#938 October 18, 1992
(transcribed from tape)
THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS
Hebrews 12:12 through 17. Let's bow for prayer together.
Father, Thy word pierces, Thy word touches, Thy word instructs, Thy word
convinces, Thy word directs. You speak now, and let me get out of the way
so that Thy word may be received, heard, applied right where we live. For
we pray through Jesus Christ, our living Lord. Amen.
When Christopher Columbus returned from his voyage, there were many skeptics
who said, "How do we know that you have found a new way to the orient?" He
brought on board various, unique items of produce. Some tomatoes and corn and
other things that were indigenous to our western part of the world. But the most
conclusive evidence that he brought back happened to be natives of the islands
upon which he landed. And he brought out these strange, unique people. And he
said, "These are the people that inhabit the place." And therefore, that was
empirical evidence that he had indeed discovered a new world.
Today we're talking about what evidence that you are Christian. How do you
know that you're a Christian? How do I know that I've been born from above?
How do I know that I have become a new creation, a new creature in Jesus Christ?
What is some of the evidence? Many things. But one shred of evidence that is
very important is: If you are in God's family, if I am in God's family, then God will
discipline you and God will discipline me. Because a loving father always
disciplines children that he loves. That should be good news! Now this verse 11
in Hebrews 12, tells it like it is. Look at it, at what it says;
"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful but sorrowful."
I think we can all say: I agree with that. I've never been anxious to run into
discipline. Have you? It sorrowful; it's not fun; it gives no pleasure to be
disciplined. It is painful to be disciplined. But look ...
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