Exchanging the Glory of God for idols…
I mentioned in the quarterly session report this week that I wanted to give you all of the information that Charlie sent to me regarding various ministries and organizations near us that are dealing with the addiction crisis we face in our world today. You would probably have to avoid all sources of news to have not heard of the opioid crisis in our nation and in our communities. Weekly headlines speak of the addiction problem.
Scripture tells us plainly that people reject God and try to replace Him with something else. We tend to make idols of a lot of things. Believers and unbelievers alike can struggle with sin and dependence issues.
Paul writes in Romans 1:21-23, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”
Paul also speaks of our struggle with sin in Romans 7:18-19, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not what is what I keep on doing.”
We also know that it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that lives can be changed and addictions broken, and those idols of pleasure, lust, greed, envy, etc. can then be replaced with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pray for these ministries listed below that work closely with addictions of various kinds. Here is the additional information that was briefly mentioned in the quarterly update:
FBC’s Diaconal ministry continues with encouragement of Americas Keswick Colony of Mercy with visitations and other forms of support.
Americas Keswick’s Colony of Mercy is a men’s faith-based addiction recovery program and has a two-phase program consisting of a residential phase, which is a minimum of 120 days, and an 8 month, non-residential aftercare phase in which the man partners with his local church for counseling, mentoring, and encouragement. Together they complete a one-year program.
Americas Keswick also has a women’s faith based addiction recovery called Barbara’s Place. Barbara’s Place is a house that accommodates 8 women (18+). Barbara’s House program is designed to specifically address and meet the needs of women desiring to be free from the bondage of addiction and firmly rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the saving work of the cross and a personal relationship with Jesus as the only means of salvation and victorious living. Additionally, Barbara’s Place is a trauma-informed program, designed to help women overcome the hurts & pains of trauma and abuse.
FBC’s Deacon became oriented with addiction recovery resources by attending a nearby Celebrate Recovery program. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. There are numerous Celebrate Recovery Programs meeting weekly in the Brick area.
In response to the area’s opioid epidemic, Ocean County has a Law Enforcement initiative to assist individuals with substance abuse called Blue Hart (Heroin, Addiction, Response Team). Any person who voluntarily enters one of the county’s designated police departments on the scheduled day and time and requests help with their addiction to heroin, opiates or any substance will be immediately screened for potential participation in the Blue HART Program.
Once again if you have any questions regarding any of these ministries and organizations please contact Charlie. And, if you know of any diaconal needs in the body please let Charlie know as well.