As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?” Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution. When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God–ha! The Chosen–ha!” The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!” Printed over him was a sign: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!” But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him–he did nothing to deserve this.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.” He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.” Luke 23:26-43
Through His suffering, Jesus fully identified with us. Through suffering, He completed the work necessary for our salvation. Our suffering can make us more sensitive to the suffering of others. People who have experienced pain to oy=thers are able to reach out with compassion to the hurting and lost of this world. Whatever suffering you have experienced ask God how you can be used to help others on the road to recovery.
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples–when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35.”
Step Eleven: 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
An essential part of the recovery process is carrying the message of our recovery in Jesus.
Brothers and sisters, don’t say anything against each other. If you criticize your brother or sister in Christ or judge them, you are criticizing and judging the law they follow. And when you are judging the law, you are not a follower of the law. You have become a judge. James 4:11
John 13:34 “I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you.”
Love is a command from Jesus. It is not an optional extra. It is not shown just be respecting others but also by self-sacrifice and serving others.
Love is a unifying, identifying mark of our spiritual progress. Growing relationship with God is a direct result of our growing relationships with others.
Love is a choice. It is not about liking or disliking others or disagreeing with them. It is a choice between forgiving and resenting. To be concerned with the well-being of others and to treating them right.
When we choose to love others God helps us to express His love.
- How is your relationship with God developing as you move forward in recovery?
Prayer: Lord help me to love others the way that You love them and to help them where I can.
Covering the Past
Bible Reading: Ezekiel 33:10-16
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
When we walk down the wrong paths in life, we end up in bad places and experience devastating losses. If we go far enough down those paths, we endanger our very lives. We may wonder if we’ve already gone too far. Is a new way of life still possible, even if we turn from our old ways and make amends?
Even under the Old Testament laws, there was hope for those who chose to turn around and make amends. The Lord spoke through Ezekiel, saying, “Give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. . . . Suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die.None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live” (Ezekiel 33:10-12, 14-16)
There’s hope for everyone who turns around and makes amends. Our past sins can be overshadowed by the new life ahead of us.