It’s a Trap!
Like what is the purpose of the church why are we doing the things that we do why are we doing all these activities as a church we have a mission statement and I'm just going to randomly call in one of you to see if you know it now I'm here I'm kidding i would.
Never forgive me if I did that but our mission statement of the tour yeah it's in the bullets and you just have to look at The Bolton but our church we exist to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ through the teaching and encouragement of God's word that's why we exist we want to see people become more like Jesus Christ and to truly be committed to being followers of Christ and over the last couple of years what we've done is we've talked about the values that we have as a church we have four main values the first in this is kind of in in order of priority is Bible center teaching and preaching if nothing else we are a church that honestly believes that God wrote this and so every week could you come here hopefully you either learn something new or are reminded of something that God said and so we are a church to prayer in values Bible center teaching preaching we're also a church that values discipleship we believe in the discipleship process discipleship the simply the older generation investing in the next generation bringing them up to be leaders so that they can pass on the teachings of God to the next generation after that so that's two of our values the third value is faithful service and we believe that God is given to everyone within the Body of Christ the gift that they should use to help build up the body and our fourth value is what we're going to be talking about this fall the next several weeks and that is healthy relationships we are a church that believes in healthy relationships and that means that our relationships with each other all the relationship dynamics that we have in this world they should be as God intended them to be.
A way to describe relationships the way God intended them to be they should be positive and encouraging. Kind of like the radio station K. love all you're probably thinking that they should also be based on grace and truth you have to have both in your relationships not just one or the other also healthy relationships mean that we should never compromise God's standards because in some relationships there's compromises and people will bring in their own fleshly desires and influences and it will ruin and distort the kind of relationship that God wants us down with each other so we're going to spend the next several weeks focusing on healthy relationships and we're also going to focus on some of the one another commands in the Bible I've never had a series like that some kind of looking forward to that but first what I want to do today is kind of look at the bad side of human relationships or release what satan is trying to do is what I want to do today is recognize that our enemy satan is focused on destroying relationships
if you have a healthy relationship with another human being whether it's your spouse friend parent sibling God [misspoke "Satan"] wants to destroy that and so what I'm going to do today I want to do two simple things today I want to identify a specific trap of Satan and then I also want to understand why that specific trap is so effective Well let's talk about the track.
I'm I'm multitasking today I'm actually doing my own slide so let's see we'll see how this goes what is the trap that we're going to be talking about for the next few weeks there's there are some common traps that are out there in the world many of you know what they are I always find this one I don't live in a clock whenever I go to Costco you know the samples the food samples are definitely a trap some of us really like those traps this last Monday the kids and I this is the last day before they went to school so we wanted to get kids there and we were doing some shopping and we got some samples and I don't know if you have been to Costco over the last couple weeks but they have introduced a new dessert. You guys know what I'm talking about now they've always had the cheesecake in the cheesecake I think it's like twelve ninety nine It's huge and it's awesome every now and then I give in and I buy the cheesecake Well now they have key lime pie for a Levon ninety nine and I don't work for Costco I just like so we're in there and they are the key lime pie as a sample and I'm thankful after I took it that we were well beyond the desert area so you are going to kids just keep moving keep moving but then Christian called me up I think I was on Friday and she said him going to Costco is there anything you want to pick up I said she lime pie. So there's a half eaten key lime pie at our house right now and it'll be gone by the rest of my today so that's one trout another trout and husbands you know this one comes up every now and. And if your wife says hey how do you like this outfit Do I look good in this outfit GUYS IT'S A TRAP you know what you're supposed to say of course you look wonderful honey kids kids do this trap every now and then kids will say Dad or Mom do you love me and you know what's coming next and so I always say no I don't love you so you just avoid whatever trout they're trying to to to put you in you know during college when I worked at restaurants I learned I don't know if you call this a trap but it's a really good sales technique and so as I'm waiting on tables and as people are ordering your food your response to up sell I think I've probably mentioned this before and so whenever one were never someone want to order a steak I would look them in the eyes and I'd start nodding my head up and down and say you want mushrooms and onions with that it works I tell you they look at you you're nodding up and down and they all of a sudden start nodding up and down it's a great sales technique like let me let me show you how this can work here in church how many of you want to make an eternal difference in the lives of kids and have returned rewards for yourself.
All right everyone who was nodding their head you just volunteered for the nursery thank you very much we have a secret hidden camera up here we'll be calling you you know kind of joking around if you ever see a pastor Mike or myself or Sarah walking up to you and we have a smile on our face and we just start doing this before we talk to you don't resist just say OK I'll do it just whatever it is you want me to do all do it well on a serious note there are a lot of dangerous traps in the world that Satan has set for us and we need help to identify them and really really need help the kind of navigating our way through them.
Many years ago I think probably some of you probably remember the Promise Keepers conferences fifteen twenty years ago a one time during one of the sessions one of the speakers his name was Dennis Rainey let me let me read this excerpt that I that I found one year Dennis Rainey placed animal traps up on the stage they were big ones to bear traps and even an African safari large animal trap that took two men to open and there were a dozen or so traps and he said or open them all then Dennis Rainey had a father blindfold his teenage son and the father then walked to the other side of the stage and called his son to come to him and the boy took one step and the father called out wait I'll keep you from stepping in the trap so this dad went back across the stage took his son's hand and led him through the difficult maze of traps.
There are traps in this world that Satan has set for us but God tells us what they are if we're willing enough to open God's word and read about them and so see him knows us very well he knows just how to push our buttons there's a passage in first Peter five eight it says be sober minded Be watchful your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour and I think that's such a descriptive passage you can just imagine Satan just kind of hiding behind something he's he's he's looking at us he's he's watching us so he knows our habits and our patterns and he's waiting for that opportune time where he can come and he can trip us up and so we know that there is a battle going on in Cygnus trying to trip us up so it's helpful for us to know his best traps and saving those one of the best ways to start the decaying process of a healthy relationship is to get one person to feel offended
that's one of Satan's best traps in the world and we're going to talk specifically about this trap of being offended over the next few weeks in our small group a small group and a Linda Linda Watts Linda and her husband Rich were in our small group and I don't remember how this conversation came up but talking about how everyone in today's society is offended I mean have you been noticing that everyone is offended about everything and she mentioned that she read a book many years ago it's called the bait of Satan and this is how Satan will use the trap of offense to destroy relationships and so she told me that she said I think this book has been out for about twenty or thirty years the twentieth anniversary edition so about twenty years and John but Vere's his the author I'm not sure if that's how you pronounce his last name I don't agree with him on some of his theology in different areas but on this subject I do one hundred percent so I thought OK before I do my fall series on relationships I wanted to talk about this and so I'm kind of using this to kind of loosely guide some of my messages but I want you to turn in your Bibles over to Luke Chapter seventeen I think there's something very interesting that we find here.
Luke Chapter seventeen.
Luke Chapter seventeen and we'll begin in verse one.
Luke Chapter seventeen verse one.
Jesus says to his disciples. And he said to His disciples I'm reading from the E.S.B. temptations to sin are sure to come but what of the ones through whom they come it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea that he should cause one of these little ones to sin pay attention to yourselves if your brother sins going interesting a Jesus and now adding this on to this whole thing about temptations if your brother sins rebuke him and if you repent forgive him and he sins against you seven times in the day and turns to you seven times saying I repent you must forgive him so it's very interesting that Jesus uses the example of human relationships after he talks about the temptation to sin now what kind of temptation to sin is Jesus referring to well obviously he doesn't answer that it's vague so that we can almost put every kind of sin in there for application but the context of this first little section of Luke Chapter seventeen is regarding human relationships and in fact it's very interesting what we read next now I want to understand these disciples up to this point in time have seen Jesus performing dozens and dozens of miracles they've seen him heal people they saw him feed the five thousand they saw him turn water into wine they saw him call the storm but after Jesus tells them that they are to forgive their brother seven times this is how they respond very interesting look at verse five the Apostle said to the Lord after he tells them to forgive their brother they say increase our faith. And so you have to ask why did they ask for their faith to be increased I don't think they were asking for their faith to be increased in the fact that Jesus was the Messiah I think it was because their faith in following Jesus commanded forgive is being challenged Did they ask for their faith to increase because the thought of not seeking revenge against someone else seemed wrong to them.
The think you really Jesus we're not supposed to seek revenge where we're supposed to just forgive someone that many times or did they ask for their faith to increase because they believe that they have a right as a human being to defend their honor or because maybe they were terrified of being taken advantage of while Jesus was teaching them and us one of Satan's greatest weapons you know the interesting thing about this passage here in Luke seventeen is Luke seventeen verse one the Greek word for Temptation the translated temptation is the Greek word scandal on and the word originally referred to the part of the trap to which bait was attached
so hear the word temptation is really the trout to sin the bait to sin this means laying a trap in someone's way that's going to eventually lead them to sin other translations for those of you who are reading from the King James Version it's interesting that it translates to word for Temptation the word as an offense the King James Version says and so Luke seventeen one then he said unto his disciples it is impossible but that offenses will come or a scandal on will come or the bait to get you to sin will come the SO Here Jesus teaching us one of same Meek's a trout or a temptation that leads us into sin is through being offended. And I want you to listen to this when you and I get offended by another person we just stepped into a trap which say didn't use is to destroy relationships. And the offense or that being offended is such a powerful weapon that Satan uses I want you to turn your Bibles to second term of the Chapter two I'll put this up on the screen as well the same word scandal on is used in second Timothy two and here just to give you some context Paul this is speaking to Timothy as a pastor and it's always in the best interest of a pastor to work hard at having healthy relationships with people in the church I think that's kind of obvious a pastor who is always getting upset and getting in arguments of people in church is that going to be a healthy place not at all you know before going in a minister I heard some pastor say sure is kind of a common saying and I think it's true not just for people that are in full time ministry but for anyone who has volunteered in ministry you need to have thick skin so much that a pastor needs the skin of skin of a rhinoceros because guess what you're going to get offended someone's going to say something criticize you and you're going to have a decision to make sure you stepped into that trap of being offended What are you going to do but here in second Timothy two beginning of verse twenty four Paul is writing Timothy and he says of the Lord servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone able to teach patiently enduring evil.
Correcting his opponents with gentleness God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth and they may come verse twenty six is the most important here and they may come to their senses and this tape from the mayor or the scandal on of the devil after being captured by him to do His will and sold this snare of the devil is. The trout is being offended being offended is the bait of Satan and can you see how powerful and effective that is being used in the world today I mean the climate of the world right now is everyone is offended by anything anyone says and sometimes the word offense is used as a trump card and soon as you feel like you can say to another person well you offended me when you did that then you automatically tell them that they can't do that anymore whatever it is it's come like a trump card.
In Matthew chapter twenty four it's kind of an interesting thing here Jesus is talking about the end of the age the latter days were not in the end the end or the we're not in the tribulation sure this is necessarily talking about this time right now however I think that we might be close but in Matthew chapter twenty four Jesus is talking about the end time events and in verse ten through thirteen he says and then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another you see a lot of hate in the world right now I mean even more so than before I think we can see that and many false prophets will arise and lead many astray and because lawlessness will be increased and it says is interesting phrase the love of many will grow cold but the one who endures to the end will be saved the love that people should have for humanity in general we can see is growing cold in the world today never in my lifetime have I seen so many people on edge and it's amazing you watch all these videos of road rage you know why are people that upset with each other just let the person get in front of you it it's amazing how fast people are getting offended and so on edge with other people and being offended is one of Satan's greatest traps and another thing that we need to know about this Trout is that the people that we are closest to are the ones that we can be offended by the most. As I was thinking about this I've had these thoughts before I didn't really kind of put them together until until I did this I. There's one human being in the world who can offend me faster than anyone else all right you wonder who that is if you're married you know exactly who it is right it's it's my wife's minutes she can say something that another person can say and I wouldn't care that they said it but if she says it then I know Hey I'm kind of offended and I talk to Christian about this and I told her I was going to say this and she said are you going to use an example so no no I'm not and as a as a married person I don't need those examples you know what I'm talking about right it's just amazing but that relationship is so very important and so guess what Satan is going to try to do get me to be offended by something that she says or doesn't get her offended by something that I have said or I have done well fortunately and I've learned this over the years and hopefully if you do if you struggle with this with your spouse hopefully you'll learn this lesson as I find myself getting offended I'm doing this much faster these days I know what's going on I know exactly what's going on and I'll say no I'm not going to fall for this I'm not going to go down that path of getting upset and years really thinking about this say you know I'm not going to let you get a foothold in my life I'm not going to do it I love how in First Corinthians chapter thirteen Paul is talking to us about what love is and he goes through a whole list of what love is and he gets to verse fourteen and he says this is the N.I.V. the N.I.V. translates it this way that love keeps no record of wrongs
do you know what an offended person does or they keep a record and it's alphabetized and it's cross-reference with footnotes and it's dated I mean they know how to keep a record of wrongs while this hitting close to home with anyone here is anyone here think to yourself right now a lot I do I now that this is being brought up I find myself getting offended very easily Well hopefully you're in the right spot then because I think all of us deal with this from time to time and the reason why it's such a powerful trap and now we're kind of getting into the second point the reason why this is such a powerful trap is because when we are offended it directly relates to our pride so why is the trap of offense so effective it's because human beings are prideful that's why this is so effective and I'm just going to say something and I just want you to think about it
the more prideful a person is.
The easier it is for them to be offended.
I think that's a true statement it's an observation there's nothing in the Bible that says that but the more prideful a person is the more easy easily they are to get offended pride is what prevents us from dealing with truth in our life pride will distort our vision so we're not seeing things correctly pride will harden our hearts and it will dim our eyes to correct understanding and pride when our pride is hurt because we're offended then we get good we go into victim mode and soon as we think that we're a victim we say things like well I have been mistreated and I have been this judge and therefore I am justified in my behavior of retaliation that's what an offended prideful person says and when we believe that we are innocently and falsely accused we will his withhold forgiveness from other people because if someone says or does something that appears to make us feel less valuable than we think we are then we will be offended and one of the greatest thing or the great. Satan will use offense to attack our pride and usually the result of that is anger you're offended your pride is hurt and then immediately we get anger angry and I don't think it's a coincidence that Paul says what he says in the fusion Six me fusions four twenty six he says be angry now we're always going to get angry just be angry and do not sin do not let the sun go down on your anger in other words if you're angry you need to deal with it appropriately and then verse twenty seven it says and give no opportunity to the devil because the devil knows if he can get us offended it's going to hurt our pride and then we're going to be angry this is the trap that the devil will use you know what is the second sin recorded in the Bible it's when Cain killed his brother Abel and you think pride had anything to do with his anger towards his brother you think that he was upset when God accepted Abel sacrifice over his his pride was hurt he was offended and what happened he got angry any murder his brother and I got to an illustration I'll share with you of a time that I was offended and I had to deal with pride in all of those things that happen in a church setting I've mentioned this before I don't know when it was maybe of several years ago some of you probably heard this but when I was at my first church I was hired on when I was twenty four I was there part time and then after about a year I went full time so I was probably about twenty five years old this time and things were going well at the church and I can't remember exactly why this was but our secretary I think she had another job and they asked her to go full time at the saw the job and so she stepped down and we put in the Bulletin a few times now we were looking for a secretary to fill in and at one of our Bar Council meetings it was decided you know we don't really have enough for a secretary to do we don't have like twenty hours of work for someone to do what we really need to do is have someone do the bulletin and so it was decided at that meeting that I would add doing the bullets into my job as pastor. And so we get to church next Sunday and another person who was on staff his name is Bill Rigg Pastor Bill Rigg he was in at the meeting and he gets up and he was preaching on Sunday and someone told him hey we are the secretary positions taken care of we have to worry about Josh going to do some of the things he's going to do he's going to make the bulletin Well Pastor Bill is upfront and he's making announcements and he says the secretary position has been fulfilled will the new secretary of our church please stand up and here I am twenty five trying to make a name for myself trying to get people to respect me and so I have to stand up and everyone starts clouds are you laughing in and I all I was I was offended in that moment because that's not what it was I wasn't the secretary I was just doing the bolt it was a really bad moment I've seen seek counseling and I'm OK but in that moment I was like really he's doing this is a really really Dres thing and I remember I was I was hurt and I was a little offended and then I realized OK I have I have a choice to make over what just happened I can either forgive him or I can just fuel the offense the pride that has been hurt in the anger that I'm experiencing in that situation at that moment I had a choice to really important choices. And that's what we're going to talk about next week the inner workings of offense what we're supposed to do when we are offended Well obviously I'm not telling you the story you know what I did I forgave him and I know his heart and I know as intentions and as someone who doesn't know intimates I know how it goes you get up there you make an announcement you think all just say it this way to be funny this way so I know that he didn't really mean anything by that. You know all of us want healthy relationships and so next week what we're going to do like I just mention Next week we're going to talk about the inner workings of this trap and specifically the two choices that we have when we realize that we've stepped into this trap this bait of Satan and we are now offended but for this week what I want you to do is just a few things I want all of us to just pay close attention and recognize this trap in the world today all right notice how often you hear in the news or online or whatever it is that someone got offended and now you know what's really going on OK you know kind of what's going on behind the scenes also take special close attention to yourself and notice how quickly you get offended you might be surprised this week you might say hey I'm not doing that better wow I get offended pretty easily I also want you to prayerfully go before the Lord and ask Him to reveal if you are dealing with issues of pride that Satan could take advantage of in this way and also maybe some of you might need to just realize that there is a relationship that you have that has been affected by an offense whether you affected someone or offended someone or someone offended you I want to close with an illustration I came across which does a great job explaining why all of us need to be aware of this trap even if it's not a powerful one for you some of you might be here today and you think yeah I can see how dangerous this is I can see how the same uses people to get offended he'll destroy relationships but hey I I don't ever get offended I'm an easy going person I don't need to worry about this I'll see in about four weeks from now when the series is done now we all need to be aware of this because guess what when one relationship is affected all relationships are and so I came across this this story and I'll share this with you on that was a pretty good one.
A mouse look through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open up package what food might this contain the mouse wondered he was devastated to discover it was a mouse trap. This is great I'm going to do this more often this great.
Retreating to the farm yard the mouse proclaimed the warning there's a mouse trap in the house there's a mouse trap in the house. The chicken clucked and scratched raise your head and said Mr Mouse I can tell that this is of grave concern for you but this is of no consequence to me I cannot be bothered by it while the mouse turned to the pig and told the pig there's a mouse trap in the house there's a mouse trap on the House and the pig sympathized but said well I'm so very sorry Mr Mouse but there's nothing I can do about it but pray be assured you are in my prayers the mouse then turned to the cow and he said there's a mouse trap in the house there's a nose around the house and the cow said whoa whoa Mr Mouse I'm sorry for you but it's no skin off my nose so the mouse returned to the house head down and dejected to face the farmer's mouse trap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house like the sound of a mouse trap catching its prey the farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught in the darkness she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail had tripped the trout the stake bit the farmer's wife the farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever and everyone knows that you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.
But his wife sticks his continued so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock to feed them the farmer had to butcher the pig.
And the farmer's wife died she did not get well so many people came to her funeral the farmer had to slaughter the cow to provide enough meat for all of them and the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness and so the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you remember when one of us is threatened we are all at risk
Q little story but I think you think we get the point.
Animals don't really talk just in case you're wondering.
But any and all trout that say incense out it will affect all of us either directly or indirectly and so when we have a good relationship and we see a good relationship another relationship crumbling down because someone got offended it affects all the other relationships that that person has and so this concern should be all of ours we should be concerned not only for the health of our relationships but also for the health of everyone's relationships and so that's why we're going to be talking about this we're going to be aware of Satan's schemes and as we are dealing with healthy relationships Well right now let's go ahead and close in prayer and ask God to give us wisdom and insight and the willingness to fight against this trap Let's pray.
To your Lord I thank you for giving us your word lord you want us to know the devil schemes he is out to trip us up he's out to destroy relationships and Lord we recognize that this morning and so father it's my prayer that as we go through this the series for the next few weeks talking about the bait of Satan and how how being offended can just destroy relationships I hope all of us will be sensitive not only to our own relationships and to our own sensitivity towards being offended but also just learn the skills that we need the Bibles to John how to handle our emotions when we're dealing with things like this Lord I want our church to be a place where healthy relationships can grow and we have issues that will learn and we'll know from your word how to address them so Lord I pray your blessing upon us over these next several weeks as we're talking about healthy relationships and if there's anyone here today who is realizing that there's something in their life that they need to change whether it's their pride or anger or how quickly they are offended Lord help them see this for what it is it's not coming from you it's a bait that Satan will use to destroy our relationship so Help us Lord to fight against this struggle we present crisis in.