Summary: Bitterness can be very destructive, we must be able to deal with it through Christ!
• PC VIDEO CLIP SEABISCUIT
• SLIDE #1
• As we continue examining how to deal with some of the dark emotions we face in life, today we will look at another emotion that can cause a lot of problems if we do not learn to cope with it.
• The issue of bitterness is something that has destroyed many families, many careers and many lives.
• I would imagine that each one of here this morning can think of a situation in which a root of bitterness has been allowed to take root in a person’s life, and I bet we could tell stories about the devastating effects bitterness caused.
• I would imagine there are some here today who are struggling with this issues.
• If we allow bitterness to take root in our life, we run the danger of letting it control our life.
• We will unfold Hebrews 12:14-15 together this morning in an effort to better understand how we can deal with bitterness and the damage that allowing bitterness to overtake our life can have.
• Let us begin in trek this morning by turning to Hebrews 12:14-15
• SLIDE #2
• Hebrews 12:14–15 (ESV) 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
• Before we look at the negative effects of bitterness let us first…
• SLIDE #3
I. Focus on positive pursuits.
• Life is about what you focus on. We have to make a decision as to what we are going to focus on.
• Will we put all of our focus on what makes us bitter or will we focus on what makes us better?
• In our clip this morning, Red the jockey was so filled with bitterness he lost focus on why he was on the track.
• When we get consumed with bitterness we too will lose focus as to why we are on the track of life.
• So what does the Hebrew writer suggest we focus on in order to be better instead of bitter?
• SLIDE #4
A. Pursue peace with all.
• Verse 14 encourages us to STRIVE for peace with everyone.
• To STRIVE means to make EVERY EFFORT.
• Peace is an inner tranquility and poise of the Christian whose trust is in God through Jesus.
• In personal relationships it is an absence of conflict, a harmony.
• "Peace" is more than the absence of fighting; it is a state of well-being.
• If we are focused on being bitter, we cannot experience inner peace nor can we experience relational peace with those around us.
• People will hurt us, they will make us mad, they will frustrate us, but one of the marks of a Christian is the ability to pursue peace with others.
• SLIDE #5
• Romans 12:18 (ESV) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
• Jesus speaks a lot on the subject of peace. Too many times we are not willing to pursue peace because someone has hurt us or we are just angry at them to the point we do not even want to be in the same room with them.
• Before we jump to the next pursuit take note that both pursuits are tied together with the word AND.
• This indicates that the failure on our part to pursue peace means an absence from the presence of the Lord.
• The pursuit of peace is very important to God. One can justify all they want as to why they refuse to obey God in this area, but the bottom line is NO PEACE with man equals no peace with God.
• The next important positive pursuit is …
• SLIDE #6
B. Pursue holiness.
• This means that we need to focus on being dedicated to Jesus.
• We are called to focus on Spiritual growth. This is to be a continual thing.
• We are called to pursue it during our whole life.
• To do this we must submit ourselves to the Spirit’s guidance in our life.
• If we are focusing on bitterness, we CANNOT be focused on be set aside as a vessel to be used by God.
• SLIDE #7
• 1 Peter 1:16 (ESV) since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
• Holiness has to do with our loving God. It speaks of the pure, obedient, holy life we live set apart for God’s glory, because of that love. When we love Him, we will want to be like Him, and when we are like Him, others will see Him in us and be attracted to Him. Love toward men and love toward God are inseparable.