Offenses Will Come – Part 1
In Luke 17:1, Jesus is teaching His disciples and he uses a word translated “stumbling blocks”, which could also be translated “offenses”. What is a stumbling block or offense? The Greek word here is “scandalon”. We get the word, “scandal” from it, because sometimes when you do “offensive” things, it can create a scandal. There was an object that was a “scandalon”. It was the trigger on a trap, used to trap animals. They would take a raw piece of meat and put it on the trigger of the trap. Then, when the animal would take the meat, take the bait, the trap would be sprung and the animal would be captured. It was also used to describe a pit where they would throw meat or something enticing, then an animal would jump in but couldn’t get out because the pit was too deep. They would be caught. The point here is that you are going to be baited time and time again in life to pick up an offense.
Sometimes someone will say something to you that hurts, or does something to you that you don’t like. Sometimes it isn’t even wrong, but you have a place in you that’s susceptible. So, time and time again, you are going to go through moments in life where you are tempted to take the bait. When you do take up that offense, then you are snared, and you will be in trouble. Jesus said that it was inevitable that offenses would come. Don’t you love that promise?
“He said to His disciples, ‘It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come. It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he was thrown into the midst of the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times a day, saying, “I repent,” forgive him.’” (Luke 17:1-4; NASB)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
Acknowledge to the Lord that His Word is true and offenses will come into your life.
Ask the Lord to teach you how to deal with your responses to offense.
Pray for those who you believe have offended you and repent for where you know you have offended others. This prepares your heart for the Lord’s instruction.
Become alert to how national issues affect your emotions. Are you offended at the political side you disagree with? Are you interceding or just reacting? Have you become offended. Be honest with the Lord about this. He already knows.
Intercede for those you know are attempting to “bait” an entire society for their political purposes.
Ask the Lord to work with you until you are able to keep from taking the bait the enemy throws out for you.
A prayer you can pray:
Lord, it is sobering to realize that You have said that offenses will come in our lives. Indeed, they do. There are many opportunities to become offended. There are situations that offend us personally. There are national situations that offend us, culturally, morally, and spiritually. You must train us how to deal with offenses that come our way. We need to look at why they came and who they came through. If You have any part in allowing the offenses, what are You after in allowing them? These are lessons we must learn; new things we want to learn about Your nature. Our country is dealing with many matters that can offend us. We can read or listen to the news daily and get offended all over again at certain circumstances. However, You would have us intercede, not react. You would have us carefully watch and seek You and pray, not post all over social media, as fast as we can do so. Jesus, keep us from taking the bait and getting snared, which could cause us to lose our voice. Help us to look for opportunities to extend grace and to forgive. Lord, heal our nation, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
May God’s people turn away from the bait the enemy is throwing down in the nation!