CPFUMC

News and views of the First United Methodist Church in Cross Plains, Texas

Sunday, October 22, 2006

NO BITTER ROOT GROWS

I hope that you have checked progress on the parsonage. It will have a distinctive color metal roof that looks good. I hope it will progress more rapidly, but I am sure there is a labor shortage in CP and we have to move as fast as labor is available. The church building committee hopes to choose a contractor by October 30.

I wanted to share the following devotional from my Saturday reading with you. It struck a note with me.

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many" (Hebrews 12:15).


Bitterness and a bitter spirit should never characterize a person who has experienced the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. No matter how seriously one may have been wronged, if he has known God's forgiving grace for his own wrongdoings, he should manifest that same grace in his life toward others, even though they do not merit it (for neither did he merit God's forgiving grace himself).

Bitterness is a characteristic of the ungodly "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness" (R0mans 3:14). A Christian must never try to rationalize it as "righteous indignation" or to think that certain injustices give him the "right" to be bitter and resentful. "If ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish" (James 3:14-15). Rotted bitterness will soon "spring up," not only robbing the bitter believer of joy and true fruitfulness, but bearing bitter fruit whereby many others will "be defiled".

The antidote, of course, is never to "fail of the grace of God." That is, we need to be "looking diligently" moment by moment, at the wonderful grace of God by which we weere saved through faith and in which we continue to live each day. Therefore, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31-32). Otherwise, we not only hurt both ourselves and others, but we also grieve "the Holy Spirit of God" (v30).
Written by Henry M. Morris

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