Loving Confrontation

Dealing With Offense

• Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. Isa. 59:1-3

• Sin, separates us by its very nature. • Sin is relation breaking—Gen.3 death IS separation and the first sin was the first break in relationship • Cain’s sin was a break not just against God but against his brother. Gen.4

• Sin is the fracturing of ALL our relationshipswith God first and others second. • The first commandment was to Honor God above all and place nothing before Him. • Love is the opposite of sin—love is the repair of the breach between two parties. “in while we were yet sinners….Christ died…”

• Leviticus 19 speaks to relationships and how they are tied to the law of God. • ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. V.17 • This is parallel with “love thy neighbor as thyself…”

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Avoidance causes us to “bear” sin. Avoidance causes further separation Avoidance causes a breakdown in worship Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Mt.5:23-24

• “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” Mt.18:15

• Love counteracts sin and its effects, loves GOES! • All of the law can be summed up in love… • “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

• This love thing has been overlooked in lieu of religion. Its’ easier to perform an external, religious act than it is to love. But Jesus didn’t get religious when it came to our sin and separation-LOVE got REAL! My sin wasn’t an inconvenience for Him, nor was it just awkward or uncomfortable—LOVE said He had to die!

• Why because LOVE demands a relationship! • Love seeks out and lays down its’ own will and comfort for the need of another. • Love says NO! to separation, it will not allow anything to break the bond it shares with another. • We are ok with separation—God is not. He is JEALOUS!

So what do we do about separation in our lives? In our walk with God? In our relationships? Our marriages? Our children? LET LOVE ARISE and repair the breaches that separate!

• Leviticus 19 speaks to relationships and how they are tied to the law of God. • ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. V.17 • This is parallel with “love thy neighbor as thyself…”

• It takes great love to confront someone. • It takes great love to be gentle and kind when wronged and see God’s highest purpose worked out.

• A most sober warning by Jesus in these last days: • And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. Mt.24:10-

• The 3 results of an offended heart are:
– 1.Betrayal—the loss of loyalty and covenant faithfulness – 2. Hatred—selfishness and superiority: loss of covenantal oneness – 3. Cold Love—loss of covenantal passion and vision

• Failure to confront our offenders means we will betray the relationship, we will maliciously talk behind their backs to others, exposing their weaknesses. In time we become full of revenge and bitterness and seek some way to get even. Or even worse, we just pull away and are content to live separated from those we have been called and joined to.

• No one plans this. No one says “I think I will become hard and cold today” But yet many find themselves in that very condition mostly because we failed Mt. 5 or Mt 18! • Opportunities for offense abound! Daily you are given the challenge to walk in love or offense.

• The only solution is to have the unoffendable heart of Jesus. • He was wounded—yet never offended! • A wounded spirit is different than a offended spirit. A wound becomes an offense when not handled in a Christlike manner. • THINK! Jesus linked apostasy NOT to wrong

• A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle Pr.18:19

• Beware of false teachers but even more deceitful than a false leader is a heart when it is offended. (Jer.17:9) • You will swear your not hurt, and you know you are living with an offended heart. • You have lost your fire, you become critical, cynical, harsh and cold. You are waxing cold

• Offended hearts are not thankful for anything and become angry and disappointed at everything. • Husbands…. • Wives….. • Many of our offenses are built around false expectations.

• What if God offends you? • 2 Kings 5 Namaan a Syrian General was offended by God • Why would God offend us? To give us MORE grace!

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