April 26, 2022 — Bitter Taste in your Mouth?

When I got to the restaurant one morning, Stan was already seated at our usual table. As I sat down, he said, “Watch out for the new coffee blend that Ricky is offering this morning.”

“Watch out for what?” I asked.

“It has a very interesting flavor,” Stan said. “On first taste, it’s quite bitter, but just a bit of the sweet cream that comes with it turns it into a fabulous treat.  Without the sweet cream, the coffee can just about knock you off of your chair, but with it, the bitterness is gone and it tastes wonderful.”

“Thanks for the warning,” I said.

“You’re welcome,” Stan replied. He then added, “That coffee is just like some people I’ve known in my life.”

“In what way?” I asked.

“People who are filled with bitterness over things that have happened to them,” Stan replied, “or filled with bitterness over things they think have happened to them.”

“You’re right,” I said. “People like that come easily to mind.”

“But,” Stan responded, “I’ve also known a few such bitter people who changed dramatically when the sweetness of Christ was poured into them. The bitterness disappeared. They became new people who spread the sweetness of Christ.”

“Yeah,” I said, “those are the fortunate ones. I’ve known a lot of bitter people who have never discovered or have rejected the sweetness of Christ. Their lives are filled with bitterness which they spread all over the place.”

“And,” I added, “I can tell you as an absolute fact that sweetness is a whole lot more enjoyable than bitterness.”

“Amen to that,” Stan’s responded. “And it’s a choice. Just like with Ricky’s new blend of coffee.”

“How’s that?” I asked.

“We could try to enjoy the coffee with its bitterness and sit here complaining that it’s bitter, or we can add the sweet cream and have something really enjoyable to tell other people about!”


Bible verses to consider:

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4.

Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Isaiah 43:18.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of the wonderful sweetness of Christ that freed me from the possibility of spending eternity in the bitterness of being separated from you. Thank you, too, for the sweetness of the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening personal relationship while you keep me on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I do not tell the people you bring before me that you are the solution for all bitterness they may face now and for eternity. Please forgive me for not telling them, and please help me to follow every step of your lead by telling each person you intend about the sweetness of all of your provision. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision so you will not have an eternity of bitter separation from God? If no, why? Do you really want to be separated from God’s sweetness for all of eternity? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in living a life filled with the sweetness God has for you on this side of eternity? As well, how are you doing in telling others of the sweetness that is available to them? Do you sense the need for changes in your life in this regard? If so, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what  you want? Why or why not?

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