Not Offended?

Posted on 01/18/2015 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

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HE HAS MADE ME GLAD

I will enter his gates
I will enter his courts with praise
I will say this is the day
that the Lord hath made
I will rejoice for
He has made me glad

He has made me glad,
He has made me glad
I will rejoice for
he has made me glad!


IT IS YOU

As we lift up our hands
will you meet us here
As we call on your name
will you meet us here
We have come to this place
to worship you
God of mercy and grace

It is you we adore
It is you praises are for
Only you, the heavens declare
It is you, it is you

Holy holy is our God Almighty
Holy holy is his name alone (yeah)
Holy holy is our God Almighty
Holy holy is his name alone

As we lift up our hands
as we call on your name
Will you meet us in this place
by your mercy and grace


HOLY AND ANOINTED ONE

Jesus, Jesus
Holy and anointed one, Jesus

Jesus, Jesus
Risen and exalted one, Jesus

Your name is like honey
on my lips
Your Spirit like water
to my soul
Your Word is a lamp
unto my feet
Jesus I love you,
I love you


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Let's start today's topic by reading from the Psalms.

In Psalm chapter 119, verse 165,
are words with which you're probably familiar:

"Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing will offend them."

A literal translation of that verse
would, instead of "law,"
say "Torah."

In today's world,
more people would be familiar with the title
"Old Testament," although obviously
not all of the Old Testament books
had even been written at the time
King David penned these words.

Throughout the Psalms,
there are numerous mentions of
"The Law" or "Thy Precepts."

When speaking of the righteous person,
the one who is firmly rooted,
the one who will not be moved,
the one whose leaf does not wither,
King David writes,
"And in God's Law he meditates day and night."


Well today, I'd like for us
to take a closer look at this.

"Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing will offend them."

I've heard people reference this
by saying, "Not offended!"
And of course that's a good reminder:
"I should not be offended."

But generally when one says that,
they say it because they ARE offended.

If you don't feel offense somewhere inside,
then there's no reason to say,
"I'm not offended."

You DO feel offense.

Pretending you don't is just self-delusion.


Now, most modern translations say,
"and nothing will cause them to stumble,"
instead of
"nothing will offend them."

So which one is correct?

Well, the dictionary defines our word "offend"
like this:

1. to irritate, annoy, or anger; cause resentful displeasure in.
2. to cause to fall into sinful ways.


Either one works.

When you are
irritated,
annoyed, or
resentful,

you are in the flesh.


So becoming
irritated, annoyed, angry,
or resentful,
is falling into sinful ways,
is it not?

So both are correct:

"Nothing will offend them."
"Nothing will cause them to stumble."

Being offended in the first definition
is just one way you can be offended
in the last definition.

In other words,

being
irritated,
annoyed,
angry, and
resentful

is falling into sinful ways.

Or, more accurately,

believing and identifying with

irritation,
annoyance,
anger, and
resentment,

is fleshly.


So when you
put up your hand
and you say,
"Not offended!"

...but you really ARE offended...

it's a good start toward
disidentifying with the offense.

But realize that you DID
experience offense.

Don't fool yourself.

You did have offense
rise up within you.

And that brings us back to our verse:

"Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing will offend them."

So if you battle with offense,
realize the offense
is not the problem.

It's only a symptom.


Someone might say,
"So you think I don't
love the Bible enough?
Or maybe you think
I don't love
the Old Testament enough?"

First of all,
it doesn't matter what I think.

But consider this:

Let's imagine, for us guys,
we find a picture of a beautiful lady.

Or for us ladies,
we find a picture of a dashing prince.

Let's pretend we're single
for this example.

And we "fall in love."

With the picture.

With the image.

We don't know the person.

But we're madly in love.

Isn't that enough?


Okay, it's a bit easier
to see the folly in that.

But what is the Bible?
What is the Old Testament?
What is the Torah?

It is just an image.

You can see the image
with your mind.

You can feel love for the image
with your emotions.

Without knowing the true Law.


The mind can know only the image.

Only the spirit can know
that of which the written law
is that image.

And as the New Testament verse says,
if you walk in the spirit,
you will not fulfil
the desires of the flesh.

In other words,
you won't be offended.

And if you feel that offense,
you will recognize
the flesh behind it.


Matthew 13:54-58 (KMV)

54 And when (Jesus) had come into his own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "From where has this man obtained this wisdom, and these mighty works?
55 Is this not the carpenter's son? Is His mother not called Mary? And His brothers, James and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas?
56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? From where then has this man gotten all these things?"
57 And they were offended by Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, and in his own house."
58 And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.


Okay.

So first of all,
where were the people?
They were in the synagogue.

Why were they there?
They were there
to hear the Scriptures.

They would all have thought
they love the Law.
They love the Torah.
They love the Scriptures.
They love the image.

But they were offended.

Jesus irritated them.
Jesus annoyed them.
Jesus angered them.
Jesus caused resentment in them.

But that's actually not true.

It wasn't Jesus
who caused these things.

It was the flesh.

Does Jesus irritate YOU?
Does Jesus annoy YOU?
Does Jesus anger YOU?
Do YOU resent Jesus?

For most of you,
the answer would be
"of course not."

But it's the same Jesus.

So Jesus does not cause
any of these reactions.
Instead,

The people irritated themselves.
The people annoyed themselves.
The people angered themselves.
The people caused resentment in themselves.

Jesus simply stated facts.

And the flesh reacted with offense.


They loved the Bible.
But they did not
even know the Law.


And you cannot really love
that which you do not know.


How about you?


Consider this:
The Law pointed to
in the Torah
is the same as
The Law of Liberty pointed to
in the New Testament.


It's not a list of rules.

It is, instead,
the Nature of God.


The mind can know
facts about His Nature.

But on the spirit
can KNOW that Nature.

The mind can memorize
and recite the list of rules
found in the Old Testament.

But only the spirit
can know the Nature
BEHIND those rules.

You can "love" the FORM,
without knowing the One
whose form your mind can see,
and know about,
but cannot truly know,
and therefore,
cannot truly love.


So when you get offended,
you are not loving God's Law.
Or God's Nature.

Or you are not IN Love.

And I don't mean "in love"
like you might think you're
"in love" with that
attractive picture.

I mean "in love" like you are
"in water" when you swim.

God's Law is Love.


In 1 John 4:16 (TLS), we read this:

16 And we have known and have assurance of the Love that God has for us. God is Love, and he who abides in Love abides in God, and God in him.


Are you abiding in Love?
Are you IN Love?

If not, you are not loving
the Law of God,
no matter how much you say,
"I'm not offended,"
when you really are.


And this isn't a call to feel guilty.
It's not a call to feel shame.
It's not even a call to change yourself,
as if the mind can really change itself.

Instead, it's a call to dwell in Love.
To dwell in the Nature of God's Law.
To dwell in God.


Do you want a pointer to God's Law?

Here's a good one, from 1 Corinthians chapter 13.

1 Corinthians 13 (NASB)

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.


Patience.
Are you ever impatient?

Kindness.
Are you ever the least bit unkind?

Not Jealous.
Do you ever suffer jealousy?

Does not Brag.
Maybe I'm the only one here
who has ever boasted.

Is not Arrogant.
Maybe no one else here
has ever been convinced
that those who don't
agree with you
on a certain issue
are simply less intelligent
or less spiritual
than you, and that
makes you feel
good about yourself.


Does not act unbecomingly.

Does not seek its own.
Do you EVER seek your own way?

Is not provoked.

Does not take into account
a wrong suffered.

Bears ALL things.

Endures all things.

Has unshaken confidence
and undiminished trust
in the midst of
whatever may come.

Love never fails.


When we think of the Spirit of God,
we might think of gifts of prophecy.

But prophecy is not eternal.

We might think of other spiritual gifts.

But they are all passing away.

We might think of knowledge.
Surely our beliefs are eternal.
Don't our beliefs either
get us into heaven, or
doom us to hell?

We put our eyes upon all these things.

We put our trust in these things as well.

But none of these things
are the Law of God --
the Nature of God --
the Love of God.


But now remain faith, hope, love, these three.

But the greatest of these is Love.


God GIVES faith.
But faith is not God.

Gove GIVES hope.
But hope is not God.

God GIVES Love,
and God IS Love,
because He Gives Himself
as a dwelling place
for those who surrender to Him
and put all their trust in Him.


Deuteronomy 33:27 says,
"The eternal God is a dwelling place."

We think of God as a separate person.
But that is just one outer form.
In essence,

God is a dwelling place.

God is something in which
we Live, and Move, and
have our Being.

Real Life is in Love.
Everything else is dust.

And the Real Law of God
is Love -- is Life -- is Him.
It is a place in which we can dwell.
All other ground is sinking sand.

Don't scold yourself
for not dwelling in Love.

Instead, be there now.

To those rich in,
or more accurately,
attached to,
things of this earth:

whether material riches,
or strongly-held beliefs,
or the thoughts and ideas of the mind,

to those whose hands
are full of any of these things,
the way into Life
is much too narrow.


In Matthew 7:13-14 (TLS),
Jesus says this:

13 Enter in at the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad, that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter it;
14 But the gate is guarded by obstacles, and the way is narrow and blocked by troubles, which leads to Life, and there are few who find it.


We hear these verses,
and generally think they mean
Jesus is the only way to God.

And He IS.

But the word "Life" comes from a root word
which means "Breath," or "Vitality."

It is a dwelling place of
Love, of Life, of
unending Peace and joy.

It is a place in which
you can not take offense.
You can not stumble.
You can not fall.

You can not become angry.
Or offended.
Or resentful.
Or self-seeking.
Or full of doubt.
Or full of fear.

In that place, you do not
TRY to not be offended,
or angry,
or selfish,
or any of these things.

Instead, you can NOT
be anything that is
outside of the Nature,
or the Law,
of God.
Of Love.
Of Peace.
Of Joy.


There are plenty of obstacles that crowd around.
And all of the obstacles are generated by the mind.

Every single one.


In John 4:24 (TLS), Jesus says this:

24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.


The word translated "Spirit" means "breath," or "a breeze."

And the word translated "Truth" means "to not be concealed."

You cannot enter in to
the dwelling place of Love
any other way.

The YOU that is not the mind.

The YOU that is not concealed
by the things of this earth,
including the forms of thought,
mental concepts, or even
beliefs.

That place is guarded by obstacles.

It is blocked by our belief in the
so-called troubles of what we call "life."

Putting your trust in Jesus
ensures you will "some day"
enter into that place.

Placing your attention
beyond the obstacles
brings you here now.

And in that place,
nothing can offend you,
nothing can upset you,
nothing can make you stumble,
nothing can make you fall.


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