Without His suffering and death we would still be lost…dead in our sin. Praise God for sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die in our place.
The ultimate sacrifice of love.
You know, one of the hardest things for any addict is the temptational pull to return to familiarity.
One of the things I struggled with while quitting porn was the temptation to watch, even knowing how bad it was for me both physically and mentally. I always felt like I was sinning by wanting to watch it.
And it was a daily struggle there for a while trying to decide whether or not I was sinning by being tempted to return to the familar..my escape.
But, that was not the sin. The actual sin would have been giving in to the temptation and actually watching porn.
You know, scripture tells us in many places that Christ was tempted. And that He was tempted just as we are. Now, I know the tempations the devil laid out before Jesus in the wilderness and that with every temptation He combatted to them with the Word of God… scripture.
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Matthew 4:3-10 KJV
Now, some may call what I am about to say heresy but…in order to tempted as we are…lust had to come into the picture somewhere, right. And the only time any potential lust for Jesus would have been at the potential stoning of the woman caught in adultery…in my opinion.
You can read my other thoughts on this beautiful passage HERE.
But for this post, could Christ given us the first response to lust? Could Christ, seeing this woman mostly naked been tempted with a lustful thought and instead of dwelling on what his eyes were seeing He bends down and writes scripture in the dirt?
It truly doesn’t matter what Christ wrote. The truth is in this…He did not sin. Though He may have been tempted with thoughts, He did not sin by acting on them with everyone around or when it was just the two of them there. INTEGRITY!
My point in this post is this:
Being Tempted IS NOT a sin!
So don’t beat yourself up for being tempted.
When we accept Christ into our lives, the Spirit comes and lives in us. Here in lies the key to freedom. Giving Him control over our past “bad” behaviors that kept us out of God’s will and being controlled by our addictions.
True freedom is found in Christ!
12-Step Program, Alcoholism, Anger, Anxiety Issues, Celebrate Recovery, Co-Dependency, Depression, Divorce, Drug Addiction, Forgiveness, God, Healing, Hope, Jesus, Large Group, Life, Living Life On Life's Terms, Loss, Marital issues, Physical Abuse, Porn Addiction, Relational Issues, Richland Celebrate Recovery, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Sin, Small Group, Struggles, Suicidal Thoughts, Verbal Abuse, Worship
Why do people still believe Celebrate Recovery is just for addicts? Is it because they have seen the movie Home Run? Did they go to that bathroom or something during testimony night in the film, where the main character’s sister-in-law speaks of her sexual abuse as a child? Or could it be because everyone thinks only addicts need recovery?
I’ve been going to Richland Celebrate Recovery since it began at my church six years ago, with the exception of a small hiatus. I’ve seen many people come and go over the years for various reasons; mostly, because they move back home upon coming out their recovery program.
I’ve written about CR (Celebrate Recovery) many times on my blog and I talk a lot about it in general, yet people still see it as a place for addicts. Let me say for the record…yes, addicts attend CR, BUT that is NOT all it is about.
Here is what Celebrate Recovery is…
It is a Christ centered program for people. PEOPLE!
It’s not just for the addict…it’s for the hurting, the lonely, the habitual sinner, the depressed and the list can go on and on. It’s a place for people with hurts, habits and hang-ups. It’s a place for healing.
When I started going to CR it was basically to help as a volunteer for our church’s newest ministry. I had heard about it and supported it. Little did I know…I needed it for me.
At the time I was going through my separation/divorce, not being able to see my kids everyday, depression, anger and trying to stop a long struggle with viewing porn and low self-esteem among other things.
I would have gone absolutely bat crazy had it not been for CR and the conversations and prayer from dear friends during all that.
Here’s the thing. A lot of people who struggle, with anything, sometimes feel as if they are the only ones dealing with that particular issue. And many of them feel that if they share their struggle with anyone, they will be looked upon differently…basically judged. And yet we can’t judge and here is why…we are all sinners and fall short of the glory God.
God sees no sin greater than the other, yet He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for all. All is all, no matter what it is. It could be adultery, drinking in excess, lying, sexual immorality, gluttony, murder, stealing, idolatry, etc.
The thing is, if we are honest with ourselves, we all have hurts, we all have habits that may not follow in line with scripture, and we all have hang-ups of some form or fashion.
CR is for everyone!
I go for the worship and message and still feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit to repent of something or to make amends with someone.
It’s honestly hard to explain. Heck, we have a 70-year-old lady who attends and our youngest is a 17-year-old young lady. Everyone gets something out of the message no matter what they are going through at that moment. That’s just how God works.
The small groups are more intimate and allows each person the chance to either share how the message applies to their situation or just share what’s on their heart. Small groups have been a source of healing for me just by letting things out. You know…my life verse…confess your faults one to another. James 5:16 is so powerful.
Allow me to ask you guys a few questions.
Are you depressed? Do you have anxiety issues? Are you feeling alone after losing a loved one whether by death or the break-up of a relationship? Do you suffer from over eating? Are you addicted to sweets? Do you drink in excess to the point of losing control of who you are? Are you hurting from the wounds of words spoken? Do you have low self-esteem? Have you ever been sexually molested? Have you been physically or verbally abused?
If you answered yes to any of those, Celebrate Recovery is for you.
Give it a try! Allow the Lord to lead you. Go to the Celebrate Recovery website and see if there are any local chapters.
I have a list of all the ones in Louisiana, here on my blog site and keep it updated as best I can.
If you choose to attend please let me know how you enjoyed it and if it ministered to you.
I think everyone understands the concept of sowing and reaping. What you plant is what comes up in due season. If you have a garden and plant seeds of corn..well, corn will come up from the seed not okra. If you plant an apple tree in your yard it will not bear an orange, but an apple.
So with that in mind…
If you sow into your heart bad things you will sow out of your heart bad things.
If you have resentment towards your spouse, friend or family member and you continually water that seed of resentment in your heart all that will come out of your heart and mouth is negative things towards them.
If you have anger in your heart and you continue to fan the flame all that will come out towards that person you are angry with are words of anger, which in turn hurts them and starts the cycle in their own heart.
If you have unforgiveness in your heart towards your spouse, friend or family member for something they did or said to you….I believe you end up with all three seeds, unforgiveness, resentment, and anger, all growing together.
Then you have this big cluster of negative emotions sprouting and taking root, to where you truly do not know the reason for your attitude and actions towards that person.
If you plant visions of naked women or men into your mind all that will come out when you look at either sex is…”I wonder what they look like naked” or ” I wonder what they do when they have sex”. So you reaped adultery, for the Word of God says in RED (meaning Jesus himself said it) that if you look upon a women with lust in your heart you have committed adultery with her.
And we wonder why divorce is so rampant in our country, whether Christians or not. Why friendships do not last.
Everyone holds onto their hurts, habits…”my precious” for too long and just like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films, it turns them into something totally different and sort of corrupts their mind and heart.
But praise God, for He has given us a means to which we can seek forgiveness and have peace. A means to get to the roots of our “issues” and pull them up. But there are steps along the way by renewing our minds and hearts.
We must first have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins.
In John 14:6 Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
It is by building that relationship with God that we will want to let go of the things that are weighing us down like the hurt, the anger, resentment and unforgiveness we carry.
We must forgive the person who has wronged us. And when we do so it will lift a heavy burden from our heart.
Mark 11:25 & 26 tell us that if we do not forgive then the Father, who is heaven, will not forgive you of your sins.
We must confess our faults and sins to God.
1 John 1:9 states that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We must get into God’s Word for the truth which is critical in the renewing process.
Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Peter 1:22 & 23 says since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
For me the renewing means to put in the good (scripture) and get rid of the old (bad thoughts, hurts or habits).
And then let it go. Lay it down at the feet of Jesus and do not go back to it.
I know, it is easier said than done…trust me. I held on to resentment and anger for decades before I allowed God to truly start moving in my life and He used the 12 step program at Celebrate Recovery to get me to that point.
Don’t be like Gollum…be like Christ.
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