October 14, 2020·Desiree Wilson
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
— Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
With everything going on in the world today, it’s so easy to become hurt, offended, angry and bitter. It seems like many people are screaming out their opinions and attacking anyone that has an opposing view. This type of behavior, whether online or in person, can cause our hearts to become hardened toward others. Often, this hardness of heart can lead to unforgiveness, which allows roots of bitterness to take hold in our hearts. The root of bitterness can silently sneak into our lives without us even noticing. It can disguise itself as a passion for what we think or believe, and our hearts can become a home to bitterness when left unchecked.
I think the enemy loves this. Because bitterness steals our peace, taints our holiness and keeps people from seeing God. The enemy’s mission is to keep people from God; let’s make sure we don’t take any part in it. I think sometimes, we can become self-righteous, as we oppose what we truly believe is wrong in others, but in doing so, we may unknowingly hold onto unforgiveness and/or bitterness.
Hebrews 12:14 says, we are called to make EVERY effort to live in peace with EVERYONE. NOT just the people that agree with us or just those that treat us with honor and respect. We are called to do everything that we can, to live in peace with everyone, regardless of the sins they have committed against us. We are called to extend God’s grace, peace and forgiveness. Even if we have deemed it as undeserved.
Hebrews 12:14 also says, we are called to be holy, and without our holiness NO ONE will see the Lord. Wow! If we, as Christians, do not choose to pursue peace and holiness, the world around us will not see God. It’s crucial that we understand the importance of living our lives in a way that displays God’s peace and holiness. The world’s ability to see God depends on it!
Hebrews 12:15 says, we must ensure that no one falls short of God’s grace and that bitter roots do not grow up, because they cause trouble and defile many. We must freely give God’s grace to EVERYONE, and we must examine our hearts and ask God to show us if there are any roots of bitterness in us. Roots of bitterness cause brokenness in ourselves and in others.
Take time this week to ask God to show you any areas in your life that you need to extend His grace, peace and forgiveness, so you can live a holy life, full of peace and free of bitterness! The world desperately needs to see God. God has chosen us to bring people to a place where they can see Him.
Pastor Desiree Wilson