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03/18/16

Permalink 08:34:33 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 216 words   English (US)

Going Deeper With God

"Lord, what would you have me to do?" (Acts 9:6 )

Early in our recovery process, we tend to rely heavily on our group, our sponsor and/or trusted friends. But as we progress, be begin to become more comfortable with God, understanding that He truly is the loving Heavenly Father that we long to be with.

More and more, we choose special time with God, getting to know and love Him more deeply. We progressively learn that He can be trusted to be the ruler of our lives. As He gives us direction, we realize that He has our best interest in mind. As we trust Him more fully, we pray more for wisdom and understanding (James 1:5,6 ) of His will for us (Acts 9:6 ), realizing that He will provide a way for us to do what He asks (1 Cor 10:13 ).

Often, through prayer and meditation, I ask for God's will concerning decisions I need to make, problems I need to solve, or directions for my life. Often, it takes some time to understand His leading, but He always comes through. Sometimes, I don't know how I will be able to do it, but I trust that "Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings. {Christ's Object Lessons 333.1}

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Cor 12:9 )

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." (Step 11)

12/25/15

Permalink 10:48:56 pm, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 745 words   English (US)

The Reason for the Season

How fitting it is that we should consider Step 11 on Christmas -- seeking to improve our conscious contact with Jesus. Jesus is my God, who left the place of infinite glory and power to become a tiny, helpless human infant in this horribly evil and primitive world.

This is my God who grew to human manhood without using His Devine power to in anyway help His own human flesh. This is my God who can help me, because He was tempted in all points like as I am, while NEVER yielding to the constant temptations of satan. This is my God, who in human flesh, admitted, that of Himself, He could do NOTHING. That’s my Jesus! Jesus gives me courage to admit to myself, and others, that I can, of myself, do no good thing.

Jesus is the God who blessed and healed every honest soul who He came in contact with. Jesus is the God who allowed Himself to be falsely accused and beaten unmercifully without one word of complaint. Jesus is the God who while being nailed to that old rugged cross, cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” Jesus is the God who died to pay the penalty for my sins and for yours, and then was raised again to newness of life, just as we have the privilege to do when we take up our cross and follow Him. That’s my Jesus! That’s my God!

No matter what you think of my God, one thing is for sure. He loves you and me with an everlasting, infinite love that we cannot even begin to fathom! Do you know my Jesus? Do you love my Jesus? In my carnal nature, I have sunk lower than a snake’s belly and yet He has always been there for me with His unconditional love to pick me up and gently guide me from where I was to a better place. That’s my Jesus!

If you have drifted away from God, do realize how easy it is to come back? Even if you’ve never given your heart to God, His arms are open wide right now to totally accept you as one of His chosen ones. All He needs is your heart. The Bible says, if you will confess your sins to Him that He will not only freely forgive you, but He will also cleanse you from all unrighteousness! This is justification – He wipes your record clean, just as if you had never sinned! He replaces your past, sinful record with Jesus’ perfect record. He will give you a fresh, new start! Praise God!!

But that’s just the beginning! He longs to do much more than this. He wants to sanctify us – to change us from the inside out, to become more and more like Jesus. It doesn’t happen all at once, like justification. This is a continual process that we engage in for the rest of our lives and it is the MOST rewarding process I’ve ever been involved in. As long as we are involved in this process, our destiny is assured. We can be certain that our home is in heaven.

But why, you may ask, do we need to go any further than to be forgiven? If God wipes our record clean by the blood of Jesus, why would we need to be sanctified? … Well, while it is true that God gives us a new, clean slate to start over again with, He doesn’t take away our freedom to choose whom we will serve. And, he doesn’t normally change our learning history, which makes up our character. In other words, it is unlikely that He will miraculously take away our bad behaviors. He deals with our past without our participation, but He can’t deal with our future without our cooperation. If He did that, He would violate our freedom of choice, and my God would never do that to us.

Jesus says, I know the thoughts and plans I have for you, and they are NOT thoughts of evil, but rather of peace and hope for your future. So, call upon Me in prayer and I will listen and I will help you. And, when you seek for Me with ALL your heart, you will find Me and I will deliver you... -paraphrased (Jeremiah 29:11-14 ) I will never leave you, nor forsake you! (Hebrews 13:5 )

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." (Step 11)

10/02/15

Permalink 08:28:08 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 189 words   English (US)

To become like Jesus

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Colossians 3:16 ).
"... Lord, what would you have me to do? ..." (Acts 9:6 ).

As we meditate upon the perfections of the Saviour,
we shall desire to be wholly transformed
and renewed in the image of His purity.
There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul
to become like Him whom we adore.
(Steps to Christ, 89)

The times of prayer and meditation in my own experience have been (and continue to be) a blessing to me throughout my recovery process. It's a time when I process my thoughts and feelings with God and seek to understand what His will is for me in my life today. It's a time for me to study and seek to understand the writings of inspired writers. It's a time for me to ask God if there are any sins that I have neglected to confess. And, it's a time for me to dwell on the incredible work that Jesus has done and is doing on my behalf.

I invite you to join me in a commitment to more deeply enter into the process of prayer and meditation.

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." (Step 11)

07/17/15

Permalink 07:54:46 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 202 words   English (US)

Never Thirst Again

Like most people, I have thirsted for love, security, self-worth, success, and peace. But, I sought to quench that thirst by looking for these things in all the wrong places.

I drank of self-gratification, but only thirsted for more...
Now as I deny myself, I find self-worth.
I drank of worldly success, but only thirsted for more...
Now as I give for the benefit of others I find true success.
I drank of inappropriate relationships, but only thirsted for more...
Now as I build healthy relationships, I find love.
I drank of the control of myself and others, but only thirsted for more...
Now as I relinquish my "throne" to the Creator, I find peace.
I drank of the accumulation of stuff, but only thirsted for more...
Now as I -- through prayer and meditation -- seek God, I find security.

The deepest thirsting of my soul is quenched by my gracious, loving Lord and Savior, who said: "Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life" (John 4:13-14 ). Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." (Step 11)

04/17/15

Permalink 09:21:03 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 272 words   English (US)

"What would you have me to do?"

I have discovered that prayer, meditation, and a conscious contact with God need not end with my morning devotions. More and more in my work and relationships I realize the value of continuing to seek the will of God, as I make the many choices that each day requires. So today I'd like to share some practical ways in which I maintain contact with God and seek His will in my daily life.

In my work, I often find myself stuck trying to resolve a seemingly insurmountable problem. In times like this, I claim the promise, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking" (James 1:5 ). Then, like Saul in his hour of calamity, I pray, "... Lord, what would you have me to do? ..." (Acts 9:6 ). Then, as I think through that problem again, the solutions eventually begin to come. I don't always realize it at first, but later, it occurs to me that my prayers were answered. That's when I praise God and give Him thanks and honor.

In my relationships, things always go better when, rather than venting my frustrations (or stuffing them), I surrender myself to God and ask for wisdom and strength to make better choices in dealing with difficult situations. A good example of this is that day when I received a "Rude Email"...

I invite you today, to claim the promises of God, as you surrender your heart to Him and see for yourself just how much better your day will go. May God richly bless you, is my prayer, in Jesus name, amen.

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." (Step 11)

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