Category: May

Spiritual Foundations

Matthew 7:24 Everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man. He builds his house on the rock.

The Twelve Steps are foundation stones for the recovery process. Foundation stones are designed for building on.

We are all unique. God created us all in His image but He also created us as individuals. Today I want to encourage everyone to find out what works for you. There is only one way to achieve recovery as far as I am aware. That is God’s way!

Do not be pressured by others to do what they did. You are not them. Take time to get to know god and His plan for you and then establish your foundations built on how He guides you. God will not guide you in any direction that goes against his Word,

What is God saying to you about His plan for your life?

What The Bible Says

What can I give back to God for the blessings he’s poured out on me? I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God! I’ll pray in the name of God; I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it together with his people.
Psalms 116:12-14

  • We can never repay God for what He has done for us. Where were you, what were you doing when God introduced you to recovery?
  • We CAN keep our promises to God what did you promise Him you would do if He rescued you from addiction and compulsion?
  • We CAN turn our trials into triumphs with His help! How are you using what God has done for you to reach others still suffering the negative effects of their own addictions and compulsions or the addictions and compulsions of a loved one or a friend.

SPIRITUAL PURPOSE

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are those whose hearts are pure. They will see God.

God wants us to live pure lives. To clean up our attitudes and behaviour. Recovery is not about personal gain. Recovery is about spiritual purpose.

Spiritual purpose has nothing to do with where you work and everything to do with how you live. I always thought the two should line up. Wrong!

My spiritual purpose is – to introduce people to Bible based living through the process of recovery. My employment life has been in a number of different areas since completing the Bridge Program.

All through my recovery journey my spiritual process has remained dominant. Sometimes it has resulted in me having to leave of change jobs because the jobs I was in have gone against how I live my life.

What The Bible Says

God made everything with a place and purpose; even the wicked are included—but for judgment. Proverbs 16:4

We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails. Proverbs 19:21

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. John 15:11

The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope. The Message is as true among you today as when you first heard it. It doesn’t diminish or weaken over time. Colossians 1:5

What The Bible Says

3 John 1:11  Don’t go along with evil. Model the good. The person who does good does God’s work. The person who does evil falsifies God, doesn’t know the first thing about God.

Exodus 23:2  Don’t go along with the crowd in doing evil and don’t fudge your testimony in a case just to please the crowd.

John 10:27  My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me.

GRUMBLERS

1 Corinthians 10:10  We must be careful not to stir up discontent.

Grumblers are everywhere. The grumbler takes no time to count their blessings. They are too busy looking for things to complain about. They seem to be always looking for a listening ear, are inconsiderate of other people and indifferent to almost everything.

Grumbling has an ancient history. In the garden of Eden Satan needled Adam and Eve into doubting God and fostered grumbling in their hearts. Israel grumbled and forfeited the Promised Land. Only the two non-grumblers Joshua and Caleb, with their children entered Canaan.

Does this challenge us to renounce our complaining spirits? To refuse to be labelled a grumbler? There is elation in gratitude. There is satisfaction in contentment. There is fulfilment in God.

What The Bible Says

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.” Luke 14:11

As long as you grab for what makes you feel good or makes you look important, are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way? 1 Corinthians 3:3

When Christ shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ. Colossians 3:4

Be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

What The Bible Says

God claims Earth and everything in it, God claims World and all who live on it. He built it on Ocean foundations, laid it out on River girders. Psalms 24:1-2

SEEING RED

This is Gods Message: “If your sins are blood-red, they’ll be snow-white. If they’re red like crimson, they’ll be like wool. Isaiah 1:18

God can remove sin from our lives. We don’t need to suffer the consequences of our past forever.

Seeing red can be worrying, dangerous. Failing to obey red traffic lights can be fatal. Proverbs 20:1  says “Wine makes you mean, beer makes you quarrelsome— a staggering drunk is not much fun.” Red cars are not the most popular . There is something mystical attached to the color red. We have all seen red with an eye of fascination at some time.

God has directed our attention to the giving substance: blood:

Placed on Jewish doors at Passover Exodus 12:13  The blood will serve as a sign on the houses where you live. When I see the blood I will pass over you—no disaster will touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Atonement for sin Leviticus 17:11  I have provided the blood for you to make atonement for your lives on the Altar; it is the blood, the life, that makes atonement.

It is by looking to Jesus Christ in faith, and seeing His rich red blood for remission of our sins that we begin to live. 1 John 1:7  If we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin. Safety, certainty, security and eternity all wrapped up in this God that provided a red-blood stream. There is no alternative to this seeing red.

What The Bible Says

“I’ve wiped the slate of all your wrongdoings. There’s nothing left of your sins. Come back to me, come back. I’ve redeemed you.Isaiah 44:22

Where is the god who can compare with you— wiping the slate clean of guilt, Turning a blind eye, a deaf ear, to the past sins of your purged and precious people? You don’t nurse your anger and don’t stay angry long, for mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most. And compassion is on its way to us. You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing. You’ll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean. Micah 7:18-19

I’ve been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life. Psalms 51:5-7

  • Being saved means your stain of guilt has been washed away – your gilt is gone – you have been given a clean slate,
  • Being saved means you have received God’s mercy.

    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!

STOP HIDING

Proverbs 28:13 Anyone who hides his sins doesn’t succeed. But anyone who admits his sins and gives them up finds mercy.

It’s time to stop hiding our faults and flaws.

A lot of the faults and flaws in my life were things I developed to protect me. I no longer need to protect myself. Why? Because God protects me. He has the power, knowledge and wisdom of heaven and earth and He is my heavenly Father.

He promises he will never leave or forsake me. He will take care of all my needs and He will equip me to deal with whatever comes my way in life.

Why would I want to hide from Him? He loves me unconditionally and I trust Him.

Your recovery depends on dealing with the grunts, groans, and murmuring that became your every day living. How often did you refuse to confess your addiction ? Everyone on this planet, at some time, has agreed with the enemy’s lies and kept their secrets and frustrations locked inside

When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. Psa 32:3

Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Psa 18:21

Don’t, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. Pro 3:11

Prayer: God help me today to let You see the real me and make changes if You need to.

Any Lengths

Page 58 – Chapter 5 The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We tought we could find an easier softer way but we could not.  Remember we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling and powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find Him now.

How far are you willing to go to achieve and maintain your recovery from addiction and compulsion? Have you tried and failed in the past? Do you get so far, seem to be going well and then relapse? Thinking you were going well as you became complacent, stopped attending meetings, implementing what you have learned?

Tonight, I want us to take an honest look at our willingness to go to any lengths. What are we doing to discover God’s will for our lives and seeking His power to carry it out?

I. TRUST GOD IN EVERYTHING
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Proverbs 3:5-7

II. THE ENERGY YOU ARE EXPERIENCING IS GOD’S ENERGY That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. Philippians 2:13

III. PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING
Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” Matthew 26:41

IV. KEEP MOVING FORWARD
Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. 2Corinthians 8:11

 V. WORK AT IT Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. 2 Timothy 2:15

VI. RECOVERY REQUIRES CHANGES
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

VII. THERE IS A PURPOSE TO RECOVERY
We neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. Ephesians 2:10

DISCUSSION STARTER

2 Corinthians 10:3 I do live in the world. But I don’t fight my battles the way the people of the world do.

Recovery causes conflict. You will find that because of what you are learning in recovery you no longer think like other people. You no longer act like other people. For some of those people that is going create conflict.

In Luke 12:51 Jesus says “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you. I have come to separate people.”

There is no middle ground in recovery. You are either in or you are out. It requires commitment. Even when conflict arises. Conflict for me in the process of recovery meant moving away from everyone and everything I knew and loved. It added a new dimension to the phrase. If you love it set it free.

ARE YOU WILLING TO GO TO ANY LENGTHS TO OBTAIN AND MAINTAIN RECOVERY

ALL THIS AND MORE

The time has come When the Lord will save his people. Your shame and disgrace are ended. Everyone who sees them will know That they are a people whom I have blessed. Isaiah 61:2,7,9

The proclamation of Isaiah, six hundred years before Jesus came on His mission and ministry. Those of us who have experienced rock bottom are able to clutch tightly to this message of redeeming power. Centuries before His arrival on earth Jesus was announced as our Deliverer. Able to reach down into the lowest parts of our lives and carry out a rescue mission on our lives. The problem is not enough people on this earth have relented from their self-imposed captivity and called upon Him to deliver them from sin and oppression.

How blessedly relevant is the ‘Good News’ Christ IS our One True Higher Power. He brings us release if we allow Him complete control of our lives. He imparts songs of joy which overthrow sorrow and remorse, grief and distress. He is a life promoter. He establishes righteousness. He plants us like trees in His Kingdom, transplants us from our old wilderness.

All of this placed alongside the promise made to those who have squandered much of life. It is time to about-turn , trust God, turn to Him and allow His wonders to come into uout hearts and lives.

What The Bible Says

There’s no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. The cost of rescue is beyond our means. Psa 49:7-8

Wait and watch for God— with God’s arrival comes love, with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
Psa 130:7

God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. Rom 3:24

“These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.” Mar 16:17-18

PRAYER
Maker of heaven and earth redeem my past according to Your will and purpose. Fit me for service, lift me from sin by Your saving grace. Bring me deeper into relationship with You. Amen