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February 22, 2021 1:00 am
It’s like a cancer that spreads everywhere in the body. Bitterness can destroy your joy and make you quite unpleasant to be around. Let’s examine the roots of bitterness and see how to uproot it from your life for good.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Looking to Jesus. It's like a cancer that spreads everywhere in the body, bitterness, and destroy your joy make you unpleasant to be around today. We uncovered the bitterness and tell how to get from your life church in Chicago this morning with Dr. Sir clear teaching helps us make it cross the finish line 3rd. A lot of families have been destroyed by bitterness. So we all need to hear today's message you're calling. Just as this message is being asked.
I can't help but think that there are many people who want to get on the phone call their friends ask them to listen because I suppose that one of the greatest things as you've already mentioned the tears families apart is bitterness refusing to lay it down.
Meanwhile, I want to thank the many of our friends who pray for us regularly. We are dependent upon you were also dependent upon those who continue to support this ministry. I want to put an idea in your mind and at the end of this broadcast all also give you the contact information. Once again, would you consider becoming an endurance partner.
Those are people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and thanks in advance for helping us together. We are making a difference, but for now let us open God's word and deal honestly with the sin that besets many people and many families.
So I began today with a question. How is your conscience doing this happens to be number eight in a series of messages entitled the power of a clear conscience and their ways that you can test your conscience are key versus found in first Timothy chapter 1 verse five where it says the aim of our instruction is love that flows from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
So let me ask you how is your love quotient on a scale of 1 to 10, how are you loving and did you love this week. Where are you on that scale. Another way we can test our conscience is to ask the joy meter. How is it doing on a scale of 1 to 10 how is your joy today and how is it been this past week. The power of a clear conscience we can think of a conscience as the window to the soul and you and I know that when a window gets IG when it gets dirt thrown onto it like light is hampered, and in the very same way when their smudge on our conscience when we have a defiled conscience. The light does not get through very well. There are many reasons why people live with a very restless heart, a restless conscience.
One reason may be because of anxiety and there are plenty of things to be anxious about another is because of guilt and as you know many messages in this series of messages dealt specifically with guilt as it relates to our relationship with God. But there's another reason and that reason is bitterness and I don't believe that it's possible to have a clear conscience that is free of all fans unless we deal with the bitterness that may be lurking within our hearts and that's what were going to do today.
You know the Bible says in the book of Hebrews and I won't turn to the passage but it says in Hebrews chapter 12 beware lest there be in you a root of bitterness that springs up, and many people the defiled two very important things about bitterness. First of all, it has roots very deep roots. Some of you today are struggling with bitterness, but because you are brought up in an abusive home. You had parents who shouted at you, perhaps abused you, yes you, you know there was alcoholism there was disarray and so within your heart. There is a great deal of resentment and a great deal of bitterness with very deep root out the farm. One of the things we learned is that if we want to pluck up a weed. We can't just cut it off. We have to get to the roots and today by God's help, I want to show you even I believe how you can deal with the very root of bitterness. So that's one thing we learned the other thing is that it spreads that you ever voted bitterness and thereby many people be defiled. May I remind you of a very basic truth and that is that whatever you don't forgive and lay down. You will pass on. That's why children brought up in these kinds of homes where there has been abuse of one kind or another.
They spread it to the next generation and the next generation to the next generation. Whatever you don't lay down and forgive your always passing on even if you don't think you are. That's why the title of this message is lay it down and I'm going to give you instructions as to how to do that now IL listed as I was thinking about the various kinds of situations that need forgiveness for came to mind. There are many more but let me simply give you these for the first thing that I thought it was indeed to be brought up by abusive parents and you'll notice that in my notes I talk about four different kings. Hezekiah was a good king. He has a son whose name is Manasses Manasses does more evil than all the other kings with him, and then Manasseh has a son named Amnon who was also evil follows in the train of his father and then suddenly boom there is Josiah, whose father was Amnon, what do we learn from that story of the Old Testament will very briefly. One thing that we learned is that good parents sometimes have evil son.
Good parents sometimes have evil sons, but the lesson I want you to take home from it is here you have a good son with very evil parents do you know what Manasseh did. Manasses sacrificed one of his sons to the pagan God mode like how would you like to have a grandfather who sacrificed one of his sons to the pagan God, you have a father who does essentially the same thing follows in his father's footsteps and now you're the son, and you have Josiah follow the Lord from my heart to yours today. You do not need to be defined by who your parents were. You can break the cycle and will give you help on how that can be done.
So yes so first of all we have to forgive parents the time. Secondly, we have to forgive us siblings. I think of the story of Jacob and Esau were going to skip that story except to say that here are twins and Jacob tells lies, he tells lies to the father, whom he thinks he is is dying, he steals from his brother and there had to be forgiveness. We must hurry on and that is to talk about unfaithful relationships in marriage in the Old Testament there is the book of Hosea and Hosea is asked to marry a woman who turns out to be a prostitute and and then she after she's married.
She goes from lover to lover and eventually she ends up as a slave and she's auctioned off to the highest bidder and Hosea attends the auction and he out bids everybody.
The Bible says that he bought her back for 15 shekels of silver, and a bushel and 1/2 of barley. Now imagine that were not saying in a moment that you and I need to follow Hosea that was a very special assignment God had for him except to take hope in this sense that it is possible, even for marriages to survive on faithfulness. Now you say well how do we reconcile. I'm so glad that you're thinking of these things because the next message in this series is probably going to be the most important.
As I outlined the whole business of reconciliation. When do you need to reconcile what you need to confess when were going to try to work our way through that interesting scenario. But here's the point. Even on faithfulness can be forgiven and couples can move on but number four I think is the most important in my illustrations and that is anger toward God. Second Samuel chapter 6. We won't turn to it that they are bringing the ark back to Jerusalem. They put it on a cart. The card is going along the oxen are pulling it, they stumble in a man by the name of whose studies the ark of God and God strikes him down. The Bible says David was angry he was angry. He said he was. Not only afraid of the Lord, but he was angry.
He was so angry. He said God I'm paraphrasing, of course, as to what I think he was thinking God if that's the way you're going to do things undone and not bring the ark, so they took the ark somewhere else. I mean, you know, if that's the way you're going to deal and and overreact sure that they all thought it was an overreaction. It really wasn't because they weren't carrying the ark the way in which God had prescribed Davidson the undone upbringing to Jerusalem now. Eventually David got over it because very interestingly, a couple of months later, he does bring the ark back and he brings it back in the proper way that God asked it to be carried, but frequently in the Psalms you have.
David angry with God and he needs to forgive God.
Now I know that when we talk about that we have to put forgiveness."
Because, strictly speaking, God doesn't need forgiveness, but I am absolutely certain that throughout this large crowd in the larger crowd that is watching or listening that there are many many people who need to lay down their bitterness and their anger toward God.
In fact I would say that virtually all other anger ultimately is traceable to anger against God anger because of his lack of care right here the front here at the Moody Church. I remember distinctly a woman coming up to me she was angry and she was crying and she saying you want me to believe and to trust God and God is my heavenly father, I was abused when I was a child.
What kind of a father would watch that going on and do nothing about it and God could've done something he didn't do a thing. How can I believe anger because of lack of care. Anger also because of my refusal to answer prayer. Here you have a young pastor and I'm talking about a situation that happened long ago dying of cancer is whole church prays, oh God, please helium God doesn't deal in one woman said I'm never going to bother God about another request. Again, why should I if he didn't heal that young man after all that prayer I mean I don't want to be heard again. I'm out of here. Have a good day. God I'm going a different direction, then you have issues such as physical and mental limitations.
Perhaps a physical genetic problem could be blindness. It could be the inability to be able to walk. It could be some very debilitating disease and you say why can't I be like everybody else. I mean, why did God give me this card. This is the card that I have been dealt in at the root of it all is anger toward God and we say to ourselves. I'm not following him. Look at what he did or look at what he didn't do now.
This could be a separate message but I have a word for you today if that's where you're at if that's why you may be backslidden, you may not be in fellowship with the Lord today because you feel that God has dealt you unfairly, may I simply remind you that your ability to believe and to trust God in the midst of that these circumstances brings about great faith and great honor but also, let me give you a word that could be transforming. Elizabeth Elliott said this acceptance brings peace. Would you lay it down.
We don't understand God's ways.
I like the King James translation of the 23rd chapter 33 are actually of the book of Job were alike.
Why do spouse fry against the Almighty, he giveth, not account of this matter, God's not telling us all of his hidden purposes, but don't strive against God. No matter your dilemma and what will happen when you accept that and bow to the sovereignty of the Almighty God will begin to pour grace into your soul.
Just like he did David send some of the Psalms were David would almost lash out at God where are you deceived, as said the prophet Jeremiah. You said one thing and you did another and what did God do in the midst of all of these kinds of attitudes when they accepted it and bowed. He poured grace into their souls and he will do that for you to if you're angry with God. So we mentioned abusive parents, we have mentioned also siblings marital relationship and anger toward God, and now all of you who have a Bible or a cell phone or an iPad. I want you to take your Bibles and were going to deal with some issues here today so let's get right into the text Ephesians chapter 4 Ephesians chapter 4 were the apostle Paul deals with this and then will give you some specific instructions. Ephesians 4 verse 25 says, put away all falsehood the truth with your neighbor when angry, do not sin. Don't let the sun go down upon your anger and I don't give the devil an opportunity. Top cost. Don't give him a foot in the door. That's the idea because you give them a foot in the door and he'll take over the whole room and now he becomes very very specific verse 29 let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as good for building up, as may fit the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear and don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God you're here today with resentment, anger and bitterness you're grieving the blessed Holy Spirit and that tells me that your conscience is not entirely clear. No Christian can grieving the spirit and have a clear conscience and that's what were after. And then it says this let all bitterness and wrath, anger, clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice is saying lay it down.
Let's look at these words bitterness same word that is used in the book of Hebrews of root of bitterness then wrath that word refers to outbursts of anger. It's like a bullion up I just tell people what I think and so you fly off the handle and you discipline a child and you beat the child and then maybe later on you say well I'm sorry let's move on. Something is lost its whole kind of anger. The next word that he uses actually is the word wrath. I should have said wrath refers to the pitbull kind of anger anger which is mentioned here in the text is more passive. It's more like a cobra. It's the anger of the soul, but it's well under control, but everybody knows that you're essentially an and you may pride yourself and why never said anything bad I just kept my mouth shut, but you are seething and anyone around you is picking up all of these vibes and in little ways that anger leaks out in your relationship with your children with your mate with your family.
Whatever. And many people thereby are defiled, I could get some illustrations but we must move on clamor is public outbursts, slander is to defame someone and then the malice why Paul just lays one term on another and another and another. It's as if the apostle Paul is saying I am making sure that nobody is going to have any wiggle room on this and then he says put it away, put it away and I'm saying another way to say put it away is lay it down lay it down.
Now let me begin before I give you some specific instruction by saying the reason that we come to a message like this with all of our preconceived notions and all of our rationalizations. Is this we say well I can't let you down.
I can minimize what that person did to me. Let me remind you that when you lay it down. You're not minimizing what that person did that person may be miles away from you, and yet controlling your life and destroying you and that's why the Bible says you don't have to do the vengeance God will take care of that. That's what Jesus said when he was betrayed and when he was mistreated when he was reviled did not revile in return but committed himself on to him who judges Jesus said all of these attacks. I'm getting over to my father because I'm going to trust him to deal with it and he still hasn't dealt with it. Those issues will finally be dealt with in the day of resurrection and judgment in Jesus that I'm fine with that. Blessed are you, my dear sister and my brother and my teenager. Blessed are you if you're fine with that too. You are not minimize the evil that was done now there's some counselors and I've heard them say what you don't have to forgive until you feel like well quote the words that is not very theological luck good luck you're never going feel like now were going to give you some specific instruction and this is a message you know that you need to take home. One of the disappointments for those of us who preach is the realization that there are many people who listen to say what was interesting and they may leave and they may think about it again during the week and the ones twice. It may come back to them. But basically the message is left at church. This is not a message that you can leave here at the church and profit from it. This is the kind of message where when you go home you find a quiet place and if you say there is no such thing where I go, then God will give you one and where you are at least an hour or two with God and you say this is our time together over God and what were going to do is to deal with the root issues and up from the roots, with God's help, the root of bitterness which springs up thereby many people are defiled, my friend, this is Pastor Luther so I have to ask you the question, what is your response to this message is God talk to you. You understand the importance of what it means for us to deal with our own personal issues, not only because of the family, but because of our own well being. I trust that God will use this message to that and let me share something with you that is very exciting thanks to the many people who support this media ministry running to win is actually in three different languages English, of course, but also Spanish throughout Central and South America but also in Arabic throughout the Middle East now. Can anything be more exciting than this.
We received a report from someone in the Middle East who said how wonderful to know that God wanted to save me from my sins and the punishment that I deserve. How wonderful that someone can know that he is love no matter what I want to be called a Christian and live as one, my friend.
That makes everything worth it. Every investment every effort and you can become a part of stories just like that by becoming a running to win partner by becoming an endurance partner. These are people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts and here's what you do to get more info go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com when you're there.
By the way, click on the endurance partner button and it'll explain what were talking about, or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 remember every testimony that we receive is a testimony to your investment in this ministry go to RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life to let go, bitterness means forgiving those who have wronged you next time. The practical side of forgiving people when in our own hearts just can't do it. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church