Archive for sin

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ How To Avoid Relapse

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relapse prevention

 

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do. If then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law, that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells, for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do, but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:15-20).

Relapse ~ Falling back into a self-defeating pattern. How does it happen? 1) Complacency, we become complacent. 2) Confusion, we rationalize. 3) Compromise, we return to that risky behavior. 4) Catastrophe, we give in to the ould hurt or habit.

The road to recovery is not a quick fix. Sometimes the road is jagged, has a lot of twists and turns. Sometimes it is two steps forward and one step back.

No matter how we behave, God WANTS to heal us.

Part One ~ “R” Realize we are not God…

Part Two ~ “E” Earnestly believe that God exists…

Part Three ~ “C”  Consciously choose to commit all our life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Part Four ~ “O”  Openly examine and confess our faults to ourselves, to God, and to someone we trust.

Part Five ~ “V“ Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in our lives and humbly ask Him to remove our character defect.

Part Six ~ “E” Evaluate all my relationships and offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others except when to do so would harm them or others.

Part Seven ~ “R” Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for your life and gain the power to do it.

What Can Cause A Relapse? Why do we let it happen?

1) Reverting to will power ~ We think we have the ability to do it ourselves and stop depending on the dependency of God

“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3)

2) Ignoring one of the steps ~ We can’t pick and choose then expect God to fulfill His promises. We need to follow all of God’s steps one at a time.

“You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)

3) Trying to recover on our own without support ~ Don’t be afraid to get into relationships, they are for our best interest. (Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto).

We can’t find healing on our own. The root of our problems are relational. Live in God’s healing together. Don’t try to do it alone, it will not work.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up” (Ecc. 4:9-10).

4) Becoming prideful ~ Stay humble or you will stumble. Pride sets us up for failure.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).

How To Prevent A Relapse

Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for your life and gain the power to do it.

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38).

1) Evaluation ~ Continue to evaluate our lives and how we are doing. “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord” (Lam. 3:40).

What am I to evaluate?

Physical ~ What is my body telling me? Am I tense because I’m stressed out? Like the warning lights on our cars…pay attention, fix it.

Emotional ~ What am I feeling? Like a pop when you shake it, it explodes out. Eventually we will explode if we don’t deal with it.

Relational ~ Am I at peace with everyone or in conflict with someone that is keeping me from having peace and healing?

Spiritual ~ Am I relying on God and His power everyday or am I ignoring Him?

“But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Galatians 6:4).

Expect God to help with answers and to give the power, wisdom and strength we need.

2) Meditation ~ Slow down long enough to hear God. Have time in our life to hear God, busyness stifles us from hearing God.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bring forth its fruit in its season, whose leaves shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).

3) Prayer ~ This is how we plug into God’s power.

“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13).

God is so committed to our healing that He went to the Cross and died for us. Remember the sacrifice He made for us and be obedient to Him and His Word. Examine yourself and your heart. Recommit to Him and what He wants to do in your life.

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ Coming Clean

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by greatvictories

Coming Clean-man

R.E.C.O.V.E.R.Y.

How to get your person put together so your world looks fine.

“I have seen his ways, and will heal him, I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips, Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord, and I will heal him” (Isaiah 57:18-19).

Part One ~ “R” – Realize we are not God: We admit we are powerless to control our tendency to do the wrong thing and our life is unmanageable. Naturally we do evil…In Christ we’re delivered from this body of death. That which we do we allow not. What we want to do is right but what we do is sin that dwells in us (Romans 7:15-17).

Part Two ~ “E” – Earnestly believe that God exists, that we matter to Him, and that He has the power to help us recover.

Part Three ~ “C” – Consciously choose to commit all our life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Part Four ~ “O” – Openly examine and confess our faults to ourselves, to God, and to someone we trust.

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (Psalm 32:1-2).

Reasons for this step of, Openly examine and confess our faults to ourselves, to God, and to someone we trust:

“He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whosoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

1) Guilt destroys my confidence. “What if people really found out. What would they think of me?”

2) Guilt damages my relationships. “Causes me to react with impatience, anger, spoil or indulge people.”

3) Guilt keeps me stuck in the past. “Look out the windshield, not the review mirror.”

Guilt can’t change the past and worry can’t change the future.

How to take this step to house cleaning spiritual discipline:

1) Take personal moral inventory. “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord” (Lamentations 3:40).

Get alone with paper and pen, ask God to help you uncover them, confess them to God. Take your time and be honest with yourself and with God.

Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me, and know my thoughts, and if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

2) Accept responsibility for it. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

We are good at fooling ourselves and allowing “stuff” to rule over our lives. Wherever we go, there we are. We cannot run  from it (sin). Don’t minimize it or blame others. Admit we messed up.

3) Ask forgiveness from God. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Take your list to God, confess your sins. Don’t beg God to forgive you. Don’t bargin or bribe Him. Just ask and believe that He is going to forgive you. Be humble.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

4) Admit your faults to another person. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray for another, that you may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

Who? Someone you can trust. “This is who I am.”

What do you say? Take your list and be honest.

When? As soon as possible.

5) Accept God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24).

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

STOP packing those burdens of guilt! Christ died so we can be FREE!!

God wants to heal us of our guilt.

What It Means To Believe In Jesus

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by greatvictories

Many believe, but many don’t live by the power of God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Nicodemus went to Jesus by night (may reveal the timidity of his faith), however, his faith was developing (John 3:1-17).

He wanted to find out the truth and what to do. So, he asks Jesus; ” How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

We have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk…actions speak louder than words. “Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

Genuine faith will naturally produce good works, the two complement each other.  Faith itself will demonstrate itself in love for others. “What does it profit , my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” (James 2:14).

Jesus invited people to “Follow Me.”

So, how are we to respond to His invitation to believe and walk by faith?

FFollow His example. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15-17).

Who are you following for your example? Parent? Movie/Sports star? Peer? A program? Are you willing to follow Jesus? He wants to show us how life is meant to be lived. He is worthy of us following Him, NOT a religion. Life is about living relationships. He came to begin a relationship with us. When we follow Him, we get truth. No longer having to walk in the dark.

Be wise, follow Jesus. Listen to His leading by faith.

AAccept His grace. God gives us what we need, not what we deserve. Freedom from guilt and shame. “For if by one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17)

Do you want your life to count? We can either spend, waste, or invest our life. But remember, there are consequences for what we do in life. We will reap what we sow.

Jesus died to declare us not guilty! We must receive His grace.

IInvest your life in Jesus. Live your life in faith. Ask God how to invest your life in Him and things that are important to Him. “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourself to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13).

Everything we have is a gift from God! “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things…for in Him we live and move and have our being”  (Acts 17:24-28).

Do you want success in life or significance?

TTrust His wisdom and strength. We trust Him for our salvation, do we trust Him for everything else? “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6).

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Do you believe this or do you worry? When we worry, we are not putting our complete faith and trust in Jesus.

HHold on to His promises. They are like an insurance policy. They help us overcome whatever tragedy. “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things , in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Heb. 6:17-18).

We have to know what’s in the insurance policy, God’s Word, His promises. Do you know what is in your insurance policy?

Live on His promises. It is a life of faith. Living in His amazing love.

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11: 25-26)

Do you believe that Jesus will do for you what He promises?

Faith in Jesus is not a passive belief, it’s an active adventure for those who put their faith in Jesus!

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

Even in the night, Jesus tells us the truth and he will show us how He wants to change us from the inside out like He did Nicodemus.

Are you willing to: Follow, Accept, Invest, Trust and Hold On?

Seeing People As God Sees Them

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2012 by greatvictories

Seeing through God’s eyes ~ Part 2

Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).

“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

Now He was teaching in the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God (Luke 13:10-13).

Jesus noticed this woman and He notices you also. He knows every hair on your head!

Here are five things to help you see others…

1) Look around. How often do you observe those around you who need help?

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36).

Attention is necessary for a healthy life. Like a baby who needs constant attention, so the lives of people need attention.

The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

There is something peaceful when someone notices you. Life is good, life is peaceful. Connect with God. Connect with others. Slow down, you never see Jesus in a hurry. Have compassion on others.

2) Take a risk. Notice the cast away, lonely, down troddened. Jesus always took risks. A risk of what others will think of Him…

For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? (Matthew 5:46-47)

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died…(2 Cor. 5:14).

Take a risk. Let someone know you’re going to pray for them. Do a random act of kindness. Who can you act like Jesus to?

3) Reach out to someone who is not receiving love.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).

Ways to reach out:

Jesus saw her…Look around, observe those around you who need help.

Jesus spoke to her…Do you know the power of your words? They are powerful. They speak life or death, blessing or curses.

Jesus put His hands on her…He personally touched her. We all need human touch. It is very powerful.

Tell someone this week you love them and give them a great big hug!

4) Expect some criticism. Don’t be more concerned with policy than people.

The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34).

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost (Matthew 18:11).

5) Seize the moment. Make a difference in someones life.

My little children, let us not love in the word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 4:18).

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,…(1 Thess. 3:12).

Do as Jesus did, you can’t  imagine or conceive what will take place!