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Friday, February 1, 2013

Increase our faith! Lesson 3

In our 3rd lesson on this subject "Increase our faith", we will discover why Jesus likens offense and unforgiveness to the Sycamine tree. Remember that offense is a trap to make you trip and to cause wounds!
Offense comes because of what people do or do not do!

3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Luke 17:3-6


Jesus said: "Take heed to yourselves."
You can't always change the other person but you can change yourself. Watch over yourself! Get your eyes off your offender and get your eyes on yourself.

Why the Sycamine tree and not other trees:

There is a reason why Jesus compared offense and unforgiveness to the Sycamine tree. 
The Sycamine tree grew in the Middle East and had the deepest root structure. It was known as the tree of poor people. It looked like a fig tree and the fruit looked like figs. The poor people couldn't afford figs so they ate the fruit of the Sycamine but it had a very bitter taste. Sycamine was so durable that it was the preferred wood for building casket.

Unforgiveness and offense have deep roots. Offense can also have deep roots and become generational. For example, your father is offended with his brother - your uncle. They don't speak anymore and because of his offense, YOU also don't talk to him and even to your cousins! Nothing happened between the cousins, yet there is no relationship because of an old offense that has kept families apart!

Offense and unforgiveness will make you spiritually poor. It will hinder your spiritual growth. It will stop you from walking in love. Love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8). The Holy Spirit who is our teacher and comforter (Jn. 14:26) pours the love of God in our hearts (Rom. 5:5)

Offense and unforgiveness will take away your joy and slowly kill you spiritually.
It will make you bitter. 

Anybody can forgive! All you need is a small amount of faith - the mustard seed size!

Characteristics of sons and daughters of God:
    1. They are led by the Spirit of God.
    2. They have manifestations of the Word in their lives.
    3. They operate like Jesus.
    4. They overcome temptation.
    5. They are God-conscious not self-conscious.
    6. They seek revelation and understanding.
    7. They do not get offended.
    8. They are not envious, jealous, unforgiving, or in strife.
    9. They walk in the God-kind of love, especially toward those who have wronged them.
    10. They have signs and wonders to follow them (Ex: answered prayers and results)
    11. They have put away childish things.
    12. They cultivate understanding.
    13. They love change, and are always progressing to a higher level.
Take a heart decision to forgive those that have offended and hurt you today...


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