Archive for the ‘road to recovery’ Category

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Ro. 12:13a Contribute to the Needs of the Saints…

July 9, 2011

We are commanded to love one another (John 15:12).  When you love someone, you are aware of their needs.  Many of us support missions financially and that is good.   Many of us do not “see” the needs in our own church family.

I know that there is a “church mask” that is worn by most of us.  It masks the needs we may have.  The Holy Spirit can break through that mask by giving us discernment if we are willing to follow His lead.  He can also show us how to meet the need in a way that will not produce an enablement of what might be a bad habit (like giving money to an addict).   That is a place where the gift of mercy sometimes does more harm than good.  But, for the most part, if someone needs financial help and we can help, then do it.  If they need friendship, love, compassion, or just to be welcomed and noticed we must be able to fill that need.   And if we ourselves are in need, let others know. 

I belong to a fellowship where there are no masks for the most part.  If someone asks “How are you?”  An honest reply usually follows: “fine” is not an acceptable answer.  “Hi, how are you?” has become a greeting instead of a question in our society.  That’s too bad.

Jesus said in John 13:35 that all men shall know that we are His disciples by our love for one another.  So…how’s that going?

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Patience…

July 7, 2011

Ro. 12:12 b  Be patient in tribulation… 

It seems to me that, unless you know and trust God, you cannot possibly be patient in tribulation or trouble.  The worldly way is to “grab the bull by the horns” or charge into the problem without any counsel or guidance.  That usually just leads to more trouble and tribulation. 

The Christian way is to take our burdens to the Lord, lay them at the Cross, leave them and go back to seeking His Kingdom.  He promises that if we seek His Kingdom first, He will take care of the rest.

 I prefer to rest in Him, do the next right thing, get advice if necessary and rely upon the Holy Spirit for guidance through the Word of God.

 The worldly way does not work.  It only feeds the problem and gives way for more difficulties.

 I have learned to turn it over and not take it back.  It’s a battle sometimes, but if I keep my mind on Kingdom work, I don’t have time to go garbage picking.

 

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Never Lag in Zeal and Earnestness

July 3, 2011

Romans 12:11 begins, “Not lagging behind in diligence”; some versions say “zeal”.   

I remember when I was first born again in 1975; my passion for the Lord and for sharing the good news was intense.  I could not stop talking about Him, about grace, about freedom.  I drove most people around me crazy; they either ran away from me or accepted the Lord to shut me up.  Thankfully, those who accepted Him are still with Him today. 

I walked away from Him for several years in the 1980s and didn’t fully recommit myself until 1996.  During that time, although my life took a downward spiral, I always had a strong sense that He was just waiting for me to come back.  Even then, if anyone asked me about Him, the fire returned as I witnessed (in word, truly not in action).  The Holy Spirit honored the attempt despite me.  A friend told me during that time that because I had been sealed with the Holy Spirit, I would return to the Lord.

 Well, I did return and He received me back, and blessed me and loved me and forgave me.  What I learned while wandering in my self imposed wilderness has now given me compassion, understanding and a ministry to guide others who need a savior back to Him as well. 

 The zeal and passion has returned, but now in a mature, level-headed, scripture based and guided fashion (by the Holy Spirit, good teaching of the Word and great mentors). 

So, if the zeal has left, do not despair:  “Our misery becomes our ministry” (Mark Shell). Return to Him and He will return to you.

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Hold Fast to That Which is Good

June 29, 2011

Romans 1:9 continues with this command.  We looked at “hate what is evil” yesterday.  The evil v. good is an ever continuing theme in our lives.

We live in a world where evil is prevalent, where we are surrounded by  negative impulses via the news, people’s bad attitudes, a lack of love and caring, self-centered and narcissistic desires calling out to us continually.  In the midst of this darkness, we are called by Paul to hold fast to that which is good.

Since we are not part of this world, thank God, just in it, we do not have to get pulled away from God’s peace unless we choose to go.  Jesus left us with the peace that passes understanding.  He left us so that the Holy Spirit could guide us through this maze of trials, tribulations and just plain ugliness.  We have a Spiritual Guide who can show us the “good” amidst the evil.

I need to keep my spiritual antenna up so that I don’t miss an opportunity to see good, to see a need that I can meet, to give a smile to someone with a somber countenance and see their face come alive, to help in little ways.  It brightens my day and pierces the darkness.

I need to guard my thoughts, to cast down vain imaginations, to think on these things: “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise.” (Phil.4:8)  It’s a treasure hunt, yet those things are there to find and rejoice over.

There is a slogan that sums it up.  “Let it begin with me…”