Thursday, April 21, 2011

STEP 3 scriptures

Step 3 Scriptures PDF Print E-mail

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God

Psalms 3:1-6
3:1 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
3:2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3:3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
3:4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
3:5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
3:6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Comments:
When we are setting our face towards finding the Truth about a Higher Power who can restore us to sanity, and as we turn more and more to the God that we find in that search, then sometimes it may seem that things can get difficult. It might seem that those who would want to entice us back into our addictive habits are "many" that would "rise up against me". Just by selling what they are selling or doing what they are doing these people, businesses or organizations can be sources of tempation for us, whether it be alcohol, pornography, easy credit, gambling, prescription or illegal drugs, or whatever our area of temptation or those of our loved ones might be. We can realize, though, that it has always been so. There have always been those in every age who aim to bring down the righteous, to destroy righteousness in their own lives and the lives of others. In this Psalm, David was to some extent reaping what he sowed because of his sin with Bathsheba and the killing of her husband Uriah. The prophet Nathan predicted that trouble would not leave David's house because of this sin. In a similar way, we are reaping from the sin in our lives. And yet, David knew that in spite of his sin God still loved him and wanted the best for him. David turned to God as his shield and found rest and sustenance in God's protection. We, too, can turn to God and in His mercy we can find rest, sustenance and deliverance from the evil and temptations around us. We no longer have to be afraid of the "ten thousands of people" that may be in the businesses, organizations or in unhealthy belief systems that can be sources of temptation for us. We have found our protection, our rest and our peace in God.

Psalms 142:1-7
142:1 I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
142:2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
142:3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
142:5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
142:6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
142:7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me. Comments:
This is a cry, a plea for help from God, from the LORD who is the only one who can truly deliver.It is a cry from when "my spirit is overwhelmed within me". It is a cry when "there was no man that would acknowledge me". It is a cry when "no man cared for my soul". It is a cry to bring "my soul out of prison". And the hope and belief of David in this psalm is that the LORD will be "my refuge and my portion in the land of the living." The LORD will "deliver me from my persecutors". The LORD will "deal bountifully with me." We have the benefit of being able to look back in time and see that the LORD did indeed fulfill all of these pleas of David. We have the advantage of time also in that in this age God has given us the way of the cross, of redemption through Christ Jesus. In the situation of our recovery, our enemies are the addictions that we have allowed or brought into our lives. The power behind these addictions is also crafty, having "secretly laid a snare" for us. In our addiction, we usually come to the point where "no man cared for my soul" and our soul is in the prison of our addictive behaviors. We can have confidence that when we cry to the LORD in sincerity and honesty for deliverance through the grace that is in Christ Jesus, that the LORD will "deal bountifully" with us as well.

Matthew 4:18-23
4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
4:22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. Comments:
Peter, Andrew, James and John all followed Jesus when He called them from their regular tasks. They obviously sensed in some manner that this was a call from a Higher Power, from their God. So they turned over their lives to God, leaving behind the familiar so that they could know and experience the true life that comes from following the true God.

Matthew 6:24-34
6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Comments:
Here Christ Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that we need to put God first and foremost in our lives, above the pursuit of money (mammon) or any other earthly concern..And having done that, then we can trust God in faith to take care of all of our day to day needs. We just need to trust and obey Him," turning our lives over to God as we understand God" so far in our walk of living in the Truth.

Luke 9:59-62
9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
9:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Comments:
Here is Luke's Gospel we see Jesus telling His followers that following Him requires great commitment. It requires following Him above and beyond what we might have thought was valuable before we began following Him.

John 1:12-13
1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Comments:
In this passage we find that through believing "on his name", that is the name of Jesus, we are re-born as a child of God. This re-birth is not from a willing of man or of birth, but it is through the power and grace of God through Christ Jesus. If we have found Jesus Christ to be our Higher Power, then by this belief in Him we are re-born as God's child by God's grace. God in Christ Jesus then provides the power that can lead us away from the insanity of our addictive behaviors.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Step 2 Scriptures PDF Print E-mail

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Psalms 18:2-6
18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
18:3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
18:4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
18:5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.
18:6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Comments:
David proclaims the strength, protection and deliverance that comes from the Lord. When David was overcome with sorrow and fear, he called upon the Lord, and the Lord heard him in his distress and brought safety and deliverance. During the second step, we search for a power that can deliver us from the insanity of our addictive behaviors. This power needs to be something or someone on whom we can rely and in whom we can have confidence. David's witness in the Psalms as well as the experiences of many, many others as recorded in the Bible and throughout history attest to the faithfulness of the Lord in providing safety and deliverance from distress when we turn to Him in our sincere need.

Matthew 11:28-30
11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Comments:
This is a promise that when we come to Jesus we will find rest. This is so much needed to save us from the insanity of our addiction that we admitted in step 1. We have carried the yoke of slavery of our addiction for a long time. Jesus promises a different type of a yoke, one that is light and easy, one in which we can find rest and peace. And how needed is that rest! Addictive behaviors usually rob us of this rest, whether it is from staying up all hours of the night and morning as we seek our addiction of choice or whether it is from the troubled sleep that we have from a guilty conscience and polluted body and mind from our addictive behaviors. How blessed is the rest and peace that comes, then, from the One who is our peace.

Matthew 12:18-21
12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
12:19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. Comments:
This is from a prophecy from the book of Isaiah about the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy when He showed Himself to be a Messiah of meekness and yet justice, gentleness and strength, victorious and trustworthy. He did not strive or cry out but went forth in quiet victory, bringing justice. He is someone in whom we can trust. In the second step of the 12 step program, that is what it is all about - someone whom we can trust to carry us out of our sin and the burdens of our addiction. And Jesus brings this deliverance in such an approachable way, not striving or crying out, but gently offering to us the victory through His grace and gentleness towards us.

Hebrews 2:14-18
2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Comments:
This passage from Hebrews states how Christ took the form of human flesh and blood as He walked this earth. He did this out of compassion and love, to deliver us from a "lifetime subject to bondage". And the way that He could do this is that sin was not found in His life. We are not like that. From our first step, we know that sin has not only been in our lives, but it has taken control of our lives, making us powerless over the sin. Jesus had no sin in His life, even though He lived as a human being like us. Being a human being, He knows firsthand how trials and temptations can abound - "he is able to help them that are tempted". Being sinless, He can act as our high priest before God, reconciling us to God in spite of our sins. He is unique in the history of mankind, for no other man lived a sinless life before God. And we can be very thankful, because Christ Jesus didn't live such a life in order to condemn us or set Himself apart, but so that He could identify with us, make the perfect sacrifice and save us through His love.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Bible passages on step1

Step 1 Scriptures PDF Print E-mail

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable

Psalms 38:3-14
38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
38:5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
38:6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
38:7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
38:8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
38:9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
38:10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
38:11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
38:12 They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
38:13 But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.
38:14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. Comments:
Here we see the psalmist in great pain and misery because of the sin in his life. As addicts we can identify with these types of feelings or conditions that have come from our sin as well. No sane person would want to find themselves in this state of corruption and decay. But because of the sin in our addictive behaviors and our inability to say no to those behaviors, we find ourselves feeling bad in body, heart, mind and soul. Notice the many areas of consequences. In the soul there is a feeling "as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me." In the body, there is "no soundness in the flesh" and even a "loathsome disease". In the heart there is "turmoil of my heart" and the resulting groaning. In relationships, there is a turning away of lovers, friends and family. In society there are "snares" and people say mischevious and deceitful things about us. There is a hint in this psalm also of the solution in laying it before God (38:9). These are what should be covered in the following steps of the program - how to turn it over to God and begin making things right before God and man. But first we have to admit that we need help, that we are powerless to overcome this addiction in our own strength.

Proverbs 26:11-12
26:11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
26:12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. Comments:
Both of these verses from Proverbs can be relevant to how we probably have lived before taking the first step. In verse 11, the fool returns to his folly as a dog returns to its vomit. Our addictive behaviors have been our folly, that which makes a fool out of us. And just as the dog returns to what it knows and is familiar with, even though it may be unhealthy and nasty from an objective viewpoint, so also we have returned to our own addictive behaviors over and over again, even though they are unhealthy and nasty from any objective viewpoint. What may have blinded us to the insanity of this behavior is given in the next verse, verse 12. If we have been wise in our own eyes, saying to ourselves that most everyone or everything else is stupid or wrong or too inhibited or dull in their beliefs and life (name your own excuse that allows you to be wise in your own eyes), then we set ourselves up for being a fool or worse. In reality, we have really become addicted and have let that addiction rule our reason, rather than the other way around. We usually only wake up to this fact when we find our lives out of control and have to admit that perhaps we were not so wise after all. This can be a difficult thing to do, but is the first step on the road to recovery.

Mark 5:2-15
5:2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
5:3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
5:4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
5:5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
5:7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
5:8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
5:9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
5:10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
5:11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
5:12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
5:13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
5:14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
5:15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. Comments:
This passage tells of the healing by Jesus of a man who had many demons. In modern times we may wonder about what demon possession was really about. But regardless of our conclusions, there are many parallels between someone with demon possession and how we can act in our addictive behaviors. Verse 5:5 tells of the man crying and cutting himself with stones day and night. If we have gone very far into our addictive behaviors we most likely have found ourselves crying and hating ourselves afterwards for what we have done. The hatred may even have gone as far as cutting or doing bodily harm to ourselves in one way or another. It may go on day and night, having no end to the addictive behavior until we finally collapse in sheer exhaustion. And when we get up from the sleep of exhaustion the addictive behavior may take over again until exhaustion, creating an utterly self-destructive form of living. Also, we see in verses 5:3 and 5:4 about the incredible strength of this man. In our addictive behaviors with our adrenalin rushing through us, we also can often have a physical strength beyond our normal day to day strength. This may even be a source of pride and one reason that we turn to our addictive behavior, to have a feeling of strength or empowerment that we normally cannot find within ourselves. The lie of the addiction is, of course, that when we are through with our addictive behavior then we are usually weaker overall than before, having exhausted our strength or goodwill from others in often daredevil or foolhardy schemes that bring us no lasting good and often destruction. In verses 5:6 and 5:7 we see the answer to this man's dilemma. By God's grace this demon possessed man has the sense to run and worship Jesus. Whether it was the demons within this man or the man himself, there was an acknowledgement of Jesus' position as the "Son of the most high God". Following this, Jesus yielded His power over the man's demons and by verse 5:15 we see that this man had been returned to his right mind. So from the 12 step perspective, one might say that this passage covers steps 1 through 3. The last phrase in verse 15 is very telling also. Instead of rejoicing with this man that he had been delivered, the towns people "were afraid". So it may be also as we turn from our addictive habits. Instead of support and appreciation it may be that others shun us or are afraid of us, especially those who somehow benefit from our addiction (e.g., fellow addicts). This should not deter us from moving forward. In the context of the 12 step program, going forward would mean creating an inventory, the 4th step. In the case of this demon possessed man, an inventory would remind him strongly what he had been delivered from and help motivate him to never return to that state of being again.

Romans 7:18-23
7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
7:20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Comments:
This is a classic passage that tells of how the apostle Paul was ultimately powerless over the sin in his life apart from the power of God. He had the will to do what is right, but at the same time he also had the inclination to do what brought him into the "captivity of sin". In the facing of our addiction and the taking of our first step, we also become aware of how powerless we are over the sin of our addictive behaviors. We realize that no matter how strongly we might will or want ourselves to be a certain way, to do a certain thing or to not do a certain thing, then we find that we are not able to carry through with that in a consistent manner. We find ourselves back to the same old self-destructive behaviors that we have grown accustomed to, that have become so much a part of our lives. In our "flesh", we are not able to carry through on staying away from our addictive behaviors, even though we may want to and know at some level how self-destructive they are. We have been powerless over our addictive behaviors and our life has become unmanageable.


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Sunday, April 10, 2011


The Sin of Indifference

Bill Mosely
Tucson, Arizona

There are many obstacles to the growth of the church in our day. One of the greatest of these is the indifferent church member. Webster ~ New Collegiate Dictionary defines indifference as follows: "apathy; lack of feeling for or against anything." He goes on to say "... not interested in or con6erned about something; neutral; having no prepondering influence or value." How many people, claiming membership in the Lord's body fall into this category! They have no feeling for or against the church; they are not concerned about it, nor interested in it. As a result of such attitudes, they are of no value to the church. As far as they are concerned, the church can live or die.

In the light of these definitions, we can see why the indifferent member is a hindrance to the church. He does more harm to the church than one who professes no religion. Everybody knows what the atheist is, and he is not likely to bring any lasting harm to the church - only to himself. The Laodiceans were condemned because they were neither cold nor hot; not for nor against. They were to be rejected because of their lukewarmness -indifference.

Note what Joseph Fletcher says about indifference. "The true opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Hate, bad as it is, at least treats the neighbor as a THOU, whereas indifference turns the neighbor into an IT, a thing. This is why we may say that there is actually one thing worse than evil itself, and that is indifference to evil. In human relations the nadir of morality, the lowest point as far as Christian ethics are concerned, is manifest in the phrase, 'I couldn't care less'."

(Reader ~ Digest, Nov. 1968)

As I reflected on these words, I thought how true they are! I had to agree when Fletcher said "... the lowest point as far as Christian ethics are concerned, is manifest in the phrase, 'I couldn't care less.’" This is the way some members feel - "I couldn't care less." They won't say it with words, but their actions speak it far more eloquently than words ever could. Such have no active interest in the work and worship of the congregation of which they are a member. They are lax in their assembling for worship or study. They never take time to visit or call a sick brother. They do not engage in a private study of the Word; this fact is shouted out by their obvious lack of knowledge concerning that Word. They are indifferent, and have no value to the church. Yet, for the sake of numbers, the brethren seldom exercise any corrective or disciplinary measures against such indifferent members. We need to realize that the church is better off without such members. Lest some think this to be a harsh statement, remember what the Lord said he would do concerning such people. (Rev. 3: 14-16)

The ultimate in indifference was brought home to me upon one occasion. I had preached a sermon on lukewarmness and indifference. One brother came out the door, shook my hand and said, "that was a good sermon, preacher. But I guess I'm just one of those lukewarm members you talked about." So far as I know, he never did do anything about his condition and probably is still lukewarm. He was indifferent about his indifference!

There is a need in the church today for members burning with zeal, overflowing with enthusiasm and abounding in labor and work. But such are hard to find. Enter in among the assembly of many congregations and witness a feeling of gloom, and feel the "deadness" of it. This is not so when a congregation is free of indifferent members. Hear the apostle as he says "... always abounding in the work of the Lord." Hear him as he commends the Thessalonians for their "labor of love." The scriptures teem with such phrases, but do they describe many today - individuals or congregations?

My brother or sister, if you have been indifferent toward your responsibility as a
Christian, and toward the church, you had better wake up! The Lord is coming one day,
and you will stand before him in judgment. Would he commend you as a tireless worker
for his cause; as one who ceaselessly labored without regard for personal or physical things? Or will you be as the slothful servant? If so, you will be cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Many try to excuse their indifference by saying, can't do this or that." I'm sure if these indifferent church members were sure the Lord would return tomorrow, they would move as heretofore thought impossible of them. They would get things done that even they thought they could never do! Do you know something? Tomorrow might be the day!


June 18, 1970
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