A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle. – Prov. 18:19
Offenses and contentions are like the bars of a castle. They hinder our freedom and witnessing. As we mature in Christ and yield to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we learn not to pick up offenses. We also learn how to handle those we may have offended, even when they may not share their feelings with us.
We may discern others have taken offense, but they are not open to confront the issues to find resolution. At other times, we may meet with people to come in one accord and we achieve reconciliation in unexpected ways. Everyone is unique, so every situation needs to be handled differently. Instead of only considering our feelings, we also consider theirs.
By God’s grace, we should care for every person with sensitivity and specifically. We praise God for dealing with us with so much grace and mercy, and extend this same grace and mercy to others. Let’s trust the Lord with His ways and timing in dealing with offenses. We can trust the Lord to heal all of us, from glory to glory!
Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the cityof Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high. – Luke 24:49
The disciples waited until they received this promise, not really knowing what this power from on high would look like. In obedience, they waited, worshipping and trusting His promise would come to pass. When it did, on Pentecost, its reality was undeniable and its results phenomenal. This baptism of the Holy Spirit exceeded their expectations and does the same in our lives.
Unlike the disciples, we do not have to wait for it; we wait on it, as we appropriate it by faith. The Holy Spirit works with us to become a christian, comes to dwell in us upon conversion, and then comes upon us to empower us for service. It’s a gift available to whosoever believes.
Like the disciples, we are not sure what the power of God looks like in our lives, but it shouldn’t matter. We should desire whatever comes from Him. No questions asked, pre-conceived ideas, or unbelief. If you haven’t yet, pray, believe and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If you have, pray for His continual infilling and outflowing in your life, from glory to glory!
And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. – Luke 17:13-14
As we walk by faith, we obey God’s instructions regardless of what we see in the natural. It’s as we obey Him that the reality of His word manifests. The more we walk with the Lord, the more we come to realize the transformation He has made in our lives. It unfolds as we go. It’s not shown to us before we walk, but it’s revealed as we walk.
Someone cannot bargain with the Lord, saying, “when you heal me completely, then I will obey you,” or “when you do this or that, then I will do this or that.” Our obedience to God is not conditional. He is our Lord, and we trust Him with every step we take in His name. We recognize the changes the Lord has done in our lives as we walk with Him.
We hope to always obey Him, even if difficult. His way is always the best way, the only way, the way, the truth and the life! It’s as we go that we grow! Sometimes we go through things just so we can see that we are no longer who we used to be, that we have changed. As we go, others see the healing of the Lord in our lives, from glory to glory!
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip. – Ps. 18:35-36
Sometimes we may feel as though the rug is being pulled out from under our feet. This causes us to question where we stand. In those times, we wonder if we will slip and fall. Sorrow fills our heart; a sense of heaviness envelops our being, and we pray fervently for God to come to our rescue.
Time after time, God enlarges our path so we do not slip.This enlargement defies the tight place we may think we are in and makes way for God’s delivering power. He makes a way out of all troubling circumstances. We may almost slip and fall, almost give up, almost breakdown, yet God comes through with His amazing grace. The foundation on which we stand is strengthened and enlarged by the Christ we believe in—our sure foundation.
When we almost fall, Christ sustains us to the utmost. He upholds all with His right hand and He never permits the righteous to be moved. He delivers us out of all our afflictions. Let’s pray, believing He sustains us and gives us safety to stand every place we step, from glory to glory!
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. – Rom. 8:28
Whatever we think God is doing in our lives, we quickly find out He truly is doing much more. It’s as though we walk on a dot-to-dot pathway. With every step we take, a dot connects to another, and the picture becomes clearer. We not only go from dot-to-dot, but we are all like dots that God connects to accomplish His purpose.
We can’t guess what the full picture will be because each dot reveals something new of great importance to the whole. The way each part connects may be unknown, but the way God works all things together for our good can be trusted. We are His workmanship. He cares for us and even though we may not know what our tomorrow holds—we know He holds our tomorrow, and we rest in Him.
We enjoy the journey moving from dot-to-dot knowing the next destination is only a new season, not the end. Even when we think nothing is moving, something is; we are just not aware of it. Constantly trusting there is more to attain helps us remain hopeful and not get discouraged. Going from dot-to-dot means there is more, from glory to glory!
… whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supply, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. – Eph. 4:16
Members of the Body of Christ, the Church, unite in faith and in spirit. One body. One team. We are the branches; Jesus Christ is the vine. Every joint supplies what benefits the whole. Everyone is valuable and believers should expect the best from each other. Our connection matters, strengthens, and empowers us in our walk.
Focusing on the Lord keeps us from paying attention to the other branches. Our place is to consider our own fruitfulness, not judge the lack we assume in others. To deprecate ourselves or others assaults the grace of God. We do not cut any branch down, but uphold and exhort those in need. We do not pick at other branches, but pick from them. United, we stand!
When in transition or transformation, we might sense a separation from other branches. A feeling of loneliness and disconnection. This might lead us to stay away from others, but that is when we are to reach for a closer union, starting with the Lord. It’s in Him we live and have our being; we remain strong in faith, hope, and love, from glory to glory!