Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery: Lesson 18- Grace

Principle 6: Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.   
Happy are the merciful. -Matthew 5:7
Happy are the peacemakers. -Matthew 5:9  
Step 9: We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. -Matthew 5:23-24

This lesson is the last that of the lessons that address Principle 6. Although this lesson might be late in the Celebrate Recovery line-up, I believe it is the most important lesson one could hear. If it wasn’t for the grace that we will be discussing in this lesson, this program and our recoveries would be simply left to chance. It is God’s grace that gives us the power and the ability to recover. It is His grace that saves us from the sins of this world and the consequences of those sins in the next.

“My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, My power is made perfect in you,” [said Jesus]. So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses.Then Christ’s power can live in me. For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.  -2 Corinthians 12:9-10


God’s gift

Grace is a gift given to us by God. We can’t earn it and we can’t buy it. It is given freely to us from Him with no strings attached. Why does God offer us this gift? He loves us and He wants to save us from our sins, from living eternally apart from Him. The Bible says that even while we are still sinners He offers us this free gift.

Did you hear that part? It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how low you have been (or are), God loves you and He is holding out His hand offering the gift of grace to you. All you have to do is accept.

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8


Received by our faith

How do we received God’s gift? What do we have to do in order to be deemed worthy of what He has to give us? I have good news, my friend. We only have to receive His gift through faith that He is the one and only God who sent His only Son to die on the cross to save us from our sins.

It is hard for many of us to understand, but there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation, to earn the gift of grace that God offers us.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. -Romans 3:23-25


Accepted by God’s love

Everyone who receives God’s gift is accepted into His kingdom. Once you receive His gift, there is no questions whether or not you are a part of His family of believers. It is because of the acceptance, love, and forgiveness that God shows us that we, in turn, show the same towards others.

God is perfect in all he does, so He also loves and forgives perfectly. We, on the other hand, are not perfect. We cannot expect to model Christ’s love and forgiveness perfectly. We can, however, expect that God will help us endeavor to do the best that we can within our relationships with others.

There may be people in your life that haven’t earned your love or forgiveness. They may have wronged you and may still be wronging you today. That is why it is important to remember that not only do we not earn God’s love and forgiveness, but it is impossible for us to do so. Yet despite our inadequacies, selfishness, and sinfulness, He did it anyways.

We are to model the example that God has provided in our relationships with others.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God, But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love- not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us. -1 John 4:7-11


Christ paid the price

Jesus died on the cross so that all our sins, all our wrongs, are forgiven. He paid the ultimate price so that we can spend eternity with Him in heaven.

In Christ we are set free by the blood of His death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace. -Ephesians 1:7


God’s grace is an everlasting gift

The gift of God’s grace lasts forever. As we grow in our relationship with Him, we will find that we become more like Him. We begin to develop fruits of the spirit. We are more patient and loving towards others. We feel compassion towards the hurting. Most importantly, we have a desire to share His grace with everyone we meet.

For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News. This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. -Colossians 1:4-6

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