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Vine of bitterness

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” Hebrews 12:15

A few years ago, I stopped and took some time to admire some of the hardwood trees by the cabin where our son lives. To tell you how old the trees are, I have no way of knowing. However, they are large enough it would take two to three people to reach around them. I stood in awe of their magnificent beauty, strength, and size.

The more I looked I began to realize the tree itself was struggling. The green leaves on it were not coming from the tree, but instead from a vine that had wound its way up the tree beginning to strangle the life out of it. What seemed to be something so small and insignificant was choking the life out of something so strong that had withstood winds, rains, winters, and storms. This vine that looked beautiful was killing this magnificent tree.

The vine was a fake grapevine, pretty to look at but would never produce any grapes. When I cut through the vine, I found it was hollow inside and full of water. Like bitterness, this vine had slowly climbed its way to the top of the tree wrapping itself around it, leaving scars and marks in the bark as it slowly squeezed the life out of the tree. All the while, sucking up all the water and never producing any fruit, killing the only thing of value in the yard.

Bitterness, like this vine, will begin so innocent. It climbs unnoticed, destroying the very essence of who we are, from our reputation to our families. We become entangled by something that has never produced any kind of fruit in our lives. Storms, winds, nor battles stand the chance to destroy you like a small root of bitterness that is left unattended.

Our prayer for you this week: May you quickly sever any vine of bitterness that entangles you, in Jesus Name.  

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Josh Shields

Josh Shields and his wife, Janice, founded New Life Church in Berryville, Arkansas in 2011, where he continues to be the residing pastor. He formerly served in different pastoral positions throughout the state of Arkansas and has ministered at various churches, conferences, conventions, and venues throughout the nation. He began his ministry in 1983 at the age of 16, feeling the call at a young age to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He enjoys every opportunity to share Jesus with others through his ministry by speaking, preaching, singing, and writing weekly articles/posts.

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