Summary: Our lives are beautiful, astonishing, powerful series of moments that end up defining who we are and what our legacy in life will be. We live in a miraculous world, and we live lives of miracles, victories, defeats, and transformations.
Our lives are beautiful, astonishing, powerful series of moments that end up defining who we are and what our legacy in life will be. We live in a miraculous world, and we live lives of miracles, victories, defeats, and transformations.
Though many in our world today chock up their lives to random chance and coincidence, as Christians we know there are greater things at work than mere happenstance. Life is a gift. It’s a gift from God. And especially the lives we live today, here in the United States, we have all we want to eat, we have good jobs, friendly communities, and reasonable government. We should be so very grateful for what God has given us.
The greatest gift we’ve ever received, that impacts our lives in the most incredible way is the gift of the grace found in Christ Jesus. The word says: “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.” -Romans 8:1-3
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe. As we look at ways we can grow in grace, and methods or practical recovery and healing, we must remember that we do everything out of Jesus Christ. If we begin by trying to force growth and healing in our lives, we won’t get anywhere. But if we seek to grow based on the love and relationship we already have in Jesus then we will succeed. We should always be cautious to live out of what we’ve already received in the riches of Christ Jesus. Jesus substituted himself for us. He’s transformed his life and witness to us, as a jacket, a coat of righteousness that we put on every day. We have full relationship with God through Christ. We all have full relationship. We have full adoption into the family of redeemed humanity. We have the Holy Spirit working in us, on us, and through us. All of this comes from Christ alone, not from ourselves. We can do nothing to add to it.
But as a result of what Christ has completed in us, we desire to live a godly, holy life. We want desperately to live the way God wants us to live, because of the incredible gift we’ve received. We’re so happy, so amazed, so grateful for to God, we want to live just the way he has asked us to live.
So today I’d like to share with you some ways to grow in God’s grace. These principles are taken from God’s word, translated through a process called the twelve steps. The twelve steps are Christian in origin, having been developed from the teachings of a 19th century Christian movement called the Oxford groups. These Oxford groups were Christians attempting to live their faith better. And I hope from this message we’ll find some “spiritual tools” to help us live as faithful Christians.
The first principle if something we should all try to understand and grow in, because it’s the foundation of all Christian growth. This principle is the principle of surrender. This is something William Booth talked about a great deal. It’s so vital to what we do. Essentially surrender is about the full, 100% admission that we are powerless, and in need of God’s provision. Apart from God, we can do nothing. But surrender is practical, in that we can practice it.
It can be as simple as a prayer. Lord, I surrender. I can do nothing apart from you. I’m powerless Lord. I need you, nothing more, nothing less. Linked to surrender is humility. If we aren’t humble, then we can never grow or achieve anything. Because someone with pride and ego assumes they already know everything. They can’t be taught anything.
Ego can lock us in a cell, alone by ourselves, unwilling to admit we need help, unwilling to admit we need to change, and for much of the secular world, it’s a prison where they will stubbornly refuse that love and guidance of God.
In my years of wayward struggle, my ego was out of control. But there is one thing that can break down ego: It’s suffering. God gave me exactly what I needed to hit rock bottom and lose all false ego. And once that ego is gone, at the bottom, it’s just you and your sins. There is no barrier between us anymore. Just me and what I’ve become. That’s when calling out to Jesus becomes a real possibility. For Christians like ourselves, we can practice surrender by falling on our knees before God. We can practice humility and surrender by lowering ourselves before God and declaring our full dependence on Him. I encourage you to let your knees hit the floor before our Lord. Stay there. Allow the Lord to dig deep into your and flatten out that ego within. Invite the Lord to do so. Cry out to Him, and weep, and ask for willingness.