Counsel on Offenses, Forgiveness and Humility!!!
Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
nd the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”……….. Luke 17:1-10
In our last study, we were considering the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. And we saw the reason why the rich man went to Hell. We noted that He went to Hell not because He was rich but because He did not repent and whatever faith He may claim to have was a Dead faith because it was not backed with the works of righteousness. We also saw what happens to people when they die and we have a glimpse of the Cries coming from those who are presently in Hell which is, “Please Tell my Brothers, Sisters and Relatives to Repent!!!!”. Today we shall consider what Jesus said about causing others particularly little ones to Sin and the attitude we must have towards those who have Sinned against us. Finally, He speaks of the attitude we must have after all our services to the Lord here on Earth.
Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. : As Long as this world exist, there will always be stumbling Blocks, there will always be people who causes offense and others to Sin. No matter how much we preach, no matter what they hear, there will still be people who will dress, speak, Play dirty songs, and do all sorts of things to make others Sin. Jesus says, “Woe to them”. There is a curse on such people. Just make sure You don’t increase that numbers by Your actions and conducts. Never be a Stumbling block that cause others to Sin. Particularly Little Children. It is a Serious thing. Check Your House, Do you have any magazine, calendar, TV programs, Dressing Habits, etc that causes people to Sin? Get ride of it!!!
Jesus gave a very serious warning about Causing Little Children to Sin. I believe Deep down in a Little Child Life there is an awareness of a God in Heaven and if you because of Your Foolishness cause one of these Children to Sin, Jesus says, “It is better to get a very heavy stone tied around Your neck and then jump into a Sea!!” It is so Serious when We make little children Sin. When Fathers and mothers fight in the House, what are they doing? They are making their little children in the House to stumble. They are showing their Children that Christianity does not deliver You from fighting, getting angry and using abusive words. They are painting a wrong picture of Christianity to their children that, “Christianity just teaches us to sing song on Sunday”. When Elder Sisters dress in an immodest way at home or to church, they are causing the Little Children to Sin. When you expose parts of Your body that shouldn’t be exposed, when you wear tight fitted clothes that provokes men to Lust, You are causing the Little Child around You to Sin and making them think that is the Way to live and enjoy Life. You are making it difficult for Godly Parents and Churches to protect their girls from those stylish things. You as a Sister are setting a bad example!!! When Fathers Buy wrestling movies!!! Can You imagine Watching Wresting with Your Little Children? Aren’t You setting a bad example? What will they gain by watching that? When You Buy a Movie containing Sexual Scene and you sit and watch that with your Little Children, aren’t you causing them to Sin? When You gossip, Lie, speak evil, swear and much more in the midst of Little Children, aren’t You teaching them to do the same? If You are Like That, Jesus says, “Go and tie a Millstone around Your neck and drown Yourself into the Sea!!! For it is better than to cause Little Children to stumble and Sin”. Beware!!! See how serious Jesus took it. He who has ear, let Him Hear!!!
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. ”: This is another way we can become a stumbling block to others by having an unforgiving attitude towards those who have sinned against us. If your brother or sister have wronged You, you don’t have to speak at his or her back to other people. That’s wrong!!! God’s word permits you to rebuke Him directly. And if He repents, Good for Him!!! What should you do? Forgive Him. Our hearts must always be willing to forgive those who have sinned against us when they repent. Now a clever mind can read this and smile saying, “What if I rebuke Him and He does not repent, do I still need to forgive Him?”. We have seen cases like this before. Whenever you come across any complicated case, the best solution is to Look at Jesus and see what He did. This is why it is very important to study the life of Jesus carefully.
When Jesus was being Crucified, He Looked at the people and said, ” Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do(Luke 23:43)”. He had rebuked them in his teachings several times yet they fail to repent. Do you know Jesus died for us even while we hated Him. Romans 5:8 says, ” But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Do you know Jesus died for the Sins of the whole world?(John 3:16)”.There is no reason why anyone should go to Hell. As far as Jesus is concern, the price for the Sin of all humanity has been paid. But those who do not accept this Truth and believe in what Jesus did for them don’t enjoy the Benefits. We should also have the same attitude towards those who do not repent of the Sin committed against us. On our own part, we have Forgiven them even while they were still our enemies and if they don’t repent, that’s not our business!!! As far as I am concern, “All those who have offended me and sinned against me one way or the other have all been Forgiven. But if they still fail to repent and confess their Sins to the Lord, that’s not my business!!!” Romans 12:18 says, ” Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.” if on my own part, I have Forgiven a person and the person still fails to repent, what am I to do? Christ has died for the Sins of everyone and if anyone still fails to Repent, then they go to Hell. Simple as ABC.
And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him: Now this is another case of a Brother sinning against Seven times in a Single day!!! For a person to Sin against you seven times a day, it means He is sinning at least every two hours. And He keeps coming to You seven times every two hours to ask for Repentance. Just imagine, He Sins against you at 6:00am, and comes at 7:00am saying, “I am sorry, please forgive Me.” And you forgave Him. Then He does exactly the same thing again at 8:00am and comes at 9:00am and say, ” I am sorry, please forgive Me.”and you forgive Him. And He does the same at 10:am and so on. And all through the day, He Keeps doing the same thing and asking for forgiveness. What should you do to such a person? You may say,” I forgave you just two hours ago and before that and before that. This is the seventh time you are doing the same thing “. What should we do? It is very clear what Jesus says,” Forgive Him or Her!!!”.
We find it difficult to forgive someone who have done the same thing twice in one year, yet Jesus says if He does the same thing seven times in a single day, we must forgive Him. If He does the same thing seven times every single day of the year, you must forgive. Forgiveness is part of God’s nature, if you were to go to heaven right now, and see what God is doing, you will see that God is forgiving presently. Somewhere here and there across the Earth, people are crying out to God asking for forgiveness and He is forgiving Them. All through the day, God is forgiving those who are calling out to Him in Repentance. This is the nature we are to partake of. Always forgiving and forgiving. God wants us to partake of his nature to forgive others no matter how many times they have sinned against us.
Forgiving others becomes easy if we recall how much we have sinned against God and how much He has Forgiven us. When you can’t forgive others, it is because you have forgotten how much you have been Forgiven yourself. I will never forget how much I have sinned again and again even intentionally after I claim to be Born Again against the Lord in my walk for victory over Sin. I remember I was a Slave to one particular sinful habit that easily trap me. This Sin was the Goliath and I knew that once I can overcome this Sin, other Sins will flee just like other Philistine army fled when they saw that their Master Goliath was defeated. I will weep, write a note and address it to God that I promise never to do it again but behold the next day, I found myself trapped again. I kept coming to the Lord for forgiveness again and again and He kept forgiving Me. Until I got revelation on the Truth that set Me free from the Power of Sin. So I have Learnt to have mercy on others. No matter how great their Sins are, I never look down on them as hopeless because I remember the pit of Sin that the Lord drew me from by His Grace. Never forget how much the Lord has Forgiven You. It keep you Humble for the rest of your life.
When the Apostles heard this teaching about forgiving others, seven times each day, the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith”: They were saying “Lord, Help us to Trust you more. So that we can come to this life of always forgiving others no matter what they have done.
So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.: In relation to faith, Jesus was saying, “What you need is not more faith”. They said, “increase our faith” in other words, “Make our faith bigger”. And Jesus responded to that that what is needed is not bigger faith but faith of the right quality. Man’s emphasis is always on quantity but Jesus was saying that, “The problem is not that you don’t have much faith, but what you are calling faith is not of the right type”. In Matthew 17:20,Jesus says, ” if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there” Mustard Seed is a very small seed. If you have that small faith though small but pure that will be enough to get God to back you up when you stand against something. Whatever is hindering you like a Mountain from going forward in the will of God, we must have faith that God will uproot it as we speak in the name of Jesus. It could also be some deeply rooted problem like a mulberry tree, hindering you from fulfilling God’s will for your life, you must believe that it will be uprooted in the name of Jesus. Is there something like that in your life? It there something that is constantly bothering and irritating you? Something that is hindering you from being effective for God. Something hindering you from doing the Will of God and being effective for Christ? Do you believe that God will support you when you command it to be uprooted out of your life and way so that you can press on towards perfection. Is there an habit deeply rooted in your life that is constantly bringing you into Sin? Do you believe God will support you as you stand against that habit and say, “Be uprooted in the name of Jesus”. Have faith that such habits will no longer enslave you. God is on your side against the Devil and all the bad sinful habits in your life. God is on your side against everything hindering you from doing his will.
And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.: We can think we have served the Lord faithfully for Many years and we deserve to be rewarded just like the Eldest Son in the parable of the Prodigal Son. So Jesus was using a Slave as an example. that a Slave which has been working in the field the whole day and return very tired is not told to seat down and eat. Instead, He is sent to the Kitchen to prepare His masters food and even after cooking, the slave is not Thanked for obeying His Master. Slaves were not thanked, they were just doing their duty.
So Jesus says to us, “So likewise you, when you have done ALL THOSE THINGS WHICH YOU ARE COMMANDED, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do” : Imagine there is a Believer who has obeyed all the Commandments God ever gave Man. If he had obeyed Every Command in the New testament perfectly and completely. should such a Believer be able to congratulate Himself and say, “well, I am really somebody because I have obeyed all the commandment and pleased God in everything?”. No!!! Jesus says. Even such a person after He has obeyed ALL THOSE THINGS WHICH YOU ARE COMMANDED cannot congratulate Himself. We may not have reach this level, some of us are still struggling with some Commandments, but even when we do manage to reach a place where we have obeyed and continuously obey EVERY single commandment in the New testament, we still cannot congratulate ourselves. We must end up saying, “we are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do” we must not expect any gratitude, or reward from Heaven. This is the right attitude of a Man of God. Humility and brokenness. Recognizing that even after He has kept all the Commandments, He is still an unworthy Servant. Blessed is the Man who have understood this, “That the more we know God, the more we see ourselves unworthy to receive a anything from Him”.
Dear Friend, Be careful that you don’t cause others to Sin because of your sinful habits or lifestyle particularly the Younger ones. Have a heart that is always ready to forgive no matter what, no matter the number of times you have been offended. Have a pure genuine faith for the uproot of every hindrance towards God’s will for your life. Remain Humble and serve the Lord expecting no reward. Always remember that the Happiest Christians on Earth are the ones who come to the Lord expecting Nothing in return. May the Lord give us Grace to apply these truths to our lives in Jesus name(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.