Monday, April 11, 2016

Pastor's Ponderings, April 11, 2016


So...whom have you offended or hurt lately?  Who have you upset knowingly or unknowingly and when someone pointed out your offense, how did you respond?  Did you try to play it off by implying that it was just as much their fault as it was yours?  Did you try to laugh it off inferring it was unimportant and their concern was unimportant? Sadly, offenses and conflicts can have deadly consequences. On Sunday, April 10, 2016, Cardell Hayes and Will Smith, a former NFL defensive end had a clash that led to a fatal shooting.

While most of us look at anger as simply a part of human nature, God looks upon anger just like He looks at murder (Matthew 5:21-22). The Bible says that conflicts and quarrels come from inside our hearts (James 4:1, 2).  It can be very difficult to make peace with someone that you have offended; the Bible says it is harder than conquering a whole city (Proverbs 18:19).

We have to remember that you cannot offer praises and worship to God when you know that you have offended someone.  The Bible says that we are to stop and go and make peace with those who you have hurt or offended and then you can return and worship God  (Matthew 5:23, 24).  God wants to bless us, but we must forgive others in spite of their offenses so that He will in turn forgive us (Mark 11:24-25).

Let’s therefore endeavor to live peacefully with our neighbors and ask for forgiveness when we harm others.  Moreover, remember to forgive others so that God can continue to forgive and bless us.

Matthew 5:21-24
New International Version (NIV)
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’
22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be  subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,
24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

James 4:1, 2
New International Version (NIV)
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.

Proverbs 18:19
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19 A brother offended is harder to win over than a fortified city, And contentions [separating families] are like the bars of a castle.

Mark 11:24-25
New International Version (NIV)
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

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