Men of Redemption

Restoring a Life of Purity – One Day at a Time

My Morning Devotion – Making God The Priority

Posted by Men of Redemption on April 24, 2018

DON’T WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING Related image

From The Book of Luke 12:22-34 . . . .

Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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Change Comes From Within in Recovery

Posted by Men of Redemption on April 23, 2018

HOW ARE THESE THREE CONSTANTS WORKING FOR YOU IN YOUR RECOVERY? Image result for man's conduct

PT. lll: CONDUCT

Our Conversation has improved. Our Character continues to develop and mature. Now, how does our behavior display those two constants as we manifest our existence as a human being? We’ve worked on ourselves from within. We’ve allowed the changes of mindsets, heart transformation, and we’re believing that all that we’ve done, and are doing, will result in good Conduct. After months, even years for many of us, we’re finally seeing a change in behavior, attitude, and perspective as we move forward in our recovery after putting in some serious work and commitment to change all of that. But how does all of this fit together in my recovery and be constant and consistent so that I can maintain a healthy life of purity and wholeness?

When we have gone through a process that has brought inward transformation, this means something has taken place within us that has changed everything in our being and created newness of life with God’s intentions and purpose at the forefront. This is what God’s Word says about newness in Him . . . .

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”  –  Psalm 51: 10-12 (NIV) 

When we allow God’s divine healing and purpose to invade our lives He makes the changes necessary to clean up our lives and put us in right perspective with His desires and intentions. Thus, it changes how we look at life and see what’s really important to us without all the interference of the addictive mindset and all that comes with it. Our mind and heart are intentionally focused and geared towards the things of God. We don’t worry about what others think or assume about us because all that matters is what God thinks and who He says we are! This understanding and perspective will infiltrate our thought process and we’ll begin to make better decisions, better choices, and use wisdom in determining what’s best for us. All of this will manifest itself in our conduct as we submit to God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. This process will produce a healthier, more transparent display of who we are with honest intentions and no hidden agenda. We will continue to be more genuine and sincere at all times as we allow our conversation, our character, and conduct to be molded and shaped by God and what His Word says. So my point is about change happens from within first in recovery. We can attempt to do everything we can on the outside by going to every support group, reading all the books on recovery we can, or seeing a counselor once or twice a week. Those things are very helpful and have their place in recovery, but if there is not a desire to change from within, on the inside, our efforts for change and making things right will not succeed no matter how hard or how much we do.

“For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.”  2 Corinthians 1:12

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Peace and Purpose in A Psalm

Posted by Men of Redemption on April 23, 2018

PEACE . . . . FAITH IN TIMES OF DISTRESS Image result for Psalm 6

Psalm 6:1-10 . . . .

O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O Lord—how long? Return, O Lord, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! or in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks? I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication; The Lord will receive my prayer. Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.

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My Morning Devotion – Making God The Priority

Posted by Men of Redemption on April 23, 2018

IMMORALITY DEFILES THE CHURCH Image result for immorality

From The Book of 1 Corinthians 5:1-8 . . . .

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 

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Change Begins from Within in Recovery

Posted by Men of Redemption on April 20, 2018

HOW ARE THESE THREE CONSTANTS WORKING FOR YOU IN YOUR RECOVERY? Image result for a person's character

PT. 2: CHARACTER

In Part 1  we shared about Conversation, how we talked and shared while we were in our “mess” and after a renewing and transformation of mind and heart. Now, we will take a look at Character. The question is . . . . Now that we’ve been in recovery for some time, who are we today? Has our personality and personal traits as a person developed or are we the same as we were when we were in our “mess?” How do you come across to people when you’re dealing with adversity, or when everything is going well? These are just a few questions we ought to ask ourselves as we continue in our recovery. We’ve identified some things that led to an improved conversation with a renewing of the mind. We’re thinking differently these days, focusing on building up ourselves and others with positive influences. But what about our character traits? What is character?

CHARACTER: the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing; moral or ethical quality: qualities of honesty,  courage, or the like; integrity: reputation; an account of the qualities or peculiarities of a person or thing.”

 While we were in our mess, our character was distorted, influenced by shame and guilt, therefore, we had a false pretense of who we really were. Whatever our issues were we hid ourselves so that others wouldn’t know who we were. To some of you who are reading this, you may think this sounds mundane or idiotic, but to an addict who has struggled with life and this very thing, this was exactly what life was like for him or her. Our integrity, our reputation was on display as evil, and that’s not who we are. Sure, we acted like that but we weren’t in our right minds nor were our hearts centered on goodness or peace. Now, we ought to have learned some things about morality, honesty and integrity. We ought to have had a change from within and made adjustments where they’re needed, and it starts in the heart. As Jesus was explaining to the disciples about the blind (Pharisees) leading the blind (Matthew 15:13-20) He also explains that our character starts from the heart and comes through our behaviors and actions . . . .

 

“Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” 

So when we look at our character, take a serious look at our hearts because we ought to know what’s going on there. Nobody knows but us and God, and we certainly can’t fool God so we fool ourselves. We can’t hide behind anything or anybody. Our character is all about what’s inside of us because eventually whatever is in there is going to come out, good or bad.

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Peace and Purpose in A Psalm

Posted by Men of Redemption on April 20, 2018

Peace . . . . Praise To The Lord for His Love and Faithfulness    Image result for Psalm 92

Psalm 92:1-15 . . . .

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night, On an instrument of ten strings, On the lute, And on the harp, With harmonious sound. For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands. O Lord, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man does not know, Nor does a fool understand this. When the wicked spring up like grass, And when all the workers of iniquity flourish, It is that they may be destroyed forever. But You, Lord, are on high forevermore. For behold, Your enemies, O Lord, For behold, Your enemies shall perish; All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. My eye also has seen my desire on my enemies; My ears hear my desire on the wicked Who rise up against me. The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

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My Morning Devotion – Making God The Priority

Posted by Men of Redemption on April 20, 2018

A CALL TO PERSEVERE Image result for a call to persevere

From The Book of Titus 1:17-23 . . . .

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

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Change Begins from Within in Recovery

Posted by Men of Redemption on April 19, 2018

ARE THESE THREE CONSTANTS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR RECOVERY? Image result for conversation

PT. l: CONVERSATION

Alright. So it’s been several years that I’ve been in recovery from addictive behaviors. I’ve acknowledged my behaviors as well as the collateral damage I’ve caused. I’ve had in place now for years structure and disciplines that have enabled me to withstand the trials and temptations that I face daily with consistency in overcoming each and every one of them. I have an accountability core that surrounds me daily with prayer, encouragement, and wisdom should I need or request it. So I’m in full momentum in going forward in my recovery but I’m learning that there is more. Come on, all is well and I’m moving forward, what now? Well, that’s one of the reactions of most men in recovery. We can get so caught up in our progress, how things are going as far as following our plans for success in recovery, and now we’re saying there is something more I need to do? It’s not so much as more than you need to do; it’s what you have working and how is it working for YOU!! Being in recovery for more than 17 years I’ve learned a thing or two about increase and development when it comes to recovery. Working with men who struggle with addictive behaviors as I have, I’ve learned that there are three constants that need special attention and they are critical to any man’s success in recovery. They are Conversation, Character, and Conduct. I call them “The Big C’s” because of how important they are not only in recovery but also in a man’s life. I will address all three but in this part 1, I would like to talk about Conversation.

CONVERSATION

How is your conversation these days? What do you talk about or discuss as a man in recovery? Do you talk about, share or discuss the same topics that you did when you were in your behaviors? Or has your conversation changed, topics and all? These are some questions we men who are in recovery need to ask ourselves. For years being in my “mess,” my ultimate goal in any conversation I had with anyone was “What could I get from this person?” man or woman. My purpose was selfish, greedy and all about me. If my conversation with whoever I was talking to didn’t amount to my purpose there would be no conversation. I was all about me. But after I learned about being selfish, I confessed my selfishness and began the process of healing my heart, renewing my mind and allowing a transformation to take place in my life (Romans 12:1, 2) and I was set free from that egotistical mindset. A change had to take place, and it had to start from within. I had to realize what I was saying to people and what I was knowingly doing. I was wrong and full of deceit. Moving forward, now my conversation and what I say these days is more uplifting, edifying and encouraging, not only to me but also to others as well. I don’t talk about the same things I used to talk about because there was a hidden agenda involved. Now, it’s a lifestyle for me to speak positively and building up others. The topics I share about these days involve encouraging people, current events but being optimistic and seeking God’s wisdom for understanding before opening my mouth. I’ve learned to wait, listen first (James 1:19) and keep self out of the picture without an agenda and speak from the heart. I pay close attention to what I’m saying and why I am saying it. This is a change that needs understanding and guidance because so many men don’t pay attention to what they’re saying and forget most of it by the following hour. So how’s your conversation going? Do people still hear you talk like you did when you were in your “mess?” Or do they notice something different about you, especially while you’re in recovery, what you say and how you have changed in the way you speak to others? We can’t just say to ourselves I’m not going to talk like anymore-it won’t happen just by saying you won’t. This change has to happen from within. 

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My Morning Devotion – Making God The Priority

Posted by Men of Redemption on April 19, 2018

JUDGING OTHERS Image result for judging others

From The Book of Luke 6:37-42 . . . .

Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First, remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

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Peace and Purpose in A Psalm

Posted by Men of Redemption on April 18, 2018

PURPOSE . . . . FAITH PERSEVERING IN TRIAL Image result for Psalm 40

Psalm 40:1-17 . . . .

“I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered. Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, You Yourself know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth From the great assembly. Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head; Therefore my heart fails me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me! Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion Who seek to destroy my life; Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor Who wish me evil. Let them be confounded because of their shame, Who say to me, “Aha, aha!” Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The Lord be magnified!” But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.”

 

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