Matthew 24:10 “ And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another“

As 2020 comes to an end let us reflect on the most challenging year of our lifetime. The global pandemic is shaking all things than can be shaken. We have seen our financial world come to a screeching halt, both large and small businesses closing their doors never to open again. Our sports stadium empty, streets of our major cities look like ghost towns. Fear has gripped the nations as hospitals are filled with capacity and the virus continues to spread. The future remains uncertain. Who knows what 2021 will bring?  We hope better days since the promise of vaccine is here to save the day; we think.

But what also comes with these conditions is something more insidious and dangerous; the breakdown of relationships. These types of events put a massive strain on relationships and the enemy uses his most destructive weapon; offenses. People attacking each other due to differences of  opinions on all sorts of matters. Jesus did say that one of the signs of the end times is that offenses will be many, and that love will grow cold.

Offenses will come. Often, they will come from close friends and family members.  At other times, they will come from strangers and acquaintances. Failure to handle offenses properly results in bondage and torment. This issue of offense is probably one of the most serious of all. Its effects are deadly and very destructive. The devil uses it divide and conquer, it tears apart churches, it is the cause of failure on great business ventures, it destroys marriages and friendships. Therefore, we must be prepared for the offenses, because our response determines the future.

The greatest antidote to offense is forgiveness. On the Lord Prayer Jesus taught us to pray “Forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors” It is shocking how serious God is about forgiveness. God gives no excuse for unforgiveness and no way around it.

How to forgive from the heart

  1. We must remember that our sin cost Jesus His life. Your sins and mine killed the most innocent man on the earth.
  2. We must remember that God loves the offender as much as He loves you.
  3. We must make a permanent release of their debt and release judgment to God.
  4. We must bless and pray for them

Luke 6:28 Bless those who curse you, pray for those who spitefully use you. If  you can’t bless them, you have not forgiven them. Bless them until you are free

  1. We must resist satan, who is the accuser of the brethren.

Remember that forgiveness does not make them right, it just makes you free

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