How to Deal With Offenses

How to Deal With Offenses

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  (Ps 32:1)

The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.  (Pro 19:11)

But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  (Mat 6:15)

Some synonyms for the word OFFENSE are:  crime; wrongdoing; transgression; insult; affront; barb; attack; sin; or assault.

When we offend someone, whether intentionally or unintentionally, it is crucial for us to seek to understand how it happened, and to try to soothe and calm the situation.  This can only happen through the grace and wisdom of God.  The Lord will help us and support us with His guidance so that we may work through these situations.

Seek the Lord and pray for His wisdom and guidance in dealing with any offense that you have committed.  Ask the Lord to forgive you, and ask Him to give you wisdom, and also ask Him for divine favor with the person whom you have offended. 

Go to the person that you’ve offended and ask them to forgive you.  Be sincere in your apology, and remain contrite during any discussion so that the person may see that you are truly seeking reconciliation.  Try, as discreetly as possible, to understand what exactly gave offense because you seriously don’t want to repeat it.

If you are the person who is offended, think about what happened and determine what specifically made the exchange offensive or hurtful to you.  Take it to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to heal the wound and to give you His grace to forgive the person who offended you.  He is the Prince of Peace and will bring His peace to your situation and to the relationship if you will put it in His hands.

If the person asks to meet with you, agree to it.  When they ask you to forgive them, do it as unto the Lord.  If the person isn’t a Christian or doesn’t seek reconciliation, then it’s a matter best handled between you and the Lord.  You can forgive and release that person from their offense, and the Lord will see your heart and your sincerity.  He will bless you for your obedience to His Word.  (Ps 32:1; Pro 19:11; Mat 6:15)

We keep short accounts by reviewing the day’s events in the evening.  In a quiet time with the Lord, determine if there are any offenses that you committed and if any were committed against you.  Try to deal with them as quickly, Biblically, and wisely as possible. 

It’s vital that we live in such a way that we don’t give offense to others because in 1 Corinthians 10:32 and 2 Corinthians 6:3 we’re instructed to be inoffensive to all

Imagination—A Benefit for the Kingdom

Imagination—A Benefit for the Kingdom

The imagination at its core is good because it comes from God who created each one of us with an imagination.  God imagined US before He created us.  When we are curious for answers, it can trigger our imagination to become creative in finding unique solutions.

And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.  (Lk 2:47, underscoring added) 

When you need answers, turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the Word of God.

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  (Mt 7:8)

When we ask questions or seek for answers (in the Lord), God will bring us the information that we need in wondrous and miraculous ways.

But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  (Gal 6:4)

When we examine our own work, to determine its excellence or ability to meet a specific need, then we may rejoice over our work and what we have accomplished for the glory of God and His kingdom.

We need to develop our imagination, and in order to do that we need input from numerous other people.  So we need to build friendships and relationships with other, talented people.  As we do this our neural networks develop and we use more and more of our brainpower!

Imagination takes us to new places and helps us to envision new possibilities.  Don’t limit people to your view of the world or to your life experiences.  Create a judgment-free zone in which to grow your imagination.  “Big Imagination” should equal “big sense of humor” as well. 

Think of (imagine) the good and excellent things that God has given to us.  (Phil 4:8)

In Green Pastures

In Green Pastures

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  (Ps 23:1-3)

This passage of Scripture is addressing the truth that God is our shepherd and He gives us His special and all-encompassing rest.  What does God’s kind of rest really look like for mankind?

First of all, verse two says that He MAKES us lie down in green pastures.  In other words, the Lord in His mercy commands us to rest (Ex 23:12; 34:21); and then He creates an atmosphere where we may rest completely and utterly in perfect safety.  How does He do that?  Psalm 23:1-3 shows us.

First of all, the Lord leads us to green pastures with grass as far as the eye can see and these pastures are situated beside quiet, peaceful waters.  The Shepherd is right there watching over us to protect us.  This image of abundant grass is selected by God to convey the concept of provision for our souls as well as our bodies—through His love and goodness.  That is easily believed because God opens His hand and fills all living things with abundance according to Psalm 145:16.  One of God’s titles is Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider.  (Gen 22:13-14)

The peaceful waters to which the Lord leads us are quiet and gentle waters that induce us to relax and to rest.  God provides for His people, not just food and rest, but refreshment and pleasure. (Ex 31:17; Ps 16:11; Jer 31:25; Phile 1:7; 1 Cor 10:4)   

The Word actually says that God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servants!  (Ps 35:27)  Glory to God!

When God supplies for your every need (spiritual, physical, financial, emotional) are you not then in the best possible state in which to relax and to rest?  God bless you!

Friends

Friends

Have you experienced some relationship catastrophes in your life?  Have one or two friends decided, for various purported reasons, to “unfriend” you?  Well, I want to reassure you that you have a Friend who will NEVER treat you like that!

Jesus is your Friend who sticks closer than a brother, and He told us that He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us!  (Pro 18:24; Heb 13:5)  Hallelujah!!

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (Joh 15:15 ESV, emphasis added)

Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends. (Joh 15:13 ESV)

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Prov 17:17 ESV, emphasis added)

What kind of “friend” decides to end a relationship of many years’ standing simply because of one or two tiny incidents?  Why would they not rather choose to communicate with their friend about what happened and how they felt, in order to restore harmony and unity in the relationship?  This person would be a poor example of a friend.

Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Mt 28:20 NKJV)  Jesus is the friend who will never leave us.  He promises to be with us ALWAYS.  Glory to God!

Not only are these points significant, but Jesus is a very special Friend indeed.  (All verses below NKJV)

  • He is our Friend who LOADS us daily with blessings and benefits (Ps 68:19).
  • He gives us the desires of our hearts, as we delight in Him.  (Ps 37:4)
  • He gives us great and precious promises through which we be may be partakers of His divine nature.  (2 Pet 1:4)
  • He does whatever we ask Him to do!  (When we ask in His name – Joh 14:13-14)
  • In Christ Jesus, our Friend, all of God’s Biblical promises have been answered:  “Yes!” and “Make it so!”  (1 Cor 1:20)
  • If we ask anything according to God’s will (which is His Word), we know that the Lord hears our request.  And when we know that He has heard our prayer, we know that He has answered our prayer, “Yes”.  (1 Joh 5:14-15)
  • Jesus is our healer.  (Isa 53:4-5; Mt 8:17; 1 Pet 2:24)

There is no other Friend who loves us, blesses us, and cares for us like He does! 

Banner of Love

Banner of Love

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.  (SOS 2:4 NKJV)

In the Bible, many times when the word banner is used, it is referring to a flag.  Armies carry flags and kingdoms display flags to identify and declare several things: 

  • The identity of the King who rules in a certain country and in whose name a particular army fights;
  • The identity of the kingdom to whom an army has pledged its loyalty and steadfastness;
  • The identity of the kingdom that has supplied (and will continue to supply) an army;
  • The identity of the King and the kingdom which will protect an army or a country.

In the instance of the verse shown at the top of this article, the word banner has additional implications to those mentioned above:

  1. The King signified by this banner is King Jesus (the King of Kings and Lord of Lords), who has established His banner, authority, and might in LOVE;
  2. The Kingdom that displays this banner of love not only supplies food, armaments, and other supplies but it also supplies grace to its army and to its people;
  3. This banner represents a Kingdom of loveliness, security, unity, and loyalty;
  4. One of the seven names of God, Jehovah Nissi, means “The Lord our Banner.” (Exodus 17:14-15) The Bible reminds us that God is love.  (1 Joh 4:8, 16b)  Praise the Lord that His banner over us is love!

In John Gill’s Exposition on Song of Solomon 2:4, he says:  “ . . . the covenant of grace and the Scriptures of truth may be thought of as a banqueting house, well stored with blessings, and promises, and rich provisions; which, to be led and let into, is a singular kindness . . .”

As the children of God, we are a blessed people and I recommend thinking about this at length. 

Eternal Salvation

Eternal Salvation

And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him . . . (Heb 5:9)

Jesus Christ has purchased our eternal salvation, and there is ample testimony to this truth in the Scriptures.

This one who is life from God has been shown to us, and we guarantee that we have seen him; I am speaking of Christ, who is eternal Life. He was with the Father and then was shown to us.  (1 Joh 1:2 TLB)

Jesus has been shown to the whole world as our Redeemer and Savior.  He said about Himself that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  (Joh 14:6)  Faith in Him is the way to reconciliation and peace with God, our Father.

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.  (1 Cor 6:20)

The price given for our salvation was Jesus’ life, suffering, death, and resurrection.  Jesus paid that price, and for this we give glory to God!  We are literally called to glorify God through our lives and how we spend our lives in His service.

. . . who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.  (Tit 2:14)

The Lord desires for us to be fervent and intense about performing good works.  What exactly are “good works” according to the Scriptures?  Good works are such things as:  feeding the poor; visiting prisoners; helping the homeless; preaching the Gospel; ministering to widows and orphans; etc.  With so many families fractured by living in different states and by relational hurts, these things are very necessary in these days.

. . . knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.   (1 Pet 1:18-19)

Honor the Lord by realizing the importance and value of the gift of salvation that Jesus paid for with His own, precious blood.

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world . . .  (Mt 25:34)

Approaching the Throne

Approaching the Throne

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  (Heb 4:16)

In this wonderful passage from the Bible, the Lord is telling us that in Jesus, our Savior, we may approach the throne of grace [the heavenly throne that dispenses unearned favor or gifts to the undeserving] with confidence and boldness.  What a gift this is to the redeemed!

.  . . being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus . . .  (Rom 3:24)  Jesus has justified us—WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS, liberally, and unreservedly—in Christ Jesus.  All of our sins have been forgiven:  past, present, and future.  Of course, we need to review our daily lives and to repent for any sin we may have committed before we retire each evening.  This exercise helps to us to remain humble and tender-hearted before the Lord, and to recognize our ongoing need for Him and His perfect salvation.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Rom 5:8)  We receive such blessings from God because Jesus sacrificed Himself for us motivated by pure love!   

So, let us continually approach the Lord in prayer, praise, repentance, and thanksgiving.  It pleases the Lord very much when we take advantage of the many blessings, provisions, promises, and benefits that Jesus has already purchased for each one of us.  Approaching the throne of the living God is one of our many blessings!  This is reason for us to be filled with profound joy.