Love is more than a sentimental feeling—it’s putting another’s welfare ahead of your own.

4oDays

What barriers keep you from loving and caring?

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love is more important than spiritual gifts. Great faith, acts of dedication or sacrifice and miracle-working power produce very little without love and caring.

Love benefits others. Society confuses love and lust. God’s kind of love is directed outward towards others. It is utterly unselfish. It is a love that goes against all natural inclinations. God’s kind of love helps us to set aside our own desires so we can benefit others expecting nothing in return.

Love is a choice.  Leviticus 19:18 says “Forget about the wrong things people do to you. Don’t try to get even. Love your neighbor as yourself.” The loving and caring we are called to initiate through the recovery process has nothing to do with liking people. Love is not a feeling it is a choice. And, we can choose to be concerned about people’s well being and treat them with respect, whether we feel affection towards them or not. Love the sinner, not the sin.

Daily Reflection August 2 , 2016

HeaderGod 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

Daily Reflection July 12, 2016

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Romans 7:20 My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions.
Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

The inward struggle with sin is real in all of us. From Paul we have a perfect example of it. Whenever he felt lost he would return to the basics of his spiritual life, remembering he had already neem freed through Jesus Christ. When we feel confused and overwhelmed ny the temptations of our past we need to follow Paul’s example of returning to basics. Remember God has given us freedom through the decision we made in Step Three to: Making a decision to let God help us change and committing to working with Him to do so.

The reality of the power of Jesus Christ lifts us up to real victory over our sinful nataures.

Prayer: Lord help me today when I feel confused to get back to basics
and remember You have set me free through learning and applying
the Twelve Steps.

2016 Day 156

attitudes

Romans 6:1 What should we say then? Should we keep on sinning so that God’s grace can increase?

Continually carrying on with the same attitudes, behaviours and convictions we have always had will lead to relapse. Through steps one to five we have made life changes that are going to affect the rest of our lives. Change, whilst not always easy is a necessary part of the process of recovery.

It is time to sinning. Because sin separates us from God. Step Six says “After discovering my sinful habits and attitudes and confessing them, I am now willing to let God change me”

This step talks about ‘Letting go’ of our sinful habits and attitudes and ‘Letting God’ introduce us to new ones. For me letting go was a scary experience. It meant becoming more open and honest with people. It meant spending more time reading the Bible and understanding what the Bible had to say about the ways I had acted and behaved in the past.

Letting God change me was just as hard. I had to unlearn many bad habits and consciously act different that my natural instincts told me to. For the first two years of my recovery I used to write down everything that happened in my day and how I reacted to it. In my quiet time I would find passages in the Bible about my feelings and reactions and how God ‘s Word said I should act and react to things.

Prayer: Lord help me today to take inventory on my sinful attitudes
and actions and to not keep repeating them.

B-Together Recovery – Step 8 -Week 2

We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

 Unintentional Sin
Scripture Reading: Leviticus 4:22-26

“When a ruler sins unintentionally by straying from one of the commands of his God which must not be broken, he is guilty. When he becomes aware of the sin he has committed, he must bring a goat for his offering, a male without any defect, lay his hand on the head of the goat, and slaughter it in the place where they slaughter the Whole-Burnt-Offering in the presence of GOD–it’s an Absolution-Offering. The priest will then take some of the blood of the Absolution-Offering with his finger, smear it on the horns of the Altar of Whole-Burnt-Offering, and pour the rest at the base of the Altar. He will burn all its fat on the Altar, the same as with the fat of the Peace-Offering. “The priest makes atonement for him on account of his sin and he’s forgiven.

 In Romans 7:18-19 Paul says “I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.”

Most of us can relate to this scripture, you don’t enter into a recovery meeting with the intention of getting it wrong. But sometimes we do, sometimes our best intentions lead to us doing the wrong thing. In our relationships we sometimes hurt others unintentionally and even though we might find it hard to admit and accept others hurt us unintentionally.

  1. God knows our real intentions. Numbers 14:40 Early the next morning they started out for the high hill country, saying, “We’re here; we’re ready–let’s go up and attack the land that God promised us. We sinned, but now we’re ready.”

When the Israelite’s realized their foolish mistakes, they were ready to return to God. But God didn’t confuse their admission of guilt with true repentance, because He knew their hearts. It is the same for us in recovery. Doing the right thing just for the sake of doing the right thing isn’t what recovery is about.  Recovery is about obedience to God’s Word.

      2. Good intentions can become our reality with Christ’s help. Matthew 14:29-30 He said,”Come ahead.” Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus.         But when he looked down at the  waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried,”Master,save me!”

We come to recovery with good intentions and sometimes things happen, our faith in the process falters and we start to lose heart. This doesn’t mean we have failed. Peter’s faith faltered. When it did he reached out to the only one he believed could help him, Jesus. When we think about the process of making amends we too need to reach out to Jesus for help. We need to remember the decision we made in step three to ‘turn our wills and lives over to Him and trust Him to help us.

          3. God knows the real intentions of our hearts. Matthew 21:28-31 “What do you think about this? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ the son answered. But later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son. He said the same thing. The son answered, ‘I will, sir.’ But he did not go. “Which of the two sons did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “What I’m about to tell you is true.

 Like the first son we sometimes our first reaction is to say no, especially when it comes to facing people we have harmed, admitting we were wrong and making amends to them. In recovery we have made a commitment to live life the way God wants us to live. That includes cleaning up the past. If we choose to in the recovery process we can learn to say all the right things, to appear to do all the right things, but that won’t lead to recovery. Recovery is not about pretending to obey God and going through the motions. Our actions need to match our words.

We are responsible for the mistakes of our past. This is true, even when the hurts we caused of the harm we have done was unintentional. People don’t hurt less because we didn’t mean it. We need to acknowledge and correct the unintentional hurts we have caused as soon as we become aware of them. God forgives all our sins, even the ones we might not have discovered yet.

God gives us the gift of recovery.

Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10 (MSG)

Focus Verse:  Ephesians 2:8 Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish!

We are all born with a sinful nature, powerless to overcome our tendencies to do the wrong thing on our own. God is truth, mercy and love and through the process of learning and applying the principles of recovery to our lives He wants to forgive us and give us His power to change our lives.

When we acknowledge, admit and accept Jesus as our Higher Power and  our need of God’s help, He saves us and helps enter a new way of living.

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The Story of the prodigal son reminds us that confession can be a stepping-stone to renewed fellowship with God.

Bible Reading: Luke 15:11-24

We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

That brought him to his senses. He said, “All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.” He got right up and went home to his father. When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. Luke 15:17-20

The Story of the prodigal son reminds us that confession can be a stepping-stone to renewed fellowship with God.

The son had used up all his resources and those of his fathers in order to establish his own identity. He returned home filled with shame and confessing in his heart “Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son.”

 The father’s response to his son is a mirror of God’s response to our open and honest confession. The son expected rejection and abandonment, he found love, compassion, acceptance, and renewed relationship. As we confess our brokenness to God, expecting rejection and abandonment we too will find love, compassion, acceptance and renewed relationship as He welcomes us home.