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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2008-12-28: "Avoiding The Bitter End"

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Avoiding the Bitter End

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS:

I saw a recent article that listed the five most popular resolutions made most every year.

The 5th was to take up a new hobby,

the 4th was to make more money,

the 3rd most popular resolution was to improve relationships, the 2nd was to stop smoking,

and the most popular New Years resolution, you guessed it, losing weight.


FUNNY:
A woman walked into her bathroom at home. As she did, she saw her husband weighing himself on the bathroom scales, sucking in his stomach. The woman thought to herself, "He thinks that he will weigh less by sucking in his stomach." So, the woman rather sarcastically said to her husband, "That’s not going to help." Her husband said, "Sure it will. It’s the only way I can see the numbers."

Often this time of year, after the overindulgence of the holidays we make resolutions to change our habits and our way of life. A new year gives us an opportunity to start fresh and better ourselves. But come the middle of January we somehow forget our resolutions and go back to our old ways.


FUNNY:
I heard about a man who moved into a retirement community to spend the rest of his life there. It wasn’t long until he had made a number of friends among the other residents. There was one lady he was especially attracted to, and she was attracted to him, also. So they spent a lot of time together. Finally one evening he proposed, asking her to marry him.
The next morning he woke up remembering his proposal, but he couldn’t remember her answer. So he went to her and said, "I’m really embarrassed. I proposed to you last night but I can’t remember if you said `Yes’ or `No."’ "Oh, thank goodness!" she replied. "I remembered saying `Yes’ but I couldn’t remember who asked me."

This sermon explores Biblical characters who had a potential for bitterness in stressful situations of their lives, or who ended their lives in bitterness. It also explores remedies for avoiding bitterness in the New Year.

 

Pastor Phil  <><<

Avoiding the Bitter End, Text:

Colossians 12:

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

13  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

14  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

17  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland

December 28, 2008

Avoiding the Bitter End

Colossians 3:12-17

 

"Faith and Optimism are needed as we face the vocational and financial challenges of the New Year. This is not a time for bitterness and withdrawal.  It is a time to look forward with Christ’s Faith and Hope in our hearts!         Pastor Phil

 

Biblical “Bitter Enders:

Cain – Genesis 4:13

“And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear!”

Balaam  -  Numbers 22-24

‘Balaam can only bless what God blesses and curse whom God curses.’

Esau – Genesis 25-27:41

“So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, "The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob."

Eli – 1 Samuel 1-3:18

“Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, "It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him."

Saul – 1 Samuel 9-31:4

“Then Saul said to his armorbearer, "Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me." But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it.”

Solomon –  1 Kings 1-11:11-13

“Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. "Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son.”

Hezikiah  -  2 Kings 20:1-3

“In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.'" Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, "Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.”

Jonah  -  Jonah 4:1-11; esp. v.8

“And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live."

Jeremiah – Jeremiah 38:3-18; esp. v.6

“So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the king's son, which was in the court of the prison, and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire. So Jeremiah sank in the mire.”

 

Jesus  - John 18:11) (Cries Out, Luke 23:36,37

Jesus drank the Cup of Bitterness

“So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"

Jesus tasted bitterness while on His Cross

“The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself."

 

Avoid The Bitter End By:

I.  LOVING GOD AND LIVING WITH HIM – Matthew 22:36-40

   "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"

    Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with

    all your soul, and with all your mind.'

   "This is the first and great commandment.

   "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

   "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

  1. A.     Invite Jesus into your Heart – Rev. 3:20,21

                 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens

                  the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

                 1. Give up control of your life, give it to Him

                 2. Make room for Him every day

                 3. If God is your Co-Pilot, move over!

            B. Confess Him as Savior and Lord – Romans 10:8-10

                 “But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your

                  heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with

                  your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised

                 Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto

                 righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

                 1. See God as your Source – Prov. 3:5,6

                     “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own

                     understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your

                     paths.”

                 2. See Christ as the Answer to your Problems – Mark 9:23

                     “Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who

                      believes."

 

Avoid The Bitter End By:

II.  PUTTING ON CHRIST’S VIRTUES - Col. 3:12-17

      Twelve Virtues of Christ:

            1. January - Compassion - v. 12a

                 “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves

                  with compassion.  . .”

            2. February - Kindness - v.12b

                “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and

                 patience.”

            3. March - Humility - v.12c

                “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and

                 patience.”

            4. April - Gentleness - v. 12d

                ““clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and

                 patience.”

            5. May - Patience  - v.12

                “““clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and

                 patience.”

            6. June - Forbearance - v. 13

               “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against

               one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

            7. July - Forgiveness - v. 13

                “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have

                  against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

            8. August - Love - v. 14

                “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in

                 perfect unity.”

            9. September - Peace - v.15

                “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body

                 you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

       10. October -Thankfulness - v. 15b

               “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body

                you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

       11. November - Wisdom - v. 16

               “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one

                another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs

               with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

       12. December - Praise to God - v.17

              “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord

               Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”