Archive for the ‘Celebrate Recovery Materials’ Category

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Grace

Principle 6: Evaluate all my relationships. 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.

“Happy are the merciful.” (Matthew 5:6) “Happy are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:9)

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23–24)

Introduction

Tonight, we are going to finish discussing Principle 6. We have talked about how to evaluate all our relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt us, and make amends for the harm that we have done to others, when possible without expecting anything back.

As we grow as Christians and as we grow in our recovery, we want to follow the guidance and directions of Jesus Christ. As we get to know Him better, we want to model His teachings and model His ways. We want to become more like Him. Honestly, if we are going to implement Principle 6 to the best of our ability, we need to learn to model God’s grace. But how?

Grace

The key verses of Celebrate Recovery are 2 Corinthians 12:9–10 (NCV): “But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.’ So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me. For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.”

Celebrate Recovery is built on and centered in Christ’s grace and love for each of us.

Let’s look at tonight’s acrostic: GRACE.

God’s gift

Received by our faith

Accepted by God’s love

Christ paid the price

Everlasting gift

The G in grace is GOD’S gift

Grace is a gift. Grace cannot be bought. It is freely given by God to you and me. When we offer (give) our amends and expect nothing back, that’s a gift from us to those whom we have hurt.

Romans 3:24 (NCV) tells us, “All need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ.”

First Peter 1:13 (NCV) says, “Prepare your minds for service and have self-control. All your hope should be for the gift of grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ is shown to you.”

If my relationship with God was dependent on my being perfect, I would have trouble relating to God most of the time. Thank God that my relationship with Him is built on His grace and love for me. He gives the strength to make the amends and offer the forgiveness that Principle 6 requires.

And how do we receive God’s gift of grace? That’s the R in grace: RECEIVED by our faith.

No matter how hard we may work, we cannot earn our way into heaven. Only by professing our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior can we experience His grace and have eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8–9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Let me share another verse with you. Philippians 3:9 (TLB) states, “No longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God’s laws, but by trusting Christ to save me; for God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith—counting on Christ alone.”

You and I tend to be more interested in what we do. God is more interested in what we are.

Romans 5:2 says of Jesus, “Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

Just a word of warning: Our walk needs to match our talk. Our beliefs and values are seen by others in our actions. And it is through our faith in Christ that we can find the strength and courage needed for us to take the action Principle 6 requires: making your amends and offering your forgiveness.

The next letter in grace is A. We are ACCEPTED by God’s love.

God loved you and me while we were still out there sinning. Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

We can, in turn, love others because God first loved us. We can also forgive others because God first forgave us. Colossians 3:13 (TLB) says, “Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”

Ephesians 2:5 (NCV) reminds us that “Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God’s grace.”

I don’t know about you, but I know that I do not deserve God’s love. But the good news is He accepts me in spite of myself! He sees all my failures and loves me anyway. And the same goes for you.

Hebrews 4:16 (NCV) tells us, “Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.”

Let’s move on to the C in grace: Christ paid the price.

Jesus died on the cross so that all our sins, all our wrongs, are forgiven. He paid the price, sacrificed Himself for you and me so that we may be with Him forever.

When we accept Christ’s work on the cross, we are made a new creation. We can then rely on God’s strength and power to enable us to forgive those who have hurt us. We can set aside our selfishness and speak the truth in love. We focus only on our part in making amends or offering our forgiveness.

Ephesians 1:7 (NCV) says, “In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace.”

The last letter in grace is E: God’s grace is an EVERLASTING gift.

Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, God’s gift of grace is forever.

Let me read a quote from the Big Book of AA, pages 83–84: “Once you have completed Step Nine, you will know a new freedom and a new happiness.… you will comprehend the word serenity and know peace.… You will suddenly realize that God is doing for you what you could not do for yourself.”

And here’s a quote from the real Big Book—the Bible: “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns” (Philippians 1:6, TLB).

Also, 2 Thessalonians 2:16 (NCV) states, “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father encourage you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. God loved us, and through his grace he gave us a good hope and encouragement that continues forever.”

My life verse is 1 Peter 2:9–10 (TLB), where God says, “For you have been chosen by God himself—you are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God’s very own—all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were less than nothing; now you [John Baker] are God’s own. Once you knew very little of God’s kindness; now your very lives have been changed by it.”

I stand before you as a product of God’s grace. Everyone here this evening who has let Christ into his or her life is also a product of God’s grace. As we model this grace, we will be able to do the work that Principle 6 requires.

Let’s close tonight with Colossians 1:6: “All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.”

APPENDICES 14.7 Celebrate Recovery®

File: Revised lessons 19-22 leaders guide.doc

In the first principle, we admitted we were powerless. Now in the second principle, we come to believe God exists, that we are important to Him, and that we are able to receive God’s power to help us recover. It’s in the second step we find HOPE!

Higher Power Our higher power is Jesus Christ.

“Everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power.” Romans 11:36,
“My grace is enough for r you: for where there is weakness, my power is shown the more completely.” 2Corinthinas 12:9..

Openness to change:

“Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better. Yes, You must be a new and different person.” Ephesians 4:23

Power to change:

“For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and the power.” Philippians 4:13
“Lead me; teach me; for you are the God who gives me salvation. I have not hope except in
you.” Psalm 25

Expect to change:

“I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping
you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus
Christ return.” Philippians 1:6
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we don’ to see.”
Hebrews 11:1

Principle Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4)

Step 2: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13)
2: Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.

This week consider the following:
• In the past where were you looking for hope?
• What is your current belief about God’s characteristics?
• Compare and contrast God with your Earthly father. Compare and contrast your feelings for God vs. and your earthly father taking this step, where were you trying to find hope?
• How can knowing Jesus help you step out of denial and into reality?
• out of your denial and face reality?
• What are things are you ready to change
• in your life?
Anyone who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Celebrate Recovery®

Step 10

Would you rather be right or well?

First John 1:8–10 (TLB) says: “If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves, and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. (And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins). If we claim we have not sinned, we are lying and calling God a liar, for he says we have sinned.”

In John 3:21 Jesus tells us, “Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light.” Step 10 brings us, on a daily basis, into the light.

Once we see the light, we have a choice. We can ignore it or we can act on it. If we act, we are living the last part of Step 10 and answer the “then what” question. We NEED to admit our wrongs promptly.

 

 

In Matthew 5:23–24 (MSG), Jesus tells us, “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then, and only then, come back and work things out with God.”  (click here for complete lesson)

 

 

 

Celebrate Recovery®

Principle 7: Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.

Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out.

  In the past I heard a sermon series on Luke 24. In verse 13 the story known as the road to Emmaus begins. In brief it is the story of two of Jesus’ disciples. The lesser know variety but none the less devout followers who were basically in shock from the recent crucifixion. As they were walking along they were discussing the recent events when Jesus strolled up beside them and joined in their conversation. Acting like he wasn’t aware of what happened till they related their version of what they had seen happen. You see they thought their messiah was coming to wipe away the Roman rule and establish an earthly kingdom. Restore justice and right standing for the chosen of God. They watched in horror as their own religious leaders handed him over to the Romans and they crucified him. Talk about dreams being shattered.  They related to Jesus how after his crucifixion that he had been laid in a tomb only to come up missing a few days later. They were so disillusioned and confused. Even though they were taught the Old Testament prophesies they still were lost and unaware of what the future was all about. So they were headed back to Emmaus to pick up where they left off, virtual prisoners in an enemy occupied country. Not in any way good but familiar. Not too challenging, but it was what they had grown use to accepting.

Sound at all familiar?

That’s relapse. It starts gradually,

subtly.  It starts by going back to what is old and familiar.

Maybe you find yourself looking up an old friend on Facebook.

Or maybe you find yourself casually almost accidentally cruising by an old hangout or watering hole than kind of looking maybe seeing if you recognize someone you knows’ car or looking at the door to see if you recognize anyone coming out.

You start with thinking about how good the old days were.

 I  go back to what I’ve known the longest when I lose sight of what God is doing in my life and it’s not looking the way I thought it would or it’s taking longer than I thought. What he has promised is His plan for my life is not as clear….  (to read whole lesson click here

  (click here) for slide show
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless
over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become
unmanageable.


I know that nothing good lives
in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good,
but I cannot carry it out. (Romans 7:18)


Step 2.  We came to believe that a power
greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.


For it is God who works in you
to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)


Step 3.  We made a decision to turn our
lives and our wills over to the care of God.


Therefore, I urge you,
brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)


Step 4. We made a searching and fearless
moral inventory of ourselves.


Let us examine our ways and
test them, and let us return to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40)


Step 5.  We admitted to God, to
ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.


Therefore confess your sins to
each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16)


Step 6.  We were entirely ready to have
God remove all these defects of character.


Humble yourselves before the
Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10)


Step 7.  We humbly asked Him to remove
all our shortcomings.


If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all
unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)


Step 8. We made a list of all persons we
had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.


Do to others as you would have
them do to you. (Luke 6:31)


Step 9. We made direct amends to such
people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.


Therefore, if you are offering
your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something
against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be
reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)


Step 10. We continued to take personal
inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.


So, if you think you are
standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)


Step 11.  We sought through prayer and
mediation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge
of His will for us and power to carry that out.


Let the word of Christ dwell
in you richly. (Colossians 3:16)


Step 12. Having had a spiritual experience
as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to
practice these principles in all our affairs.


Brothers, if someone is caught
in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself,
or you also may be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)

adapted for victims of abuse (click here)    adapted for financial recovery (click here)