TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, July 27, 2020:
Anger; disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.
For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Bitterness is one of the most destructive of human emotions. Bitterness stems from the greedy desire for something that we feel has been unfairly denied to us. Bitterness results in anger and resentment that can lead us to do sinful things and can lead to our downfall. There are many situations in life today that cause bitterness. They include broken relationships, being treated unfairly, economic concerns, losing a job or a home, family disagreements, jealousy of others, coveting what someone else has, etc.
Bitterness sneaks into a person’s life when worldly desires become a priority in life and a right relationship with the Lord is not happening. Many times, unfortunate situations come our way as believers in Jesus and our minds move from the Lord to the situation. For others (non-believers) bitterness is part of a person’s life because they never have had a relationship with God. They seem to be bitter about something all the time because they live for their own self-serving purposes. Bitterness results when they are denied what they desire and see others obtain it. How many times have we ourselves said or heard others complain “It just isn’t fair?” That’s bitterness for you.
In the eighth chapter of Acts (verses 5-25), we read about Philip, a disciple of Jesus, who became an evangelist in Samaria. Philip, like many of the followers of Jesus had left Jerusalem to escape persecution. He continued, wherever he went, to preach the gospel message. Philip was preaching to people that were listening to false prophets who were teaching a false religion and urging false confessions.
Among them was a man named Simon, who used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria by claiming that he was the great power of God. The people followed him because he amazed them with his magic. The scripture tells us that when Simon heard Philip preach and saw him perform great genuine miracles that he repented and believed in Jesus and was baptized.
Peter and John came to Samaria to help Philip and to pray for him in this revival. When Peter and John laid hands on the believers they received the Holy Spirit. Simon wanted to buy this ability and he offered them money so he could perform the same miracles.
It was Peter who saw that Simon’s heart was not right in the sight of God. He told Simon that he needed to repent and ask God to forgive him of his wickedness. Peter told Simon that he saw that he “was full of bitterness and a captive of sin.” Simon was still tied up in the bond of iniquity even though he professed to be a believer. Like Simon, many people today claim to be saved but still cannot get free of their sinful ways.
The point is made very clear in this incident with Simon. Simon’s life was filled with hypocrisy, trying to fool people that he was something that he was not. He wanted to be known as the great man of God but for his own selfish purpose.
As so often happens, Simon became bitter because he was denied what he thought he should have. In Ephesians 4:30-31 we are told to get rid of all bitterness and anger because it grieves the Holy Spirit.
Where do you stand in your life? Are you bitter because of circumstances in your life that are causing you to be angry and resentful? If you are, it is sin in God’s sight and now is the time to ask for forgiveness as Peter told Simon to do. God is willing and waiting to forgive you. You are the one that needs to take that step and the Lord will change your bitterness to joy.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Philippians 2:4.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Help me to get rid of any bitterness in my life. When I feel bitter, help me to realize that bitterness serves as a divide between You and me. Help me and my family be an example to others, never showing bitterness but always showing the love of God through our words and deeds.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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