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EP. 4 Does God Personalize our Behavior?



To view the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVltzMVNsqw


SHOW NOTES


On today's episode of the Hope Rescue Podcast, Tim and Kimberly continue their series on God’s heart for the messy, the wounded, and the broken. They start by explaining again that the three parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son are Jesus’s response to the accusation by the Pharisees that He “...receives sinners and eats with them” (Luke 15:1-2). Tim goes on to explain the first parable, the Parable of the Lost Sheep, in which a shepherd would leave his flock of 99 to search for the one lost sheep and then celebrate when that lost sheep was found (Luke 15:3-7). The reason Jesus eats with sinners is because He wants to get to know them, love them, and pursue them right where they're at. The parable ends with Jesus comparing this situation to sinners who have repented, and says in Luke 15:7 “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Jesus sees all of humanity as the flock, and he is most concerned with going after the people who are lost, not the ones who are safe.


Kimberly goes on to discuss the many ways that people in our current culture can become stuck or lost. Kimberly says, “As a whole, we are looking for ways to escape our pain and addiction is preeminent in that." She explains that when people are trying to find ways to deal with their heavy burdens without taking them to God, they tend to fall into unhealthy addictions. Kimberly provides some helpful statistics in order to grasp the magnitude of addiction in people’s lives:

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 21.5 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2014.

  • Almost 80 percent of individuals suffering from a substance use disorder in 2014 struggled with an alcohol use disorder, NSDUH

  • Over 7 million Americans in 2014 battled a drug use disorder, per NSDUH.

  • One out of every eight people who suffered from a drug use disorder in 2014, according to NSUDH, struggled with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.


Tim shares of a program that exists at EastLake Church where Kimberly and Tim attend and speak called “Celebrate Recovery.” Celebrate Recovery is a 12 step program designed to help those struggling with hurts, hang-ups, and habits by showing them the loving power of Jesus Christ through the recovery process.


CELEBRATE RECOVERY SMALL GROUPS CAN:

  • Provide you a safe place to share your experiences, strengths, and hopes with others that are also going through a Christ-centered recovery.

  • Provide you with a leader who has gone through a similar hurt, hang-up or habit and who will facilitate the group as it focuses on a particular Step each week. The leader will also follow

  • Celebrate Recovery’s “Small Group Guidelines.”

  • Provide you with the opportunity to find an Accountability Partner or a Sponsor.

  • Encourage you to attend other recovery meetings held throughout the week.


You can find out more information through their website linked below under “Resources Mentioned.”


Tim goes on to share that their oldest daughter struggled with addiction and has been free from that addiction for a couple of decades now. You can read more about his daughter Karrie on her website which is linked in the “Resources Mentioned” section below. He explains how important it is that when we see people who are stuck in addiction or bad behaviors we should run to them, not away from them. Tim quotes one of his favorite scriptures, Psalm 23:1-3 "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.” Tim shares some insight he has learned about sheep. Sheep are fearful and helpless creatures in need of a shepherd. Without a shepherd, they cannot defend themselves. To be healthy sheep, it is necessary that they rest, so a good shepherd creates an environment of rest and safety for them. A wise shepherd meets the physical needs of his sheep to create a healthy environment for them to thrive. Psalm 23:1-3 is a powerful demonstration of God's heart for those of us who have messed up.


Tim references the Phillip Keller book "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23" and defines a “cast sheep.” When sheep are not trimmed well they become so large that when they lie down to ruminate or chew the cud, they can roll over onto their backs and become stuck. This also happens to young sheep and older sheep who cannot right themselves when they accidentally roll onto their backs. When laying in this position, the gasses in their stomachs begin to build up and choke them and can eventually kill them if they are not corrected in time. This can be compared to people who are lost or stuck because when you feel so stuck in habits or toxic relationship that you do not know how to get out, you can feel like you are dying. The message of the Good Shepherd is that when you are cast and cannot correct yourself, the shepherd is there for you and will do anything in His power to right you. No matter how many times you fall, the Good Shepherd will continue to help you up. God will never stop loving you and never stop pursuing you. He cares about our emotional, our spiritual, and our physical health. God deals with the heart, and he doesn't personalize our behavior when we mess up or fail. Tim ends with some good news and some bad news. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The bad news is that there is a penalty for sin, and we have all sinned. The good news is the free gift of eternal life to anyone who chooses to believe in the name of Jesus. The good news overrides the bad news!


Join us next week to find out the difference between grace and mercy! We love you guys!


QUOTES


"We were created to need our creator. Without leaning into that lifeline, we tend to escape, run, anesthetize or find another way to deal with the burdens that we carry." -Kimberly


“When we see people who are lost and stuck in bad behaviors that turn into a lifestyle, we should run to them, not away from them.” -Tim


"It is difficult to reach people's hearts when you start with their spiritual need instead of addressing their physical or emotional needs first.” -Tim


“The goal of reaching people that are stuck is that they might find the paths towards wholeness and righteousness.” -Tim


"If we want to be like Christ the Good Shepherd then we need to pursue and love people who are stuck, broken, wounded and messy.” -Tim


REFERENCED SCRIPTURE


Psalm 23:1-3: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.”


Luke 15:1-2: “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’”


Luke 15: 3-7: “So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”


Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


RESOURCES MENTIONED


Addiction Statistics: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics


Celebrate Recovery: https://eastlake.church/next-steps/support-groups/celebrate-recovery/


Karrie Garcia: https://wearefreedommovement.org/ourstory


Phillip Keller's Book "A Shepherd's Look at Psalm 23" https://www.christianbook.com/shepherd-looks-psalm-mass-market-edition/w-keller/9780310274414/pd/74414?en=google&event=SHOP&kw=christian-living-0-20%7C74414&p=1179710&dv=c&gclid=CjwKCAiAwJTjBRBhEiwA56V7q_v3nYHyFqFohxTdT3S4R5GL3EzgQ2k3vBrQQjgnCj6wacELyfaxIRoCpQ4QAvD_BwE



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