Our pastor shared a sermon this morning based on Hebrews 12:15-16 (NIV). " See to it that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See to it that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son." He talked about how we sometimes cannot experience the fullness of the blessings of God because of barriers that keep the blessings away from us. The three barriers he expounded on using these two verse were: 1) bitterness; 2) immorality; and 3) possessions.
He talked about how bitterness can keep away God's blessings from ourselves and can also affect the people around us. He talked about the importance of reaching out to bitter people but being careful to guard ourselves from being infected by the bitterness.
Immorality is rapant in our society today, and, sadly, also in our churches. He stressed that no one suddenly falls into immorality but that it is often the result of subtle slidings into it and we need to carefully guard ourselves against it. He talked about the importance of accountability to one another.
Our pursuit of material possessions can also be a barrier to our receiving the full blessings of God. He stressed the importance of having our priorities right and seeking God first, not things.
I'm looking forward to many more messages from this pastor. He is new here and I think he is on the right track in challenging us to check our lives and help one another.