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Chapter Eight: Examine Our Relationships!
Welcome To The Learner III
Chapter One Recognizing Our Brokenness
Chapter Two Having Faith In God
Chapter Three God Is In Charge
Chapter Four Making A Self Examination
Chapter Five Confession Follows Examination
Chapter Six Repentance: The Way To Forgiveness
Chapter Seven God Is Able To Cleanse Us
Chapter Eight Examine Our Relationships
Chapter Nine Pressing Forward
Chapter Ten Move To Reconcile
Chapter Eleven Draw Near To God
Chapter Twelve Shine Your Light
Chapter Eight: Examine Our Relationships
Ok, so check this out! Until now we have discussed things at the more academic level or as a study to remedy our problems, you know a step by step procedural attempt to getting better, but know we need to come from the surface and go deep, deep into our heart and how we feel, emotional learning, now we have that big monster, RELATIONSHIPS! We all need love, we need to have relationships, and we never mean to hurt these relationships, and sorry always seems to be so hard! To quote the song, "Sorry seems to be the hardest word" It’s sad, so sad! This song is very true, and the truth is we have all hurt someone without intending to, but the consequences of our addiction has hurt us very badly, but not only us, many of our relationships has suffered much, and some unfortunately have been destroyed beyond normal repair, meaning only God can heal them. Now let us have a heart to heart, take some time to reflect on relationships that have suffered because of your addiction, and write them down, and also write what you would like to change if anything.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found, Was blind but now I see
Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed
Thru many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come
Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.
When we've been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Then when we first begun.
I pray that you are blessed as you participate, and that in this chapter change will become very noticeable to you. Let us begin chapter eight. Read the following and the join me in the short prayer below.
Chapter EIGHT - Examine our relationships
Make an inventory of all the relationships and people we have wronged and make a plan to reconcile.
Remember that we made a fearless examination of ourselves, now we will do the same with our relationships.
"As ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also to them likewise. Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31
"Therefore, if those bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother had aught against thee; leave thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother and then come and offer thy gift." Mathew 5: 23,24
Because of our addiction we have hurt others, this is a fact, while some might say, they hurt me first or they hurt me too, this is not a reason to fall onto our addiction, and it is not a reason to avoid reconciliation. Reconciliation is a must before we can move forward. Now we need to take an inventory of all of those that we have hurt and begin to pray for God to help us to make amends. You may not be able right away to remember all that you have known in the course of your addiction so this may take some time, but as you remember, and as individual names resurface, make an effort to make amends with each one, this might require swallow our pride, take the high road and being humble as they say, but when we choose to do so, we show everyone that we are seriously committed to changing our life, and by doing this a newfound respect will come to them for you. Now they also will want to help you to recover! Dear Lord Jesus we cannot do this alone so we pray asking for your help to make amends with loved ones that we have hurt, with friends that we have hurt, and with all relationships that our actions have hurt. In Jesus name, Amen.
In order for us to work through chapter eight we will have to take a look at what it means to give and not always take, we must admit that people have been hurt by our actions and that we are willing to work to fix these relationships, read with me a story about giving:
The Man That Gave
Livingston on commitment:When Dr. David Livingstone was working in Africa, a group of friends wrote him: "We would like to send other men to you.
Have you found a good road into your area yet?" According to a member of his family, Dr. Livingstone sent this message in reply: "If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all." Today’s message is about Commitment. Friends we see that it takes a special breed of folks to make a difference in our world.
Our world has been hardened. Our road is not been made easy. I know that many people decide to tell others about Christ whenever or wherever it is easy and decline to take this task when it seems to be hard.
I was reading this morning a portion of meditation from Charles Spurgeon’s archives. Charles Spurgeon wrote about how we must sharpen our tools and ready them for battle, noting that we can learn from our enemy’s warfare and he challenged us to "go about like good Samaritans, seeking whom we may bless today." Friends to take this road may not be easy; in fact this road may be one that you have to build first before you can get to them. This is what Dr. Livingston was saying. Before we can reach someone we might have to build the road! What examples do we have of this?
Let us turn to Luke chapter 10:30-37.
"And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed leaving him half dead."
Here we see a man that was walking a road, a road that was already laid, and a road that made it easy for another to serve God. Here ministry to another was easy. Let’s see what happens.
"By chance their came down a certain Priest that way: and when he saw the man, passed by on the other side."
Friends, the road was already laid. The Priest had every opportunity to minister to a hurting soul. He didn’t have to open a door, and then walk through. He didn’t have to pray first to see if it was God’s will, He also did not have to obtain a seminary degree first to become a minister! We will see in a moment what he had to do.
What he did do was pass on by the other side. It was easy for him to go around this soul and to ignore him. Next we see another, a Levite.
"And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side."
He did the same thing only worse; he actually took the time to look at the situation and decided to pass by. Again he didn’t have to lay the road, he didn’t have to pray to see if it was God’s will, and he didn’t have to get a Seminary degree before he could have the opportunity to minister.
The road was laid, the door was open, and the opportunity was there just as it is now! Finally a third person comes down this road and he isn’t a Priest or a Levite, he is not a person of greatness, and he decides that he doesn’t need a degree, or even to pray if it was God’s will first. Instead he takes action.
"But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he the man he had compassion on him, and went to him and bound his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him."
Beloved this was an easy task because the door was open and the road was laid already. The opportunity presented itself for ministry. How many opportunities do we have to minister to others? Do we need a degree? Do we need permission from God first as to if it is his will? Do we need for God to make a road for us? And what about the road we are on?
I tell you friends the opportunity is here, right here and right now. Will we, do we pass on by the other side?
Dr. Livingston wanted people that wouldn’t wait for a good road, that wouldn’t wait for the easy opportunity, but rather the ones that were willing to take the hard road, to make a way, to see the opportunity that is around them to minister and to make opportunities where none are found!
Today is a tough marketplace, not every opportunity will be easily had. Charles Spurgeon said:
"We are engaged in a great war with the Philistines of Evil.
Every weapon within our reach must be used. Preaching, Teaching, Praying, Giving, all must be brought into action and talents which have been thought to be to mean for service, must now be employed!"
1Samuel 13:20 reads: "But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his ax, and his mattock."
Listen friends we are in a war for souls today, our families and friends are perishing while we walk by the other side seeking this feel good church experience. Ministry opportunities are all around us.
Have all our hearts grown hard? Are all our tools become dull?
Is it too mean to tell the truth?
The Bible tells us in Luke 6:38; "Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure pressed down and shaken together and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you give, it shall be given unto you again."
If there is no road, make the road and it shall be made for you. If the road is there take, the road and it shall be taken for you!
If an opportunity presents itself to minister to another and you pass by the other side what then should be done to you in your time of need?
If there is no opportunities in front of you
then seek them, make them, take them and you will be blessed!
Let us take a look at the greatest teacher of all Jesus! What did he do?
Did Jesus need man to give him a road or an open door? No he didn’t, nor do we. The opportunity is all around you wherever you’re at.
People are in need of good Samaritans. The bible tells us;
"The harvest is ripe but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore to the Lord of the harvest that he send laborers to help bring in the crop."
Here is what God did. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him would receive eternal life." John 3:16
Listen friends God made the road, he didn’t wait for a good road to be made, and he didn’t wait for a more perfect time. The time is right now!
Mathew 25:34-40 "Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying Lord, when did we see thee hungry and fed thee, or thirsty and gave thee drink? When we saw thee a stranger and took thee in? Or naked and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick or in prison and came unto thee? And the king shall answer unto them, Verily I say unto thee, Inasmuch as you have done these things unto one of the least of my brethren ye have done it unto me."
My friends all around us are opportunities to minister unto hurting, needful friends and sinners. And whatever we do to them we are doing it unto God.
Jesus gave his life; he knew that to love others was always God’s will as he gave us these instructions in John 13:34.
"A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
See Jesus gave his life for us; this is how he loved us. He didn’t pass by on the other side. He took action by giving. The Good Samaritan gives us a great example and Jesus gives us the greatest example ever! Are you moved with compassion today to come to the aid of a hurting world?
Friends you don’t need a piece of paper licensing you to act! You don’t need to wait to find out if it’s God’s will, he has made it very clear already, and you don’t need to wait for the good road or open door to give you the right of passage. Friends all you need to do are look around, Look around you and see the need and refuse to pass by the other side!
Friends God is calling us to be that man who gave, to be the Good Samaritan, to do as Jesus did. Love. Love. Love!!! Love one another!!!
Today there might be one that is hurting, one that is in need of a friend, one that needs a touch from Jesus, or even one that would love to be used of God to help.
If there is any that would like to know Jesus better, would like to get closer to him, that has never asked Jesus to come into their life, then come forward and pray with us. Come to the Altar today and watch how Jesus takes you into his arms and comes into your heart with love. He loves you beyond what you could ever imagine. Come to Jesus!
Father we know that we are sinners, but today we want to receive you in our life. We confess with our mouth and believe in our heart that you died on the cross for our sins and was raised by the power of God from the grave, that only you can change our lives and make it better. Thank you Jesus for coming into my life. Now open my heart and my eyes to help those around me to have better lives. Help me to make a difference and be that Good Samaritan, In Jesus name we pray. Amen! Give some love!
Friend, our addictions have cause us to become selfish takers, but Jesus teaches us to be givers, forgivers, and to walk unselfishly in love towards others.
Give a little love today!
"Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure pressed down and shaken together and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you give, it shall be given unto you again." Luke 6:38
RELATIONSHIPS ARE ABOUT GIVING!
Chapter Nine: Pressing Forward!