A White Christmas, Dec 16, 2012

Isa. 1:18 (NLT) – God wants to make our hearts white as snow – specifically in the area of forgiveness
– offended – Matt 24:10 (NKJV)
– an offense is meant to trap you, not the other person. Satan uses offenses as the bait for the trap.
– you can’t avoid offenses (Luke 17:1, Prov. 18:19)
– we get offended when we feel:
  1. betrayed (1 Tim. 2:13)
  2. falsely accused – gossiped against, trapped, etc.
  3. rejected – “The sick and poor suffer even more from rejection than material want. Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” Mother Teresa
  4. abused – emotional abuse can be even more painful than physical abuse
  5. humiliated – to cause (a person) a painful loss of pride, self-respect, or dignity; mortify, debase
– Jesus experienced all five of these offenses (Heb. 2:17-18 MSG) but didn’t take the bait.
– we need to see offenses through Jesus’ eyes (1 Peter 4:1 NCV)
– what was Jesus’ way of thinking? (Luke 23:24, Phil. 2:5)
– three things to be on the road to a white Christmas:
  1. remember, I need forgiveness too (Rom. 3:23)
    – you will never have to forgive people any more than what God had to forgive you (Matt. 10:8)
    – if you are going to be on the receiving end, then you need to be on the giving end. Choices lead, feelings follow.
  3. refocus on the real enemy (Eph. 6:12)
  4. receive God’s love (1 John 4:19-21)
    – receiving love gives you the capacity to love