Book Review XXXII: The Bait of Satan


A great book! Full of wonderful lessons!

Lord Jesus taught us that offenses will come (Luke 17:1).
In fact, before He came, He mentioned offenses would increase.
Yet, at the same time, He called us to be peacemakers.
John Bevere wrote on the subject of offense, be it the one caused others or by us.
The very goal of this book is reconciliation, whenever possible.

So, let’s get to the summary of this book.

Offense is a trap.
Often those who are offended do not even realize they are trapped.
How can Christians avoid the trap of offense? By growing in God’s word.
It is not simply memorizing verse or a certain head knowledge of the Bible.
We need to directly hear from the LORD.
Maybe when we listen to sermon, we need to hear particular verse which God impresses within us.
Offense acts like a test as it reveals the true condition of our heart.
If we are rooted in the word of God, we can pass the test of offense.

There are various scenarios of offense. Let’s look at a few of them.

1. Offense done by the fellow believers.

Joseph was betrayed by his own brothers who were the heads of the ten tribes of Israel.
Even when he served Potiphar with integrity, his reward was the dungeon.
He must have questioned God for the dream He had given him.
He had every reason to be offended and bitter toward God and his brothers.
Yet, he didn’t do that. Instead, when he rose to power, he forgave and blessed his brothers.

2. Offense done by the church leaders.

David received the promise of God that one day he would become the king.
Gradually, he saw the promise coming to pass as he became the king’s son in law and befriended the king’s son.
However, one day the king decided to kill him. David then had to run for his life.
At this point, David would have questioned God and had the reason to  be angry at God.
There are many spiritual leaders nowadays who do not lead well.
They take advantage of God’s people to serve their own vision rather than to serve God’s people themselves.
David chose to commit the judgment in God’s hand. He did not avenge himself.
Similarly, when we are placed under unrighteous leader, we should allow God to avenge His servants,

All humans are imperfect, even the church leaders.
Some leaders may offend the members in the way they preach offering message or manage church money.
Instead of leaving the church, the members should focus on the Lord.
After all, it is not Christians who chooses to go to which church; it is God who chooses which church Christians should go.
Christians must not leave their original church out of offense.

When he was young, the prophet Samuel served under priest Eli who was not a righteous priest.
Samuel did not try to judge Eli.
Instead, he focused on serving the Lord. He believed God is capable of correcting His servants on His own.

There will come to a point where Christians need to go to another church.
However, this has to be due to leading from God accompanied in His peace.

Lord Jesus did not have qualm in proclaiming the truth.
Hence, He offended the Pharisees. As a result, they sent Him to the cross.
Sometimes, we may risk offending others as we speak the truth in love.
There are pastors who teach biblical truth which confronts the members’ lifestyle.
Even if they leave the church, the pastor must keep speaking the truth.
If the pastor is afraid of speaking the truth, he/she will lose the anointing.
It is more important to obey God than to please men.

While Lord Jesus had no qualm offending others as He proclaimed God’s truth, there were times Lord Jesus did not offend by not exercising His own right, e.g. He agreed to pay the tax even though He was exempted from tax (Matt 17:25-26).
In our Christian walk, we need to be mindful in exercising our liberty.
If our liberty offends/becomes stumbling block to those of weaker faith, it is better not to exercise our liberty.
For example, it is better not to eat meat in front of saints of weaker faith.

Holding on offense in the form of unforgiveness is also a trap.
We need to remember that we sin against the Lord in many ways.
Since the Lord has forgiven us, we must forgive others as well.
Unforgiveness causes physical illness and prevents the offended from sensing the presence of God.
In fact, unforgiveness will result in Christians losing their salvation.

Some Christians move from unforgiveness to revenge. This is another deadly trap.
The Lord is the Judge. He will repay. So, He should leave the judgment to Him.

If our train our hearts regularly in obedience to God, it will be easy for us to let go of offense.
However, there are times when extreme offense comes and we are not ready to face it.
We then need to run to the Lord and He will instruct us how to release the offense and even bless the perpetrator.

As much as it depends on us and as long as and it does not compromise the truth, we should be in peace with everybody.
If we are the ones offending others, we should humble ourselves and ask forgiveness.
If others offend us, we should forgive them and approach them to be reconciled.
By doing so, we will win a brother.

~~~~ Get a copy of this book at The Ink Room today ~~~~

Posted May 10, 2016 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Book Review, John Bevere

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