Sunday, October 18, 2015

beware the bitter root

 Luke 6:45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

What is in your heart is what comes out of you.  It is what you speak of and act on.  The things of your heart motivate and control you.

About three years ago God showed me the following:
I saw a man in with arms outstretched.  I saw a thing that began to take root in a heart of a man. It was as a small thread attached to heart and burrowed in and out. This vine-like thread began to plant itself to suction from the life of the man. This thread began to grow and gain strength. It became longer, wrapping around the man, enclosing his arms, legs and body. The vine trapped him and held him. When the man wanted to reach out to hold his family, to serve another, to do anything that God was asking, he was unable to accomplish much and as the vine continued to grow, he was less capable and more trapped.
I felt great concern and began to sorrow for the man. I identified with him. I asked God “what does this mean?” “Help him!” God again spoke to my heart. “Bitter roots begin slowly, taking deep roots. Then wrap around a person, slowly taking away their ability to reach out in love, to deeply care and to do the ministry asked of them. The ability to be an effective light of God, effective sharer of God’s love, and effective worker for Christ has been slowly taken.”

Bitterness destroys a man or woman and the relationships they have.  Bitterness causes anger, hatred and depression to thrive. Feelings of hurt and suspicion take precedence. This is exactly opposite of what God wants for his children.  I have found several verses that speak to this very thing.

Acts 8:22-24
22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

· Romans 3:13-1513 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”[a]“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[b]14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[c]15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

· Ephesians 4:30-32
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you

· Hebrews 12:14-15 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

· James 3:13-1513 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic

I know there are times that is would be so easy to allow hurt to take over and live in it.  I find I may find bits of this in my own heart.  I may choose to not talk to someone because of the hurt I feel they caused. I may avoid that hurt again. I am allowing hurt and unforgiveness to dictate to me how I should act.
I am a bit disappointed to myself that I have allowed my heart to harbor any hurt or bitterness.  This is actually described as poison. I do not want to partake of this poison.
God has called us to get rid of all of this.  We must forgive, really forgive.  Not for the other person, but for our own well being.  I recently listened to a missionary speak of a young lady who forgave the very people who had abused her, prayed for them and brought them to Christ. That is getting rid of all bitterness and true forgiveness.  I hear people say this alot. "I forgive them, but..."  I have even uttered that very phrase.  True forgiveness carries no conditions.  It does not hold back on love and compassion. Jonah went to Ninevah and preached his doomsday message.  He sat on the hillside to watch the destruction and gloat.  When God responded with mercy and forgiveness, Jonah was angry.  God reminded him that he was no more worthy of mercy and yet, God had shown him mercy.  He reminded Jonah that God is just and God is love.  God is faithful and willing to forgive those who repent.  He is not willing that any perish.  His main goal for sending Jonah with the message was to bring them to a place of repentance.  He accepted them back, had compassion on them and completely forgave them: unconditionally.  He did not forgive with a but at the end.
I am tired of bitterness dictating my life.  I am tired of finding it lurking in the corners of my heart to be stirred up at the slightest bit of hurt, strife or discontent.  I want to have a so full of God's love and compassion that there is no room for any other thing to fit.  I want a heart that dictates true love from God to control my thoughts, words and actions.  I must get rid of any bitterness, rage, anger, slander, brawling, any form of malice.  I must be kind, compassionate and forgiving.  I must have a heart that is filled with God's love only . Lord help me cleanse me heart and fill it with only you. Remove any thing that can produce a root of bitterness.

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