Archives for: June 2014


Permalink 10:15:22 am, Step(s): 05 Confession, 280 words   English (US)

Being Honest About Me

Jesus says, "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:11-12)

The temptation is often to speak of our own "great works" -- trying to make ourselves look good to others -- maybe even in an attempt to make ourselves look better than others. We may even do it to try to make us feel better about ourselves. But Jesus gives us a strong warning against this kind of communication. Why? Well, I don't think He is being arbitrary. I'm convinced that He only wants the best for us.

When I try to hide the real me by focusing only on my good points (I might even exaggerate), those sins that so easily beset me gain power in my life. Worse yet, when I deny the existence of those weaknesses, there is no way that they can become strengths. It is only by facing my weaknesses and dealing with them -- in the strength of Jesus Christ -- that those weaknesses can be changed into strengths. That's why, in recovery circles, it is often said that "we are only as sick as our secrets".

When I give others a false picture of my life, it does them no good either. It could make them feel more inadequate and worthless if they think I have it all together, when they are hurting so badly as well. So what good is that?!

Why do we play these foolish games anyway? Why don't we just be honest with ourselves, with God, and with those we trust? When we do that, our weaknesses begin to loose their power over us and others will gather hope as they see the change in us. Then we can all praise God together :-)

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)

"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." (Step 5)


Permalink 08:27:29 am, Step(s): 04 Introspection, 459 words   English (US)

Chart a New Course

Planning trips can be most enjoyable, because of the anticipation of seeing (and learning) new things or maybe even enjoying again, places we've been before.

When I travel, it's not a fearful thing for me to look at the map to study where I've been, where I am, and to plan where to go next, and how to get there. In fact it's fun thing. Occasionally, it can be painful because I made a wrong turn, or failed to make the right turn. It may even cause frustration to my passengers, or to those who may be waiting for me at my destination. But, it's always good to get back on the right road and continue on toward my destination.

So, why then are we so fearful (when we travel the road of life) to study the map of where we've been, where we are, and where we want to go? Why do we naturally shrink from the idea of charting a new course for a better life?

"... My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" (Hebrews 12:5-7)

It is painful to remember where I made wrong turns in my life, and how I caused pain for other people. But I must remember that "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). It's like getting back on the right road again, and that's a good thing :-)

Why should I continue to drive in circles around the polluted slums of the inner-city, when I can follow the road map to the beautiful forests with fresh air? Likewise, why should I continue to live in the guilt and shame of the past when God has provided a road map to a better, more fulfilling life?

Why should I be fearful of taking inventory of my life -- no matter how dysfunctional it has been -- no matter how low I've sunk in depravity? God has a thousand ways to untangle our sinful lives and to make us new creatures in Christ. Won't you join me today in making a fearless moral inventory?

Let's chart a new course today that will bring us a more fulfilling life. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). So let's plan our trip to Heaven...

"... I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end... Call upon me, ... and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall... find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And... I will turn away your captivity" (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

"Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." (Step 4)


Permalink 09:18:41 am, Step(s): 03 "I will co-operate...", 352 words   English (US)

My Armor, God's Victory

"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).

No one is so low and so vile that he can’t come to Jesus! Even though all our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), He declares us to be righteous when we humbly come, confessing our sins. Then, He makes ample provision for us to live in righteousness. As we strive to overcome our natural and cultivated tendencies to sin, The Holy Angels of God are right by our side to protect us from satan’s fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16) and the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and righteousness. When I strive against the “roaring lion” and my own selfishness, God promises that He will not allow any temptation to come to me without providing victory for me (1 Corinthians 10:13). And, if God be for me, then who can stand against me?! (Romans 8:31). Satan has no power over me when I am fully surrendered to the God of love. This breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14) is God’s appointed protection for my spiritual life.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13).

"The truly righteous, who sincerely love and fear God, wear the robe of Christ's righteousness in prosperity and adversity alike. Self-denial, self-sacrifice, benevolence, kindness, love, patience, fortitude, and Christian trust are the daily fruits borne by those who are truly connected with God. Their acts may not be published to the world, but they themselves are daily wrestling with evil, and gaining precious victories over tempta-tion and wrong… Each one will have a close struggle to overcome sin in his heart. This is at times a very painful and discouraging work; because, as we see the deformities in our character, we keep looking at them, when we should look to Jesus and put on the robe of His righteousness. Everyone who enters the pearly gates of the city of God will enter there as a conqueror, and his greatest conquest will have been the conquest of self." (God’s Amazing Grace, p 31)

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him." (Step 3)


Permalink 08:47:34 am, Step(s): 02 "God can...", 304 words   English (US)

Mighty in Battle

God says, “…My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

"Fear not... Let not your hands be slack. The LORD your God, in the midst of thee, is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." (Zephaniah 3:16-17).

When under attack by the “roaring lion” who seeks to devour me, I not only see my own powerlessness, but I also see One that is mighty to de-liver me. Hopelessness is being swallowed up by the blessed hope of a better life – a life of victory, where once was only defeat. If I put my full trust in God, will he really defeat the enemy, in my behalf? “Humble your-selves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

“The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God…” (2 Corinthians 10:4). “13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and hav-ing on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication…” (Ephesians 6:13-18).

“… We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned” (Revelation 11:17).

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." (Step 2)


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