Key Passage: Matthew 24:1-14
Key Text: Matthew 24;10 – 10 And then many will be offended and repelled and will [a]begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred.
Getting free from the trap of offense is much easier than it may appear, seeing it is so deadly and powerful. I want to state here, that most traps of the enemy can be side stepped and avoided if one will allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us. Most of what the enemy does to trip us up are to do with our flesh, our egos and most times we take ourselves too seriously.
Let me tell you a true story to help us all today. In one African village, they eat monkeys (I know this does not sound nice) and they have an extremely simple way of catching monkeys. The set a really basic trap and every time the monkey falls for it. They put a corn cob in a gourd with a very small opening. The Gourd is tied to a tree and they wait for the monkeys to come. The monkey sees the corn cob in the gourd and thinks he has found some easy meal. HE PUTS HIS HAND IN THE GOURD AND THEN HOLDS ON TO THE CORN AND TRIES TO PULL IT OUT OF THE GOURD. THE MONKEY’S CLENCHED FIST PREVENTS HIM GETTING THE CORN COB OUT, BUT IN HIS GREED, HE REFUSES TO LET GO AND SO THE VILLAGERS COME AND SIMPLY KILL THE MONKEY, WITH HIS HAND STILL INSIDE THE GOURD.
The moral of this story is simple, if the monkey had let go of the corn cob, his hand would have come out of the gourd and he would be free to escape the villagers.
So if you are to be free, you must realise that you are trapped. That the trap is deep inside your heart. That you can only be free if you let go of the offense and the offender, then and only then can you be free. The bible calls this forgiveness. You have to forgive the offense and the offender, not for their sake, but for your sake. If you keep on justifying your right to be offended and the reason why you are offended, the trap just squeezes a bit more. The only way to be free is to let go. Just like the monkey. It so simple.
I hear you say, you don’t know what they did to me. True I don’t know, but one thing I know is that, it is your duty to forgive and God will take care of any injustice and offence. But you must forgive to be free.
Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a decision. You may not feel better immediately, but you would immediately open your heart and God will start to work inside of you. Then go back to Church and fellowship, and let your heart be full of grace, knowing that none of us in the body of Christ is perfect, but we are nevertheless God’s people and God’s children. Forgiveness lifts a weight off your chest. It sets you free!
Hebrew 10:24-25 – And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Once you forgive, you have escaped the trap and your walk with Christ can then begin in earnest again.
Our soul has gone free like a bird out of the net of those who would take her: the net is broken, and we are free.
Let’s pray: Father God, today I chose to forgive all who have wronged me. I set them free from my heart. I decide no longer to be offended and to allow your grace to flow from my heart to all those who offended me. I pray that you would bless them and prosper them. Father grant me the grace to return to church and fellowship with all my brothers and sisters. Help me to recognise that we are all still being perfected and help me from now on never to be hurt or offended again in Jesus name. Amen.