Word at Work October 6, 2016

Scripture: Mark 9:42-44

Verses 42-44 state, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’” Jesus made it clear that offenses come from many places. But the person who causes the offense needs to be very careful because if, through disobedience, we are offending believers who are trying to obey God, we are on dangerous ground. John caused an offense by stopping ministry that Jesus would not have stopped. And Jesus goes on to say that people who routinely cause offenses will find themselves outside the Kingdom and in danger of judgment themselves. Jesus was very strong on this issue. The fruit of our actions, one way or another, depends on the issue of discernment. Are we accurately discerning the individual by the Holy Spirit’s yardstick? In this passage in Mark, John did not and it got him into trouble. But Jesus used it for a learning opportunity. And that is how God treats us. He takes our mistakes and uses them as learning opportunities so we can grow up and get it right in the future. And that is exactly how we want to treat people. We want to treat their mistakes like a learning opportunity so they can grow up and not make the same missteps in the future. That is wisdom and that is part of Christ-like behavior. Therefore, let us start treating each other that way! With each offense that a person makes, let us try to turn it into a learning opportunity that will help them grow into the fullness of Christ. If we choose to walk that way, we cannot lose!

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