.
Verse 4 > The rabbis of Jesus’ day taught that a perfect man would forgive a person three times for the same sin. Jesus goes farther and doubles it and adds one for good measure. His way of saying to forgive without limit.
If a person crosses the line with you seven times a day you don’t have the luxury of holding that person hostage to his past actions if he comes and repents and asks you to forgive him. Jesus said you must release them and release your ugly feelings toward them.
Nail all those things on the cross of Jesus and let him carry them away. Jesus didn’t bring our stuff back and he commanded us not to bring their stuff back.
Psalm 103:12 NLT12He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
Mark 11:25 NLT25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
Are you able to let go of an offense? Are you able to put that offense away and not dig it up again? Yes you are.
Once you forgive you cannot drag that old offense up again.
Matthew 18:34-35 NLT34Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. 35“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

There are consequences for unforgiveness. Pastor Jeremy said this in a sermon a couple of weeks ago. “True freedom is being able to choose the actions that will ultimately lead to the best consequences for you.”

To be able to forgive is true freedom!

Verses 5-10 > In obeying Jesus, by forgiving others, we are unworthy of any special praise.

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    The biggest warning Jesus gave was that it will be on an ordinary day. When we think of end times we frequently think more about the cataclysmic events discussed in Revelation, Daniel, as Ezekiel, but as was mentioned in Matthew these events warn that the end us coming but the actu as l return will come as a surprise on an ordinary day. Therefore we need to always be ready. These verses are some of the ones that peopl we use to point to a pretribulation rapture.