- Category: Pastor's Blog
For me, one of the most interesting accounts of the last supper includes the passage where Jesus reveals that a betrayer is among them, “Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” And another said, “Is it I?” (Mark 14:18-19) “NKJV” This was a room full of men acquainted with their weaknesses and honest enough to admit it. That sort of humility is rare and should be a byproduct of sanctification; even still it’s uncommon.
As we enter into week five, our second to last week on overcoming bitterness, my hope is that you will humbly ask yourself the same question the disciples did, “Is it I?” Surely by now you have begun to evaluate your own patterns of thinking, and if you have identified even a smidgen of bitterness, I trust you have a desire to address it.
A thought life that produces bitterness is not easily dismissed in a simple repent and move on kind of way; it’s a process. What we’re going to be talking about today is not for the weak-kneed. In order to overcome bitterness, you are going to need to be brutally honest with yourself and ruthless with your thought life. Let me just lay it out there: if you’re bitter you’ve sinned and are still in sin. Every time you revisit the hurts of the past and rekindle those feelings, you’re sinning. Every time you judge the motives of others based on your bitterness, it’s sin. Every time you refuse to trust others you are refusing to trust God who allowed the circumstances that caused your bitterness. Of course, bitterness has other unintended consequences, all the fruits of which are sinful. So there you go, I said it. Now some might say, “Way to grow the church, Pastor,” (I’m grinning) but these are the truths that set people free. This IS the reason Christ came and died for us!
As you prepare your heart for this Sunday's message I encourage you to hang on to this reminder from the book of Hebrews, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11) “NKJV” As you read that you may be asking yourself this question, “What are you saying, Pastor? Are you going to chastise me today?” My answer is a resounding NO! That’s not my job. However, if the word of God has that effect on you, what can I say but take your medicine and pray for fruit!