Pastor David's Thought For The Weekby Pastor David Alexander
This evening we will be celebrating our Celebrate Recovery community’s 9th anniversary.
That means that for every single one of the last 468 Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in our Chapel, (Yes, they even meet on Thanksgiving and any other holiday that falls on a Thursday!) individuals have gathered to be a part of an honest and life-giving community that together is pursuing recovery and a more abundant life in Christ.
Before launching this new worshipping community nine years ago, we shared a series of messages that were grounded in one simple conviction:
We believe that everyone is recovering from something.
Recovery is a word that we often minimize as applying only to those who are dealing with a chemical addiction, but we believe recovery should be understood more broadly than that.
Celebrate Recovery is dedicated to helping people with ‘Habits, Hurts and Hang-ups.’
I wonder if you are struggling with anything within those three categories today. If so, that means Celebrate Recovery is for you as well. If you are still skeptical, consider these words from the 7th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans. He writes,
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do... I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
As followers of Christ, we understand what Paul describes here as our human condition. It is the sickness of our souls. It is the source of every hurt we experience in our lives and the pain we create in the lives of others.
We are hopeless and helpless when it comes to our ability to overcome this disease we all share. We call it sin. The conviction of the Christian faith is that without Christ, sin leads inevitably to death.
But when we surrender to Christ, uniting our life with His, our souls are brought back from the dead and an inward transformation begins.
And what makes this transformation possible?
- The power of the Holy Spirit that lives within our surrendered heart.
- Our ongoing openness to that work of recovery that the Holy Spirit is doing in our life.
I will be the first to confess. There are times that I really do not understand what I do. I also experience what Paul describes as a desire to do good but a failure to act in a way consistent with that desire.
And yet, I know the Holy Spirit is working in my life.
I know that I am not the same person I was five years ago or ten years ago or 25 years ago when I first surrendered my life to Jesus.
It is impossible to underestimate how essential our understanding of this is for our future.
God does this work through the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in you!
Our essential task is simply to remain open to this work by seeking to have the same mind and heart of Jesus in all we do and remaining connected to the body of Christ, the church, where we share this pursuit together.
These three things will always be true in your life and mine.
We all need God.
We all need one another.
We all need recovery.