Bitterness

I have been preaching through the book of Ephesians for about three years, on and off. I am currently at the end of chapter four right now and am to preach on bitterness tonight. Since this is an affliction that affects so many people, and by extension, so many churches, I thought I would share the portion of my sermon tonight that deals with bitterness. God bless!

Alan

In verse 31, Paul lists seven sins that are to abandoned by the children of God. Let’s take a little time to look at these sins, because they present an escalating attitude of resentment that can destroy our relationships with others.

a.  Bitterness – This word refers to a “smoldering resentment; a grudge-filled attitude.” Bitterness in the heart will fill a person with perpetual animosity. The bitter person will usually be sour and often filled with resentment and spite. Bitterness is mentioned first because the other attitudes that are mentioned in this verse flow out of bitterness.

Bitterness is dangerous, because the Bible says that it can become rooted in our lives, Heb. 12:15, and it will poison all the relationships we have in our lives. Bitterness comes from a heart that is not right with God, Acts 8:21-23. It is one of the major characteristics of a person who is not saved, Rom. 3:10-14. And it often leads to destruction of faith and relationships, Heb. 12:15.

A clear example of the danger of bitterness is a man named Ahithophel. Ahithophel was David’s counselor. When Absalom rebelled against his father, Ahithophel joined the rebellion. When it became clear that David would prevail, Ahithophel went to his house and committed suicide, 2 Sam. 17:23.

The reason Ahithophel committed suicide was because he was bitter about something David had done to a member of his family many years before. Ahithophel had a son named Eliam, 2 Sam. 23:34. Eliam had a daughter named Bathsheba, 2 Sam. 11:3. David committed adultery with Ahithophel’s granddaughter, and Ahithophel could not forgive and get past the sin of David. His resentment turned into bitterness and it poisoned Ahithophel to the point where it caused him to turn on a friend, and to eventually commit suicide.

Bitterness, if allowed to exist in our hearts, will produce a root system that will grow until it has infiltrated and undermined every area of your life. The root of bitterness will send its tendrils into every area of your life, and eventually,  it will destroy you.

  • Bitterness will make you sick physically. As you fret and worry over what you think persons or institutions have done to you, your body will respond in sickness.
  • Bitterness will harm you emotionally. The root of bitterness will entangle itself around your peace. your joy and your happiness and choke the life right out of them. It will leave you a sad, empty shell.
  • Bitterness will destroy your relationship with others. As bitterness grows, you will become a negative, critical person. Others will not want to be around you and you will eventually be left all alone.
  • Bitterness will demolish you spiritually. As you fixate on the person, persons or institutions that you feel wronged you, you will lose your focus on the Lord. The object of your worship becomes yourself and your feelings. In essence, you become your own god. There is a sense that the object of your bitterness also becomes a god in your life, because they, and not the Lord, have your attention. Bitter people destroy churches, ministries and other people’s influence.

 

Don’t let that happen in your life. Deal with your hurts and refute to allow them to grow into a “root of bitterness” that will choke the joy and peace out of your life. If it allowed to flourish, that “root of bitterness” will destroy you and all the relationships in your life. Bitter people are sad, hard to get along with, and ultimately, they are selfish, because they care for nothing but their own feelings. Bitterness grieves the Holy Spirit, v. 30.

Great Day At Church

We had a good morning at church today. No, the service was not given over to testimonies. A few testified, but the feature that made the service so great, for me any way, was the the Gospel was preached. I praise the Lord for His grace in allowing me to preach the Gospel, and for my congregation to hear it preached. Not that I am a great preacher, but our Lord has a great Gospel, and it must be declared. After all, it is the means God uses to save sinners, 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 10:1. So preacher, preach the Gospel. God will use it to bring His elect to Himself! When you have preached the Gospel, it has been a great day at your church.

By the way, we have seen the Gospel do its work at Calvary. I baptized four of the people who were recently converted at our church last Sunday evening, and I am to baptize two more tonight. Praise His name.

Alan

Twitter Is No More

I thought I would try Twitter as an avenue to keep our church and friends updated on upcoming events and prayer requests. However, after only two weeks, some ungodly people have found me and have followed my Twitter feed. Since I do not need their debased tweets showing up in my feed, I have deactivated my account. It’s a shame that a few godless people can ruin what could otherwise be a positive ministry tool.

Alan

Down Day

Today has been a down day for me. I woke up this morning to find that my lower back had decided to take the day off. Since it refused to work as it should, I too was forced to take the day off. I am sure it will return to fully operational status soon.

I case no one noticed to subtle Twitter feed on the right, you can follow us on Twitter @CalvaryLenoir. Our feed will serve to keep our church members and followers updated on news of interest to our congregation. Of course, the Twitter feed will also notify our followers of blog updates. So, if you haven’t done so already, please follow us on Twitter.

For those who use the website, if you notice a dead link on our Links page, please send me an E-mail. I would appreciate it. If you know of a link that is worthy to placed on our exalted page, let me know as well. I am trying to bring my web site into the 21st Century. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I hope your evening goes well, and if you are preaching this evening, preach Jesus and Him crucified preacher, or stay home!

Alan

West Lenoir Baptist School Of Ministry

One week from tomorrow WLBSM will resume classes for the 2012/2013 school year. I am looking forward to getting back to school, learning together and enjoying the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

If you any God-called, male preachers who might benefit from attending West Lenoir, have them come to the school on Monday Aug 27th at 8:00 AM. The cost of school is well within the reach of nearly everyone. The atmosphere of the school is special, because while there is a focus on academics, our priority at WLSBM is recognize and honor the Holy Spirit and His presence and leadership among us.

Pray for the new school year. and come join us, if the Lord leads you to. The school’s address is: 311 Abington Road Northwest Lenoir, NC 28645. And the phone number is:(828) 758-2818.

Today is the Lord’s Day. I am preaching from the book of 1 John on the issue of assurance of salvation. Over the course of my ministry I have seen scores of people who had made a profession of faith at one point in their lives, fall under Holy Spirit conviction, and come to actual faith in the Lord Jesus. Nearly all those people were plagued with doubts concerning their relationship with Jesus Christ before they actually came to know Him by faith. I want to try and help the doubters.

I pray that wherever you minister today, the Lord will bless you and use you man of God. May His grace sustain you. May His power fill you. May His sovereign grace and providence go before you and prepare hearts. May He use you in great ways for His glory. Hallelujah! It’s good to be a preacher of the Gospel. It’s really good to be a saved preacher of the Gospel. Now, preach preacher, preach!

Alan

All Right

It’s time I got back to the keyboard and did this blogging thing justice. I have been kind of burned out lately on all things Internet, but I am ready to get back in gear.

You can follow me on Twitter, if ou are interested @CalvaryLenoir. My feed will primarily be for our church people. I would like to use it to keep our people better informed. Of course, there will be occasional ravings that you will have to endure.

So, that’s it for today, but keep an eye open around here. I’ve got a feeling that business is about to pick up.

Alan

Revival at New Buffalo Baptist Church

Hello Friends:

I will be preaching meeting at New Buffalo Baptist Church in Grover, NC June 18-20, 2012. The services will be at 7:00 PM each evening. On Wednesday morning June 20, I have been given a special opportunity. The Pastor, Brother Adam Green, is hosting a morning preacher’s service at 10:00 AM. During that service, I will be preaching to the men who attend and we will share a time of fellowship and food following the service. Just below this post I have included a letter from Brother Greene inviting all the men of God to this special service. If you would be able to attend, please give Brother Adam a call and let Him know. Thanks, and I hope to see you then.

Alan

Here is the letter.

Dear Pastors and Ministers,

We have a great opportunity to have a worship service composed of mainly of pastors and ministers who would like to be fed by a fellow pastor who is well known by many like you.

With great honor and joy of having Pastor Alan Carr from Calvary Baptist in Lenoir, North Carolina, preaching for us.

I have always considered Pastor Carr to be a Preacher’s Preacher. He is well known for the great love, time and effort that he puts in the Sermon Notebook for fellow ministers which is a blessing from the Lord.

Pastor Carr is also preaching our revival, June 18-20, 7:00 p.m. We would welcome your church to join us. There will be special music each night.

I, Pastor Adam Green would consider it a great honor if you could join us at New Buffalo Baptist Church, Wednesday, June 20, at 10:00 a.m. for this worship service. We will have

a fellowship meal afterwards also at the church.

Please R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, June 18, so we will prepare food for all.

R.S.V.P. @

mgreen2@carolina.rr.com

704-913-4398 cell

Pastor Adam Green

Still Here…Really!

Hello faithful blog readers. I am amazed by the number of people who still stop by this blog, even though I haven’t written anything in two months. Sorry about that, but that’s my life right now. Anyway, I just wanted to stop by to ask you all to pray for the Jubilee this weekend in LaGrange, GA. Living Waters Baptist Church and Pastor Richard Clinard are hosting the meeting. It continues morning and evening through tomorrow. Evangelist Terry Pace and Pastor Keith Allison preached great messages last night. Brother Tom Gilliam is here, and I am hoping that he is preaching today. I saw several other great preachers in the meeting, so the preaching ought to be wonderful. However, I am supposed to preach this evening, so not all the preaching will be good. So, please say a pray for the meeting, and if you are in the area, please drop in. Thanks and God bless!

Alan