Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. (15) See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;”
God is love and the farthest you can get from Him is hate. Hate is a destructive force working inside against you. It hurts you more than the one you hate. Hate is sin. You are in bondage to the one you hate. Jesus came to set us free from all sin and all that hurts our relationship with the Father. Bitterness in the heart turns in to hate. God has a path for us to take to win in life and enjoy life. Hate will not take us there. Love will!
Let us back up here and see the places we can chop hate off at the root before it takes a hold of us. It usually starts with anger. Anger comes from being hurt. Anger may come in through a jealous spirit or other ways, but usually it comes from being hurt. You may say, “No, I am just mad.” But probably someone hurt you, either intentionally or unintentionally, and you took offense and held on to it. Here is a place we can stop hate from entering before it even gets a good start toward us. Don’t hold onto the hurt and the offense; let it go. Give it to God. In I Peter 5:7 Jesus says to, “cast your cares upon Me, because I care for you.” Let Him have them. God says, “Vengeance is Mine.”
If you hold on to the offense and hurt, the next step is to go to unforgiveness. Unforgiveness messes your relationship up with God. Jesus teaches, “…if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us.” (Mark 11:24). And in the prayer known to many as the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus says in Matthew 6:12 “forgive us our debts as we forgive others.” Do you really want God to forgive as you forgive others? After that prayer He says again in verses 14-15 “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (15) But if you do not forgive men, then your heavenly Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Jesus does not mince words; He means what He says. And that forgiveness is in words and actions. You may not trust the person you have forgiven yet. You may wisely not put yourself in the position for them to hurt you for now. You may need some space or distance for a while. Trust takes time. However you are not to be bitter against them. If you see them in trouble by the side of the road, you will stop and help them. You may move on away from them when the trouble is over because they have not proven to be trustworthy yet in their lifestyle and habits, and weak areas they seem to stumble in so easily. Stop unforgiveness and you stop the path to hate.
After the hurt and the taking of offense and unforgiveness sets in the next step is bitterness. Bitterness will eat up the one carrying it. You become a slave to the person you do not forgive and are bitter towards. The person you are bitter towards may be doing fine at this time. If they were truly wrong, perhaps they have asked forgiveness and mercy from God. And perhaps they have not, but are going their own way in life and not even concerned or thinking about the wrong done to you.. Either way- bitterness will eat you up like a tiger or some cancer or monster. It will attack your health and cause stress, which is bad for the heart and brain. It is bad for your spirit. So here is a place to wisely cut off your path to hate. Root out or release the bitterness to God before it takes such a deep root in you, and begins to take you down. You are no match for the devil and the bitterness he offers. Bitterness brings the soul to a low place where stress enters a takes a toll on your spirit, soul, and body. You are not hurting the other party; you are hurting yourself. The other party has to deal with their own attitude and heart before God.
The next step on the awful path to hate is rebellion. In I Samuel 15:23 we are told that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. It has an evil effect. When we do not forgive as instructed by the Lord, we are in rebellion. We rebel against others; we rebel against God’s instructions, therefore we are in rebellion to God. We are angry, disobedient and in rebellion. It feels good for the moment to our flesh, so we camp out there for a while-sometimes along while. Life goes on and we are not in the favor of God with rebellion and disobedience working in our lives. This is another place to cut off the path to hate that the devil desires us to be on. It may be somewhat harder here since you have allowed it to fester and take root in you. But you can do it. It is the wise thing to do. Hate is from the devil; love is from God. God is love. (I John 4:8)
Well next you arrive at the worst place-HATE! Hate is contrary to God. It is the opposite of who He is. It separates the best of friends. It separates God from his people. Do not go into hate. It will eventually destroy you. There is no true joy and peace when hate is present. Life will not seem so sweet. You will miss out on God’s love, the abundant life Jesus promises, and His purpose for you in life. We are designed to be like God in our attitude and lifestyle. Hate will destroy you. It will cause stress and heart and other problems. It will cause you to go away from God instead of near to God where He wants us. Hate kills. Love brings life. Why is hate so bad? Remember-Hate kills. It kills relationships. It kills friendships. It kills your soul. It even causes people to actually, physically kill others. “Thou shalt not kill” is still God’s commandment. Hate is a terrible destructive force which if it is in you will destroy you.
You may think your love for God is intact and still have hate in your heart for your brother or sister. However, check this out- I John 4:19-21 “We love, because He first loved us.(20) If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.(21) And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
Let’s go through a quick review here of the path to HATE. We start off in Anger that comes from hurt or another reason. Then Unforgiveness sets in, which hurts our relationship with God.. Next come Bitterness. If we hold onto unforgiveness too long then bitterness sets in and eats you up like a cancer. Then it moves to Rebellion. You rebel against people and God’s way of doing things, so therefore you are in rebellion against God Himself, whether you feel like it or not. This is bad enough, but there is another place you can go if you do not forgive and go back to love. That place is HATE! Hate kills. It is the farthest we can get from God, because God is love.
ONE ACT of forgiveness takes you all the way back to love again. That is the good news in the Bible. Love is the winner’s life. Yes, back to love where you are close to God. Now the Holy Sprit can pour out His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (See Galatians 5:20-21). You will be in the position of blessings with God again. You can purchase things, but you can not purchase God’s peace.
You may at this time say, “ I don’t feel like forgiving. I was wronged and hurt. They lied, cheated, killed, caused heartache, hurt me and others. We hurt Jesus with our sin but He still died for us. So if you do not feel like forgiving, CHOOSE to forgive and your feelings will have to catch up later. Whatever others have done to you, it is NOT WORTH messing your relationship up with the Father in heaven. He is the One we answer to. He is the One they will answer to. So release them to Jesus; He died for them- you didn’t. He knows how to deal with each person. So if you do not feel like forgiving, choose to. Forgiveness should be coming out of us toward others so when and if they come to ask for our forgiveness, it is already there at hand. Our part is already handled and we are pleasing to the Father.
A man once told a few of us gathered together in a prayer meeting that he asked God to judge a person and deal with them. God impressed upon him, “Do you want me deal with you that way? Do you want judgment or mercy?” He responded to God, “Give him mercy Lord.” We all laughed and smiled understanding how he felt.
There have been times in my life where I was about to take Communion (The Lord’s Supper) and the thought hit me, “I forgive everybody in the whole world. I do not have unforgiveness against anyone.” It is a very liberating experience. Jesus comes to set us free and to set us free indeed. (John 8:32 and 36) Why should you be a slave to another person by unforgiveness, bitterness and hate? Release it all to God. The Holy Spirit will move in and invade your life with love. It is like a weight that lifts. Your countenance, your appearance, your outlook on life, your energy, your health, and your very life will be much much better.
And also The Word of God lets us know in James 2:13 “For judgment will be merciless to one who shows no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” So it is to our advantage to show mercy. Mercy means we do not get what we deserve. You freely receive mercy from Jesus when you do not deserve it; freely received, freely give.
Receive Forgiveness. We do not deserve mercy, yet Jesus gave us mercy on the cross when He took our sins on Himself and died for us as He forgave us. God will forgive you as you confess your sins and ask for His forgiveness, and receive His Son, Jesus, as Savior and the Lord of your life. All your sins will be washed away and heaven will be your home for eternity. The Holy Spirit will come to live in you and let you know you are accepted. Pray- “Father, forgive me for my sins. Thank You Jesus for dying for me. I receive You today as Savior and the Lord of my life. You are now my Master. I will follow and serve You. Thank You for Your mercy to me. Baptize me in the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit; help me to live a life pleasing to my Father in heaven. In Jesus Name I pray-Amen. I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Now read Read Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:8-9, 6:23, 10:9-10, 13; John 3:16; Acts 1:8, Acts 2:38.
Cowboy Partners: We continue to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ at rodeos and other events and in Cowboy Churches, plus other places as we travel. You are welcome to be our Cowboy Partner. You will have a part in every soul and spirit we reach for Jesus. We tell them about His love and forgiveness. We see signs, wonders, miracles, healings, and changed lives for the good. You can help with finances, prayers, and help when you see us. In blessing, you will be blessed!
Service: What about your group? Is there anything that we can do for you? Let us know.
Ronnie Christian, Phil 4:19