Luke 18:10-14 “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: ‘Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people–robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’ “Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.'” Jesus commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face, but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.”
Titus 2:11 God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone!
Recovery is available to everyone through a personal relationship with Jesus but a lot of people are not ready or willing to pursue it. I am always surprised when people tell me they know how to achieve recovery and don’t.
God is ready to give us the gift of recovery and forgive us the things we have done wrong in the past. If we are prepared to accept change and implement it. Accepting God’s gift becomes dangerous when we justify bad choices and behavior. Sometime we may think it is easier to go along with things we know are wrong than do what we need to in order to change.
The Bible says “I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing: make something of me.” Psalms 40:17 When we first arrive a rock-bottom we feel pretty worthless and can relate to the verse above. But the first step to beginning the recovery process is admitting the mess we are in. Usually mess that has been created by our own bad attitudes, beliefs, and choices.
Recovery is a process of clearing up the self-created mess so we can change our lives with Jesus help. Psalms 79:9 says You’re famous for helping; God, give us a break. Your reputation is on the line. Pull us out of this mess, forgive us our sins– do what you’re famous for doing! Committing to following through on the Twelve Steps, and allowing Jesus to do His will in our lives until completion is the biggest decision any of us make in recovery.
God Forgives Us Because He Loves Us
Lord, You are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for Your help. Psalms 86:5
Sometimes in recovery things don’t happen quick enough for us and we may feel like God has forgotten us. Or we feel things in our lives are too bad of too much for God to act on. They are not, but recovery works on God’s timing. He knows the whole plan and He knows what we are ready to handle and when we are ready to handle it.
Psalms 65:3 Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, You forgive them all.
Psalms 41:4 I said, “Lord, show me your favour. Heal me. I have sinned against you.”
Pouring our heart out to God opens up the way to forgiveness. Forgiveness opens up the way to change.
Personal experience of God’s pardon in my life helped me to seriously consider the fact I was now on the road to change. Up to that point, it was all still a bit of a pipe dream. I had learned about the process of recovery through my journey without really considering the question what next?
Confession to God for me was the start of His involvement in my life. I realized through communication with Him I had a chance to live a productive and practical life. It was the beginning of my realization that I had a hope.
- What do you see in your future with God?
Matthew 18:21-35 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So, when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
- God forgives our many sins because He loves us.
Psalms 65:3 As for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them.
Psalms 86:5 You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
- God makes us as clean as freshly fallen snow and removes our impurities.
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
Ezekiel 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
- We must forgive others without keeping track of how many times we forgive.
Matthew 6:14-15 “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Matthew 18:21-22 Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
- We must freely forgive others as God has forgiven us.
Colossians 3:12-13 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
- God will forgive our sins if we confess them.
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
When we turn our will and life over to the care of God He forgives us. Then He paves the way for us to make amends, opening the opportunity for us to repair relationships with others.
Titus 2:11-15 God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honouring life. This new life is starting right now and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Tell them all this. Build up their courage, and discipline them if they get out of line. You’re in charge. Don’t let anyone put you down.
You can’t get forgiveness from God, without also forgiving others. Total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in Jesus name. God put the world square with himself through the Jesus, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out.
Prayer: Lord help me today to forgive those who have harmed me and to share Your Love and Grace with them.
God forgives. Do You?
Matthew 18:21 Peter came to Jesus. He asked, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
STOP! Think about the process of recovery. About all the things God has forgiven you for. About all the things you haven’t dealt with yet because you are not yet strong enough. All the things you know that He will forgive because of His unconditional love for you.
“How many times should I forgive my brother?” As many as it takes to repair the relationship.
Matthew 18:15-16 “If your brother sins against you, go to him. Tell him what he did wrong. Keep it between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won him back. “But what if he won’t listen to you? Then take one or two others with you. Scripture says, ‘Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses.”
- What relationships are you going to need help to repair?
Prayer: Lord, help me identify relationships I need help to repair