Month: July 2021

Forgiveness (Matthew 6:12) (Part 1)


Matthew 6:12 “Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors” (NIV).

Unforgiveness is the greatest single barrier that exists amongst professing Christians. From Calvary onwards, if there is any barrier between God and men, they are on men’s side and not on God’s side. From the Death, Burial and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ all the barriers are down on God’s side. If any there is any kind of barrier on our spiritual progress, something that is holding us back, frustrating us, holding us down, keeping us from the peace, satisfaction, the fulfilment, that we long to have, that the barrier is on men’s side and not on God’s side. The greatest single barrier to in Christians to God’s Peace and Perfect Rest is unforgiveness. 

Forgiveness resulted in reconciliation, peace, harmony, understanding, and fellowship. The world stands in need of these things. The failure to forgive resulted in bitterness, strive, disharmony, hatred, war. These negative feelings can only be dealt with as we learn and apply the Principle of Forgiveness. There are two directions of forgiveness represented in the Bible. These two directions are well portrayed by that great symbol of our Christian faith, the Cross. The Cross has two beams, one vertical and one horizontal. And these two beams represent the two directions of forgiveness:

  • The vertical beam represents the forgiveness that we all need to receive from God through the Lord Jesus Christ as to our Christian Faith.
  • The horizontal beam represents our relationship with our fellow men. It speaks of the forgiveness, which in this case is two ways: the forgiveness we need to receive from others and the forgiveness we need to give to others. Once again, the only place where we can receive the grace for that kind of forgiveness is the Cross.

The Lord’s Prayer – When Jesus commented on the Lord’s Prayer, the only part that He comment on is Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” That is the source of all the problems the Person faces who does not forgive. That Person does not have God’s forgiveness. Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that sinned against us:

The Person cannot ask God for forgiveness if he does not forgive others. The Person is entitled to God’s forgiveness in the same proportion that he forgives others but not more. If that Person does not forgive others their sins, God will not forgive him, his sins.

Matthew 6:13“Deliver us from the evil one.” – The Person has no right to pray that Prayer until the Person confesses, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespasses against us” (Matthew 6:12). Obtain God’s forgiveness settled, then deliverance is not a problem. If the Person is not in a forgiving spirit and attitude towards any Person who has offended him, the Devil has a legal claim against that Person life – If there is any area of unforgiven offend in the Person’s life, that an area to which Satan has a legal claim. The Person cannot get Satan out of that area of his life. If there is anyone whom the Person has not forgiven, in that proportion the Person is not forgiven by God and because the Person is not forgiven in that area, the Devil has a legal claim over that Person life. Therefore, the Person cannot have deliverance until the Person has freely forgiven “ought against any.

Parable of Unforgiving Servant

Matthew 18:15-35, our Lord Jesus Christ reveals the life of the Church – Right relationship among the Members of the Body of Christ, and with others. He (Jesus) laid down the steps in Restoration:

  • Steps in Restoration of Relationship between Offending Christians (Matthew 18:15-17).
  • Power house of Right Relationship (Matthew 18:18-20).
  • Attitude of Forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-23).
  • The Parable on Forgiveness (Matthew 18:24-35).

The Comment of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Parable: “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts, forgive not everyone his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35). Our Lord Jesus does not leave it as a Parable, but He (Jesus) applies it specifically to each of us. He warned us of the consequence of unforgiveness. The warning comes from the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ. No one was more ready to forgive than our Lord Jesus Christ, but He set certain Principle – “If we want to be forgiven by God, we must forgive others.” Our Lord Jesus warns us of the consequences of failure to forgive:

  • Wickedness (Matthew 18:32) = Unforgiveness is not only sin but Wickedness in God’s Sight.
  • God’s Anger (Matthew 18:34). Unforgiveness provokes God’s Anger, because there is an exact parallel between the Master and the Servant and God and Us.
  • Unforgiveness delivers us to the Tormentors (Matthew 18:34). The torment is in three Areas: Physical, mental, and spiritual. Today, there are multitude of Christians that have been delivered to the Tormentors because they failed to forgive those that have offended them.

When God delivers the unforgiving Christian to the Tormentors. No Pastor can deliver that Person out of the Tormentor. The Person has to meet God’s Condition, that is to forgive before he can be delivered from the hands of the Tormentor. Forgiveness must be from the heart (Matthew 18:35).

To be continued….. Stay tuned.

When A Person Slips and Falls (Job 12:5)

The Scripture

Job 12: 5 “He that is ready to slip with his feet is like a lamp (torch) despised in the thought of him that is at ease.”

How often have the Christians put on their “gossip list” instead of on their prayers list of the Person who has slipped and fallen! How easy for those who are at ease to mouth their glib commonplaces in their still secure and comfortable world! In sheer exasperation Job bewails the whole situation, because of his (Job’s) troubles, a man of godly character (Job 1:1, 8b, 20-22; Job 2:3, 10) is treated like a simpleton or criminal on the basis of a theory that is contradicted by another (equally distressing) fact, namely, that robbers are prospering while he (Job) is reduced to such mockery (Study the Book of Job for this understanding).

Until we suffer, we can never share the pain of the Person who suffers, nor understand the attitude of the scorn with which healthy and comfortable people treat the Sufferer. Job, once the most respected and renowned man of his day (Job 1:3), lamented: “I have become a laughingstock to my friends” (Job 12:4). Job, the Person who is handicapped by lost and adversity, – Job who suffered loss of properties, children and experiencing the physical bodily ailments and mental anguish (Job 1:14-19; Job 2:7-8, 11a, 12a, 13b) is doubly afflicted by this attitude of “a (disaster) is despised in the thought of one who is at ease” (Job 12:5b). People around him (Job) avoided him, talk down to him, and assume his handicap cripples the total Personality (Study the Book of Job, for details).

Torch Discarded – Job laments “He that is ready to slip with his feet” and says: “is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.” The word “lamp” is really “torch.” In the Middle-Eastern Culture, when the Traveller reached his destination after journeying through the darkness of the night, he threw aside the torch that had guided his steps. Job likens himself to the torch. He (Job) had aided his friends and relatives when he was in a position to help, but now that he has lost everything they throw him aside. They make him the subject of mockery – Job 12:4-5 “I am one mocked by his friends,….the just and blameless who is ridiculed. A lamp is despised in the thought of one who is at ease; it is made ready for those whose feet slips.” People are still doing this, how many times we have known of those who were well-to-do, as far as this world’s goods are concerned, but some calamities intervened, and they lost their means. Some who had appeared to be their friends, suddenly had nothing more to do with them. There are many people in this life who are interested only in what One has, not what one Is. As long as we have things, they are our friends; but when we have little or nothing, we become the object of mockery.

This attitude should never be for the Christians in their relationship with one another. We have a fellowship, a Oneness, that binds us together, making us all One in Christ. The “stronger” is obligated to help the weaker brother. We should gladly help with deeds of kindness one for another, that Christ might be glorified through us. God’s Word states in Galatians 6:10 “As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Christians are to be kind to everyone, but especially to other Christians.

  • Story – A Sergeant in the Army was asked what had led him to become a Christian. He gave the credit to a Private in his Company who had been converted. “We gave that fellow an awful time,” the Sergeant said. “One night he kneeled to pray. My shoes were heavy with mud, and I threw one of them and struck him on his head. The next morning, I found those shoes beautifully cleaned and polished. That was his only reply to me. It broke my heart, and I came to Christ that day,” said the Sergeant. This is what the Lord Jesus desires the Christians to do. Without Christ a man will retaliate and pay back, but if one has really been born again, his attitude will be different said the Sergeant.
  • David L. Mckenna gives a painful description of this fault: “A certain ghoulish glee always attends the downfall of the high and the mighty. Jealous tongues cluck with juicy gossip whenever a great person shows signs of weakness, makes a false move, or experience a failure. Americans, in particular, cannot countenance human weakness in their Leaders. The slightest physical flaw in a President sends the stock market spinning downward and starts the cartoonists’ pencils doodling caricatures that make the person a laughingstock (David L.Mckenna, The Communicator’s Commentary- Job, Word Books, 1986).
  • Unknown Writer – Someone of our day has made a caustic comment: “Christians are the only ones who shoot their wounded.” A lesson we can learn from the Book of Job is how to respond to those who suffer or fall.

People around us are hurting. There are those who feet have slipped on the pathway of life. They do not need others to stand back to criticise and condemn. They need us to stretch out a helping hand, to uplift, to be friends in need. Let us be Encouragers on the road of life, and out prayer be that of Charles Wesley:

Help us to help other, Lord,
Each other’s cross to bear;
Let each his friendly aid afford,
And feel his brother’s care.

Help us to build each other up,
Our little stock improve;
Increase our faith, confirm our hope,
And perfect us in love.


Dear Lord Jesus, lead me today to pray for a friend who is hurting, to speak the word of encouragement to the one whose feet have slipped on the pathway of life.

Christ and Me

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Christianity, in its right context, is not a religion but a relationship with our God; too many Christians have an “intellectual religion” that satisfies the mind but never changes the life. They can discuss the Bible and even argue about it; but when it comes to living it, most people take it for granted. Other Christians have an “emotional religion” that is made up of changing feelings; unless they are on an emotional high, they feel God has forsaken them.

God wants “the whole of the inner-man” to be devoted to Him; an intelligent mind governed by God’s Word outworked by His Spirit, a fervent heart, and an obedient will. Our obedience ought to be intelligent (may not be rational or logical), is based on God’s Word quickened by His Spirit; and it ought to be motivated from a warm and loving heart.

The Christian life involves a great deal of “our-will” in submission to the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word – we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart (the emotions) and our mind (the intellect) and our strength (the will) (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30).

The Holy Spirit wants to instruct our spirit and mind through God’s Word, inspire the heart with true experiences, and then strengthen our will to do His (God’s) will – Philippians 2:12b-13 (NKJV) “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

A born-again Christian, walking with God, prays whether he feels like it or not; he obeys God’s Word regardless of how he feels; but the Christian who lives on his emotions is likely to have repeated ups-and-downs; he lives on a religious roller coaster.

But the born-again-Christian who lives on “Spirit (walk, led & live – {Gal.5:16, 18, 25}) & God’s Word {Psalm 119:105, etc},” his life is not disturbed by changing circumstances or feelings – will grow into the Image of Christ, for he is “changed (transformed) from glory to glory into the likeness of Christ by the Spirit of God” (2Corinthians 3:18, paraphrased).

The original sin of Lucifer (“Satan”) is a sin of the will (the “5 I wills” of Isaiah 14:12-14); thus, bringing our will under the Spirit of God and the Word of God is important in our walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; because our will under the Spirit of God and the Word of God helps to build our character (“Image-of-Christ”); it is our will under the Spirit of God and the Word of God that directs our life.

We come into the Saving Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ under the Convicting Power of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8) and an act of our will – “I will!” And we grow and serve God by acknowledging and acting on “Thy (God’s) will!” Many Christians have the idea that Christian love is a feeling; it is not; it is “a willing” because we have been commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ “to love one another” (John 15:12) whether we like it or not, God does not command our feelings but our will!

The Lesson from the Children (Mark 10:13-16) (Part 2)

Disciples’ Attitude

Mark 10:13b “And His disciples rebuked those that brought them.” Jesus’ Disciples were unjustly and ineffectually (meaning of the word “rebuke”) preventing the children access to Jesus because they had a wrong estimate both of the worth of a child and of the nature of the Kingdom of God:

  • It is not necessary for a child to become adult before participating in the Kingdom of God; rather the reversal is true, the adult must be converted, turn back and become a child – Matthew 18:3b “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
  • The Kingdom of God is not a matter of achievement or merit; we must “receive the Kingdom of God” as a gift, and this is where the child has the advantage.

The Disciples’ attitude was strange, because Jesus had already taught them to receive the children in His Name and to be careful not to cause any of them to stumble – Mark 9:36-37 “And He (Jesus) took a child, and set him in the midst of them (Disciples); and when he had taken him in His arms, He said unto them, whosoever shall receive one of such children in My name, receiveth me; and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him that sent Me.” It is a serious matter to look lightly upon children and their place in God’s Plan. For in them are bound up infinite possibilities:

  • Each of the children is the object of God’s Love.
  • Children are the joy of today and the hope of tomorrow.

It is a tragedy beyond measure to fail to let the children to be rightly related to Jesus; what a fearful thing is the responsibility of adults entrusted with the care of little children, and especially with regard to their spiritual nurture:

  • Rabbindranath Tagore in Stray Birds: “Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged with man.”
  • Charles Dickens – “I love these little people; and it is not a sight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.”
  • E.T Sullivan – When God wants a great work done in the world a great wrong righted, He goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up His earthquakes or send for His thunderbolts; instead, He has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts His idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are babies.

Jesus’ Attitude

Mark 10:14 “But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer, (Permit) the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Quite naturally when Jesus saw His Disciples rebuking these fathers, He was “much displeased” (verse 14). This verb renders a Greek verb (aganaktein) which means: “to feel pain.” It expresses deep emotion which is best expressed as indignation. This is the only occasion where this word (implying anger) is predicated (affirmed) to Jesus. So, Jesus was indignant over the action of the Disciples.

Jesus said: “Suffer (Permit) the little children to come unto Me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (verse 14).  Literally “stop hindering.” Hindering was exactly what the Disciples were doing. And it was the opposite of what Jesus wished. For both verbs “suffer” and “forbid” are imperative modes. They are commands. The Disciples were to stop forbidding. Rather they were to keep on permitting the children to keep on coming to Jesus. The children were attracted to Jesus because they found the love of Jesus and are able to be at ease in His Presence. Our Lord Jesus said: “Of such (as little children) is the kingdom of God” (verse 14). Citizens of the Kingdom of God must be as a little child. This opens up a vast area as to the Kingdom character of: Trust, obedience, humility and forgiving spirit and dependent.

Object Lesson

Mark 10:14b-15 “For of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it.”  The fathers were bringing the children to Jesus, but His Disciples were excluding the children from the presence of Jesus because they were having a theological discussion on divorce.  Jesus was displeased and rebuked His Disciples – “And when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased and said unto them, suffer (permit) the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). Jesus was using the situation to teach an object – that the adult must be like the children to receive God’s Revelation.  This was a reversal of idea.  There are five characteristics in every child:

  • Open Mind – The mind of a child is open. He is ready to believe anything. He has a wide open mind. The older a person grows, the more he closes his mind. He argues and says I do not believe it. If we tell a child something, he accepts it.
  • Open Hand – A child is willing to receive. The further a person grown in life, the less the person is willing to receive without a question mark in his mind – suspicion. The assistance given to the person in age is called “charity.”
  • Open Heart – A child is willing to be loved and will response to love and care. The older a person gets he becomes suspicious and will question an honest gesture of love – “What is he after??” A child does not react in such suspicion. A child is spoiled by experiences of life and the heart closed up – “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it” (Mark 10:15).
  • Trust – A child displays trust (acceptance of authority and confidence). He has the tendency to be obedience. A child does not become distracted by all the complexities of life. When he trusts, his faith is simple and unwavering.
  • Forgive Spirit – A child has short memory when it comes to bearing grudges.

Jesus draws lessons that unless we have the attitude of a child, it is difficult for the adult mind to receive the Kingdom of God –“Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little children, he shall not enter into it” (Mark 10:15). Jesus took the children in His Arms – “And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them and blessed them.”

The Parent’s Joy

Mark 10:16 “And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them and blessed them.”  The delightful picture conveyed by the strong compound word in Greek (katêulogei), occurring nowhere else in the New Testament: “He blessed them fervently, again and again.” As each child comes to Jesus, one by one He places His hands upon them and blesses each child, individually; this is the Jewish custom an “act of a father” (Genesis 27:38):

  • Jesus holds out His arms to welcome them.
  • Jesus enfolds them by putting His arms around them.
  • Jesus lifts one hand to place it on the child’s head in blessing.

In his book “Reality Therapy,” well-known Psychiatrist Dr. William Glasser states his belief that there is no such thing as mental illness. The deviant symptoms that we have come to classify as mental illness, Glasser claims are the result of a frustration of two basic needs of life. These needs are love and be loved. If either of these needs is not met, people tend to break down emotionally. As Victor Hugo put it. “The supreme happiness of life is in the conviction that we are loved.”

Dr. Rene Spitz, a New York Psychoanalyst, spent three months observing the reaction of babies in an orphanage where the nursing staff was so busy that each child had “one tenth of a mother.” Dr Rene Spitz found that approximately 30 percent of the babies died before they were a year old. Emotional starvation is as dangerous as physical starvation,” says Dr. Rene Spitz.

Practical Application – The inner drive to love and be loved is very strong. All through life we want to make friends. As Parents, the way we extend love to our children profoundly affects their ability to relate effectively to others. The degree to which we include our children in our lives, show them love, respond to their love – to that extent the children are capable of including others in their life, in their friendships, and in their love.

The Lesson from the Children (Mark 10:13-16) (Part 1)

The Text

And they brought young children to Him (Jesus) that He should touch them; and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased (literally moved with indignation), and said unto them, suffer (permit) the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it. And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon the, and blessed them.

Mark 10:13-16

The Setting

Mark Chapter 10 records five events. Our Lord Jesus teaches the people spontaneously as each situation arises. Jesus is able to use every event that happened and draws out a teaching and lesson out of it. In every event, people’s idea is challenged. Jesus makes the people that listened to Him think. He is always turning their ideas up-side-down. The five events are:

  • Teaching on Divorce (Mark 10:1-12).
  • The Lesson from the Children (Marks 10:13-16).
  • The Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-27).
  • The Lesson learned from James and John’s Request (Mark 10:35-45).
  • Bartimaeus, the blind man (Mark 10:46-52).

Unlike many “moderns” today, the Jews of that day looked on children as a blessing and not a burden, a rich treasure from God and not a liability (Psalms 127 to 128); to be without children bring sorrow to the couple (1Samuel 1:10).

Bridging the Gap

Some interval of time elapsed between the conversation recorded in the last chapter and the conversation we are now to consider. During that interval many things has happened. If we want to “fill in” this gap which Mark leaves in his story, we must turn to Matthew and Luke. From a comparison of these Gospels we find that in the meantime Jesus had sent out the seventy Disciples; He had gone up to Jerusalem to the Feast of Pentecost; He had retired from Jerusalem to Perea; He had again gone up to Jerusalem to the Feast of Dedication; and once again, to avoid the murderous plots of His people, had gone away beyond Jordan, to the place where John the Baptist was at the first baptizing. It was probably just at this point that the question as to divorce was to be placed. 

The Revelation

Mark 10:13“And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them; and His disciples rebuked those that brought them.” The lesson from the children was the next event that took place –It is fitting that this incident should follow Jesus’ teaching on divorce that is designed to safe-guard marriage and the children. Our Lord Jesus Christ shows that He is the Defender of the weak, and the oppressed, a Guardian of the family and family life. This record of the reception and blessing of the children sheds further light upon that gracious aspect of our Lord Jesus’ character. In the last passage on divorce (Mark 10:1-12), our Lord Jesus maintains the right of the wife. In this passage He maintains the right of the child. Now there are three parties to the family – the husband (father), the wife and the child. The place of the husband was sufficiently safeguarded by the customs and laws of the society in Jesus’ day. But the wife was subjected to cruel wrong in Jesus’ day, and the child was often subject of shameful neglect in Jesus’ day.

By the teaching on divorce our Lord Jesus gives the wife her proper place in the family. By His love for the children, He redeemed childhood from neglect, and makes the children the object of love and care. The emphasis of our Lord Jesus laid upon the family deserves to be called “extraordinary,” says a noted American Professor. Not only did He always express sympathy with domestic life in all its phases; not only did He display great reverence for women and tenderness for children; not only did He adopt the terminology of the family to express the relations between Himself and His Followers, and even the relations between man and God, but the family is the only institution upon which Jesus laid down any specific legislation.

Father’s Responsibility

Mark 10:13a “And they brought (offered) young children to Him, that He should touch them.” Although it is natural to think that the children were brought by their mothers, the masculine gender of the pronoun in the statement that the Disciples rebuked them points rather in the direction of their fathers rather than their mothers. It was the fathers (“them” – masculine) who brought the children to Jesus and not the mothers. It is a reflection of our days and age. In God’s sight, the father of the house is responsible for the spiritual upbringing of his children (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). In our days, the mothers are responsible for the spiritual growth of the children. This is a complete reversal of God’s Plan. Every father will be held responsible by God for the spiritual upbringing of his children (Malachi 4:5-6). It was customary for the children to be blessed by the Ruler of the Synagogue. But Jesus was greater than the Rulers of the Synagogue.

  • Jewish Custom – Every Jewish Parent desired their children to be blessed by a distinguishing Rabbi, but it is interesting to note that Matthew suggests they requested Jesus to ask God’s blessing on their children. This often happened on the first birthday of the child and might be likened to the dedication service for children practiced in churches today. Happy are the Parents who recognise their children to be gifts from God (Psalm 127 & 128).
  • Duty Neglected – Today, in the Church, it is just here, in this crucial and all-important duty that many fond and loving Parents fail. They take every care of their children’s health and education. But many of the Parents take little account of the spiritual well-being of their children.

Mark says that “they were bringing young children to Him.” This pictures a procession as one after another the fathers (or mothers) did this. Matthew notes that the purpose was that Jesus might lay His hands on them and pray (Matthew 19:13). It was a natural thing that these fathers would bring their little children to noted Rabbi (spiritual leader). It was customary for children to receive such a blessing on their first birthday. Luke uses the word for “babes.” However, since there were so many, this need not be limited to those only one year old.

  • Princess Margaret – When Princess Margaret was five years old, the newspaper reported she came out of church one day disappointed. The minister’s prayer disturbed her. “Why did he (minister) only pray for you and daddy and Elizabeth” she asked her mother. “I’m just as bad as you are.”
  • Richard Baxter, a famous English Preacher, accepted a wealthy and sophisticated parish. For three years he preached passionately without any visible results. Finally, one day, he wrote, “I threw myself across the floor of my study and cried out, ‘God you must do something with these people or I’ll die.’” And, he (Richard Baxter) continued, “It was as if God spoke to me audibly and said, ‘Baxter, you’re working in the wrong place. You expect revival to come through the church. Try the home.’” Baxter went from home to home leading parents to give themselves to God and setting family worship. The fire began to burn until the entire congregation was alive, and the flames of spiritual renewal spread across the land.

To be continued….. Stay tuned…..

Endurance (Matthew 24:13)

Lawlessness & Loveless-ness

Matthew 24:12 (KJV) “And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the love (agape) of many shall wax (grow) cold.” – There is a direct connection between lawlessness and loveless-ness. When people become lawless, they become loveless. We often think of love as free, spontaneous that requires no lawless or discipline. This is an incorrect view. Love and discipline go hand-in-hand. And when discipline and law break down, love goes cold. In this somber picture, lawlessness abounding and love goes cold, it is the Love of Christian and not of the world that goes cold. Thus, Love is a matter of Character (Romans 5:1-5).

Then, comes the warning from our Lord Jesus Christ – Matthew 24:13 (KJV) “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Mark 13:13 – Prophetic preview of the situation that will exist before the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Endurance is that Christian virtue that we need to be able to live through those perilous days (2Timothy 3:1-7).

The word “endure” means an inner fortitude. It expresses the idea of the person having the quality which enables him to withstand all situations/enemies thrown against him, and still have the reserve power to love his enemies (Matthew 5:43-48), being an Overcomer (Revelation 21:7). It speaks of the genuine Christian as the person who possesses the kind of character which will enable him to endure. Such a person will maintain a warm of love for Christ, and Others. He will endure the trials and will thereby prove the genuineness of his faith and spiritual life which he already possesses. This also speaks of the person who holds out even to the point of death.

Mark 13:12-13 “Now brother shall betray brother to death, and the father, his sons; and children shall rise up against their parents and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake; but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” – In the midst of betrayal and lawlessness before the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, proven character is a very essential Christian attribute to develop. Endurance to the end is the requirement that will see us through the perilous time before the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Timothy 3:1-7). Sometimes “holding out” is what God expects us to do in tight and difficult situation.


Proven Character – Romans 5:1-5 (KJV) “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh (produced) patience. And patience, experience (proven character); and experience (proven character) hope. And hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us.” (James 1:2-4).


Love is the matter of character. The forming of character is through trials (tribulations) – Produces patience (perseverance) and perseverance produces proven character (experience).

  • Bob Monford said, “Suppose there are 10 areas in our character that need to be corrected. The person can probably deal with 6 of them successfully but the remaining 4 needed to be adjusted by others.”
  • Joyful Endurance – Colossians 1:11 “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering (endurance) with joyfulness.”

It takes strength and patience to be able to suffer long with joyfulness. Patience and endurance are marks of strength.

Inheritance of Promises

Inheritance of Promises – Hebrews 6: 11-12 (KJV) “And we shall that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end. That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience (endurance) inherit the promises.” It takes both faith and endurance (patience) to inherit God’s Promises (Hebrews 10:35-36). If we have done God’s Will and have not yet receive the promise, we need endurance (patience) to hold out from the point that we did God’s Will to the point when we receive His Promise (Hebrews 12:1-2). Ecclesiastes 9:11 “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.” It takes endurance to complete the race that God has set before us.

Apostolic Anointing

2Corinthians 12:12 “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” The first evidence of an Apostolic Anointing is “Patience” (Endurance). The Person with the Apostolic Anointing is the Person who hangs out when everybody gives up.

Two Tests

Matthew 13:19-23 (Parable of the Sower) – There are two kinds of tests:

  • Test of Persecution (hard life) – Matthew 13:20-21.
  • Test of Riches (prosperity) – Matthew 13:22.

Principle of Enduring

Principle of Enduring is the hearted commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ – Acts 11:23 “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cling to the Lord.” And Acts 14: 22 “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorted them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

  • Sees the Invisible – Hebrews 11:27 “By faith he (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” For the Person to hold out he must believe in God and the unseen world (2Corinthians 4:17-18).
  • Moved On – Psalm 37:23-24 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and he delighted in His way. Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD up-holdeth him with His hand.” Face the issue squarely and moved on in life (Luke 22:31-32 – Peter).
  • Rewards – 2Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” We are to keep the faith, fight the fight and finished the course. Paul kept true to the end because he saw the reward that he will receive from our Lord Jesus Christ.

Drunkenness and Stupor (Proverbs 20:1, 19-21, 29-35) (Part 2)


Proverbs 23:29-35 shows that being continuously drunk (Proverbs 23:35), resulted in experience of:

  • Woe {Grief, Regret, Misfortune, or Grievous Distress};
  • Sorrow {Despised and Rejected}; Contentions {Quarrels, Arguments, Strife};
  • Babbling {Looseness of Tongue, Complainer};
  • Wounds {Falls, Accidents}; and
  • Redness of Eyes {Dimness of Eyes (Amp. Bible), Progressive Lost of Sight}.” Drunkenness may lead to immorality (Proverbs 23:31, 33 (c/f Proverbs 23:27-28).
  • “Habit-forming addiction”“When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?” (Proverbs 23:35b), that destroy families and selves. Being continuously intoxicated, that Person loses his judgement, affects his physical health, like “fatty-liver” which will result in liver-damage, in the long-term; it will also cause stomach inflammation, and the thickening of the stomach lining which reduces the stomach’s ability to absorb nutrients, etc. Usually, the Drunkard is engaged in foolish talk, fighting, loss of self-control (Proverbs 23:29-30). A confused judgement and impaired mental as well as physical vision (Proverbs 23:29), ending being self-deceived as that of being “bitten by the Serpent or Viper.” (Proverbs 23:32).

Examples of Consequences in Old Testament

  • Noah (Genesis 9:21-23) – Noah, being drunk, exposed himself in nakedness (Genesis 9:20-21), resulting in Ham’s Descendants (Canaanites) being cursed, because he (Ham), discussed his father’s (Noah’s) nakedness (Genesis 9:22), instead of covering up his father, “for love covers the multitudes of sins,” (Proverbs 10:12b; 1Peter 4:8b), of which Ham failed (Genesis 9:25). Shem and Japheth were blessed because they covered their father’s (Noah’s) nakedness (Genesis 9:23, 25-27).
  • Lot (Genesis 19:31-36) was drunk and fathered through his daughters, Moab (the father of Moabites) and Benammi (the father of Ammonites) – Enemies of Israel.
  • Isaac had been drinking when he was deceived into blessing Jacob, though God over-ruled in the situation (Genesis 27:25), because Esau sold his First-born Birth-right to Jacob (Genesis 25:29-34). – Hebrews 11:20 “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.”
  • Israel’s Princes – Hosea 7:5 “In the day of our King, Princes have made him sick, inflamed with wine; He stretched out his hand with Scoffers.”
  • Priests and Prophets – Isaiah 28:7 “But they also have erred through wine, and through intoxicating drink……the Priests and the Prophets have erred through intoxicating drink, they are swallowed up by wine, they are out of the way through intoxicating drink they err in vision, they stumble in judgement.”
  • Nabal, whose name means “Fool” was drunk and suffered heart-attack and died 10 days later, smitten of The LORD for his folly against David (1Samuel 25:2-38).
  • Elah, the King of the House of Israel was assassinated while drunk in Tirzah (1Kings 16:8-10).

What is Strong Drink in Biblical Times?

In like manner, “strong drink” (sekar) is raging. Whiskey and wine with high alcoholic content were not discovered until the Middle Ages, it is not appropriate to identify “strong drink” (sekar) as whiskey or similar “strong drink” of today. The “strong drink” in Proverbs 20:1 is “grain wine” or “fruit wine,” prepared from something other than grapes. As with wine (yayin), “strong drink” has the potential to produce drunkenness. When under the influence of “strong drink” (sekar), the Person can become “Raging” (or “Boisterous – Energetic”). The Person who comes under the influence of “strong drink” is “deceived” (who errs) and is not wise, that is the Drunkard fools himself.

Kings & Rulers of the Nation was not allowed to be given to wine or strong drink, lest they drink and forget God’s Law and pervert just judgements – Proverbs 31:4-5 “It is not for Kings, O Lemuel, it is not for Kings to drink wine, nor for Princes intoxicating drink; lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert justice of all the afflicted.”

Priests were Forbidden – Leviticus 10:9 (NIV) “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of the Meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.”

Medicinal – Proverbs 31:6-7 “Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those who are bitter of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his misery no more.” Proverbs 31:6-7 is not encouraging drunkenness, or else the whole tenor of the teaching on drunkenness as shown above, from the Bible, would be contradicted. Proverbs 31:6-7 has to be studied contextually. The mother of King Lemuel has just taught his son to refrain from drinking wine and strong drink as it will pervert justice and violate God’s Law (Proverbs 31:4-5). With this context in mind, let us interpret Proverbs 31:6-7 – King Lemuel’s mother was teaching his son how to handle the Afflicted People in his (Lemuel’s) Kingdom:

  • Terminal Sickness – Proverbs 31:6a “Give strong drink to him who is perishing.” – The term “perishing” means to be lost or destroyed – it was understood as dealing with someone in his Kingdom who is suffering greatly with sickness – especially when that sickness is terminal, with great pain. It was a custom of that time to medicate to the dying person, who was in great pain, with strong drink, to help him to overcome his pain – as today, the Doctor administer morphine to the terminal ill Person, in great pain. Thus, it was not an evil act but a merciful act, as it was providing help to the terminal dying Person, in pain, a respite. In most cases, the wine is mixed with gall, which serves as “pain-killing-mixture.”
  • The Bitter Person – Proverbs 31:6b-7 “And wine to those who are bitter of heart, let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” – The second usage of wine for medicinal purpose is for temporary relief for the Person “who is bitter of heart, who have lost something important (loved one) or something valuable,” – this instruction of King Lemuel’s mother is a bit dicey (risky) – it is easy to see the application for the Person who is suffering pain, at the point of death; whereas, for the “bitterness-of-soul,” the application should be weighted, in term of the context of Proverbs 31, as we are in a Section of the Scripture where King Lemuel’s mother has just warned him to refrain from drinking wine and strong drink, as it could cloud his judgement and the violation of God’s Law, in a moment of drunkenness (Proverbs 31:4-5). Therefore, we can be assured that when it comes to the afflicted Person with “bitterness-of-soul,” King Lemuel’s mother is not advocating drunkenness to alleviate the Afflicted Person’s Problem – thus, “NOT drowning One’s sorrows with wine or strong drink.” Rather, what is taught is that ONE {not continuous) drink could temporarily alleviate the Afflicted Person, as Psalm 104:15a states: “Wine makes man’s heart glad,” in the midst of the listing of things that God Himself provides including oil to make the face shine (Psalm 104:15b), food that sustains a man with strength (Psalm 104:15c).
  • Thus, the one drink of wine or strong drink is for medicinal purpose; to lift the afflicted spirit in the time of “bitterness-of-soul,” making the heart glad for a moment, helping the Afflicted Person in his (Lemuel’s) Kingdom. Whereas, today wine or strong drink, is drinking for partying, with the view of getting drunk.  
  • The teaching is Proverbs 31:6-7 is not an encouragement to get drunk, but at the time before the advance of medicinal science, wine or strong drink was used for the medicinal purposes as taught in Proverbs 31:6-7, and we should not read to much into the other interpretation of encouraging drunkenness, as “God puts gladness in our heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased.” (Psalm 4:7)

Drunkenness and Stupor (Proverbs 20:1, 19-21, 29-35) (Part 1)

The Statement

Most individual Proverbs contain two Parts, the Second contrasting with the First. Also, in the collection as a whole, one Proverb contrasts with another. Wisdom is the balanced discipline; Wisdom tells us what to avoid and what to seek. When we are advised to avoid something, this implies we should seek its opposite. For example, Proverbs 20:22 – “Do not say, I will pay you back for this wrong! Wait for the LORD, and He will deliver you” (NIV), both discourages vindictiveness and encourages patient and faith. So, some of these verses in chapter 20 belong to either or both Sections:

Things to Avoid

Proverbs chapter 20 teaches us 14 things to avoid: (1) Drunkenness (Proverbs 20:1); (2) Quarrelling (Proverbs 20:2); (3) Laziness (Proverbs 20:4); (4) Sleep and Poverty (Proverbs 20:13); (5) Cheating in Business (Proverbs 20:10); (6) Cheating in General (Proverbs 20:23); (7) Boasting in Bargain (Proverbs 20:14); (8) Deceitfulness (Proverbs 20:17); (9) Ill-Gotten-Gain (Proverbs 20:21); (10) Unsecured Loan (Proverbs 20:16); (11) Tale-Bearer (Proverbs 20:19); (12) Disrespect of Parents (Proverbs 20:20); (13) Vindictiveness (Proverbs 20:22); (14) Rash Commitments (Proverbs 20:25).

Important Point to Note

The teaching below on Drunkenness is not meant to be judgemental and critical of the Person who is struggling with “drink-problem,” but rather to create an awareness of “the consequences” of the “drink-problem.” We need to exercise Christ’s Love to understand and to provide help to the Person who is struggling, in this area.


Proverbs 20:1 (NIV) “Wine is a Mocker and beer a Brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1 (KJV) “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

Justification in the drinking of wine, especially alcoholic wine in the New Testament:

  • Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding at Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11).
  • The establishment of The Lord’s Supper with bread and wine (Matthew 26:26-29).
  • Paul’s exhortation to Timothy concerning the taking of a little wine, for his stomach’s sake (1Timothy 5:23).
  • The instructions concerning the Elders and Deacons “not being given to much wine” (1Timothy 3:3, 8).

In balance, the Writer, understands that the Bible does not teach total prohibition or total abstinence from wine, as passages shown above. However, intoxication and drunkenness are strongly condemned both in the O.T & N.T.

Warning against Drunkenness in the New Testament

  • Drunkenness is listed among the 17 Works of the Flesh – Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication…..drunkenness, revelries….”
  • Drunkard shall not inherit the Kingdom of God – 1Corinthians 6:10 “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilvers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God.”
  • Drunkenness is listed alongside with rioting and other evil deeds – Romans 13:13 “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.”
  • Drunkenness is one of the Signs of the Last Day, before Jesus’ Second Coming – Luke 21:34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing (partying), drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly” (Matthew 24:48-51; Luke 12:45; 1Thessalonians 5:7).
  • Drunkenness separates the Believer from the Fellowship of other Believers – 1Corinthians 5:9-13 “I wrote to you in my epistles not to keep company with sexually immoral people…..or a drunkard….”
  • Drunkenness is forbidden to Spirit-filled Believers; and the “Wine of the World” is the counterfeit of the “Wine of the Spirit.” – Ephesians 5:18-19 “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Christian who is controlled by the “spirit of alcoholism” is not controlled by God’s Spirit at the same time, he must make the choice.

Warning against Drunkenness in the Old Testament

  • Drunkenness is associated with Violence – Proverbs 4:17 “For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.”
  • Drunkenness is linked with mocking, raging, and deception and lack of wisdom. The Drunkard is deceived about his condition by his rationalisation – Proverbs 20:1 (KJV) “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
  • Drunkenness results in Poverty – Proverbs 21:17b “He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.”
  • Drunkenness is linked with Gluttony and will come to Poverty – Proverbs 23:21 “For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness (due to wine) will clothe a man with rags.”
  • Drunkenness leads to Immorality – Proverbs 23:31, 33 “Do not look on the wine when it red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly;…your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things (c/f Proverbs 23:27-28).
  • Drunkenness ends “liken being bitten by a Serpent” and “stung by an Viper” – This could be an indication of something evil about the end result of being Drunken – Proverbs 23:31, 32 “Do not look on the wine when it red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a Serpent, and stings like a Viper.”
  • Drunkenness is Addictive – Proverbs 23:34-35 “Yes, you will be like one, who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: ‘They have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”
  • The Final Verdict of Alcoholic-Addiction is that the Person is stricken, beyond feeling, and when he awakes, he seeks it yet again, to be intoxicated – He is bound by his addiction to alcoholic drinks! – “When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?” (Proverbs 23:35b)
  • Drunkard is warned with the Sixfold Questions: – Proverbs 23:29:
    • Who has Woe?
    • Who has Sorrow?
    • Who has Contentions?
    • Who has Babbling?
    • Who has Wounds without Cause?
    • Who has Redness of Eyes?
    • The Answer: Proverbs 23:30 “Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine.”
    • The Warning: Proverbs 20:31 “Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly.”
    • The Suffering: Proverbs 23:32 “At the last it bites like a Serpent and stings like a Viper.”
    • Separation Required: Proverbs 23:20 “Do not mix with Winebibbers {Drunkards}, or with gluttonous eaters of meat.” – Because “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1Corinthians 15:33b).

To be continued…. Stay tuned….

Bitterness (Ephesians 4:31-32) (Part 2)


Bitterness accumulates with time. It does not go away but become worse; people do not get less bitter with age or maturity. The person gets more bitter over the years. It gets worse and worse. Bitterness begins with:

  • Hurt – A person who is easily hurt is more likely to get bitter.
  • Resentment – Hurt if not dealt with, will lead to resentment. There is a close relationship between hurt feelings and resentment.
  • Bitterness – Resentment, if not dealt with, will lead to bitterness. Bitterness is resentment held too long. It has become rancid and rotten. If bitterness is kept in, it gets worse.
  • Hatred – Bitterness if not dealt with and kept too long will lead to hatred. There is a clear biblical identification between hatred and murder (1John 3:15).

God’s Warning

Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV) “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” God’s Word describes bitterness as:

  • Fall short of God’s Grace – This is God’s warning of the possibility of falling short from God’s Grace. To fall short of God’s Grace is to fall on the ground of the Law. God deals with Individual either on ground of (1) Law, or (2) Grace. We cannot be on both grounds (Law & Grace) at the same time. After experiencing God’s Grace, it is unthinkable to fall short of God’s Grace.
  • Root of bitterness – Root of bitterness is the very essence of bitterness – root is something that is underground and cannot be seen. But there can be visible evidence of its presence, as when it surfaces. The fruit that is brought forth bears a direct relation to the root producing it, it bears bitter fruit.
  • Trouble –Bitterness generally never destroys the person who has done the wrong, bitterness destroys the person who is bitter, even if the offended person is innocent. Bitterness causes trouble, physical (sickness, lost of sleep), emotional (unstable, mental breakdown) and ultimately spiritual (backslidden, not in harmony with God and men).
  • Defile – The tragedy is that the “root of bitterness” not only troubles the person involved but it also defiles the people around the bitter person, “the “many” become defiled by its fruit (bitterness). We have seen bitterness goes through the home, church, office and work place.

Every person, without exception, will pass through bitter experience, but the Individual should not allow the bitter experience into his spirit, if there is the spiritual exercise before God concerning this experience. Bitterness will either bring about a broken and contrite spirit (Isaiah 66:2; Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 34:18; Psalm 51:17), or else it brings a root of bitterness in the spirit. We must watch against these roots, subterraneous roots, from taking root in our spirit.

Demonic Wisdom

James 3:14-15 (NIV) “But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, un-spiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice” (James 3:14-15). If an Individual harbours bitterness, evil practice will result. It does not come from heaven. It is straight from the pit of hell and is demonic, – as it is, it is a real problem!

Grieves the Holy Spirit

Bitterness grieves the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 4:30-31 (NKJV) “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”


In order to get rid of bitterness the person must:

  • Acknowledges – The person needs to recognise that he has bitterness in his heart and bring it to the surface. The temptation is to look at the Offender and what was done. That is the nature of bitterness. In order to get rid of it, the person needs to recognise that it is his problem before he can forgive, confess and forsake it.
  • Recognises – That bitterness does not please God and result in self-harm. Again, the reason the person does not deal with his bitterness is that he thinks it is the other persons who is wrong, and needs to apologise, which may be true, but it does not help. Only forgiveness of the offend and the person is the answer.
  • Confession & Forgiveness – The person who is bitter must not keep sharing it. The only thing that gets rid of bitterness is to forgive and plea the Blood of Jesus for cleansing and covering; acknowledging that he has experienced God’s Forgiveness through the Finished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Resist Self-Justification – In our talk with God (prayer), the person should resist giving excuses for being bitter, i.e. reminding God that the person who offended him is at fault and that he has the right to be bitter. The person has to get his eyes of the other person’s fault and focus on releasing the bitterness to God and the healing from God.

Amy Carmichael has a note in her little book: “For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted. If it is full of sweet water and is jolted, what will come out of the cup? Sweet water. If you gave it a harder jolt, what’s going to happen? More sweet water.”  If someone is filled with sweet personality and someone else gives him a jolt, what will come out? Sweet Attitude. Jolts do not turn sweet personality into bitter personality. That is done by something else.

Bitterness in the Congregation is a major hindrance to Revival. When Christians start to forgive and confess their sins, they will be able to receive forgiveness from God and a personal victory over the work of the flesh and the enemy.

Bitterness (Ephesians 4:31-32) (Part 1)


Ephesians 4:31-32“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”


“Is it possible to be kind, compassionate, tender-hearted and yet bitter at the same time?” All these are Attitudes. It is not possible to be tender-hearted and yet bitter.  Paul says to get rid of all bitterness and to be kind and compassionate one to another. Bitterness cannot co-exist with tender-heartedness.

God’s Word

God’s Word commanded us to get rid of all bitterness. Many people “enjoyed” holding things against other people, but God’s Word requires us to let go of all bitterness and maintain a tender heart.  There are many people who:

  • Not only are bitter.
  • They enjoy being bitter.
  • They somehow like it.
  • They feed on it.

A bitter person would not know what to do if he gets rid of bitterness; he would not have a purpose for his life. We know of people like that in the world, and we know people like that in the Church. It is easy to recognize when somebody is bitter

  • His eyes and the lines of the face reveal it. It can be seen in his face even when he is smiling and laughing.
  • The tone of his voice reveals it. You can hear it when he protests that he is not bitter.
  • The bitterness is central and pervades everything, his personality, speech, body language and his physical appearance.

It is relatively easy to detect when a person is bitter. But it is not so easy to see it in ourselves. It is therefore important to have a good understanding of what cause bitterness and the results that bitterness produce.


Bitterness is what a person feels when offended, whether real or imagined, against him. The very definition of bitterness points to the action of another. Bitterness is based on the offence or situation that relates to someone close to us.  It is not concerned with how big the offence is; it is based upon how close the person is. Bitterness is related to those people who are close, for example: fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children, relatives – grandparents, uncles, mothers-in-law, fathers–in-law, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, boyfriends, girlfriends, roommates, close friends, business partners, church leaders. There are also people who are bitter against God (Naomi – Ruth 1:13b, 20-21; Jonah).We get offended but not bitter against people who are outside our immediate contact. Bitterness is based upon somebody’s offence who is close to us and who did something to us. It might be minor. It does not have to be great, it just has to be close.

Remember Details

One of good rule of thumb is this: “Bitterness remembers details.”

  • Accumulates – The offence may occur 5 years ago, but the person who is offended and is bitter remembers every word and detail of the offence. Bitterness accumulates.
  • Review – How can a person remembers every detail of the happening – his memory is helped by review, review and more review of the offence. He mulls over the hurts. A person normally goes over the thing that hurt him.
  • Right and Wrong – The person will concentrate on “how right” he is and “how wrong” the other person who hurts him was. Look what he did to me!

Imaginary Offence – Many times a person can be bitter toward another person for what he said, when in reality he misunderstood of what was said, or has not been said. Many bitter people cannot imagine the possibility that they are bitter over imaginary offences. As far as bitterness is concerned, the other person’s offence is always real. Genuine Offence – There are many bitter people who really were mistreated by the Offender.

To be continued….. Stay Tuned……