Struggling with that New Years Resolution Yet?
Christians often find themselves so busy in their daily affairs that they forget that all things are become new (II Cor. 5:17). Today – right NOW – and from now on all things in the believer’s life should originate from God. There is no room left for the old man and his corruption. That is a truth that we must embrace, and look to God for grace to realize it.
The types of things that were done by a Christian before he was saved are without profit. The admonition of the Spirit to the saints at Ephesus was to avoid the manner of life of other Gentiles (i.e., the unsaved) because it is vain or empty (v. 17). When we see how this vain mind drove the unregenerate even deeper into darkness, we can see how dangerous it is for a saint to return to that way of life. The ability to really think – exercise wisdom – is diminished, and an estrangement is developed between the believer and His God (v. 18). The result of dabbling in this vain manner of life is the giving of oneself to lasciviousness, and all sorts of self-serving defilement (v. 19).
We may be tempted to say this is for the lost, but not true Christians. That is vain thinking, for the Holy Spirit continues in verses 25-29 to encourage the saints to “put on the new man, …created in righteousness and true holiness,” and “put off…the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (vv. 24, 22). The old way of life is full of lying, and we would justify ourselves. Are we still justifying lies? Ill-will, anger, and grudge bearing are of the old man. Surely all of us have put off all these things. And how is our speech now that we are saved? The old man spewed forth corrupt communications; the new man will speak that which is good in order to build up the saints.
Every believer has been regenerated (v. 20-21). Perhaps we are in need of renewal (v. 23). As we look at verses 30-32 we are given a picture of how the old man working in us affects God the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. The way of life the old nature brings forth is grievous to the Spirit (v. 30a). But if there would be some who claim that the salvation of a carnal believer is in jeopardy, God declares that each Christian is secure – even until the day the old man is eradicated (v. 30b). Now, the exhortation is to be yielded, moment by moment, to the Spirit, resisting, through the power of God, the old man, and living in righteousness and holiness.
Friday, President Donald J. Trump declared the opioid epidemic a National Emergency. RU Recovery Ministries is standing by ready to help with an 80% success rate and local meetings of the RU Program being held in every state of the United States. We are looking to partner with Federal, State, and local officials to offer our assistance in this crisis. More details to come early next week. #RURecovery #CureForAddiction #OpioidCrisis#NationalEmergency
Below is an article that was written by Dr. George Crabb, D.O. a medical doctor who advises RU Recovery Ministries on matters of Addiction Medicine.
Pain and stress are a necessary part of life. They are warning signals indicating that something is not right, that something needs to be addressed. This includes emotional pain as well as physical pain. There is nothing more private than an individual’s pain and stress. No one else can truly understand the pain or stress you feel. The American society in which we live is probably the most “pain-conscious” on the face of the earth. Americans have come to believe that they deserve to have total relief from all pain and stress. Because of this cultural belief, the non-medical use of prescription medications (including pain killers, opioids, and sedative hypnotics) has increased dramatically over the past several years. Individuals take the medication for the feeling the drug gives them, the euphoria or the “high.” An addiction to prescription medication is a real addiction that is increasing daily in the number of those held in its bondage.
Many people, young and old, are turning to prescription medications, including pain killers and sedative hypnotics because they assume they are safer than street drugs and because they come from a doctor or health care provider. This gives the individual a false sense of security. However, these drugs are just as dangerous as the other street drugs that are out there. Another reason for their increased proliferation is that the individual feels they cannot get addicted to them like the street drugs. This is another lie. Many of the prescription medicines and opioids people take non-medically are just as addictive, if not more so than many of the street drugs. Individuals who use pain killers to initially treat physical pain, at times, find themselves starting to take the drug to satisfy emotional and psychological needs. The person proceeds down the road of addiction to that drug, and they have a compulsive need to use the medication for non-medical purposes. The drug is being taken because of its mood-altering effects and not to relieve the physical pain.
All pain medications have an opiate base. These include Tylenol #3, Vicoden, Lortab, Lorcet, Norco, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, oxycodone, Percocet, Percodan, Demerol, Morphine, Darvocet N-100, fentanyl, Duragesic patch, Dilaudid, Hydromorphone, Ultram, Ultracet, tramadol, and the like. The most common opiate-based street drug is heroin. All opioids are derived from opium, or they can be synthesized in the laboratory with opiate-like effects. Opiates attach themselves to an opiate receptor in the brain called the “mu” receptor. When an opiate attaches to this receptor, it blocks the perception of pain by increasing the level of a particular neurotransmitter called “endorphin.” The elevated levels of endorphins in the brain tissue not only diminish the perception of pain, but they also stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain thus giving a “good feeling,” a “euphoria,” or a “high.” The latter is that to which an individual can become addicted.
I had a patient in the hospital who was addicted to OxyContin. He told me that he could be happy sitting in a trash can in the dark somewhere as long as he had his pills. He went on to tell me that when he had the pills, he felt like a king. He then explained that when he woke up every day, he snorted 30 – 40 mg of OxyContin just to feel “normal.” This is a major risk associated with any of the opiates. It is “tolerance.” Tolerance happens very quickly with the opiate-based medications. It takes more drug, more often, to get the same effect as a smaller dose, less frequently taken, originally would give. Individuals who begin taking 1 – 2 pills a day can quickly advance to 20 – 30 pills a day. I have witnessed some individuals who were taking more than 50 Vicoden a day in the short time of just six weeks. This opioid addiction is a gripping one that takes the individual to destruction quickly.
Coming off of prescription pain killers, and opioids is a difficult and painful task. Many will experience the following: insomnia, anxiety, diarrhea, restlessness, sweating, chills, muscle and joint pain, runny nose, backaches, irritability, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, weight loss, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, low-grade temperature, and much more. Many people, as they go through this withdrawal, describe it to me as their worst nightmare. Individuals can find assistance for their withdrawal through a properly trained physician. By assisting them, it allows them to initiate their walk with God sooner; thus their road to freedom is started sooner.
While I am happy to say that overall drug use among teenagers is down, the non-medical use of prescription medications among their population has increased. This trend has been one of the most significant developments in substance-abuse trends in the recent years. One in five teenagers has abused Vicoden, and one in ten has abused OxyContin. Both are abused for non-medical purposes. Before closing this article, I want to describe a trend that is transpiring amongst our young people. A study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2004 found that teens would gather up prescription medications, get with other teens at “pharming parties,” and trade for other prescription drugs. At some parties, teens bring whatever prescription medications they find in their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets. They throw all the medications into a bowl, pass it around, and then take whatever they want. This is called the “salad bowl.” Unfortunately, I have pronounced several young people as dead because they did not know what they were taking. How tragic!
We here at RU Recovery Ministries understand that there is a real pain that you may be experiencing inside. This pain is deep and devastating. This pain is crying out to be relieved. But, my friend, this pain cannot be medicated with a chemical or a drug, whether it is obtained on the street or from your trusted physician. This pain that you are debilitated by can only be medicated by the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He, alone, can take your pain and give you a peace that will pervade your life. Allow us at RU Recovery Ministries to introduce to you your Answer, your Hope, your Pain Reliever, the Redeemer – Jesus Christ.
Vapor stores – they are popping up everywhere! I’ve even seen so-called Christian vaping blogs. “Vaping” or e-cigarettes are very popular among the younger generation because they believe it is healthier than smoking cigarettes. However, as explained by Dr. George Crabb below, there are very few regulations for what is sold for vaping. So vaping can actually be more destructive!
The devil never stops…
Please read this article by Dr. George Crabb and warn others of the dangers of vaping:
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid usually containing nicotine, producing a vapor that the user inhales. E-cigarettes entered the market in 2003 in China and entered the United States and European markets in 2006. In many areas, e-cigarettes entered the market as consumer products without government regulation. Initially produced by small companies, tobacco companies have bought some of these companies and are developing these products.
Unlike conventional cigarettes, which burn tobacco and generate smoke, e-cigarettes have a cartridge containing a liquid (sometimes referred to as “e-liquid”), which contains nicotine and other constituents. The liquid is heated to produce vapor the user inhales. The main components of the liquid vaporized are nicotine, propylene glycol or glycerol, and flavorings. A variety of other compounds have also been identified, some with carcinogenic (cancer causing) potential.
In the United States, the use of e-cigarettes has increased since 2010, corresponding to an increase in marketing for the products. The 2014 National Health Interview Survey provided the first nationally-representative estimate of e-cigarette use among adults in the United States. Overall, 12.6% of adults had ever used an e-cigarette, 3.7% were current users, and 1.1% was daily users. E-cigarette use has also been rising among adolescents in the United States. From 2011 to 2014, current e-cigarette use increased from 1.5% to 13.4% in high school students and from 0.6% to 3.9% in middle school students.
Nicotine exposure from e-cigarette use, as with cigarette smoking, increases heart rate and produces measurable levels of blood cotinine, a nicotine metabolite. At high temperatures, propylene glycol decomposes and may form propylene oxide, a probable human carcinogen. Glycerol produces the toxin acrolein, though the levels produced are lower than conventional cigarettes. Both propylene glycol and glycerol decompose to form the carcinogens formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. There are other carcinogenic compounds found in e-cigarettes including tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), carbonyl compounds, metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and phenolic compounds.
E-cigarettes may appeal to youth who would not smoke conventional cigarettes. E-cigarette use could lead those youth to develop nicotine dependence and subsequently transition to conventional cigarette smoking. Furthermore, studies have suggested that drug use starts with legal drugs and proceeds to illicit drugs, and there is some evidence that nicotine may prime the brain for illicit drug use.
E-cigarette use continues the user’s exposure to nicotine and other potential cancer causing substances and therefore should not be recommended.
Good morning! I praise God for joining me today as I have this awesome opportunity to share a portion of God’s Word that has tremendously impacted my life over the past several days. True satisfaction in any situation can only come from Him!
1O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; 3And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. 4They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. 5Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 6Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. 7And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. 8Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 9For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
The first division of this blessed Psalm depicts God’s people in a desert wilderness setting. Their desperate situation was a direct result of both outward extremities as well as their own insufficiency. The homeward march was through foreign territory – barren, solitary, and inhospitable in every way imaginable. No wonder weariness characterized each struggling traveler (vv4-5). It would be difficult to visualize a less satisfying situation.
The prayer of faith dramatically changed the picture. The environment remained the same, but changes within made even a desert seem like a taste of heaven on earth – God saw to that (v. 6). The distress they experienced was for a purpose: God wanted them to come to the place where they would look solely to Him. In this way they would not be disappointed, for God forever delights to prove Himself faithful in behalf of them who trust Him for sustaining, overflowing grace. How was that response which God desired expressed? Believing prayer!
God answered their prayer. The Lord led them out of their dilemma “by the right way,…to a city of habitation” (v. 7). They were not only led through the wilderness to the promised destination but also provided with complete satisfaction of every need en route. What a tremendous representation this is of what God wants to do for you and me when we, too, find ourselves burdened down and about to faint under the load! Are we in need of Heaven-sent nourishment for our weary souls today? Then tell God about it! He delights to answer such requests (v. 9).
The philosophies, pleasures, and riches of this world are no more conducive to satisfying the longings of the believer than the desert is in quenching the thirst of a dying man. Christ alone will satisfy. Also, spiritual famine is invariably the result of setting our sights on the temporal rather than the eternal. Always remember, God delights to meet our EVERY need, but He wants us to seek first our greatest need of all, the peace and fullness of God (Phil. 4:7). “Seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Lk. 12:31).
“The Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” (Isa. 58:11). There’s no excuse for a desert experience today! I pray that the Lord will bless your ministry as we walk in Him.
What did you get from God’s Word this morning? Nedd help getting started in your Walk and Talk with God? Take the #30daychallenge using the “It’s Personal” Daily Journal. Spend 30 Days with God. Get started Here!