“Roots of Bitterness or Love” 3/31/2014

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Ephesians 4:31-32… Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV)

The root system of a plant is what feeds the plant nourishment and moisture from the soil, in order to grow strong… One would typically say that deep roots are always a good thing for vegetation, right ?? The deeper the root, the better… WRONG !! How about the roots of a dandelion ?? Trying to pull these pesky weeds out of your lawn is almost an impossible task, if they have been left to grow deep roots and fully mature…

The Christian life can also be associated with roots… In fact, we see the word root used throughout the Bible, to describe both good as well as bad situations in the life of humans… Going all the way back to the Book of Deuteronomy, we see a warning for those whose heart might be turned away from the Lord to serve other gods… “that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood;” taken from…Deuteronomy 29:18b…

And then we see the promise of the Lord enacted, for those sinners who did go and worship other gods, in…Deuteronomy 29:28… ‘And the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’ (NKJV)

We see the apostle Paul using the word root, when warning his protégé Timothy about desiring to be rich, in…1 Timothy 6:9-10… But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (NKJV)

As Christians, one of the hardest roots to rid oneself of is the deep seated root of bitterness…which can stem (no pun intended) from several sins listed in the Bible… Some of these sins would include anger, resentment, jealousy, hatred, rage, and envy… We see the writer of Hebrews use the word root to warn us about the sin of bitterness, in…Hebrews 12:14-15… Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; (NKJV)

A few verses back from the opening scripture, the apostle Paul gives us good advice about any anger or wrath we encounter, by quickly dealing with anger, so as not to let it develop into bitterness… Bitterness, if not dealt with immediately, can fester…growing roots over time that may never be completely removed… How many people do you know (especially with-in families) that haven’t spoken to each other in perhaps years, because of a deep rooted bitterness that has been left to grow… Here is this important teaching scripture by the apostle Paul for all of us to consider…

Ephesians 4:25-27… Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. (NKJV)

Friends, I can tell you from a personal standpoint that you will always be better off not letting anger get the best of you…even if you were justified in being angry… Jesus tells us that we as His redeemed children should be able to love even our enemy, in… Matthew 5:43-44… “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,” (NKJV)

I can personally testify that being able to love someone who is screaming in your face, cannot be accomplished in our own strength… It is only the Spirit filled Christian, who by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, is able to love even the unlovable… Jesus teaches us a few verses earlier, that it is best to settle our differences quickly, even if it means self-sacrifice to solve a dispute, in…

Matthew 5:25… Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. (NKJV)

The apostle Paul gives us much the same advice in…Romans 12:17-19… Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. (NKJV)

Take careful note of this scripture penned by the apostle Paul… God gives us free will to choose between glorifying Him by returning wrath in your face with love…or responding to aggression or anger in your face with an evil response… As I said before, showing love in the face of wrath (where others would respond with anger), is a love that only Christ with-in us (Colossians 1:27) with the Holy Spirit in total control of our response, can possibly accomplish…

This supernatural love is explained in one of my favorite pieces of scripture about the power of Christ’s love with-in the believer, as penned by the apostle Paul, in…

Ephesians 3:16-19… that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (NKJV)

This supernatural love, which is expressed in the face of wrath, is indeed…a love which “passes knowledge”… because we could not respond to wrath with this “Christ like” love, in our own mortal strength… This kind of love can only be achieved by the Christian who is indeed “rooted and grounded in love”…and Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) as a Christian who is filled with the love of Christ…

Love is only one of the 9 Spiritual fruit that should be growing in the life of the believer, as listed by the apostle Paul in…Galatians 5:22-23… But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (NKJV)

But for the believer to grow in spiritual maturity, as they are being conformed more day by day into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29), I believe its take time in the Word, time daily in fervent prayer, becoming part of a local body of believers in a church that preaches and is centered around the gospel of Christ, and a desire to become and remain, a disciple of Jesus Christ… I spent a day writing about how Jesus Himself describes a true disciple of Christ, that can be found @ http://www.Godsmanforever.com by typing 11/18/2013 into the search window…

Heavenly Father, I pray that Your Word would be used to draw people to Yourself, as eyes are opened and minds become attuned to the truth from Your Word… I pray Lord, that any deep rooted bitterness with-in us can be looked upon in the light of Christ…and that we seek a reconciliation with those around us that have been lost to this deep rooted sin of bitterness… Help us Lord to become “rooted and grounded in love”, which will cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), so that You may be glorified through our actions and our deeds… I pray for this fullness of Christ in all of our lives, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

Blessings in Christ, bruce r mills

About Godsmanforever

I present posts about God's Word, with a personal focus on how God's grace is received through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ... Sinners must understand and obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ... See this link for more... https://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/
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