Step 1 of the 12 Steps
Oh, there's my glasses.
well You know what? I'm going to start a series based around the 12 Steps recovery program. And I just can't get away from it. It's always come back to me about the fundamental importance of the principles of the 12-step programs. We won't do all 12 will just make some up but I want to go through a series of them over the next little while. I don't think there's been a program in the history of the world really that has helped so many people change their life from bad to better and Weatherby alcohol 12-step for everything for like Financial addiction gambling drugs alcohol, whatever it is that we might be addicted to the AA program and the 12 steps that Bill Wilson who was the Christian, you know, he even tried LSD to try to stop drinking didn't work, but he came up with these 12 steps him and the other person I forget the other person's name. But anyway, the first one is we admit we are powerless over alcohol now. Some of us have had that experience of being powerless over alcohol. It's not a very good thing to be powerless over because it absolutely ruined your life. My father was a functional alcoholic you got up went to work every day. But every other time was hell like for us or powerless over anger powerless over jealousy powerless over materialism consumerism food pornography, which is just absolutely running rampant through our churches and through young people. It is become normalized. It is very socially okay now for anyone to participate in watching pornography it scene is just something people do and what they're finding out is that it's actually changing the minds of young people because it's setting off the dopamine centers in the brain. That's what sexual activity does. It's a dopamine thing. That's why it feels good and what they're finding out is that children exposed to pornography at the age of 10. 11 12 13, which is extremely common because all you have to do is take a cell phone and type in p*** and it's all free and it's there. So the kids of course are doing it and finding that it's actually changing the minds of young people the way that that part of their character and their personality their sexual nature is wired causing them to have real dysfunction later on when they get into relationships. It's a big big deal. And with the the dad is not in yet. It's only been around hardcore for a boat on phones and the internet for about 8, maybe 10 years before you have to pay for it and all that stuff you don't anymore so that it's going to take awhile for the data to come in and to see the actual ramifications of what we call Freedom. Right that our lives have become unmanageable. That's the key thing. Sometimes addiction can tell us that Things become unmanageable. Sometimes a jail cell will tell us that our life has become unmanageable. Sometimes divorce will tell us divorce tells us a lot of things. And some people never ever get around to fixing what it's telling us. Failure will tell us that our life has become unmanageable. We just continue to fail fail fail. Will there's a reason we fail all the time. The thing that is always consistent about failure failure in our life is us. It's always us that are failing the situations may change but it's us we are the consistent thing in that and we have to sometimes stop blaming other people and stop blaming the circumstance and look at ourselves and say what am I doing? How am I living wrong? What is taken control of my life that I am constantly failing and sometimes are mental or physical health will tell us that you know, what things have taken control of your life that are going to that have pushed you into mental and physical disaster in your health. These are all things that tell us at our life has become unmanageable. life has all kinds of ways of letting us know that we need to change and Peter says for you are a slave to whatever controls you. The truth, right? It's one of those little simple truth. It is the truth. It could be alcohol anger. It could be whatever it is. But I think I don't think we're being outrageous for us to say today that there are things in all of our lives that control us. We react to certain way in certain situations and we always walk away from it, and I didn't want to do that or I didn't want to say that I didn't want to be that Because we're a slave to it and God has ways of dealing with that. Thank God the process of breaking free from what controls parts of our personality or behavior and trying to follow Christ. This is called sanctification for the Christian. That's what that's called a call to getting sober we call it sanctification sanctification is just basically the process where we agree to do what God asks us to do. That's what sanctification is. It does not happen automatically. What's interesting about that is you know, when we when you first came to your face, I don't know how you came to your face. But sometimes when you come to your face things just change automatically like I stop cursing that's the first thing I noticed I didn't try to stop cursing. It just went away and then about eight nine months later the alcohol just kind of I just didn't want it anymore. So wonderful, right. I know some people that had to really work to get that but then there's other Things that boy, oh boy. Here we are 40 years later, right and we're still going what about that Lord? And the only thing I know about that is that when the Jews came into the promised land if you know your Bible you'll know it one point. I don't know where it is, but it says that God left some of the peoples in the land. He didn't take them out all at once and if you know your scripture you'll work the text says that teach them how to fight.
God will leave stuff in our life that teach us how to fight he put the garden together and put that tree in there not because he wanted to tempt Adam and that wasn't God's purpose, but there's got to be a choice. There's got to be a choice and he said listen you can have 999% of everything else, but don't touch that read over there right to it. Don't walk on the grass. What do you want to do? Walk on the grass right? Don't speed. What do you want? Right so
we have these things. That if we agree can teach us how to fight. Doesn't happen automatically we have to agree we can stay and immature and unproductive Christian till the day. We die. We can do that and I'm sure that you have been with people and at times we have even seen ourselves be that way where we know we're walking and immaturity but it says Paul said you put away childish things. And that's something we have to do we have to be willing to do that with God we have to be willing to be willing facing the truth about ourselves is not very easy. It's hard work being a Christian is not upset at you a thousand times. It's not for the faint of heart. What we are called to as Christians is a well. It's an impossible thing. It is an impossible thing because the Bible calls us to be like Jesus. Well, there's a goal there's there's a bar will never reach but it never says we shouldn't try never says we should not try I when I used to go to the gym some of you go to the gym and you. I used to see people in there in the mornings and they're like 6 in the morning and they're just pounding it out on the StairMaster or doing the machines or whatever it is and they're there for like an hour an hour and a half at 6 in the morning every morning. To try to perfect or whatever their body. And you know, there's some good to that and we should be doing some element of that. But how much work do we do to the spiritual? Like how hard do we work on the spiritual? Oh, yeah, is it there? Oh, I got something Sean. How hard do we work on the spiritual? And this is what sanctification is all about it is that work and sometimes man it is hard work to do what God wants us to do we have to really cut it off we have to cut the flesh off and Turn two types of sanctification and this is what really throws his around the bend theologically. Sometimes there's positional sanctification or it's also called justification going to do a little teaching now and it's it's justification. Thessalonian says as for us we can't help but thank God for you. This is Paul speaking talking to the Thessalonian Church dear brothers and sisters Love by the Lord. Thank you for that Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation a Salvation that comes through the spirit who makes you holy and threw your belief in the truth. Keepers 10 says it like this for God's will was for us to be made Holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all so there's that type of sanctification which like if you give birth to a child will that child automatically belongs to you? You don't have to do anything to own that child. The child belongs to you. We are born of God through the born-again experience if you have accepted Jesus Christ in your life if you have said weather at an altar While you're laying down going to sleep while you're waiting for the bus. I don't know where it happens. But whenever that is that you come to that point that you say I want to follow Jesus. I may not even know what he's all about. But I want to follow Jesus instead of the way. I'm following right now at that point you become born again. You do not have to say a certain prayer. You do not have to do anything like that. All you have to do is in your heart say I want to follow Jesus Christ. There will be other opportunities for you to make a public declaration for what it is you've done that's called baptism. But at that point you were born again when you make that heartfelt decision that I am going to change my life and I am going to follow Christ. Be at that point the atonement for your sin has been done. It's done you at that point as far as God is concerned. You're his with all your brakes all your bad habits all your ugly traits everything that you do wrong everything you do, right all the baggage you bring from your generation else and everything. God says, yep, I'll take that. Thank you very much. That's mine your now mine and I'm going to start cleaning up but you are God's you are Sanctified you are a born again saint of God. That is unchangeable that's on changeable. And why do we know that that's unchangeable because Jesus said I'll never leave you nor forsake you now there is some stuff in scripture and it depends on the theological Avenue. You want to follow some believe you can never walk away from that some believe that you actually can fall away. And you know, I'll let you work that out. But I'm telling you to walk away from God you got to do some walking. You got to walk a long way. Because the hounds of Hell or the hounds of Heaven, I mean will chase you all the way to your grave and God will give you every possible opportunity to turn around and say while I mess that up and to come back but I leave whether or not to get in or whether you don't get in up to God. I will not theologically threaten you by saying if you do something wrong, you're not going to get in all I know is that at Salvation when you ask Christ to come into your life, you became the property of God Almighty and the proof of that is to see what happens with the Enemy. Never knows how Life Starts home. I haven't all of a sudden things start really getting crazy once you come into your faith. Anyway, and then there is something called Progressive sanctification and this is the stuff that causes you and I the most angst. And there's a couple of elements involved in that that is the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ John 17:17 says and this is Jesus praying for you and I in that last night before he was crucified. He prayed for you and I He didn't pray for just the guys there. He prayed for all of humanity that would come through the testimony of those people make them Holy by your truth teach them your word which is truth. In assessing verse 19 and I give myself as a holy sacrifice which makes us born again for them so they can be made Holy by your truth. So what are you saying? There is I'm going to die so they can become yours and then we're going to make them. Holy right? So you have that Holiness that comes from being part of God's family. And then there's this other Holiness that comes through knowing the truth. So how can we know the truth? If we don't have it written down for it somewhere and that's where the Bible comes in. The Bible is our it is our guide to sanctification. It is our guy that cuts to the very root of who we are to the marrow in the bone of our life. That's what comes in to say. This is what Holiness is. This is what Holiness is and boil boys effective you cannot I don't care if you're Christian or not. You cannot read the New Testament and apply some of the things that are said, they're not become a better person. You will automatically. But what's good is that we've been given something to help us someone to help us and you know who that is, and that's the holy spirit. So you'll have the Bible which helps us and really is what pulls us into sanctification on a day-to-day basis. It reminds us. It renews our mind it teaches us what it is. We're supposed to be and then the Holy Spirit comes along in it at you remember in the Holy in the book. It says that the holy spirit will teach us will bring attention to remembrance of Everything. Jesus said So the holy spirit will always be pushing you back to the Bible. It'll always be pushing you back there to remind you what Jesus said because that's where the power is. That's where the power is. It's what Jesus said. So the holy spirit will always remind you what the word is saying. Sometimes you know, we get words of knowledge and stop what you're saying. Yes, you're supposed to go into University or something. Sometimes God can give very specific words of knowledge and that's great. But when it comes to your sanctification and what it is about you becoming more like Christ on a daily basis Holy Spirit 99% The time will push you back to the word of God because that's the truth. So beautiful thing also about the Holy Spirit is that it enables us to change our behaviors. This is what so miraculous of a Christianity Christianity is not just a self-help book. I mean you can look at the Bible and you've done it before you were saved and it's gibberish for the most part right? There's a few things that the general world can understand like love your neighbor as yourself. It's pretty easy. You don't need a theology degree degree to understand that but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty of what the Bible says and what the New Testament says about our character development. You need the Holy Spirit. The holy spirit is the only one that's going to come along and allow us to understand it. I mean it is incredibly deep what's in the Bible that you and I have been given this book and really understand that the scriptures were only given to us since the Reformation. From the third from the year 300 on word. It was owned by the institutional church. And if you grew up in the institutional Church, which I did which was the Catholic Church things are changing dramatically and have changed dramatically, but you were never told to read the Bible. You're actually told not to read the Bible and so for many many centuries people were walking around and no wonder the crazy things were going on that we're going on because the word of God wasn't given to the people now you and I have this wonderful luxury that we have the word of God. So, you know why we have no excuse.
Like there is a tremendous obligation on our part to live up to what we have signed onto with being a Christian because not only do we have this Bible which tells us how to do it. We have the Holy Spirit which enables us to do it. Which is an incredible miraculous thing the natural desires and motivations that live in most people they're not always healthy that will just look at the world around us. Honestly, just look at what's going on in the world. And you say we are doomed we are doomed you look at the decision is that our leaders are making our political leaders are making you look at some of the decisions that are being made as far as how people should live and what is right and wrong in our society. This is all because they have left the way of the Bible that doesn't mean we be perfect because we've made some really bad mistakes as Christians no doubt over the centuries, but my happens when you look at the way the world is going right now, it is simply because we have left judeo-christian principles. And people can say that's wrong, but I disagree. I believe that when you're going down the highway at 60 miles an hour. It's good to have a yellow line. I'm a thinking it's good to have some rules like don't text when you're driving. I think that's a good rule but we see what happens when you do text when you're driving and I know we've all done it at some point. Like I know some point but the fact is there are rules because God cares about us. He's not just laying down a bunch of rules that are going to make us live like lives of less than everything he's asking us to do it so that we can live lives more then so that we can have better lives. So Society can work better together. But the world doesn't see that the way it is. We are jealous envious competitive judgemental and forgiving narcissistic, which is lovers of ourselves, which I think is singularity. The biggest thing that we have in our society right now is an absolute explosion of narcissism Facebook and social media has given something very very dangerous to us and it is given us a platform. Now, you can hold your camera like this and you can talk into it and you can send it up to the world. Dinner how many people love that? And take pictures of themselves and send it out to the world. That's narcissism. And it's gotten to the point now that you see people taking pictures of themselves in your go on Facebook and every day there's a new picture and they're always and they're trying to look their best and they're trying to you know, and and the video blogs that are out there now you can just go in and do a video. Whatever you think. Then you can get a YouTube channel. And you can put that up there and all of a sudden the desire is to become a YouTube. Star right, that's the goal to have a viral video or had to have a Blog that everybody is listening to my daughter listens to all and I walk in and I'm listening. I'm watching them on TV the odd time. I'll stop and look at them and it is 18 19 20 year olds talking like they have a PhD in sociology and it's just immature foolishness. That's narcissism because it's all about them. Listen to me. Look at me look at me me me me and it's invading the church incredibly. When the Bible says them them them care about them care about them what's going on with them? We are people that should be looking outside of ourselves into the cares and concerns of other people but the devil boy he got the social media and now it's all about us. a narcissist's was looking in the pond right? That's where we get narcissism from you was looking in the pond and be holding his Beauty in the pond, right and actually falls in and dies. And that's what happens we become so self-consumed that eventually we forget about everything and it's really dangerous. Its and I have to fight if I don't I won't post anything because who knows who's going to come back and say what you said this 10 years ago and we're going to put you in jail for it. So I don't post anything but we have a fleshly nature. The carnal man enrollment says for if you live by its dictates you will die. This is talking about the call to sanctification and Paul's telling us if we live by what's in our flesh and the desires of our flesh we will die. But if through the power of the spirit, You put to death the Deeds of your sinful nature you will live. I guarantee you I don't care what it is. You're dealing with I don't care what it is. You keep bringing it to the altar. You keep bringing it to God and if we're obedient to what God is saying I'm telling you you will get victory over that thing. You will get victory over it. I don't care what it diction it is I don't care what a proclivity it is towards a certain thing or whatever. It is. God will give it to us because greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. The problem is we don't always listen and we won't do what God is asking us to do in order to eradicate this behavior from our life. Sometimes it's forgiveness. Sometimes it's changing the way we speak. It's changing the way we approach things. I mean, there are things we have to do but the holy spirit will give us the strength to do that. I mean, if you didn't know Jesus, what would be motivating you to not hate the person that you're working with? nothing Have you ever worked in an office?
All boy, I worked in an office for 29 years and let me tell you they're over in this one gossiping about each other and then the same group will get together over here and gospel somebody else. There is always something there is always somebody who is getting raped over the coals in the lunchroom. And what motivation do they have not to do that. Well, maybe if they're nice person they might but for the most part they fall right into that we have this voice this Holy Spirit which comes and goes Come on now. Come on. Now. You shouldn't be doing that, you know and many of you will know before the words are coming out of our mouth. You're hearing the Holy Spirit. They don't say that don't say that don't say that and then you say it. I want to talk to her. It ain't coming back. You can't go. It's like an email once it's gone. It's gone. How many times you Preston email Nico was that return all oh, no, you can't get it back. It's out there until God is trying to prevent that so that we can live lives that are healthy. Better a representation of Christ and that in the end even even even you will receive. If you allow the sanctification process to happen in your life, that's why Paul said I consider everything as rubbish. He actually said a much more severe word than that. He actually we would call it cursing today. You know what I'm talking about and because he wanted to have the knowledge of Christ and the percentage of Christ and its life because he knew there was rewards Eternal reward squinty and says so all of us who have had that Veil removed, which is the ignorance of not knowing Jesus having that Veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord in the Lord who is the spirit makes us more and more like him. We are changed into his glorious image. This is the road you are on This is the road that I am on this is the road that we all are on and we need to be graceful with each other and we need to be loving with each other and we have to understand that we're all in process and we're all stumbling towards glory and sometimes somebody besides you isn't quite where you are in a certain thing and sometimes you're not somewhere where there and this is that is not an opportunity for us to go.
Instead it's an opportunity to go. I can help you with that. That's the difference. That's what makes us the family of God and not the Shriners. That's what makes us different. Hopefully then people who are not following Christ that when we look at people who aren't behaving in a way or acting or speaking in a way that instead of walking out the door and letting tongues way go over fences that we go over and see you know, why. You don't have to do that. There's a better way to live. There's a better way to be in there's a better way that God wants us to be so life has ways of telling us we need a savior and the protest all starts with an awareness at in some areas of our life. We are powerless and we all have to my God, please like why haven't you taken that away? And he said to me one day about it. I was really I've had a week retreat thing and I threw at the cross everyone had left and I just stayed at the foot of the cross and it's just praying I said dad like why is this not gone like what's going on? And he said I know Keith how you feel about it. But he said will you give it to me as an offering? And I don't totally know how to explain what that means except to say to bring it to him and say father I trust you with this. I don't know why it's still there. I don't know why I'm still wired this way, but I give it to you and I trust you with it. And I know that you love me anyway, and boil boy when you come to Christ that way. You're in a relationship. You're in a relationship. It's a trust relationship. So and you know an alcoholic stops going to the stops going to the meetings today. I landed with this stops going to the meetings. And you know, I don't need to go to a meeting every week. And you know, I Could Have A Beer Walk with alcohol at you know, where that goes nowhere that goes drunk. That's where that goes one beer. Somehow always moves too drunk. Well, I can I can stop at any time. Well, I don't want to that's cuz you were not call. And and soon as the same way. I'm not going to go to church and pray and I don't have to do it every day and then one day not doing it turns into two days not doing it and then not going to church for one Sunday turns into two and before you know, it it it it I know there's balance and everything but man. Oh man, and before you know it your tongue is wagon over fences saying things you shouldn't say watching things. You should watch I know how sin is crouching at our door. The Bible says God said it. He said Abel or Cain? Send is creature is crouching at your door. games of all, I don't care and he walked away and he stood because he was mad at able you stood next day went out and clobbered him and killed him first murder and murders been in our hearts ever since ever since but the question today is so what do we have in our life? That control system. We want it gone. That's the question truth time. What is it in our life that control system? We want it gone. And you know what truth will set us free. Last I checked. Doesn't mean we have to jump up and down and tell everybody what are sorted thing is but we do need to tell God what it is and to be honest so father right now, we pray and ask your father to bring to our mind not everything that needs to change. But the thing that you want to work on in us today Father the thing that you want to change today the thing that you want us to put in our hands and hold up to you and put it at the altar that is before you in heaven. Holy Spirit right now just bring to our mind and our hearts. Those things bad thing that you want to change and that we want changed in our life so that father God not so that you love us more but so that we will reflect you more. And we will be a better witness and a healthier Christian.
Just bring it to our mind right now. Holy spirit.
And as you're doing that Holy Spirit show us what our part is in giving that to you.
What changes do you want us to be willing to make? in our life
Right now we give it to you father. in the in our mind and the eye of our mind, we just see ourselves taking this and putting it on your altar. Before the Lamb of God that is slain for the sins of the world. Father we put it into the fire of the coals that are on your altar that burn away the sin and reproach of our flesh.
We give it to you now father for those that are doing that right now for those that are seeing and hearing you right now in Jesus name. We just claim this as a victory in our life based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ that father God we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. If it doesn't come today, it'll come tomorrow and if it doesn't come tomorrow, it'll come the next day but father we walk on and you believing we walk on and you with vision we walk on going higher precept upon precept glory to glory as we commit ourselves to the sanctification process that we work with you and you work with us in But and finally, we thank you Father for that sanctification that comes that can never be taken that can never rust. It is in heaven that can never be as cannot break in and take it. It is our Salvation in Jesus Christ that on that day where we said come Lord Jesus Come into our life come into my life and change my life you came in and you took possession of us and we celebrate that unchanging. commitment that you have to us Father we thank you for what you're doing in our life. In Jesus name. Amen. Amen. God is good.
So we want to pray for people who have medical issues. You just want to come up the front for those now, we're going to do the birthday thing.
Are you where you just going to open up the food and just let people have that? There's okay. So tomorrow she's just going to be back there and she brought some food and stuff for Ray for his birthday cuz we got to eat and I need some help. Thank you. But for those who want prayer come on up front and for those who feel to pray Roseanne, could I ask that you would pray for healing today?
You got down in the doing?
You get done in the doing? I know Pat has an operation this Friday. She's going in for the shoulder again. Probably the most operated on shoulder and your hip there's problems with her hip again. So in Judy has some complications from her operation that she recently had which is very painful and other things that you people have is fine to Father. We just invite you Holy Spirit to come into minister right now as we pray and in healing in Jesus name for those who don't want you can just go the back have coffee and will be with you in a bit.