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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Principles of Recovery Part 1

I. Introduction 

A. We live still in a throw away society in the United States.  If something or someone is no more use to us we throw them or it away in leu of whatsoever new thing or person we wish to associate ourselves with for whatsoever the reason.  We as a society has gotten better at it in recent years which is evidenced by the human services that has asrisen  to restore and rehabilitate the segments of our American society that have been injured, misdirected, and corrupted as a result of being thrown out of acceptable social circles.  The only place that it has not gotten better is in the Church community.  This, I believe in part, is the result of an abnormal  prosperity teaching.  Many prosperity teachers have taught that if a person suffers loss, socially and economically, that it is a result of being cursed by God, or due to their lack of faith.   They often point to a person's level of giving  as the cause of their social and economical loss.  Consecutively they also point to the level of a persons faith is equal to their level of giving.  What happens when a person suffers an social and economic loss that has been a faithful giver? Do we call that person cursed by God because they do not give at the level the Church was accustomed to them giving at?  The sad truth is that many Church communities do.   By doing so, they alienate people from their church and some of them choose to seek alternative faiths. What do these believers of God really need?  They need to be told how to recover from social and economic loss and how to keep their faith intact.  They do not need to be thrown out of or alienated from our church communities.   This is what this set of teachings is about:  How to recover and keep your faith in Christ intact.     This book is based upon scriptural stories and parables of recovery, so that the people of God may know the principles of recovery and understand how to recover from the social and economic loss they may have experienced in their lives.   

There are seven principles of recovery that the Bible shares through the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:14-24.  These principles are as follows:

1. Realization =Vs. 17
2. Resolution=Vs 18
3. Repentance=Vs.19 
4. Return=Vs.20
5. Reconciliation=Vs.20
6. Restoration=Vs.22
7. Rejoicing=Vs.23, 24                

II. Realization

"And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!" -Luke 15:17

 A. Realization is defined as: (noun)  The process of making real or being made real something planned or imagined.-Source: Dictionary.com

1. Realization therefore is the process of the revelation of  a reality that supposed to happen from  either effective or ineffective planning or choices.

A. It was the prodigal son's poor planning and poor choices that allowed him to experience the reality of the pig pen. What choices did he make?

i) He chose to take his share of his inheritance and spend it any way he wished.

       a) He effectively excuted his plan and sqaundered his temporary wealth.
       b) He evidently was decieved by the amount of wealth he received from his father, he thought    
           that it was inexhaustible.  So he spent all of it down to the last coin, and found himself to be 
           in want.

*We find a truth here; That wealth is not determined by how much money you possess, for money does not last forever.

ii) His mistakes are notable: Luke 15:11-13

a) He was self deceived about the longetivity of his share of the inheitance.
    - This is why I say that the worse kind of deception is self deception
b) He made a  poor choice of friends:  They did not have his financial security interests in mind.
     -When you base your relationships upon what you can give them, when you fail to give them 
       what they expect at the level  they expected it, your relationships will also fail.
c) He excercised implusive and liberal spending habits.
d) He made no investments to secure his inheritance

iii) The one mistake he did not make: He did not attempt to borrow any money .  He was only in want, he was not in want and in debt.  Because he was not in debt, he preserved his name which was the only thing he possessed.

2.When he was in the pig pen, he came to the conclusion that his faither's servants has it better than he now.  He also realized he had it better off back home than how he was living now in the pig pen. -Luke 15:17

A. Isn't it amazing how a person's perspective changes when their financial circumstances change:

i. When one becomes financially wealthy, the amount, nature and quality of their friends change.  Their environment changes and their spending habits become more implusive and liberal.

ii. When one becomes financially poor, the amount, nature and quality of their friends change.  Their environment changes and their spending habits become more planned and conservative.

B. Life for many of us, is a struggle to transend from a status of being financially poor to being financially wealthy.

i. What the prodigial son exhibits for us are the things we ought not to do, if we aspire to leave the life of poverty behind.  We ought not to do the following:

a. Believe that any lump sum of money or wealth received  will last your entire life.
b. Make friendships on the basis of what you can do for them with your money
c.  Excercsie implusive and liberal spending habits.
d. Fail to invest to secure your money or wealth.

C. Why did the prodigal leave his home in the first place?

i. He possibly percieved that his life at home was not as interesting as what he imagined what was in the world.  He possibly heard about the exciting things that happened in other towns that his faither traveled to.  He possibly heard about the places that vistors told his father about.  So his vision of the world was that it was an exciting place more exciting than what he had at home.  Such things possibly fired his imagination and inspired him when he had come of age to ask his father for his share of the inheritance.  He wanted to see the big wide wonderful world for himself.  He figured that his inheritance was worth the adventure.  He had no way of knowing of the many pitfalls he would experience.  Maybe he did not pay attention when his father talked with other busniessmen that passed through, who his father warned of the dangers of the trail and the cities they intended to visit.  So the prodigal son's education was incomplete.

* Education is paramount for one to experience success in life, so pay attention and learn all you can.

a. The prodigal reasoned within himself that his share of the inheritance that he recieved from his father would last him for the rest of his life, so that he would never have to work. He found out that his money ran out before his life was over and he had to work for a living.

*This is why it is said that a fool and his money is soon parted from one another.

b. Many people dream of not having to work for a living.  The prodigal had a chance to establish his finances in such away that he could have accomplished what envisioned his life would be, but he instead squandered it all away.

1) Some people use unexpected wealth that has been deposited in their lives foolishly and implusively. Some do not.

*The people that become rich did not spend their wealth foolishly and implusively.

c. The prodigal's father was wealthy, so wealthy that he continued to be wealthy even after his yougest son took his share of his inheritance.

1) The father of the prodigal servant's were not financially affected by the withdrawal of the prodigal's share of the inheritance.

a. The father of the prodigal possibly hedged himself from financial damage by the withdrawal of the prodigal's share of his inheritance.

*It is always wise to protect your assests from financial loss so that when that loss occurrs it is easier to recover.

d. What did the prodigal do after realizing that he had it better back home?

1) The prodigal son realized that the foolish choices he had made has brought him to poverty , that all the fault was his for his present condition in the pig pen.

a. It is when a person accepts the mistakes he has made, then the opportunity of change is available to him.

2) The prodigal son found out that the lifestyle he ventured out to live with his wealth does not last forever.  He also learned that such a lifestyle comes at a cost, and that cost is poverty.

a. He realized how good his father servant's had it back home.  So what does he do? -He resloves his present dellemma and plans to to return as his father's servant. No longer disollussioned with the exciting wide world nor enchanted by it.

3. What did we learn about the principle of realization?

A. We learned that so many of us have taken what we have inheirited from God, our creator, our father; Our strength, our gifts and various abilities and have vainly squandered them in loose living in order to make fair wheather friends. Until our strength has gone, our health has faded and our gifts and various abilities have wained.  "Our friends" have left us and we find ourselves in the pig pen of life. Cast out of society and the lifestyle we aspired to live.  There is good news! We need not to wallow in the mire of the pig pen of life.  We have a father in heaven who still love us and is still waiting for us to return to him.  A Father who takes care of those who willingly serve him.  If only if each one of us who have found himself in the pig pen of life would choose to humble himself and choose to be a servant of the heavenly father.  All each one of us need to do is repent from our sinful and worldly ways and make Jesus the Lord of our lives. Secondly, we each need to commit to live according to the will of God.


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