Stumbling blocks to Stepping stones
How can you turn offenses in to opportunities?
Are you a victim of stumbling blocks? The stumbling blocks are the offenses that makes you hurt deeply in your soul and spirit. It can ultimately trip to make you fall. If you are not prepared well enough before the stumbling blocks or offense happens to you, it can damage you and your spiritual life. God knows how bad the impact of these stumbling blocks can be over your life and He gave lots of counsels regarding this matter. God doesn’t want you to be deeply hurt by these incidents that can impediment the plan of God’s designed purpose for your life. He wants you to get over these damaging effects of stumbling blocks, offenses and hurts, so that you can be a person who God wants you to be and fulfill His purpose here on the earth. Please equip yourself with the Bible insights that provide the secrets of how to pass over the stumbling blocks and offenses victoriously, without falling by it’s hard hit on you. Please read below for more insights.Do you know you can turn your hurts and pains to successful milestones? Click To Tweet
Jesus Christ said, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come, but woe to the one through whom they come! “(Luke 17:1). The original word is translated into stumbling blocks or offenses if you refer different translations. Inevitable means “certain to happen or unavoidable”. Do you think some unusual matter happened to you? We all think the same way when offenses happen to us. But the truth is this -these stumbling blocks or offenses are certain to happen and they are unavoidable, Jesus said. However, when Jesus says ‘woe’ to something, it is very serious and we also need to say ‘woe’ to such things for sure. Jesus said, “woe to the one through whom the stumbling block or offense come”. Therefore, make sure you won’t cause stumbling block or create offense for another person. Why? Jesus continued to say in Luke 17:2, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” In other words, It would be better to die in a most heinous way, than we should offend or create stumbling blocks for another believer in Christ. Why? Stumbling blocks (offenses) deeply wounds and bleeds the soul and spirit of another. Jesus saw the wounding and murdering impact of offenses. That is what He said ‘woe’ to the offender and pronounced serious warnings in the referenced verses above.
Stumbling blocks (offenses) can come from a trusted friend, co-believer, a family member or even in your marriage relationship. We know many people, in our own surroundings, who are completely eaten up by a stumbling block (offense) event. They are the people who are consumed by the offense happened many years ago and still they are not able to recover from it. They think about it every day of their life – maybe every hour of the day. They are not willing to fly over it and get over with it. People say time will heal, but that never happens to them. They are still prisoners of the past offenses. No joy or purpose experienced in their life and never produced any fruit for the Lord after the offenses. They say I cannot forgive what she or he did to me. They live with it all through their life and finally die with it. The offense happened to them chocked the word of God planted in them. Sad state! Is this the way God intends for a believer to live, who trusted in Him? No.. Not at all.
Jesus taught how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. It says in verse 6, “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors”. When an offended person says, he or she cannot forgive, according this verse, he or she doesn’t deserve God’s forgiveness either. You need to forgive to get your debts forgiven on a daily basis. Hebrews 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled”. See, God’s children have the deposits of grace inside them. When a stumbling block (or offense) hits or a severe hurting event happens, immediately we need to make sure that we don’t come short of the grace of God. We need to disperse the grace toward the unexpected offense and stumbling blocks. This is the power of the grace of forgiveness the Lord gave us, because we are children of grace. In Ephesians chapter 2, Bible says once we were children of wrath, but now we are the free recipients of grace from God in and through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 12:15 reminds us, if you come short of grace, the consequence will be damaging. It says roots of bitterness springing up that causes trouble and by the trouble many be defiled. If we come short of the grace of God, in applying the grace of forgiveness, then roots of bitterness goes deep in to our own hearts. These roots creates it’s own bad fruit of wrath and revenge (in contrast to the fruit of the Holy Spirit). You will begin to talking about the offender and his or her offenses to others and now they become your supporters. The passage says the grace of God empowers you to forgive even at the outset of the offenses and hurting word and actions. You are capable to forgive because of the empowering power of grace and the presence of the Holy Spirit indwelling in you. The absence of applying grace toward those who offend us, results in much larger trouble by which many are defiled and damaged.
Many are damaged because the root of bitterness that are gone deep in to their hearts (caused by not applying grace and forgiveness that was available to them). The verse informs us that the roots of bitterness doesn’t stay within you. You will start passing the news about how you’re offended to others and they become part of your inside group that supports you and uphold you. Most often people never bothered to hear the other side of the story and without understanding both sides, you and me will never be able to understand the real issue. But people in our own circle, family and church are prosecuted and falsely judged and destroyed on a day by day basis, by hearing only one side of the story.
Another point is people can be offended by the Gospel message. Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all”. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6). Bible declares there is salvation only in Christ and some people are offended when they hear this truth and they hate it. Jesus said, “blessed are those who are not offended in me” (Matthew 11:6). Keep in mind, blessed are you, if you are not offended by the truth found in Jesus Christ.
Another day, one of my colleagues said to me He is not going to church because it is filled with hypocrites. He is offended by Christians who are not living up to his expectation. My friend’s statement itself is hypocritical, if you analyse his conclusion about Christians. He said he is on his way to the fitness center that afternoon. I thought why he doesn’t mind going to a fitness center where he joins all out of shape people? He doesn’t mind to join them to get back to fitness, but he is unwilling to go to church because some people are not living according to his expectation.
You see, Bible declares no one is in good shape and no one lives up to the exception of God. Bible says in Romans 3:9-18, “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one. “Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
“Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Remember, we all are out of shape. We all want to get back to good shapes with God. If church is filled with unshaped people, why don’t you join them (like my friend joined in the fitness center), so that we can all get to good shape with the living God, spiritually? Therefore, please don’t get offended with the Church and the people that are going to the Church.
Let me tell you something about me. I go to church not because I am good and perfect. I got to Church because I am imperfect and need God’s help very badly, to shape myself, so that He can fulfill his divine calling and purpose in and through me, in this evil and wicked bound world. You need church and Christian friends because we all need to help each other spiritually. Remember if you are looking perfect people, you will find one in this planet earth. Only person who walked on this earth fully perfect was the Son of God- Jesus Christ. No one else can ever be your perfect example to follow christ. We all need help to growth spiritually.
Bible says in Romans 3:21-25, “But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.”
God forgives all your debts if you are willing to come His way – the way of one Mediator, Jesus Christ. If you call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, He will save you. Then remember, If God forgave all our debts, we can freely forgive others by the empowerment of that same grace that is in us. Freely forget and forgive others and then your spiritual life will be on high ground and the Lord will use you for His purpose in a mighty way. Like an eagle flying way above in the sky, you can also fly above the offenses and stumbling blocks, that impediment your usefulness to the Lord.
I pray the good Lord and His marvelous grace will empower you for this very purpose in the days to come.