Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.  Hebrews 12:14–15 (NLT)

Bitterness is the result of , anger and built up over .

It’s an root that produces fruit.

THREE SIGNS OF UNRESOLVED ANGER

SIGN #1: and .

SIGN #2: .

SIGN #3: attack.

HOW DO WE KILL THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS?

the of your bitterness.

Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.  Ephesians 5:11 (NLT)

Give up your claim to and .

Get to the of the .

BOTTOM LINE: A bitter produces bitter .

THE CHALLENGE: Identify the .

 

When you think about suffering, what comes to mind? Do you envision bedraggled children with distended stomachs, a hospital patient hooked up to life-sustaining medical equipment, or a courageous veteran dealing with the aftermath of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Adversity seems to be a common denominator to human existence, but what does the Bible have to say about suffering?

Jesus spoke to His disciples about suffering. One of the most well-known verses reads, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 ESV). The Greek word for cross in this verse is staurós. It refers to the crossbeam which the lowest criminals carried as they trudged toward their execution. The cross symbolized degradation and indescribable pain as well as sacrifice.

While the invitation to eternal life is free, it comes at a price–certain suffering.

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ 

“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”Luke 18:9–14 (NLT)  

Jesus wasn’t just concerned about and ; He was also concerned about and . 

We don’t change people by them, but by them. 

Yourself (or humbled) 

BOTTOM LINE: 

Jesus didn’t call us to only be . He called us to be

CHALLENGE: 

“Do I have my own ‘thank God I’m not like them’ list? And if so, who’s on it?”

x