Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Meditations upon God: Medicine for Hearts Sickened by Poisonous Pleasures

A good friend joined me last Friday in the jail ministry. It is helpful to have a fresh set of eyes and another heart sensitive to the Lord's leading in this endeavor.

For those few of you who may not be familiar with the jail ministry / addictions class which I was referring to, the theme of this class is that God is more satisfying than anything else which our hearts desire. The problem of addictions as Ed Welch has put it is "a worship disorder." The answer therefore to the poisonous pleasures of this life is the ultimate and most satisfying pleasure, namely God Himself.

One of the things we have been discussing about adding / increasing teaching on is this question:

"How is it that God is more desirable than the other things which we often desire?"

The addictions class has previously been only four weeks in length and we will likely change it to five weeks. I think week five will focus on answering this question in as many God glorifying ways as possible. In an effort to provide opportunity for those in the class to "taste and see that the Lord is good" we hope to delve into the character of God and some of his very many attributes.

Here are just a few (10) examples:
(We may or may not use some of these listed below - but this is the type of thing we are considering)

God has never had a beginning - HE IS
God will never have an end
God is Holy, Pure, Righteous
God is Sovereign - He never makes mistakes, and He even arranges to fix our mistakes and make them ultimately work for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28),
God is Just - He is the most Just being in existence. All injustices on earth will ultimately find justice before His Judgment seat.
God is Merciful - His mercies are new every morning
God is Loving - This very God who spoke the universe into being, loves so much that He became flesh and died to bear our deserved punishment
God is Kind - He cares enough to cloth the flowers of the field and feed the birds of the air... How much more will He kindly care for you who were made in His image.
God will never leave us nor forsake us? What else in your life can truly say that? Not your wealth, health, spouse, child, family, friends, retirement plan, nothing...
God is good - (Romans 8:32) If He did not spare His own Son... How or why would He keep any good thing from us? He gave us His very best in order that we could know Him and enjoy Him for eternity.

If you can think of any characteristics or attributes of God that might be particularly helpful in ministering to inmates at the jail, feel free to highlight them in a comment on this blog post. Your sharing your view of God's character and attributes may be implemented in this ministry endeavor. Thanks for your help!


John said...

What a great ministry. I'm sure it's a blessing to those who attend.

How about God's immutability? He is unchangeable. (Mal. 3:6) This one is an encouragement to me. Because he cannot, or will not change, we can be sure that His love and promises will never fail.

I wish the Lord's blessings on your ministry.

Brian G. Hedges said...

Excellent post and great thoughts, Ben. Every time I read or talk to you about this ministry, I'm freshly excited and grateful for what you're doing. Keep up the good work.

mwh said...

I like what you said at the beginning about another believer being present to detect the LORD's working. We simply need to see where the LORD's working, and then go be there.

Thanks for the post.