A Word With Doc - May 2018

 

Colossians l:21-22 reads, "And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach."

 

God's solution to the fear of rejection is based on Christ's sacrificial payment for our sins. Through this payment, we find forgiveness, reconciliation, and total acceptance through Christ. Reconciliation means that those who were enemies have become friends. Paul described our transformation from enmity to friendship with God.

Our unconditional acceptance in Christ is a profound, life-changing truth. Salvation is not simply a ticket to Heaven. It is the beginning of a dynamic new relationship with God. Justification is the doctrine that explains the judicial facts of our forgiveness and righteousness in Christ. Reconciliation explains the relational aspect of our salvation.

The moment we receive Christ by faith, we enter into a personal relationship with Him. We are united with God in an eternal and inseparable bond (Rom. 8:38-39). We are bound in an indissoluble union with Him, as fellow heirs with Christ. The Holy Spirit has sealed us in that relationship, and we are absolutely secure in Christ.

Ephesians l: 13-14 states: "Having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory."
Here at New Destiny, we are made aware at the beginning of each new day that we are working with a population of people that have felt alienated not only from people but from God. They know that they have been rascals and done many horrible things and have a difficult time trying to understand why loved ones and friends can't forgive them and let it go. We all understand why there is difficulty in letting the bars down again, because that family member or friend has been hurt so many times that they are afraid to trust again. It takes time to put trust again into the life of someone who has stolen, lied, and abused you for years. I get that and you get it, but the addict can't comprehend it. All they see is that you are turning them away, and all they feel is rejection.

We watch all the clients as they begin to gain weight, get glasses to see again, have surgeries to repair body parts that have been injured over time, and begin to work out to build muscle strength. Emotionally they become stronger and are able to start facing adversities without a substance to numb them. This is all well and good, but my main concern is that they find the value and see the need of becoming reconciled to Christ. They can become perfected in everything else, but if they don't find Christ as their personal Savior, they absolutely cannot stem the tide of addiction. This is why we have Church Services every evening of the week other than Monday. Our goal is to have the clients come to grips with the reality that life can change through Christ. When this happens, their entire life and their perspectives change. What a thrill to watch men begin to thank God for Salvation that at first would not even believe that there was a God in Heaven.

Back some months ago, we had a client that stated he was an atheist and did not want to attend church because he didn't believe in God. Staying out of church is not even an option at N.D. Every client is required to attend, but it is up to them whether or not they participate. So the process started, night after night hearing the Gospel. He would mention in his groups that he was disgusted and what he was hearing was a bunch of nonsense. Group members began to share their stories with him of how they basically felt the same way as he did, but gave God a chance. One client told him that if he would just pay attention and give it time, he would find out there is a God and understand what God can do. He did just that. He struggled for weeks in trying to bring God into a picture that he had painted that was far, far from anything spiritual. His counselor became engaged with him on their one on ones and he started to soften his hard stance on there not being a God. Soon he was reading his Bible (each client receives one as they enter treatment), and the Holy Spirit was doing His work on his heart. He began discussing his beliefs with everyone in the groups, Sunday Services, evening services, and anyone that would listen to him. He confessed that he believed that no one could touch the area of his life that was so foreign to God. He prayed and tried to explain to God what had happened to him. He was amazed to find that he sensed love that he had not felt since he was a child. In his praying, he opened up his heart and life, and soon he picked up the Cross and started to follow Christ. I wish you could have heard his testimony. It was not the typical “I’m saved and sanctified”, but he went into great detail to tell how God had reconciled him and now everything he thought about God was wrong and he was willing to admit it. He still finds it difficult to believe that God could love someone just like him.

Here is a trophy of redeeming grace. A man that came to N.D., so destitute and lost, found his way to Christ through the preaching of the Word and reading his Bible.

Treatment will now begin to work. He has been justified and reconciled through the tremendous sacrifice that was made at Calvary.

Don't give up on anyone. As long as they are breathing there is hope. Let's pray that they will feel God's love and find their way to the Cross.