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Daily Reading: Ezekiel 31:1-32:32 ESV, Hebrews 12:14-29 ESV, Psalm 113:1-114:8 ESV, Proverbs 27:18-20 ESV

Daily Verse: “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:15 ESV)

PIKRIA (4088): “Denotes “bitterness” in Heb 12:15, in the same sense, metaphorically, or a root of “bitterness,” producing “bitter” fruit.[1]

Producing bitter fruit.

Bitterness wreaks havoc in our lives, stops us from enjoying life to the fullest, and causes pain to others.  Unfortunately, identifying bitter roots in our lives takes effort; we don’t see them at first glance, but others can.  My husband loves to say, “They have a chip on their shoulder.”

Ron and I did “Five Dates: A His and Her “Funbook” for Couples,” which I highly recommend.  Innocent questions lead to deep conversations.  God revealed a chip on my shoulder through my husband with the question: “What are two of your biggest memories from high school?”

Roots revealed.

Instantly, my mind went to my father’s death at 16; jealousy towards my husband’s sporting regrets made me respond, “I wish my biggest memories were so simple.”

“Just because I haven’t experienced what you did, doesn’t mean I can’t sympathize.  You don’t get to wear your pain like a badge of honor.” My honey responded.

At that moment, God revealed a bitter root that started three decades ago.  The Lord removed the root using my husband’s unconditional love for me.  And I found a new fullness to life.

No one likes when the bad things in life occur, and we all will experience hard, painful moments in life that devastate us.  How we respond to those events determines the roots we will begin to grow.

If we lay our pain at the foot of the cross, trusting God to use it for His purposes, we will discover divine healing.  Peace will transcend our hearts that make no sense to the outside world.  From our hurt, God will lead us to victory, helping us to continue the journey and not get stuck in pain.

Ask God to reveal the bitter roots in your life.  Let the Lord dig in the soil of your heart and remove the bitterness.  Begin to produce life-giving fruit as you weed out the dark places in your soul.

[1] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 201) Thomas Nelson

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