Itjust creeps in and it doesn’t really bother you until that name is mentioned orthat place; it is then that all that bitterness and unforgiveness comes rushingback. He was angry!  In fact, the Bible indicates that he was beyondangry, he was fuming!  He had served his father faithfully his entire lifeand now his younger, rebellious brother was back.  They were throwing that brothera party.  When had they ever thrown him, the faithful son, a party? When had they ever even acknowledged his dedication to the family? NEVER! While his younger brother traveled the world, spending money and living withouta care, he had stayed and done as he should.  Now that the money had runout for his brother, he had returned home.  What the older brother wasn’texpecting was to see this irresponsible sibling welcomed upon his return. He had expected his father to turn him away; or at best, let him work as aservant in the fields.  It was he, the older brother, whom this partyshould be for and there was no way he was going in to celebrate his babybrother’s return. While his father forgave, the older brother held onto hisbitterness and resentment.  He resented his younger brother forleaving.  He resented his younger brother for returning.  He also resentedhis father for his willingness to forgive, so much so that he could notexperience the joy that comes when we are willing to show mercy on others. MarkTwain said it best when he said; “Angeris an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than toanything on which it is poured.” Now think for amoment what if God had treated us the way we sometimes treat others. Many yearshave gone by and you think you have forgiven and all that bitterness is allgone. Then you come face to face with that person and the expression on yourface tells a different story. The question was asked Jesus;
Matthew18:21  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall mybrother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Matthew18:22  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times:but, Until seventy times seven. Is Jesus teaching that we are to forgiveour neighbor? I think so and in Chapter 22 He reinforced what He has taught.
Matthew22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God withall thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Matthew22:38  This is the first and great commandment.
Matthew22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thyneighbour as thyself.
It’shard to love someone and have an unforgiving spirit or bitterness in the heart;love and bitterness just don’t go together. Is there someone out there whom youhave trouble forgiving? If so, you are missing out on the celebration and joyyou could be sharing.  You have become the older brother and youwill not go to the party but have become selfish and thinking of yourself morehighly than you should.
Romans12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man thatis among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought tothink; …… Have a blessed weekend, pray for your Pastor starting now forSunday Morning.  Someone closeto you needs for God to speak to them and so do each of us.