God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18
DISCIPLESHIP ~ What The Bible Says
“Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. Serving me is easy, and my load is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus is saying we no longer have to try to carry our heavy loads by ourselves. As we walk with Him, the burden of becoming His servant [DISCIPLESHIP] on our lives will be light compared with the pain we have tried to carry in the past.
I AM MAKING A DECISION TO LET GOD HELP ME CHANGE
AND COMMIT TO WORKING WITH HIM TO DO SO.
I. When you are committed to following God, he will lead you to discover his will for your life, the satisfying and fulfilling purpose for which he created you: Psalm 25:10 When we obey him, every path he guides us on is fragrant with his loving-kindness and his truth.
II. When you are committed to God, he is committed to watching out for you and caring for you: Psalms 31:3 You [God] are my Rock and my fortress; honor your name by leading me out of this peril.
A promise from God: If we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as we did when we first became Christians, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. Hebrews 3:14
Throughout the month we are going to look a three specific aspects of step three.
“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.” – Shauna Niequist
“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” – Bill Clinton
“Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer.” –Marica Wieder
We have admitted our life is a mess and out of control. Accepted that God cares about us, that He is willing and able to help us regain control of our lives. It is now time to start putting the steps into practice, placing our faith in God and committing to the process of change with His Help.
Nothing is too Hard for God
Psalm 109:26 Lord my God, help me. Save me because of your faithful love.
One of the things that led to my downfall previously in recovery was the need to tell the best stories in meetings, (the drunk a logs)
I remember an old-timer in an A.A. meeting in Western Australia asking me the questions “how old are you? What have you done in life?” When I told him I was 23 he said to me” You can’t be an alcoholic you are too young. Go and get some rungs on the board and then come back.” I did, relapsed a few times but never lost contact with A.A. Why? because I knew I was an alcoholic and I needed to do something about changing my life.
Recovery has nothing to do with where you have been and what you have done. Nothing to do with your age, gender, race or religion. Addiction doesn’t discriminate – it accepts everybody. Recovery is about where you are right now and realizing to move forward you need help – God’s help.
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “How can a kid like you fight with a man like him? You are only a boy, and he has been in the army since he was a boy!” [1 Samuel 17:33.] David replied: “The Lord who saved me from the claws and teeth of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!” [1 Samuel 17:37] Step Three says “I am making a decision to let God help me change and commit to working with Him to do so.” Join me tomorrow as we move forward in this wonderful, life-changing, miracle-working process called RECOVERY!
- Are you ready and willing to let go of the past?
- Have you accepted that God loves you because of who you are?
Prayer: Help me remember today God that You love me just the way I am.
Looking and Waiting
Psalm 119:123 My eyes grow tired as I look to you to save me. Please save me as you have promised.
Recovery for me has been a time of ‘Looking and Waiting’ I have never had a problem seeing what God wanted me to do.
In 1989, when I finally dealt with my pride God spoke to me. Alone in my room one night in rehab I heard the voice of Jesus say to me “You do not need to live like this anymore. Follow Me and I will lead you” From that day to this day that has been my recovery, He leads I follow. It has meant me continually ‘looking’ for His opportunities in my life and ‘waiting’ on His prompting on when to move on them. Trusting God is dependent on continual communication with Him.
- Do you pray?
- Do you listen to God and look for His opportunities?
Prayer: God help me today to look and listen when You speak.
FORWARD STEPS 7
Let’s recognize him as the Lord. Let’s keep trying to really know him. Hosea 6:3
Repetition of the same verse over seven readings should enable it to sink in and be remembered. Recovery begins by taking the step of faith that decides life’s most important issue is ‘our souls salvation.’ It is a step from our sinful past into personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Into obedience to His command “Come ….. follow Me.” Step by Step following, day after day.
We can distance ourselves further and further for the light of Christ’s presence, afraid of the Truth, choosing to ignore the matchless qualities of His glorious character. Or we can choose to accept Him and sticking with Him and commence the process of dismantling our self-will. The decision will affect our whole life. Making a conscious choice to closely follow Him and get to know Him, understand His ways and love Him unconditionally for who He is will be the start of a new, exciting, daily, conscious walk of faith.
As we come to the end of step two and enter step three: I am making a decision to let God help me change and commit to working with Him to do so. We need to think seriously about Matthew 28:20 when Jesus says “You can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.” No longer alone, no longer lost, loved by Him, supported by Him and ready for whatever He has in store for us as we choose to ‘keep moving forward.’
in gratitude I acknowledge You, my Lord and my Higher Power and happily seek to step out in faith, in Your presence as I commit to moving forward in the recovery process.
Psalm 119:162 I’m filled with joy because of your promise. It’s like finding a great fortune.
I remember it like it was yesterday. My AHA! Moment. In that first meeting. When I discovered the importance of God and relationship with Him in the process of recovery.
I believe that was the day of my Salvation, not the day I became a Christian but the day I discovered I needed God. After that first meeting, I don’t think it mattered when I left the rehab I would still be here writing this now. Because that day Jesus became my One True Higher Power.
- Have you had an AHA! moment?
- What was it?
- What did you do about it?
Prayer: Lord, today help me realize I need You. Not only believing but receiving and sharing in relationship with you.
“When you pray, do not keep talking on and on the way ungodly people do. They think they will be heard because they talk a lot. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need even before you ask him.” Matthew 6:7-8
This week I am going through Bill Hybels study ‘Too Busy Not To Pray” It is not the first time I have gone through this study but right now in my spiritual walk I feel I need to focus more on prayer as I also feel I am entering a new phase in my ministry and mission where I need the Holy Spirits guidance as I seek to know God’s will, His guidance of how it will evolve and trust Him to lead me in His timing.
In the book ‘Too Busy Not Pray’ Bill Hybels says of our ministry and mission.
- Will it bring glory to God?
- Will it advance the Kingdom?
- Will it help people?
- Will it help me grow spiritually?
To all of these questions I answer YES!
In his book Bill Hybels says their are some a number of reasons God isn’t answering our prayers.
You want something, but you can’t get it. You kill and want what others have. But you can’t have what you want. You argue and fight. You don’t have what you want, because you don’t ask God. James 4:2
- Unconfessed sin
Your sins have separated you from your God. They have caused him to turn his face away from you. So he won’t listen to you. Isaiah 59:2
- Unresolved relational conflict
“Suppose you are offering your gift at the altar. And you remember that your brother has something against you. Leave your gift in front of the altar. First go and make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24
When you do ask for something, you don’t receive it. Why? Because you ask for the wrong reason. You want to spend your money on your sinful pleasures. James 4:3
- Uncaring attitudes
If you refuse to listen to the cries of poor people, you too will cry out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13
- Inadequate faith
What I’m about to tell you is true. Suppose one of you says to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea.’ You must not doubt in your heart. You must believe that what you say will happen. Then it will be done for you. Mark 11:23
pg 95 “If the truth be known, often you and I are the obstacles standing in the way of us receiving a desperately needed miracle.” I don’t want to be so today I am making a conscious to spend more time in the presence of my ‘One True Higher Power’ seeking His will for my life and His power to carry it out.
FORWARD STEPS 6
Let’s recognize him as the LORD. Let’s keep trying to really know Him. Hosea 6:3
We may suffer from becoming a Christian and living our lives according to God’s Word. In explaining the parable of ‘The sower and the seed.’ Jesus indicated that some who receive ‘the Message’ and accept God’s word of salvation will not go on to spiritual maturity because tribulation and persecution will prove unbearable. They have no roots. So they last only a short time. They quickly fall away from the faith when trouble or suffering comes because of the message. Matthew 13:21
We may suffer in any number of different ways, sooner or later we may encounter a rejection of a former acquaintance, we may be treated in an unkind or hurtful manner. We may hear some uncomplimentary remarks or someone mocks us when it is going to hurt us most. We may not be free of physical danger; immune from the harm of accident because we have accepted Jesus as our One True Higher Power.
The Good News is we can count on the Holy Spirit’s Divine Presence with us in every situation we encounter pain, suffering or temptation. He is our asset and our advantage. He will bring us through whatever we encounter in life unscathed as we accept God’s Way of living.
We are to identify with Jesus, endure the hard times. “My grace is sufficient” is God’s answer to any feelings of dismay that might cause us to feel unable to cope with what lies ahead. Trusting Him and resting in His will we are assured He will never fail us, whatever happens. 1 Peter 4:10 God’s gifts of grace come in many forms. Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully.
Lord let me be encouraged by every word of Scripture that assures me I can overcome fear, resist temptation and enjoy victory.
Where Is God in Your Walk?
Psalm 121:1 I look up to the mountains. Where does my help come from?
Bible based recovery is not for everyone. God in His wisdom communicates His message to us in many different ways.
For me it began with rehab. Not Bible based, A.A. based. After which I relapsed. My second attempt was a farm rehab run by The Salvation Army. In the first group meeting I attended the were discussing Step Eleven “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God. Praying only for knowledge of His will for me and the power to carry it out.”
On that day my life changed! As I realised my failure to include God in the process of my recovery.
- Where is God in the process of your recovery?
- If He is not included will you include Him now?
Show mercy to those who doubt. Jude 1:22
Take a good look at yourselves to see if you are really believers. Test yourselves. Don’t you realize that Christ Jesus is in you? Unless, of course, you fail the test! 2 Corinthians 13:5
We have faith. So we understand that everything was made when God commanded it. That’s why we believe that what we see was not made out of what could be seen. Hebrews 11:3
“Have faith in God,” Jesus said. Mark 11:22
Prayer: God, right now I ask You to be involved in every area of the process of my recovery.