SOBRIETY BY THE SPIRIT

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PRAYING FOR OZZY

  Recently I read an article that said Ozzy Osbourne admitted he had been drinking and doing drugs for the past year and a half. He went on to say he had been sober for forty four days, and I am thankful for that. To some this might not be such a shock because he does have quite the reputation for bad behavior. The article didn’t shock me either if the truth is told but it did cause me to sigh and feel sadness for him and his family. Ozzy has battled addiction for most of his life and just hasn’t completely defeated it. I know he has been in rehabs and twelve step programs yet like many others he continues to struggle.

   If I were given an opportunity to speak with him I would tell him how I came out of a similar lifestyle after 15 years. Twelve step programs and rehabs are wonderful, and I highly recommend them for those that are in need of them. The only problem I see is if you go there expecting just to learn how to cope better you’re in trouble, because that isn’t what’s going to set you free from addiction. While you may learn some valuable tools to help you in the beginning it is only Jesus Christ himself that will keep you clean.

   The Bible uses the term sin and sins when referring to things that keep people in bondage. Of course we like to clean up things and make them more clinical so we call them addictions, hang-ups and mistakes. For now let’s call it sin, so we get the full effect and understand the reason we need such a radical cure as the death of the one and only Son of God.

   Jesus Christ came here to save sinners. He didn’t come here for the religious or to make people religious. Now that’s some good news isn’t it? In fact the religious folks were the ones that said to the disciples “Why is your teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus came here for the ones that are sick and in need. This would include Ozzy, me and everyone willing to be honest with themselves don’t you think?

   I think Ozzy is probably like many others in that he formed an opinion about who Jesus is based on the attitudes and lifestyles of those that claim to know him and some that even speak for him. I have seen my share of hypocritical behavior when it comes to the Rock-n-Roll world, and I’m sure it doesn’t endear them to Jesus. I remember going to see an Ozzy concert when I was a freshman in High School. There was a group of people protesting outside of the concert passing out tracts and yelling at us “You’re all going to Hell if you go in there!” I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this didn’t encourage me to come to Jesus. If it did anything it just fueled my fire against the church and made me not want to ever go again. 

   I didn’t start writing this in order to rant about hypocrites or give anyone excuses to not trust in Christ, but somewhere along the line we, that claim to know Jesus Christ, are to exhibit his behavior traits. We too will be a friend of sinners. How else are we going to reach them? When it’s all said and done we have to come to Jesus Christ on our own. One way or the other; we receive him or reject him, so my prayer is that Ozzy, and anyone else for that matter, takes a good long look at who Jesus really is before rejecting him based on who you think he might be.

   Let me leave you with a few words from Jesus himself. In John 3 while talking with a man named Nicodemus he said, “For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” Many times those claiming to represent Jesus are judgmental, but right here we read Jesus didn’t come for that he came to save us from judgment. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me. Why don’t you ask God to show you the truth about it? I only have one request. Don’t be afraid to follow the truth where it takes you. I promise you will not be sorry.

Written by Louie

     

       

JESUS CHRIST IS THE HIGHER POWER

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Today I was thinking about addiction, sobriety, 12 step programs, medicine and other things that are involved in recovery and what it really takes to get clean and stay clean. There are a number of people involved in 12 step programs that don’t acknowledge Jesus Christ as their “higher power.” I understand the reasoning behind the “Higher power” talk in a way, but ultimately I believe it is only Jesus Christ that can make someone whole or sober.

My thought process went something like this. If Jesus Christ is the only real power that makes it possible for sobriety how are those that don’t acknowledge him doing it? I mean, I know there are plenty of people that are deeply involved in recovery programs that appear to be doing well without naming Jesus Christ. What’s the reason behind that?

As I pondered these things a story found in the gospel of John came to me. A story I haven’t thought about in a while. You probably know the one; it’s the one about the man that had been crippled for 38yrs. Jesus found him laying by a pool that was said to have healing powers in it but this man never could make his way into it in time. Jesus walked up to him and just asked him “Do you wish to get well?” Then he told the man to “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” As soon as he did so he was made well, picked up his pallet and began to walk.

It just so happened that this occurred on the Sabbath so some of the religious Jews questioned the man about his apparent illegal pallet relocation saying, “It’s not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” The man said, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.’ Of course they then asked him who the man was. This is where I was going with this whole thing. The man didn’t know who Jesus was. All he knew was he had been made whole. Later on Jesus introduced himself to him and told him “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The main thing I want you to notice is the man was made whole and didn’t even know who Jesus was.

So, for me I think the answer to how some seem to be sober without naming Jesus Christ is the same way this guy was whole without knowing him either. God loves us so much he will do things like this in our lives even without us acknowledging him. This is like when someone is ill or has surgery and becomes healed. You may thank the doctors, nurses, pharmacists and so on but if you are really healed it is only Jesus Christ that has done it. Doctor’s may operate or treat someone, but God is the only one that can heal you.

We may live for a long time as a sober or healed person and yet not give God the credit he deserves. To me this is just how good God is and proves to me how much he truly loves us. I heard once that God loves us so much he even lets us live our lives as if he doesn’t exist.

I for one am not advocating we stop thanking and acknowledging God but I’m just saying, he is so good and at work in our lives long before we ever think about him. He is patiently waiting for us to come to the place where we see and recognize his presence, but He’s God and he’s good even if some never do.

Written by Louie