“Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.“ Matthew 22:37-40
As I thought about this week’s CR Monday I found myself reflecting on an ongoing theme I have had for a while now. I’ve been thinking about spiritual legalism and how it plays out in relationships. What happens when you present the truth without grace, without love, without mercy? As I thought of this I didn’t need to go very far for an answer; there have been times when my actions have been judgmental, honest yet cruel, void of grace and love. I’ve learned over the years that honesty without grace and love is just another form of brutality. I can beat someone over the head with the truth and technically be right, yet be so wrong. That’s living a life without grace, I can’t be grace filled while denying my own sin; pride always gets in the way of grace, it cheapens grace because there is no real repentance involved.
There are two kinds of people in this world and I have been both. One is a sinner who admits their sin and the other is a sinner who does not. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” -Isaiah 53:6. My recovery started when I finally admitted my sin, on my knees trembling in fear, humbled by my circumstance, filled with guilt and shame. To be honest, I came to Jesus only when I had nowhere else to go. Rick Warren once said, “You never know God is all you need until God is all you have.”
The guiding verse for Celebrate Recovery is found in 2 Corinthians 12-9, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Somewhere along our journey we start to understand that grace is more than a free gift; it is the love that opens the door to freedom, just as repentance opens the door to grace. We start by admitting our hurts, hang-up’s and habits, choosing to turn away from our sin to start a new life. Living in God’s grace isn’t easy; it provides freedom but it also can convict us when we cheapen it. In CR we talk about the pain of working through our past and present, pain is necessary but misery is optional.
A quote from Philip Yancey: “Jesus proclaimed unmistakably that God’s law is so perfect and absolute that no one can achieve righteousness. Yet God’s grace is so great that we don’t have to. By striving to prove how much they deserve God’s love, legalists miss the whole point of the gospel, that it is a gift from God to people who don’t deserve it. The solution to sin is not to impose an ever-stricter code of behavior. It is to know God.”
Love God, love people, Jesus first!
Dana Cramer // Celebrate Recovery at Crossroads
Celebrate Recovery at Crossroads Church Calendar
May 7-13, 2018
Friday, May 11: Testimony Night
- 6pm: Our Hospitality Team is preparing a wonderful dinner for you. Please join us for dinner and fellowship.
- 7pm: Join us for an hour of worship and testimony.
- 8pm: Open Share Groups.
- 9pm: Sold Rock Café.
- CR Leader meeting, Saturday, May 12.