Beating Bitterness Out Of Your Heart—Ephesians 4:31-32

INTRODUCTION 

 

Once a man was attacked by a wild dog. The dog ripped his pants and bit him on the shin. He limped to his car and drove to the Emergency Room. There a doctor ran through the several tests that are necessary to diagnosis rabies. It took several hours, giving the man plenty of time to think about his life. 

 

Finally, the doctor reported that he did indeed have rabies. Without waiting for the doctor to continue, the man asked for a pen and paper. The doctor, assuming the man wanted to make out his will, explained that he had nothing to worry about, a few shots would take care of the rabies. “I’m not making out my will,” replied the man, “I’m making a list of people I want to bite before you cure me!” (adapted from http://www.itslikethis.org/beware-of-dog-and-man/)

 

Bitterness is a resentment that we feel towards another person that poisons our relationship so much that, we could do much worse than bite that person! 

 

In this lesson, we want to deal with what bitterness is, what it does, why we should flee from it and how to do so. First, we start with…

 

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Mary, Martha And The Priority Of Hearing God—Luke 10:38-42

INTRODUCTION

 

The story of Mary and Martha is well-known to Christians. It is a cautionary story about the danger of being too busy to listen to what God is saying to us. A lot of the attention the story gets is focused on Martha and what she did wrong. There is a strong focus on Martha’s negative attitude in the text, but if we look carefully, we can also see and be encouraged by what her sister Mary did right.

 

We’ll jump in with Mary first, then come to Martha, and finally, be encouraged by Jesus’s words in the last verse. First, with Mary, we learn that…

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But A Certain Samaritan… — Luke 10:25-37

INTRODUCTION

 

In Luke 10:25-37, we get to deal with one of Jesus’s most famous and beloved parables—the Good Samaritan. It is so familiar, that most people can give the general gist of the story even if they have never once picked up a Bible. It’s a classic story of loving a neighbor even if that neighbor is a total stranger.

 

But what is less well-known about this parable is the context in which Jesus tells it. It all started with a lawyer’s question—“what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Now, think about this, what does loving your neighbor have to do with gaining eternal life? We’ll come back to that question later, right now, let’s look at…

 

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Causes For Christian Celebration—Luke 10:17-24

INTRODUCTION

 

Turn in your Bible to Luke 10:17-24. At the beginning of Luke 10, we saw the seventy disciples sent out by Jesus on a missions trip. They were to go two by two to every city and town to which Jesus Himself would come.  After some time, they returned rejoicing.

 

17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 

 

20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. 22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. 

 

23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Luke 10:17–24)

 

The seventy had cause to be happy. They had seen Satan’s minions cast out of people. They had victory in Jesus’s name. After hearing the joyful reports, Jesus gave them more causes to celebrate, causes that we, as Christians, have to celebrate even today.

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The Reality Of God’s Judgment—Luke 10:12-16

INTRODUCTION

 

In the first part of Luke 10, Jesus sent 70 disciples off on a missions trip. We learned how they were to go two by two, go with prayer, go as lambs among wolves, go urgently, go with support, and go with a simple message.

 

If the people they preached to did not receive their message, they were to do something unusual: they were to wipe off the dust of the city that had rejected them.

 

11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. (Luke 10:11)

 

While this is unusual to us, it would have been understood by every Jew of that day. A Jew, when he had visited a foreign land, would wipe the dust off his feet when he returned to Israel. It was a symbolic way of saying that he did not want to contaminate the holy land of Israel with the dirt of pagans.

 

For the disciples to do this when a Jewish city had rejected the message of Jesus was to say that city was like the pagan Gentiles. That is, they were under judgment. And worse, because Jesus says in our passage here, that they would face greater judgment than the Gentiles. 

 

Judgment from God is something that is looked down on these days, even by many Christians. So before we look at Luke 10:12-16, let’s look at…

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