The Bait of Satan, Chapter 1 - Me, Offended?
The Bait of Satan deals with the issue of personal offense. In Chapter 1, The author explains that offense is "bait" that Satan uses to try to "trap" us with. When people - especially those closest to us - wrong us in some way, we are deeply hurt and feel betrayed.
Sometimes, due to inaccurate information or miscommunication, we perceive that someone has wronged us, even though that might not actually be the case.
Either way, we are offended and if it's not dealt with we live our lives with bitterness, anger and resentment festering in our hearts.
Chapter 1 - Key Points/Bible Verses:
Luke 17:1 - "It is impossible that no offenses should come." Jesus Himself said we are going to be offended at some point in our life; there's no getting around it.
Psalm 55:12-14 - In this verse, King David cried out that the sting of betrayal from someone he was especially close to was unbearable for him. The author, John Bevere, points out that "The closer the relationship, the more severe the offense." How true that is!
2 Timothy 3:2 - In the last days, Christians will become selfish and self-centered.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 - Pride can cloud our minds and harden our hearts. It prevents us from seeing and dealing with the truth and keeps us trapped. Pride causes us to view ourselves as victims and to justify our actions.
Revelation 3:14-20 - Pride caused the Laodiceans to be deceived.
Hebrews 3:13 - If we don't deal with the offense, it will produce more fruit of sin and further harden our hearts. We need to examine our hearts and ask God to reveal it's true condition.
1 Peter 1:6-7 & Isaiah 48:10 - When gold is refined, it is put through a purifying process that uses intense heat to remove the minerals that harden it and make it unpure. As a parallel, sometimes God allows us to go through trials and tribulations so that our sins will be revealed to us. We can purify ourselves through repentance.
Revelation 3:18 - We need to open our eyes and see the true condition of our hearts and stop blaming others. The author states: "Often when we are offended we see ourselves as victims and blame those who have hurt us." The truth will bring us freedom.
Day 1 and Day 2 - Devotionals:
Days 1 & 2, in the devotional at the back of the book, cover Chapter 1 of The Bait of Satan.
In the following list of the fruit of offense, circle the feelings you have experienced when offended in the past:
I circled: hurt, anger, bitterness, resentment, & hatred.
List 5 (with 1 being the closest, & 5 being the most distant relationship) the names of 5 people who have offended you:
I ended up actually listing 9 people who I've felt a deep offense with at some point in my life. While I am on good terms with about half the people on my list and believe that I have worked through forgiveness with them, I recognize that I still hold some degree of bitterness and resentment towards several of them.
Write a prayer asking God for help and wisdom to avoid the bait of Satan.
Dear Father, please open my eyes and give me wisdom. Help me to use compassion when dealing with people and situations that could cause offense. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Read 1 Peter 1:6-7 and then summarize how God purifies us:
He purifies us by allowing us to go through trials and tribulations that test our faith.
Think about your own life. What are the impurities in your heart that are hindering the character of God from growing in your life?
Impatience, irritation, resentment, bitterness.
Write a prayer repenting of blaming others and asking the Lord to give you eyes to see the condition of your heart.
Dear Father, Please forgive me for the times that I have blamed others for situations and offenses that I should have taken responsibility for my part in. Help me to examine my heart and reveal to me it's true condition. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Chapter 1 - My Thoughts
I think the author, John Bevere, is on to something here. In reflecting upon my own life, I can see that it is very easy for me to allow myself to get offended over minor things or make negative assumptions.
Just recently I went through a situation where I had called someone and left a voice message for them to call me back. A week later, I hadn't heard back, so I sent them a text message with the question I had for them. A few days later, I hadn't gotten a reply, so I emailed them. At that point, I was starting to get annoyed and frustrated.
It turned out that the person was just really busy. They did get back to me shortly after I emailed them and everything was fine, but it's easy to see how a simple situation like that can cause offense. Satan uses situations such as this to plant seeds of doubt in my mind. It's easy to start questioning my relationship with that person and start making assumptions.
What is your perception of what we've learned so far in The Bait of Satan? Do you struggle with offense on a daily basis? Are there people that you have been holding onto offense with for more than 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
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