Archive for strength

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 ~ Letting Go and Letting God

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Life hurts-God heals1

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

We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world ~ we all need recovery in one way or another. We get stuck in anger, grief, fear, depression, bad habits, bad relationships, guilt, and whatever else.

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.

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

What could keep us from taking this step?

1) Pride ~ We don’t want to admit we need help. Be willing to set pride aside, we are not in control.

“Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility” (Proverbs 18:12). “The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall” (Proverbs 10:8).

2) Guilt ~ We are ashamed to ask God for help. We feel we don’t have a right to keep going to God.

“…for innumerable evils have surrounded me, my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up, They have more than the hairs of my head, therefore my heart fails me” (Psalms 40:12).

God is always waiting, don’t let guilt keep you from going to Him.

3) Fear ~ We’re afraid of what we’ll have to give up.

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

What is your fear? Giving up control? God wants to set us free from whatever controls us. Let go and let God take control of your life. Give up control! He wants to set us free. He wants a relationship with us. Give up everything to Him. He’ll give back one hundred fold. Give Him what you have and don’t be afraid.

4) Worry ~ We confuse the decision phase with the problem-solving phase.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Let God take care of the things you can’t. Pain brings a softening u so that we give up our pride and turn to God for help, allowing Him to control what we can’t.

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

5) Doubt ~ My faith seems so small.

“So Jesus said to them, because of your unbelief, for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

We don’t have to have all the answers before turning to God. Don’t let doubt stop you! We don’t clean a fish before we catch it. We have little faith, but we have a BIG God!

How do we take this step? What do we do? Be committed, not only involved.

1) Accept God’s Son, Jesus as our Savior. Secure your eternity. “If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

2) Accept God’s Word as our Standard.  Allow His Word to teach you how to live. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16).

3) Accept God’s will as our Strategy. Not my will but Thine be done Lord. “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8).

4) Accept God’s power as our Strength. We need help but we want to be our own boss. Quit trying to live in your own strength! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

Open the door and begin a relationship with God. Take a stand. Consciously choose God’s will. Jesus paid it all, all to Him we owe.

We will hit bad spots, switch to God’s help. He is at the door of your heart.

Will you let Him in

What It Means To Believe In Jesus

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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?

A Fresh Start

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But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God ~ and righteousness and sanctification and redemption…(1 Cor. 1:30)

What changes when God gives us a fresh start?

1) We get a new clarity about everything in life. “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace…” (1 Cor. 14:33).

We see everything differently in relationships, family, friends, trials and tribulations, and even our enemies. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face…” (1 Cor. 13:12).

We are going to have trials and tribulations. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

If you are not seeing God working, maybe you have closed your heart to see Him at work in everything?

2) We get a new confidence about our future. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

We all have fears and insecurities.  We try to be God ~ doing what He come to do for us ~ living in our own strength. We can trust God to work out the details of our life. We can be confident because we know God will give us strength for whatever we face. He has a purpose for our life and a future for us in heaven.

3) We get a new connection to God. “…we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:11).

He did not come to establish a religion, but a relationship.

“…where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all in all” (Col. 3:11).

God Almighty wants a relationship/connection with us as His friend ~ He wants us to get to know Him, love Him and become His friend. “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that i heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:14-15).

Would you like a fresh start? Faith in Jesus is what matters and He is here to give you a fresh relationship with God. The power of the resurrection is available to everyone of us.

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width, length, depth and height ~ to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be all the glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph. 3:14-21).

Sardis ~ A Dying Church

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2012 by greatvictories

You’ve Got Mail…What Jesus says to the churches

What Jesus says to a dying church…Don’t give up, wake up!

Jesus shares three prayers for growth and change…

“I know your works, that you have a name (reputation) that you are alive, but you are dead” (Rev. 3: 1-6) .

1. Lord, help me to see the gaps in my life. Impatience, unforgiveness, doubt, fear, pride, gossip, selfishness, etc.

He knows the difference between your reputation and reality. He knows the difference between what you say and what you do. He knows the difference between your values and your actions. You might live in purity on Sunday, but fill your mind with garbage of the world the rest of the week? The Lord knows the difference between where you were and where you are.

Do you recognize the gaps in your life with the Lord?  The humility and pride gap, the forgiveness and unforgiveness gap…Ask Him for contentment and fulfillment.

2. Lord, help me to close the gaps in my life so I can make a change.

How to revitalize anything: WAKE UP! Strengthen what remains! “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God” (v. 2)

Remember what you have heard from God’s Word. Obey and repent (the wake up portion), change directions. Hear what God says and do something about it. “Remember therefore how you have received and heard, hold fast and repent. If you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (v. 3).

Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord (Lam. 3: 40). This is what repentance is about.

Let go of your false security to close the gaps. You need to WAKE UP! God will come upon you as a thief…

3. Lord, I will overcome! I’m going to have VICTORY over the gaps in my life!

“You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy(The picture of those who overcome). He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name in the Book of Life, but will confess his name before My Father and His angels” (The promise for those who overcome) (v. 4-5).

What does it mean to be one who overcomes?

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world ~ our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5: 4-5).

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

How do you overcome when you have troubles?

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (v.6).

Jesus says; “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).