“We Give” really hits home. I’ll bet you thought this was about giving money. Not at all.
Lesson 23: GIVE
Tonight’s lesson based on Principle #8 and Step #12
Principle 8: “I will yield myself to God to be used to bring this good news to others, both by my example and by my words.”
Step 12: “Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, I try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all my affairs.”
Don’t you just love Principle # 8? I DO!! Why? Because it is so ACTIVE !
Look at the action words here: “I will yield…”, “Bring…”, Be an example…”
This is putting our Faith into Action!
James 2:17 says: “Faith by itself, if it’s NOT accompanied by action is DEAD.”
When I see or hear people say that they are saved and I don’t see any “action” on their part to “yield”, “bring the good news”, or “be an example”, I just don’t believe they ever really turned their lives over in the first place and are still in need of salvation.
These are people who are just “playing me”, God’s people for what they can get from them and not at all really looking to RECOVER from their hurt habit hang-up.
Active faith is important to God.
Tonight going to see how Principle 8 applies to our lives. We will also see how step 12 fits perfectly with this principle. Indeed; “carrying the message” is how we GIVE BACK to God for all He has done for us.
SO, What is “giving back”? What does that mean to you and me?
Let’s start by looking at the meaning of the word: GIVE
In the NT, the word, “give” has 17 different meanings. For tonight we will stick with the one meaning:
“A “healthy” giving of oneself WITHOUT the slightest trace of expecting to receive back.”
Have you ever known anyone who was honored for what they received? NO, Honor is always given to those for something they gave. (Mother Theresa, Nobel Prize honorees, October Pastor Appreciation Month – just kidding)
I love how Matthew 10:8 puts it: “Freely you have received, freely give.”
OK, let’s look at your handout and tonight’s acrostic: G I V E
G: stands for God First
When God is first, you realize that everything you have is a gift from Him.
I wonder if you really believe this truth
Do you know that your Recovery is not based on a pill, or a program? No, it is based on the measure of your faith & your ability to put God first in your life.
Romans 8:32 says: “…God “gave” his own Son “ So, wouldn’t it just make sense that he would give us everything we need?
We are never more like God than when we give our very selves. That’s what Jesus did for us – He gave us the greatest gift – himself.
OK, the second letter is “I”: Stands for the I becoming “we”.
When we GIVE, the I becomes “we”.
The Road to Recovery is NOT meant to be traveled alone.
It’s all about the group of us, you and your sponsor, you and your open share groups, you and the larger group – here.
We are all in this together, supporting one another, loving one another, holding one another accountable, carrying one another’s burdens. It’s all about the “WE”.
You are at the point in your Recovery where you should be ready to be an “accountability partner” yourself for someone else.
SOME of you are even ready to be a SPONSOR yourself to someone else.
The rewards are great, and being a Sponsor cements in your heart the resolve you feel to not relapse.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 makes this point very clear: “Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone…there is no one there to help him..Two men can resist an attack that would defeat one man alone.”
The 3rd letter “V” stands for VICTORIES shared.
Remember what I’ve said many times: “God Never Wastes a Hurt”
He can take our hurts and use them to help others.
Notice we are talking here about VICTORIES here.
Yes, you can’t talk about your victories unless you mention what it is that you have “victory OVER”, BUT, a word of caution: Focus more on the victory than the original struggle.
Some people enjoy just talking about the HHH and that ends up just glorifying the HHH instead of the Victory we have in Christ. DO you understand me here?
What IS the danger when we do that?
Deuteronomy 11:2 tells us to “remember what we’ve learned about the Lord through our experiences with Him.”
Talk about importance of Open Share Groups here.
So, what would this look like? Could say something like this:
“This is how it was for me; this is the experience of what happened to me. This is how I gained the strength to begin my recovery – and so there is hope for you…”
Do you see, that whenever we share a word of testimony it should ALWAYS show the Victory. Otherwise you are just sharing a prayer request and not a word of testimony.
The Testimony of VICTORY is what builds up the rest of us. THAT is what we need to hear to encourage us to keep fighting the good fight.
There is a place for sharing your struggle and your pain in the form of a prayer request, but when you ask to share before the body, you should always include the victory
II Corinthians 1:3 puts this in perspective for us: “…give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merciful Father, the God from whom all help comes! He helps us in all our troubles, so that we are able to help others who have all kinds of troubles, using the same help that we ourselves have received from God.” Do you see it in this verse?
All the pain and suffering you’ve endured finally makes sense when you get to Principle 8. Romans 8:28 finally makes sense to you: “We know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.”
This leads us right into the final letter in our acrostic: “E” which stands for EXAMPLE. Example of your actions.
Your actions speak louder than your words: “walk talks….”
You can have the best intentions, but if there is no ACTION, …
James 1:2 says that we are to be “doers of the Word” not just hearers.
This is at the heart of what it means to “bring the Good News to others”
I John 3:18 is another way of putting it: “my children, love must not be only a matter of words or talk, it must be genuine, and show itself in action.”
Giving AND serving are what really show if you Love OR NOT. You can not Love without giving.
I love how the Message puts this whole thing into context for us through Luke 8:16-19:
“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a washtub or shoves it under the bed. No, you set it up on a lamp stand so those who enter the room can see their way. We are not hiding things; we are bringing everything out into the open. So be careful that you don’t become misers…generosity begets generosity.”
So bring the Good News with Joy.