“Watch out that no…bitterness grows up.”
Heb 12:15 NLT
Betrayal is something others do to you; bitterness is something you do to yourself. It’s impossible to go through life without being hurt. It may be an unfaithful mate, an employee who slanders you, or a boss who fires you without explanation. Sitting at supper with His disciples, Jesus said, “One of you will betray me” (Mk 14:18 NIV). Shortly after that, Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. Some folks will kiss you today and kick you tomorrow. But Jesus refused to become bitter. That’s because He knew Judas’ kiss would usher His into His destiny. Nor did Jesus turn His back on Peter when he denied Him. Instead, Peter was the only one He mentioned by name when He arranged to meet His disciples for breakfast following the resurrection. Jesus saw people, in the light of their potential, not their problems. What they were at that moment didn’t keep Him from seeing what they would become when His grace touched their lives. And you must be that way too.
This is why Paul wrote: “Get rid of all bitterness…instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Eph 4:31-31 NLT). So eliminate any words of bitterness from your conversation. Stop rehearsing the details of your past unless it’s to teach and encourage others to rise above theirs. How often do you revisit your old issues? What are you doing to make sure no bitterness remains in your heart? God says, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing” (Isa 43:18-19 NKJV).
“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.”
2 Pe 3:18 NKJV
First, make up your mind. Spiritual growth doesn’t happen by osmosis. You don’t just wake up with it one morning, you have to set your heart on it and make it your highest priority. Otherwise it won’t happen. The Bible says, “Let not that man suppose he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (Jas 1:7 NKJV).
Second, break up your will.Until your will is surrendered to God and brought into alignment with His purposes, you will go in circles spiritually. Israel went in circles in the wilderness for forty years, yet they were only eleven miles from the Promised Land. Don’t let that happen to you. “Now may the God of peace…make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight” (Heb 13:20-21 NKJV).
Third, wake up your faith. Obey the leadings of God’s Spirit. Don’t be afraid, He will not let you down. Just make sure you don’t let Him down. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is…a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6 NKJV).
Fourth, take up your cross. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Mt 16:24-25 NKJV). If you’re serious about building a relationship with the Lord do these four things.
“No,one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit”
1 Co 12:3 NKJV
Making Jesus “Lord” of your life means that He must have the first and last word in all things that concern you. It means you are called to walk with Him, to prove yourself valuable to Him, to please Him and do what He wants, when He wants it, and in the way He wants it done. Here are three great benefits that come from putting Jesus behind the wheel and making Him “Lord”.
“I will…tell you…things you do not know.”
Jer 33:3 NIV
In tough times we’ve a tendency to lower our expectations. As a result we end up settling for less than God wants. The Bible asks, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Ge 18:14 NKJV). Now it’s easy to answer, “No!” But what you do next proves whether or not you actually believe that. Jesus said: “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (Jn 13:17 NKJV). To walk in God’s blessing every day you must do what He tells you. And He may tell you to do something different! The problem is, we get attached to the familiar, you limit God. He’s much greater than any proven method, and He’s never predictable. His Word says, “Call to me and I will…tell you…things you do not know.” The Living Bible says, “I will tell you some remarkable secrets about what is going to happen.” What an offer! When God decided that Moses would lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses never questioned God’s ability, he just questioned whether God could do it through him. What was God’s answer when Moses complained that he wasn’t an articulate speaker? “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (Ex 4:12 NIV). God is neither enhanced by your strengths nor inhibited by your struggles. There’s more He wants to do through you than what you’ve experienced so far. So have high expectations of God and respond in faith to whatever He tells you.
“God…will fufill his purpose for [you].”
Ps 57:2 NLT
If you’ve been praying for God to send you the right partner, or for a better job, or to change the heart of a rebellious kid, remember, whether He changes the situation or changes you, He “will fulfill his purpose for [you].” God sees the big picture, and He loves you so much that He works out “all things for good in your life” (See Ro 8:28). One author writes” “It’s hard to make sense of life’s challenges when you’re in the middle…you’re too tired, your perspective’s limited…you don’t have the strength or vision to do this on your own…’
Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding’ (Pr 3:5 GWT) means letting go of floundering attempts to manipulate people, circumstances, or timing… and reins to the One who knows the way. Think about it; if you knew what you were doing, would you be in the mess? We talk about waiting on God. But He also waits on us…until we’re ready to receive…until we appreciate what we’re asking for…until we’ve made sufficient preparations in our heart…until we’re free from resentment and discontent…until our maturity level is appropriate and our understanding elevated…Sometimes He waits until we think He’s forgotten us just to test and grow our faith…Remember, ‘With the Lord a day is like a thousand years’ (2 Pe 3:8 NIV).
Eternity is His backdrop…and He can solve a problem in a minute, or in two generations.” Isaiah says, “The Lord longs to be gracious to you…Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isa 30:18 NIV). Wait! Don’t get ahead of God and you’ll experience His best.