WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 10, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T BE OFFENDED BY GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“And blessed is the one who is not offended by me” (Matthew 11:6 English Standard Version).
Sometimes in our walk with God, we experience some things that are contrary to what we’ve been taught by the ministers of God or some realities difficult to reconcile with based on our understanding of the Word of God. As human beings, we ask and try to find answers from God. Satan wants us to be offended by God but we must never be.
Luke 1:6-7 said, “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years” (New King James Version).
If you were either of this couple, you might ask God whether the reward for being righteous before Him and being blameless should be barrenness. More so, Zachariah was a priest. Should barrenness be the reward for being a servant of God? If you’re not careful, you’ll be offended by God. And this is exactly what the devil wants. But you must not be offended by God.
John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ and the angel Gabriel had announced and named both before their birth. Both were relations. John had baptized Jesus Christ in water (Matthew 3:13; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). However, King Herod imprisoned John for telling him that it was unlawful for him to marry Herodias, the wife of his brother, Philip (Matthew 14:3-4).
Mark 1:14-15 says, “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (New King James Version). Note that Jesus went to Galilee to preach after John was imprisoned.
John was, probably, disillusioned when he heard of this in prison. Maybe he expected Jesus to do something to free him from prison to continue his ministry. But Jesus didn’t do that. He went about preaching. This made John send two of his disciples to Jesus.
Matthew 11:1-3 says, “Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ (New King James Version). John’s question contradicted his earlier testimony about Jesus that He was the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 36). Don’t let the troubles of life make you doubt God or His Word.
Hear Jesus’ answer to John’s question: “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (Matthew 11:4-6 New King James Version).
Please take note of verse 6 – “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (New King James Version). The English Standard Version says, “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” The Greek word translated offended is skandalizo from where the word scandalize is derived. Skandalizo means to entrap, to trip up, and to entice to sin. It also means apostasy or displeasure.
John was eventually beheaded. He didn’t come out of prison alive. Don’t be offended by God because your expectations are not being met. Don’t be offended by God because the answers to your prayers have not come. Don’t be offended by God because His promises are yet to be fulfilled in your life. Don’t be offended by God because of the challenges of life you’re facing. Don’t be offended by God, no matter what happens to you in life. In other words, don’t be entrapped, tripped up, enticed to sin, apostatize, or displeased with God. Don’t have doubts about God or His Word. Find no occasion for stumbling in God. Don’t take offence at Him.
The Bible never promised a problem-free world for God’s children. Ignorance of this or misinformation could cause one to be offended by God when despite, living a holy life, serving God faithfully, praying and fasting, sowing seed, etc. one, sometimes, experiences negative things in life. Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 New Living Translation).
Psalm 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all” (New King James Version). The righteous may suffer afflictions, but there’s the assurance of God’s deliverance. “Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time” (The Message).
Sometimes God delivers us in troubles; sometimes He delivers us from troubles. “He shall deliver you in six troubles, yes, in seven no evil shall touch you” (Job 5:19 New King James Version). Psalm 91:3 says, “Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence” (New King James Version). Your soul shall escape like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare shall be broken and you’ll escape (Psalm 124:7),
Believers must realize that the world we’re in is a fallen, broken world; this is not our home. It’s painful when believers suffer from the imperfections of this world, the wickedness of the devil, or the mistakes of others. We’re born again, but we’re not in heaven yet. It is normal to grieve, as part of the healing process, but we must never become offended by God or doubt His love and goodness. God is love! God is good! God is not your enemy. He is for you; He is not against you.
In Matthew 13, the people of Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, became offended by Jesus after listening to Him. They asked where He got His wisdom and the mighty works He did. They talked about His family. Verse 57 says, “And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him” (New Living Translation). They rejected Him.
You may hate what you’re going through or experiencing, but don’t hate God or His Word. Your present condition may be contrary to the promises of God or what you’ve been taught but never be offended by God. “It’s harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city” (Proverbs 18:19 New Living Translation). Don’t let the devil estrange you from God. Don’t take offence at God.
God will never leave you or forsake you in any circumstance (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20; Hebrews 13:5). All things shall work together for your good if you love God and you’re called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Don’t be mad at God.
Your season of sorrow is a period of test for you. Trials will refine your faith in God. Even in your pain, receive comfort from the Holy Spirit; count it all joy (James 1:2). Find a reason to thank God – in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Apparently offended by God because of Job’s troubles despite his integrity, his wife told him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9 New King James Version). But Job rebuked her; he persevered as the apostle James says in James 5:11. Eventually, the LORD restored Job’s losses and blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning (Job 43:10-16). Persevere. The Lord is very compassionate and merciful. Have faith in God. His Word shall come to pass. All shall be well in Jesus’ name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for being offended by You. Holy Spirit, help me not to be offended by God anymore whenever my expectations are not being met. Strengthen me and everyone else not to doubt God or His Word because of the challenges of life. Let not our faith fail when it is tested. Father, deliver us from and in trouble.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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