Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb
Thursday, June 16, 2016
A gift is given to each of us when we decide to turn will and life over to the care of God. It may not seem like a gift, but trust me....when you have wandered in the wilderness of sin/addiction you will accept it and hold to it tightly. It is a gift that will serve you well, as you change directions in your life journey. It is a gift that cannot be measured in gold.
According to the Recovery Bible, these gifts "Show us that recovery is more than escaping the pain and destruction of our choices." This gift points us toward the possibility of a new and exceptional life. So what is this gift?
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help to develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.
The hope that God gives to us helps us to see beyond our problems.
It lifts our vision so that we can see through our situations and circumstances, and lets us know that God is at work as we go through whatever it is we are facing.
Hope settles me in the understanding that whatever happens in life, God has me. Did you notice the order that God brings to us when we choose Him.
The Romans 5 passage shows us clearly that the first priority after turning will and life over to His care is that no matter what we face, God is equipping us with the understanding that we are not to give up. This is endurance.
No "quitting" sense....
Stay the course....
During this mindset and heart set of not quitting, we begin to be changed by the Holy Spirit at work in us. We are given strength of character. Our view of the situation starts to change,and the decisions we make are done so to benefit our recovery and this new life we have been given.
It is from this "not giving up" and character change that we find ourselves, possibly for the first time, feeling that flicker of fire that tells us we can do this. We can have the life we've heard others talk about....this life of recovery. This is the hope that God gives. Now call me crazy, but why would God grant such a gift if it were not possible to change to and move beyond our addiction? If all this were not true, would that not make God extremely cruel?
But it is true....
God's hope is not like the hope we find in this world.
Empty and hollow yet promising you everything.
God's hope has substance and a stability that settles us inside as we face our troubles.
Like I said earlier....
God's hope given to us provides us with a new vision to see life differently.
It's not a pie-in-the-sky, puppy dogs and rainbows kind of hope.
It's a hard core belief spoken and given to us by the creator of all we can see, touch, taste, smell and hear.
I think maybe I could trust this hope.
What do you think?
God on you....