Last night Cityview had its first public meeting of Celebrate Recovery. CR is a recovery program based on the 8 Beatitudes of Jesus and the 12 Steps. Our commitment to a LIFE vision of the follower of Jesus means that we believe every person can Find freedom in The Truth. CR is part of that journey at Cityview now. I am thankful for the ministry team that has stepped up for this new season at Cityview.
One of my favorate authors on the process of knowing God and becoming like Jesus is Brennan Manning. He writes and speaks often of the recovery that Jesus has given him. In A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred, Manning writes of the challenge of being free.
Two millennia later I find myself threatened, challenged, and exhilarated by Christ’s freedom from human respect, by his extraordinary independence, indomitable courage, and unparalleled authenticity. In preaching the gospel I have been graced to speak fearless in the knowledge and conviction that the Word of God must not be fettered, compromised, or watered down; but in my personal life, my fears and insecurities continue to lead me voraciously to seek the approval of others, to assume a defensive posture when I’m unjustly accused, to feel guilty over refusing any request, to doggedly live up to others’ expectations, to be all things to all people in a way that would make St. Paul shudder.
I cannot free myself. I must be set free. Yes, the untrammeled freedom of Jesus disturbs me, his utter indifference to human respect makes me uncomfortable; but he invites me to make friends with my insecurities, smile at them, outgrow them in patient endurance, live with the serene confidence that he never abandons his friends even when we disappoint him….
It can be unequivocally stated that the central, most important theme in the personal life of Jesus–the theme that lies at the very heart of the revelation that he is–is his growing turst, intimacy, and love of he Abba, his heavenly Father. The interior life of Christ was completely Father-centered. The master clue for interpreting the gospel narrative, the foundation of Jesus’ compelling demands, the source of his towering zeal–was her personal experience of God as Abba.
The pearl of great price in my life, the most treasured gift I’ve ever received from Jesus is to come to know the Father. “No one knows the the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those tho whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matt. 11:27). Biblical scholar Joachim Jeremias did not hesitate to call this the central revelation of the New Testament.
Jesus brought a revolution in the understanding of God.
–select passages from p. 43-45, A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred
My ultimate prayer for all those participating in Celebrate Recovery is that they would be set free by the grace and truth of Jesus to fully enjoy knowing their Heavenly Father.