MEMORIZE: woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to the man by whom the offense cometh! Mathew 18:7
Read: Mathew 18:1-7 (KJV)
1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: ISAIAH 43-44, LUKE 3:7-22
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke in very strong terms against offences in today’s Bible reading. I therefore believe it is a wise thing for us to understand what they are and try to avoid them. Offence is a biblical term which refers to an obstruction lying on a pathway over which one may stumble.
It is anything that binders and tends to trip one up in the course of living a righteous life. A hindrance in this regard often stands or temptations to sin. One source 0f offences that was mentioned by the Lord in His sermons is the cravings of our body (Matthew 18:8-9).
Another source which He also mentioned are the people we interact with on a day to day basis (Matthew 18:7, Romans 16:17). The Lord made it clear that a life without any obstacle, hindrance, stumbling block or temptation is impossible, but that anyone who places obstacles in other people’s path or who leads others into sin is already cursed by God (Luke 17:1).
Jesus declared that great sorrow awaits them, so that it would have been better if they were not even born. All those who are behind ‘our problems in life shall run into the wrath of the Almighty God in Jesus’ Name.
Some people have mastered the art of setting traps for others, and they themselves have become a living trap, supporting anything that ensnares or hinders people from pleasing God and deriving satisfaction from causing people to stumble. They ensnare unsuspecting and ignorant people, and mislead innocent an immature Christians into fatal errors that lead to hell. Greedy for money, power and fame, they consciously build an army of loyal followers in order to exert their influence on them.
They falsely appear as saints and subtly present another “gospel” that is completely different from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Their message is built on human wisdom and understanding but carefully wrapped in a garb of spirituality.
They have a warped understanding of the Bible, which they present as new revelations from God or “prophetic preaching”. Their message of easy-going Christianity has led many people into worldly lifestyles and complacency in holy living through their activities, many have missed the high mark of God’s calling. You will notice that some of these offenders are experienced pastors who are knowledgeable in the things of God but deliberately mislead others.
Therefore, be warned about the existence of such characters within the Church of God. Watch carefully to prevent yourself from falling into their trap. 1 pray that the rod of the wicked one shall not fall upon your portion, and you will not be led away from the presence of God in Jesus’ Name.
Prayer point: Father, please grant me grace to perceive offences and to live above them in Jesus’ name.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God