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.