Church of the Open Door

September 1, 2019 – Unity Amidst Bitterness by Pastor Duane Adler

Unity Amidst Bitterness

Hebrews 12:1-17

Bitterness is the only substance in the universe that destroys the container that holds it.

The Killer Root: Bitterness

  1. Bitterness is a weed that can choke out everything good in our lives
  2. Bitterness starts when we hold onto hurts
  3. Bitterness progresses to strategies to dull the pain
  4. Bitterness ends up creating life-dominating problems
  5. Bitterness is uprooted when we forgive the offender and confess our own sin (if we have sinned too)

The result of bitterness is disaster, descension, division, and disunity.

Six harms that bitterness will bring to your life:

  1. Bitterness will Devastate your Life Spiritually
  2. Bitterness will Destroy you Physically
  3. Bitterness will Discourage you Emotionally
  4. Bitterness will Divide the Church
  5. Bitterness will Defile your Relationships
  6. Bitterness will Deprive you of the Blessings

Five ways in which we can prevent bitterness:

  1. The Strengthening (v12)
  2. The Smoothing (v13)
  3. The Serenity (v14)
  4. The Sanctification (v14)
  5. The Shepherding (v15)

Frequently the enemy entices Christians to harbor an unforgiving spirit – a very common symptom indeed among God’s children. Such bitterness and fault-finding and enmity inflict a severe blow upon spiritual life.
– Watchman Nee

Acrid bitterness inevitably seeps into the lives of people who harbor grudges and suppress anger, and bitterness is always a poison. It keeps your pain alive instead of letting you deal with it and get beyond it. Bitterness sentences you to relive the hurt over and over.
– Lee Strobel

Until we taste the bitterness of our own misery, we will never relish the sweetness of God’s mercy. Until we see how foul our sins have made us, we will never pay our tribute of praise to Christ for washing us… If you would know the heart of your sin, then you must know the sins of your heart!
– William Secker

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