I am taking the liberty this morning to use a word from our study in Revelation chapter 8 to present an exhortation for our devotional. The word that I am speaking about is “wormwood” (Revelation 8:11). Webster’s dictionary describes it this way: “a bitter, aromatic plant; something bitter, grievous, or extremely unpleasant”. This is an excellent definition of the consequences from repeatedly rejecting the counsel or warnings of God.
Sin would not be tempting if there were no appeal to it, would it? The very nature of temptation is that it is alluring and often provides “seasonal” satisfaction and gratification (Hebrews 11:25). However, the long term effects of compromise are always wormwood, a bitter experience and extremely unpleasant consequences. This fact underscores the importance of spending time each and every day in God’s Word. (See Psalm 119.) Not simply reading it to “check off” the box in the One Year Bible column, but reading it for wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), life (John 6:63), light (Psalm 119:105) and correction (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We cannot stop temptation from coming (James 1:13-15), but God promises us a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13) in order that we may bring Him glory and prevent those seeds of wormwood from establishing strongholds in our lives.
Just like the star Wormwood in our study this morning came crashing into the planet and spread its bitter poison, so too does this fallen world system seek to come crashing into our lives via the internet, the radio, the television, and so on and so forth. How we need to resist the “gospel according to the god of this world” with the life changing gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16,17; Ephesians 4:17-24)!
Maybe you find yourself dealing with wormwood this morning, and you would ask, “How do I remove this wormwood-like situation or consequence that is eating my life away?” On the one hand, the physical consequences of our sin may never be removed until we go home with The Lord. On the other hand though, we have the promise of Jesus that when we turn to Him in true sorrow and brokenness, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) So beloved, put the tree of Calvary into that bitter experience (Exodus15:22-27), and allow The Spirit of God to cleanse and refresh you today.