Over the 30+ years I have been in may meetings AA, NA, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Alcohilcs Victorious, Overcomers Outreach,Celebrate Recovery and Living Life Recovery. My hope and my prayer is that for the rest of my days I will continue to attend many meetings because it helps me.
Meetings are important. “Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” Matthew 18:18-20
Luke 6:41 “You look at the bit of sawdust in your friend’s eye. But you pay no attention to the piece of wood in your own eye.”
No one is perfect. We are all sinners and we all fail when it comes to meeting God’s standards. So why are we all more interested in what is going on in other people’s lives than we are on our own?
It helps us to take the focus from ourselves, 2 Corinthians 11:3 says “Eve was tricked by the snake’s clever lies. And I’m afraid that in the same way your minds will somehow be led down the wrong path. They will be led away from your true and pure love for Christ.”
That’s what will happen to us if we focus more on others character than our own.
- Are you spending too much time taking other people’s inventories?
Prayer: Lord help me today to focus on my own character and You will for my life.
Colossians 1:16 Christ himself is the Creator who made everything in heaven and earth, the things we can see and the things we can’t; the spirit world with its kings and kingdoms, its rulers and authorities; all were made by Christ for his own use and glory.
The Serenity Prayer is commonly attributed to Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who composed it in the 1940s. According to its website, Alcoholics Anonymous adopted the Serenity Prayer and began including it in AA materials in 1942.
What is so special about this prayer that millions of people use across the world in 12 Step meetings? Let’s break it down and see.
God grant me SERENITY
Galatians 5:22-24 What happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard–things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good–crucified.
God grant me COURAGE
Matthew 14:22-27 As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain, so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night. Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror. But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
God grant me WISDOM
1 Corinthians 2:6-9 We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest–what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, never so much as imagined anything quite like it– What God has arranged for those who love him.
What else are we asking God to teach us from this prayer?
To live ONE DAY AT A TIME.
Matthew 6:34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
To enjoy ONE MOMENT AT A TIME
Matthew 24:32 “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner.”
To accept HARDSHIP AS A PATHWAY TO PEACE
John 16:33 “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
Taking this WORLD AS IT IS
John 12:31 At this moment the world is in crisis.
Trust that GOD WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT
1 Corinthians 7:35 I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.
Why pray this prayer regularly as part of your recovery process?
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
What do we need to do to achieve happiness?
SURRENDER TO GOD’S WILL
(it’s in the prayer)
Tomorrow Night at Living Life Recovery
God’s Everlasting Love
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one—for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God is full of grace
The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Exodus 34:6
God is slow to become angry
But You, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalms 86:15
God’s grace makes salvation possible
He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
God accepts us by His grace
God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9
God’s grace gives us hope
Think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 1 Peter 1:13
STEP 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself” Galatians 6:1
2 Kings 15:1-7
Uzziah son of Amaziah began to rule over Judah in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel. He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. The Lord struck the king with leprosy, which lasted until the day he died. He lived in isolation in a separate house. The king’s son Jotham was put in charge of the royal palace, and he governed the people of the land. The rest of the events in Uzziah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. When Uzziah died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And his son Jotham became the next king.
- Our Lives need to be influenced by Christlike Models
Although Azariah accomplished a great deal, he failed to destroy the pagan shrines in Judah, just as his father Amaziah and his grandfather Joash had failed to do. He imitated what other kings had done because he had heard stories about what good kings’ they were. He had poor role models to follow in some areas of his life who influenced how he conducted himself in life. We need to make sure in the process of recovery and life we have good role models influencing us. Jesus provides a perfect model. It doesn’t matter where we have come from, what has happened to us, what matters is what or who are we allowing to influence our lives right now?
Who are your role models?
How are your role models influencing how you conduct your life today?
- How we influence the lives of others will be judged by God
Sin in our lives is serious. The Bible tells us Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Even more serious than sin in our lives is to encourage others to disobey God. We are responsible for how we influence other people in the recovery process. We need to be aware in our lives of double sins; that is things we do or encourage other people to that not only hurt us but also hurt other people.
Are you encouraging someone else to do the wrong thing because it’s easier than telling them the truth?
- We need to evaluate our influences by biblical standards.
People generally will believe lies that reinforce their own selfish, personal beliefs. We need to be careful as we grow spiritually with what input we allow to influence us and what output we share with those we are influencing. In the world today we are constantly bombarded by TV, music, movies, the internet and other forms of media with messages that present sinful lifestyles and unwholesome values as the norm. Attitudes and beliefs that are totally opposed to the Bible.
The Bible is our only standard of truth and we need to evaluate all our opinions in light of what it teaches.
What are you allowing to form your opinions about life?
Connect Christian Church
6 Bray Street, Hastings – 7:30 pm, Monday 4th June, 2018
Psalms 105:1 Hallelujah! Thank God! Pray to Him by name! Tell everyone you meet what he has done!
We are all probably aware we need to thank God for what He has done in and through our lives. Some of us may do it grudgingly, some of us do it habitually.
But we all need to remember thanking Him is more than a phrase. It is an attitude. It is recognition of our dependence on Him ~ it is He who gives us recovery, who brings us hope, comfort, and strength as we go through this process of life transformation.
As we take time this week to consider what Heis like, what He does and what He is able to do, we need to nurture a thankful response.
Step Twelve of the Living Life Recovery Steps says “Having gone through these steps and discovering the importance of an individual relationship with God through Jesus, I will try to live according to His principles and to lead others to a personal relationship with Him.”
Join us this week at Living Life Recovery, Connect Christian Church in Hastings as we look at what the Bible says to us about the importance of giving in the process of recovery.
Our Vulnerability to relapse. We are all the most vulnerable to relapse when life is going well. When things are going well we tend to stop listening to God because we think we can now handle things on our own. We start to neglect to go to meetings, reading the Bible, praying and doing other things we used to do when we were first introduced to recovery.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So, when you have repented and turned to Me again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with You, and even to die with You.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know Me.” Luke 22:31-34
- Pride lures us away from God
- Pride undermines what we have learned
- Pride distorts our views of ourselves – God – others – recovery
- Selfishness is a rejection of God and all He represents
- Selfishness is self-destructive
- Selfishness is at the heart of most of our problems
- Stops us relying on God
- Stops us asking for help when we need it
- Removes us from the recovery process
- Distraction stops us being consistent
- Distraction lowers our awareness of our true position
- Distraction stops us trusting God
COMMITMENT TO GOD
- Must be complete
- Must be consistent
- Must be lifelong
- Must put Him first and above all else
COMMITMENT TO OTHERS
- Should not compromise our recovery
- Should reflect our relationship with God
- Should encourage both us and those we are in a relationship with
Reserve a daily quiet time
- Time to pray
- Time to read the Bible
- Time to meditate on God’s Word
- How are you going?
- Where are you in the recovery process?
- Is there something or things you need to change
Listen to Jesus
- How’s your prayer life?
- How’s your obedience?
- Are you avoiding something?
Alone and quiet time
- Time to relax
- Time to rest
- Time to do something you enjoy
Plug into God’s power
- How is your connection?
- Are you letting God lead?
- How’s your obedience?
- Are you doing too much?
- When was your last day off?
- How is your time balanced?
Enjoy your growth
- How disciplined are you?
- How have you changed in the last twelve months?
- When did you last celebrate your recovery?