House Church

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Philemon 1:1-3 I, Paul, am a prisoner for the sake of Christ, here with my brother Timothy. I write this letter to you, Philemon, my good friend and companion in this work– also to our sister Apphia, to Archippus, a real trooper, and to the church that meets in your house. God’s best to you! Christ’s blessings on you!
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Just Walk Across The Room

Romans 15:7 Warmly welcome each other into the church, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified.

Church is not a building. Church is not a place. Church is a people! It is made up of people from all walks of life, weak, strong, rich, poor, addictive and compulsive. People with all sorts of problems in their lives. People who need help, people who need recovery, people who need Jesus. People whom the Bible tells us to “warmly welcome them into Church (Recovery) in the same way we were welcomed when we first arrived. Step Twelve says “Having gone through these steps and discovering the importance of individual relationship with God through Jesus, I will try to live according to His principles and to lead others to personal relationship with Him.”

  • When you see someone new in recovery, how are you welcoming them?

Why Recovery

Belgrave South Baptist Church, July 9, 2017

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Galatians 5:13-23 You have been called to live in freedom, my brothers, and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.  For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. So, I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

 



THREE WORDS

 

  • PURPOSE: the reason something is made, used or done.
  • COMPROMISE: settling differences by mutual concessions.
  • CONVICTION: a fixed or firm belief.

 

WE FIND PURPOSE IS FOLLOWING JESUS
Galatians 5:13-15 You have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”  But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

 

God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:29

 

Our calling us to become like Jesus. A gradual, lifelong process that will only be completed when we get to heaven. 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is. To be worthy of being like Jesus we need to have a desire to do the right thing in every area of our lives. Joyce Myer says, “I am not yet where I ought to be but thank God I am not where I used to be.” Our lives are a process of continual spiritual progress. Which means we need to be continually seeking to find and do God’s will in us.

 

 

COMPROMISE LIMITS OUR ABILITY TO DO THE RIGHT THING

Galatians 5:16-18 I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

 

To pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned Him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified. Mark 15:15

 

 

When we are under the influence of our own selfish will and desires it can be very self-destructive. When things don’t work out the way we want them to, or think they should it can be too easy for us to say, “This is too hard, I don’t think I’ll bother.” Or it can be easier to just go long with the crowd than do what God wants.

 

Jesus was innocent according to Roman law, Pilate caved into political pressure. He paid more attention to the crowd than he did to what he knew was right. When we ignore God’s will in our lives and make decisions based on the preferences of others we compromise our faith and our relationship with God. Life is about making God happy not making others happy.

 

CONVICTION MEANS STANDING ALONE WHEN IT’s NECESSARY

Galatians 5:19-21 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

 

Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Daniel 1:8

 

The world wants to squeeze us all into a mold, to get us to compromise our beliefs and values. In the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous, it says, “We tried to find an easier, softer way.” It can be like that when it comes to living up to our convictions in our lives.  It takes courage in our lives to set boundaries and hold to the no matter what.

 

That’s what Daniel did. He made a commitment to stand on his convictions. We rad in Leviticus 11 God gave specific instructions to Moses and Aaron about wat people could eat and what foods were forbidden. By eating the king’s food Daniel made a decision to live by his convictions, stick to his lifelong commitment to do the right thing and not give in to peer pressure.

 

Sometimes we have to show the same commitment in our lives when we are pressured by others to go down a path we know is wrong and God does not approve of.

 

 

CONVICTION REQUIRES HUMILITY!

Galatians 5:22-23 The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

 

When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers—the moon and the stars You set in place—what are mere mortals that You should think about them, human beings that You should care for them?  Psalms 8:3-4

 

Many of our problems are rooted in our own lack of self-esteem. Things in our past that haven’t worked out the way we have hoped they would have left us more sensitive to the opinions of others than we probably should be. We see in this verse above how much God cares about us. The Creator of the stars, the moon and the night sky has made us fantastic beings of great honour and authority.  Based on what He thinks of us, none of us should ever feel we are not up to the tasks God puts before us.

 

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.  I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

 

Sometimes we allow minor disagreements, issues, beliefs or traditions to stop us doing what God wants us to do. Like Paul, we need to remain firm in our convictions but sometimes not be too afraid to compromise the unimportant things for the sake of following Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Nourishment

“I’ve been married for 22 years today. In that time my wife has cooked around 24,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this… They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”

Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!

Thank God for our physical and our spiritual nourishment and for introducing me to Karen.!

Now What?

I arrived on the ‘Bridge Program’ at Eden Park and my first thought was ‘now what’?’

I knew I had an addiction, I knew I needed to do something about it and I knew that I needed God’s help to do it. But did I really want to?

I went to my first group (a twelve step discussion group) and I thought great something I know. The step they were discussing was Step 11 We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and power to carry that out. – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.Colossians 3:16.

I joined in the discussion and soon started dominating the discussion. But something changed in me that day. For the first time I questioned “what conscious contact have I had with God”. The only discussion I had with God up until that time in my recovery experience was the prayer at the end of the A.A. 24 hours a day book Daily Devotional. Which I read as part of a process but never paid any attention to the words I was reading or meditated on what they meant or were saying to me. So that first day I made a decision to ‘give prayer and meditation a chance’.

I know now 20+  years later what had been missing from my previous attempts at recovery – RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. Not God the power of my own understanding, but the God of the Bible, the Creator of my life and the One True Higher Power.

That day I began a Spiritual journey (but I didn’t even know it had begun). I through myself into the program, holding nothing back. A counselor said to me “If you want to make the best of every opportunity here do yourself a favour. see that bus out there (the program bus for transporting clients everywhere) Every time it leaves this property and you have opportunity make sure you are on it.” So I did,

I went to A.A. meetings, I went to church services, shopping, outings. Anywhere the bus went I was on it. I also started again reading ’24 hours a day ‘ but this time paying attention to what I was reading. Asking myself and I guess God “How do I apply this to my life TODAY?”

Two weeks into the program I had a ‘Spiritual Awakening’. All alone in my room I knelt by my bed and prayed for God to help me get it right. All alone at my bed side I  heard the voice of Jesus say “You do not have to live like this anymore. Follow me and I will lead you” and it terrified me. I told know one about it and I did not surrender to God at that time. But He was working in and through me and people began to see and comment on the changes.

Changes for the better! but that’s a story for another day…

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Worship God together

Psalm 42:

1. Longing to be with God in corporate worship in a Church where I can make a difference.

2. Wanting others to regularly attend corporate worship, where they will be encouraged to participate in it.

3. Hope that through corporate worship others will strike up relationship with God and receive salvation from sinful living.

MAIN VERSE FOR ME!

Psalms 42:4 My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!

Church Privilege

Church is not about denomination. It is about the body of Christ. Believers, born again of the Spirit of God, living together in obedience to His commandments through personal relationship with Christ. The True Meaning of CHRISTmas.

As members of it [the Church] we need to relish the sharing privileges that come as part of the Body of Christ.

Colossians 1:18He is the head of his body, which is the church. He is the very beginning, the first to be raised from death, so that he would be above all others.