The Gospel is the Answer to Addiction

I first truly encountered Jesus in 2012.

Before I encountered Jesus, my life was ruled by fear and anxiety.
I thought I wasn’t “good enough”. I was afraid to try in school out of fear of rejection if I did try. I was a listener and a follower. I drank too much. I started doing drugs. I came close to having to go to juvie.

I was going to church. I was involved in youth group.
Yet, I was living for myself.

In 2012, I went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with my church. It was then where I finally realized that I had been enslaved by drugs, alcohol, and sex. I was a prisoner to these things.

It wasn’t until Jesus when I was finally set free.

Here’s the thing though.

So many people are still enslaved to their addictions. They’ve tried admitting they need help. They’ve tried going to support groups. They’ve been in and out of treatment facilities, only to end up relapsing.

They want to be set free of the addictions that are holding them down.

It took me years to finally be set free of my addictions – especially drugs. I didn’t realize how dependent and enslaved I had been.

To treat addictions, you have to go beyond the surface level recovery and behavioral modification programs.

Those are just temporary solutions.

You need to offer the addict hope, joy, and forgiveness.

You need to present them with the Gospel.

The Gospel offers up complete and absolute acceptance.
The Gospel offers up complete and absolute forgiveness.
The Gospel offers up complete and absolute grace and mercy.

The Gospel provides us with hope and joy that can only be found in Christ.

The Gospel presents us with the unconditional love of Christ.

Accepting Jesus and asking Him into your life isn’t a one time thing after a really emotional worship song at Bible camp. It’s a lifelong relationship with Christ, where you understand your need for Jesus. Where you have been forgiven no matter how badly you’ve messed up, how far you’ve run, or what you’ve said. The guilt, shame, fear, doubt and anger that you carry around, you can let go and drop that at the cross. In Jesus, you are filled with His peace, His joy, and His love.

In Jesus you are forgiven and set free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That “No” may be a blessing in disguise.

We’ve all been there.
We’ve prayed and prayed only to end up receiving a “No” from God.

I don’t know about you guys, but often when I’ve gotten a “No” from God I’ve ended up feeling disappointed, hurt and devastated.
Sometimes I’ve actually even questioned God and asked Him, “Why God? Why?”

I mean, we pour our hearts out to God about a want or need in our life, only to receive a “No”.
We pour our hearts out to God about a situation or circumstance in our lives that we want resolved, only to receive a “No”.
We pour our hearts out to God about a job interview we may have just had only to have it fall through and receive a “No, that’s not the job for you”.

What we fail to realize is that every, “No” isn’t meant to be devastating or hurtful. Yes, it absolutely sucks when something we’ve been praying for doesn’t turn out the way we wanted it to.
In every “No” there is a hidden blessing from God.

When I prayed to God about mending a friendship with a friend and He said, “No” I learned that some friendships aren’t mean’t to be fixed. Some people are in our lives for only a season, others for a lifetime.

When I was applying to jobs and kept getting turned down over and over, even after praying frequently to God I learned to turn to God and ask Him for direction in my life. I learned to lean on Him and His understanding for my life.

When I was completely stressed out and trying to figure out how I was going to afford to pay to go on a mission trip to India for the summer, and it fell through I learned that while it is important to go out into the world and lead people to Christ, there are people in your hometowns, cities, and even states who need Jesus just as much.

You see, inside every “No” I learned to cling to God more and lean on His understanding and not my own.
I learned that I hold but only a fragment of the puzzle of my life while God sees the whole puzzle of my life completed in all it’s beauty and chaos.

When you receive a “No” from God, don’t view it as a punishment or even a bad thing.
Keep trusting Him and know that He has great things in store for your life.

Need vs. Want

“I need a pumpkin spice latte”
“I need new shoes”
“I need to go to that concert”
“I need that designer hand bag”

At various times in our lives we or someone else we know has stated their need to have something or to do something.

We say we “need” these things when shouldn’t we actually be saying we “want” those things?

A need simply put is something you have to have.
While a want is something you desire to have.

You need oxygen in order to survive.
You need water and food.
You need shelter.

We’ve created a culture around this whole idea of “I need this” or “I need that” in order to make us happy when it’s not about finding happiness, it’s about finding joy.
Happiness is usually dependent on situations or “things” and usually that happiness has a way of disappearing, whereas our joy comes from Christ.

You see, we are so desperate to find true joy that we end of searching in all the wrong places and in all the wrong things to bring us joy when all it ends up doing is bringing us temporarily happiness that fades and leaves us longing for a desire and need to find another thing to bring us joy.

The answer is right in front of us: Jesus Christ.

Our joy comes from Jesus Christ- who has loved us so much that he searched for us and rescued us and never abandons us.

Dear friends,
Let us not look to earthly possessions to give us happiness where only our joy from Christ belongs. Let us not look to earthly possessions to provide us with happiness that will lead us on a never ending hunt of “need” in order to make us happy.

Look to Christ as the source of our joy.

 

You are so much more than that “label”

Admit it.

We’ve all been labeled or labeled someone at some point…… Whether it’s by our physical appearance, or religious affiliation, or our skin color. Here are some examples of labels:

  1. too skinny, too fat,
  2. too emotional, depressed, talks too fast, quiet, shy
  3. geek, nerd, smart, stupid, idiot, retard, jock, hipster
  4. woman, man
  5. straight, gay,
  6. liberal, conservative, democrat, republican
  7. christian, muslim, catholic
  8. black, white, purple, green, etc

In some way or another society has given us labels. Friends, can we stop?

When we label others, we are giving them a title. we are isolating them and excluding them. when we label others, we are not seeing them as they were made in christ.

 

 

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Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

God has created each one of us. He has given us immense value in that we are created in HIS image. When we use those labels as insults, or in a way that prevents us from seeing other people as being created in the image of God it becomes a problem.

Instead of seeing each other through the lenses of labels given to us by society, how about we start appreciating and praising the wonder things about one another? Let us not allow the labels to prevent us from loving on others. Let us not be so blinded by these labels that we forget to view each other as being created by the same God we were.

Let’s all spread a little more joy, peace and love and stop with the labels.

 

K?

<3 Elizabeth Louise