Category: October

Step Eleven ~ Week One

What is God’s Purpose for you?

Jesus said, “I glorified you on earth By completing down to the last detail What you assigned me to do. John 17:4

The Fatherhood of God is our best refuge, our chief purpose in life must be to glorify Him, recovery in our own strength impossible. In His grace all things are possible, nothing too difficult for us to overcome. Jesus recognised the need to complete God’s as assigned by Him, down to the last detail. We too, if we want to succeed in the process of becoming all He is calling us to be must recognize His purpose in our daily walk. put our faith in Him, do and go where He prompts us to, even when we don’t fully understand.

God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. 2 Timothy 1:7

We are called to share what God has done, is doing, and promises to do in and through our lives with others. Recovery is a great gift. One of the things I am not sold on in the A.A. concept of recovery is anonymity. The Bible talks about ‘letting your light shine’ the Twelve Steps speak about ‘Reaching the suffering’ God did not send Jesus to die for me in order for me to keep it a secret. I don’t believe it is in His purpose for any of us to keep quiet while others are suffering addictions and compulsions He is calling us to help Him rescue them from.

Stay God Focused

Marriage should be honored by everyone. And every marriage should be kept pure between husband and wife. Hebrews 13:4 ERV

Today, this 27th day of October 2021 I have been married to my beautiful wife Karen for 31 years. We have three fantastic children Duncan, Mitchell, and Ashleigh and God has blessed us more than either of us could ever have imagined. So today I want to take some time to look at some of what the Bible says about marriage.

In the Life Recovery Bible The Step Ten Devotional, based on the verses Romans 5:3-5 NLT We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us.

In this devotional, it talks about Peter asking Jesus in Matthew 18:21-22 “How often should I forgive someone who sins against me?” Jesus goes on to tell Him ‘seventy times seven’ In other words repeatedly. After 31 years of marriage, I am happy to say “I LOVE MY WIFE.” more and more with every day we share together. does either of us always get it right? Of course not. Are there times when we do things that offend or hurt each other? Definitely! But the bottom line in our relationship is we both agree and acknowledge it was God who brought us together and it is God that keeps us together. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And, so can you. Today I want to encourage you wherever you are. whatever stage of relationship you are in with God and with others, stay God Focused and you will not be disappointed.

Step Ten ~ Week Four

STEP TEN Now that I am in the process of change, I will check myself daily to make sure I am not slipping back into my old ways and if I am, I will take steps to rectify it.

I. Romans 3:24 “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.” 

“The fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as a pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is the father of us all. He is not our racial father—that’s reading the story backward. He is our faith father.” Romans 4:16

He embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us!Ephesians 2:5

II. Romans 8:3 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it.

Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else’s sin.” Romans 3:20

“We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade. Romans 3:28

A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.1 Corinthians 6:11

Eating Kingdom Dinner

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30

We all reach ‘Rock Bottom’ where we find we cannot go on and along comes Jesus. Not just offering a way forward but also offering us a relationship where He will walk with us but also to teach us how to live.

Years ago a man had to take a voyage by sea. On the boat he fed himself on cheeses and crackers. Near the end of the journey he was speaking to another passenger who said to him. “Isn’t it great how all the food and entertainment is all included on the voyage?”

Luke 14:15 says “How fortunate the one who gets to eat dinner in God’s kingdom!” God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. Don’t miss yours because you fail to focus on what He has prepared for you and is equipping you to do.

The Importance of Others

“It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough! Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Too often people fail in the recovery process because they feel they no longer require the support of a healthy recovery community or group. After many years on the recovery road I can honestly say others on the same road have kept me motivated to ‘keep moving forward.’

I have heard people say “ I don’t need to go to group, I’ve got this” and fail. “God is all I need.” and fail. Now I am not saying “my God can’t supply all my needs.” But He knows and I know we need others. The reason Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob found success is because they discovered the power of supporting one another. And, they realised their dependence on God.

Don’t live life without protection. Find your support community and get involved in it. I am so glad ‘lockdowns’ in Victoria are coming to an end. Not because I don’t like my own company, I do. But because I know as the end I can re enter the recovery community that has become an important part of my spiritual walk with God.

Keep Praying

Pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. Don’t suppress the Spirit, 1 Thessalonians 5:17-19

God designs all for good, even when we can’t see it. Sometimes we pray for something and it doesn’t happen according to our schedule so we give up praying about it.

For me, as hard as it may seem it was the process of helping others in recovery. I have always believed, and still, believe that is my God-given purpose. In 2005 God gave me a vision for Living Life Recovery. He gave me a map of how it would unfold if I relied on Him. The map came without timelines. So when things have progressed how I thought they should or to the timeline I had set I sometimes became disheartened. But I didn’t stop praying and I didn’t stop trying everything in my power to help others in recovery.

GOD HELPS US TO FACE UP TO THE TRUTH
Blessed be God— he heard me praying. He proved he’s on my side; I’ve thrown my lot in with him. Now I’m jumping for joy, and shouting and singing my thanks to him. Psalms 28:6-7

THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT GOD POINTS US IN THE DIRECTION HE WANTS US TO GO
Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” Isaiah 30:20-21

RECOVERY IS PREPARING US TO HELP OTHERS WHERE WE CAN

Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help the needy; be inventive in hospitality. Romans 12:12-13

Thought for Today

Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me. Warm me, your servant, with a smile; save me because you love me. Don’t embarrass me by not showing up; I’ve given you plenty of notice. Embarrass the wicked, stand them up, leave them stupidly shaking their heads as they drift down to hell. Gag those loudmouthed liars who heckle me, your follower, with jeers and catcalls. Psalms 31:14-18

God alone can deliver us from addiction. Without Him, we try and fail. Ask anyone who has successfully walked the recovery road for any length of time and I am sure they will give the glory of their success to Him. Some years ago I went to an AA meeting here in Victoria where I was asked to share my story. I did, and after the meeting, a number of the group participants came to me and said that they knew and agreed with what I said but were unable to share their own experiences of God with the group for fear of retribution.

God is willing to forgive and empower us as we go through the recovery process. Paul writes in Philippians 1:20 I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Boldly we need to learn to share what God has done, is doing, and has promised to do for us through the process of recovery. Failure to do so may rob someone of the opportunity to express what He has done for them and help someone not as far on the walk as we are to stumble. Do you want that on your conscience? I don’t

Lead by example

Bible Reading: Colossians 3:7-17

Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

Our behaviors and character at Step Ten should be changed as a result of what we have experienced and the changes we have made.
Colossians 2:18  says “Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession ……………………….. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are.” We need to understand not everyone is in recovery – not everyone is going to act and react like we now do. We need to make sure we don’t allow their beliefs and behaviors to control ours. But Jesus says the most important commandments are to love God and love others.

Matthew 5:16  says “Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Proverbs 4:18  says The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine.Philippians 2:15 says Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.”

The Bible is clear about us being an example of right living to others. Step Ten is a daily check to make evaluate ourselves and improve where we need to. As we approach Step Eleven and Step Twelve it is time to put into practice what we have learned so others may see what we have and how we got it and be prepared to investigate God’s promises for their lives.

PRAYER: Lord help me today- show me the way – One day at a time. Give me the opportunity to show others what You have done for me and what You can do for them.

Strong Foundations

1 Corinthians 3:11 No one can lay any other foundation than the one that has already been laid. That foundation is Jesus Christ.

Jesus is a firm foundation of recovery. He is able to overcome any problem or trouble we may encounter and through learning and adapting the Bible to our daily living He is a foundation on which we can build better lives.

Spiritual growth begins through establishing personal relationship with Jesus, but it doesn’t end there. Spiritual growth is about seeking to know God’s will for our lives. Learning to apply it through Jesus example and moving forward daily through the power of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 The fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful.

A large contributor to how well we progress in recovery is based on what we do at the beginning, what foundations we establish to build our new lives on.

One of the first things we should all do in the process of recovery is establish clear, strong spiritual foundations (because it’s a spiritual program) and make them the foundation stones of our recovery. Failing to build on an enduring foundation leads to destruction.

What foundation’s is you life built on.

Stay the Course

What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail. James 5:11

We need to learn patience as we take small steps forward. Staying on the course and allowing God to bring together all we learn and apply in the recovery process. None of us arrived in recovery overnight, none of us will complete the process overnight. God cares about the detail and He wants us to take time in getting it right so we don’t slip backwards.

Stay the course and experience the gift ..

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