The NEXT LESSON:
Someone said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.” The saying is true, the elevator in life is going down, but you can get off at whatever floor you want to. If you want a change, you need to make a change. Jesus is alive and He loves you, and has a plan for your life far greater than you are currently experiencing.
If you are partying hard, using regularly, or drinking your life down the drain, you have four things that can happen:
1. You will die.
2. You will spend time in prison. (or more time)
3. You will abuse your body and end up hospitalized or otherwise sick.
4. You will get help that will change your life.
As much as God loves us, He will never take away from us freedom to choose our future.
Throughout this course you will recognize what is known as the 12 Steps incorporated in the material presented, but this course goes far deeper than the 12 steps, as I have dug deep into the history of the program, and learned the principals that make the 12 Steps work.
Let’s cut to the chase then:
In your notes you will find a copy of the 12 Steps
Tonight we are going to discuss Step One:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
It has been my experience that rather than rehearse the problem, we need to begin in the same place that Bill W, the founder of AA began – with Jesus.
God loves you, and there are five things God wants you know about Him, and I feel impressed by Him to tell you what they are.
1. Jesus was born. Babies are born every day, but Jesus is different, because although Mary is His earthly mother, God is His heavenly Father. That makes Him different than any other person that has ever walked the earth. Think of it this way, the egg inside of Mary was human, the sperm divine. Theologians call this Immaculate Conception, but to most of us it is the Christmas story. God became a man in the form of Jesus Christ, Emanuel, God with us. God came to earth and joined humanity, like each of us, as a meek helpless baby. Jesus is not merely the son of God, but God the Son, the second person of the Trinity.
2. Jesus grew up, he became a man yet without sin. Although the Bible says little about his first thirty years, the baby we celebrate at Christmas did not remain a child, at thirty years of age, He withdrew from humanity and fasted forty days to come back in the power of the Holy Spirit to show the world what a person, walking with the Creator can be. He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the multitudes, walked on water, stopped storms, and cast evil spirits out of people. He did all of this, without sin. Not one time, did He ever break the laws of God or man, that qualified Him as the sinless, spotless, holy, Lamb of God, accepted by God, as the only fit sacrifice, for the sins of humanity. He is still the same, and doing the same things today. Yet the day came on earth, when He was betrayed, and sentenced by a kangaroo court to death. Religious people had Him murdered.
3. He died on the cross. Not a pretty death. Deserted by his closest friends. Beaten beyond human recognition. His face pulverized. Weakened so much by blood loss that this formerly strong man could not carry His own cross. The sky turned black as night, the earth split open and dead people came out of the graves to testify. He spoke three words that still echo throughout eternity, “It is finished” The veil in the temple, was torn from top to bottom, signifying that the separation between God and humanity was now ended. God could again visit with the people He created even as He walked with Adam in the garden of Eden. Jesus bore the sin of the whole world upon Himself on the cross, an infinite sacrifice, for an infinite debt. Atonement!
4. He rose from the dead. You know, the Easter story. HIS Story. Not the tooth fairy, Lord of the Rings, or the Easter bunny. Though they laid the body of Jesus in a tomb for three days, His spirit was not there. He went through paradise, (Some denominations call this place purgatory) He went to hell, yet on the third day, His spirit rejoined His body, and He rose. The stone was rolled away, and He ascended into heaven. For the next fifty days He appeared to over five hundred eyewitnesses, and then while five hundred watched, two angels appeared, and He ascended bodily back into heaven. Many educated moral instructors have lived: Buddha, Mohammed, Gandhi, Plato, and others, yet each of these died, and their body remains in their tomb today. Jesus rose from the dead.
5. He reigns. He is Lord of heaven and earth. God is spirit, seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. There is only one true God, maker of heaven and earth, yet He has revealed Himself throughout His Word in three separate and distinct persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Son of God, birthed of His Spirit. When He ascended back into heaven, God sat Him at His right hand where He reigns the universe.
He came, He lived, He died, He rose and He reigns.
Now the problem of Creation must be addressed. You and I. Each and every one of us have been created in the image of God. We are also spirits, we have a soul, and we live in a body. Jesus did not come to make bad people good, or good people better, He came to make dead people ALIVE! Except a man be born-again, he cannot even see the kingdom of God. God loves you personally and wants you to know Him on His terms. Religion has always been man’s set of rules and regulations attempting to reach God, Jesus is God’s attempt to reach man. He died for you, not because He had to, but because He loves you. Yet, He did not create robots, each of us has a free will. The question He would have me ask you is this: Do you want Him to be your king? Do you want to go to heaven when you die, to be with Him? If you do, the Bible makes this promise to each of us,
‘If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom 10:9,10’
Here’s what each of us need to do to come to God on His terms.
1. We must acknowledge Jesus as our personal Lord. That is, in light of this great love He has demonstrated towards us, we must make a decision as to whether of not we will choose to allow Him to rule over us.
2. We must believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead.
3. We must confess, out loud to Him that we want Him.
Here’s a simple prayer.
‘God, I want to know you. I want you to be in charge of my life. I accept you Lord Jesus as my personal Lord. Forgive me Lord for all the things I have done against you. I believe, Father that you raised Jesus from the dead, and I ask you to come into my life, and make me the best person I can possibly be. I come to You on Your terms now, not mine. Take my life, all of it, and bring it into divine order. I ask, knowing I’m heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen.’
Now, that prayer will get you right with God, today. But what about tomorrow? Each day we need to grow spiritually, in our relationship with Him. That will involve talking to Him about your day, and involving Him in your day-to-day decisions. How do you do that? Well, begin to read your Bible, every day, first thing. Seek Him first thing, and He will add everything else you need to your life. When you see something in the Bible that is new to you, do what it says.
That’s where we come in. Eventually, you are going to need a good church, a place to come together to learn about God, to serve Him, to worship. A place of love, friendship, and fellowship, where we can worship God and work together to make this world a better place. Any Bible believing church would love to meet you, and to hear about your new decision to serve God. There are many fine churches all over the world. Shop for one that believes the Bible to be the Word of God, and where you have peace, and for now, keep coming back here, until you are strong enough, this place can be life or death for you, a place where people honestly understand, love, and are committed to helping you.
Here’s the commitment I will make with you:
As long as you are willing to utter these magic words: ‘pastor Chris, I’m ready for the next lesson’, I will walk with in your walk free of your addiction. That means, that if you get arrested, I will visit you in jail or prison as long as you request it, with the magic words. If you get sick or injured and end up in the hospital, I will come pray for you. As long as you remain willing to stay in this course, I will walk with you, trying to show you the love of Jesus and the truth of His Word. I will never pay a drug debt, nor agree with sin. I am Gods servant, and He is holy. Yet He loves you more than you love yourself. Even if you are in family court fighting for custody of your children, I am willing to testify under oath, that you are enrolled in this course, and that together we will beat your addiction. Even if a drug dealer shows up threatening to kill you, I will come, and endeavor to mediate to save your life.
There is help and healing available in Jesus, and together, we can beat your addiction, for the journey I have invited you on, has 100% success rate if you complete the course, for God can do anything but fail..
1. Come back here next week.
2. Take a look at the course outline.
3. Demand God make this more than mere teaching, that He meet with you change your life, for now you have come to Him on HIS terms.