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February 26, 2021 6:01 am
Now living relationship with the God of this universe, not regulation my grace in that relationship we abide in him by the New Testament perspective of how to overcome loneliness look like any agent depends on welcome moments of helpless to make the transition from community to loneliness has been a gradual one that started decades ago, but the recent genic has accelerated this trend in startling ways. So how does loneliness affect us spiritually here stated with a message simply called loneliness begins by referencing a study by Robert will book in the year 2000 called bowling alone. He was talking about how America used to bowling leagues a place of community would be people coming together and bowling together and leagues, but then he said in around 1980 to 1990. People started bowling alone. They no longer had community, they no longer had close friendships and he started analyzing why America moved away from the society of community being important now to a society of loneliness and he gave several reasons for this particular problem. First of all, the breakdown of the family. As more and more divorces have occurred.
People feel detached and lonely. God wanted the family to be the first place were a man and woman would be each other's best friends but then also the children, and even the grand children raised in that community know each other well. But that has broken apart, thus causing the severe problem of loneliness in our culture and their marriages. Even some of you are in the where you are with someone but you're very alone. You're not in a relationship and that's sad beyond words. Second reason Putnam gave was rootlessness really rootless. This can be traced to the desire for material possessions. It's funny whenever I speak on materialism. Most of you think I'm talking to somebody else.
But it's a problem among us all we want more and more and were never satisfied in our quest for more and more material possessions. We then take another job in another city that gives us more money then another job in another city that gives us more money. Thus destroying the whole fabric of friendship which keeps people together. If you're not in the community for more than just a couple of years you're moving from one place to another. You can't have deep abiding personal friendships. The desire for job success and materialism motivates rootlessness. Thirdly, Putnam said deferred marriages. Not only are people marrying unless they're marrying later, if at all, and because the family again was the place where God wanted those deep relationships to beginning to be formed. If people are marrying later and less. That means that structure is demolished and you just don't have those close friendships like you used to have for garage doors and some of you're going. What in the world is that that's when you work those long hours and your hours are increasingly longer because you want more and more stuff when you finally do get off work. You go home and if you have one you open the garage door with your clicker for your car in and you lower the garage door thereafter and then you throw the alligators in the moat to make sure that nobody bothers you want your home used to be in churches that we would practice door-to-door evangelism. We would go randomly knock on doors and just give people the opportunity to dialogue with us about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It's not done any mostly because nobody opens their doors.
Once they're inside and close the garage door. They want solitude they want to be left alone which leads to the next issue technology. Technology in 2000, Putnam pointed his finger to the largest victim.
The victim technologically and that was television that as people went home and went inside. They spent more more hours watching television. Now is not just TVS it.
We have our mobile units, iPods and iPads, iPhones, and we can watch any television program. Any movie any time we want to. And the problem with technology is not only that we spend enormous amounts of time watching it. It's just not conducive to building strong deep interpersonal relationships.
Think about it if I text you a message. First of all that AutoCorrect oftentimes sends a message. I didn't even intend. What about you, and you have just rescinded going to snow didn't mean to admit this, and sometimes it says some things will let's not go there. Okay. Moreover, if I send you a text or an Instagram or an email or whatever you can see my eyes you can see my body language, you can't feel my touch, and all of those and other things are essential in building close meaningful personal relationships so technology today has isolated us entertained us and kept us from being involved in deep, meaningful relationships, six death. Some of you are experiencing the fear of loneliness that will accompany as you age as people grow older and the rootlessness is because family to move away people are alone without anyone to care for them and the thought of moving into a nursing home and being alone is overwhelming, and finally sin coming just pure unadulterated sin keeps us from a close personal relationship with God and I'm going to address that in a moment. That's the reason Jesus came is to get rid of that sin problem so that we could be reconnected to the abiding permanent presence of God.
So what is the Bible have to say about loneliness and give you three verses that were to move into some practical application and a lot of other verses but so we can show reverence to the reading of the Scripture. If you're able would you now stand and look at these verses with me on what does the Bible say about the problem of loneliness. First of all, in Genesis chapter 2 verse 18 Genesis 1 and two is you have a biblical worldview shows creation as God intended it. Genesis 3 is the fall shows why this world and the mess that were in.
But here's God's original intent for community or for relationships. Genesis 218. Would you read with me. Then the Lord God said it is not good that the man should be alone I will make him a helper fit for him. So God created Adam out of the dust of the earth. He breathed his spirit into him and then he said that is not good for Adam to live alone so please note the God created Eve from Adam's side. Notice guys not from under his foot but from his side to be a helper, a helpmate, and that in community.
Together they could accomplish God's call upon their lives.
We were created for community we were designed to be in relationships with other people. That's God's original intent in Ecclesiastes 49 through 12. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil, for if they fall one will lift up his fellow but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Ralph I hope you don't fall anytime soon. Okay again again if to live together they keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone and though Amanda might prevail against one who is alone to will withstand him a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Some of you know this verse is often read at marriage ceremonies and it could well be true is better than one in that marriage relationship. And obviously when it gets cold at night. It sure is nice to have someone to snuggle close to you and keep you warm that's implied in these texts but interestingly I think is talking more about friendships talking more about relationships and in one the most powerful versus here's where it talks about if you fall when you're alone.
I couldn't help but remind myself when my daddy when he was aging fell and broke his hip in his apartment and he was alone. Mama died and there was no one there to help him stand up. How frightening. That must've been for him, but also the text goes on to say in a threefold cord is not quickly broken that two are really cool having friendship with one another. It's even greater when there are three, and I would add in four and five and six. It's great when you have a number of people who are in close friendship with the word of the Lord. So loneliness is a real problem in the American culture.
The question then arises what we do to begin to address it. What does the Bible teach us how to address the problem of loneliness. We begin by giving this answer, abide in Christ abide in Christ Jesus came to take away that sin problem that kept us from being in relationship with God. The uniqueness of the Christian faith, dear friends. And if you came from the toxic church environment where you were hurt and abused. I'm so sorry. The Christian faith was never intended to be that nor was it intended to be reduced to simple rules and regulations. A check list of do's and don'ts and at the end of the day you feel like your good and righteous because you've done good things the Christian faith is an intimate, personal living, dynamic relationship with the God of this universe who created this through Jesus Christ his son when Jesus absorbed on the cross. All of our sin and all of our pain. Look what happened in Matthew 27 verse 46 and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying Eli Eli lame oxide about Tommy that is my God, my God, why have you forsaken. At that moment when he took all of the wrath of the father upon himself when all of our sins were laid upon himself the father turned his back on his son. They were not in relationship with one another and Jesus felt extreme loneliness.
So if you feel lonely know that Jesus is felt that he felt forsaken alone on the cross. But then of course he was raised from the dead, proving that God has accepted our offer of our sins through Jesus to him, forgiven, forgotten by grace through faith not of works, and now we have a personal living relationship with the God of this universe, not through rules and regulations, but by grace. And in that relationship we abide in him and he abides in us. That's the New Testament perspective of how to overcome loneliness before I go further into the New Testament perspective. Let me give you the Old Testament perspective, which is all I New Testament perspective, but has a major difference God would be present with his saints with his people. But if they send to withdraw his presence from the King David. For example, when he committed adultery with Bathsheba in Psalm 51 as he cries out to God for forgiveness.
He cries out and take not your Holy Spirit from me. In the Old Testament people sin. God could withdraw his presence, but he was also with the great saints of the ages to when they needed him. We see it. First of all in the life of Moses@EI when God commanded Moses to take the children of Israel into the promised land.
Moses responds this way.
In Exodus 3315 and he said to him, if your presence will not go with me. Do not bring us up from here. In other words, I'm willing to take your children to the promised land but go with me. Be present because if you're not present with me to leave these people I'm not going. So God made his promise to be with Moses with Joshua who was Moses mint tea Moses handed the mantle of leadership to Joshua to actually plant the children of Israel in the promised land.
Here's the promise that God gave to Joshua and Joshua 15. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be what folks with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. God's promise.
Then David, the great King, the great man after God's own heart in the beloved Psalm Psalm 23, four, says this even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me your rod and your staff they comfort me. The biblical antidote to the fear of death to those of you are afraid of going into a nursing home having no one care for you is the presence of God. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will not fear evil for you are with me your rod and your staff. The two weapons of the shepherd will be there to comfort me and help me. The biblical antidote not only to the fear of death is the presence of God.
The biblical and go to fear in general is the presence of God. Isaiah 4110 reads, fear not. Did you know there are 365 times. The Bible says fear not, I think it's for every day of the year. Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Fear my presence is the antidote to your fear.
In other words, there's nothing you nor I can face we know the God of the universe is facing it with and then Isaiah 43 235. These are some powerful verses.
They begin with when you pass through the waters, not let me take a quick parenthesis. For those of you who listen to preachers or other teachers through the week to suggest to you that if you just come to faith in Jesus, you'll never have any problems. May I say to you, they are lying to you.
It's not biblical. It's not truthful. Jesus said the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous alike. He said in John 1633, to his followers in this world you will have tribulations. Just don't forget the second part where he said but rejoice.
I've overcome the world. So if he lives in us, we can overcome our problems with him, but the problems still come to us all. When you pass through the waters, not if you pass through the waters, but when you passed, and my guess is if you're breathing every single person in this room has had times when life's problems feel like a flood in your mouth is just above the water trying to keep from drowning. But God says to the Israelites when you pass through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.
They might be in your mouth, but they will not overwhelm you. And when you walk through the fire notice when you walk through the fire.
Not if you walk through the fire when you walk through the fire use shall not be burned in the flame shall not consume you. Many of you today feel like your souls have been scorched your hearts have been singed by life's difficulties is something that happens to us all, myself, Marilyn and my family included but when they happen. God makes the promise that he'll be with us and we shall not be burned, for I am the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your Savior, that means he saves us from not only our sins but our situations that Israelites had committed heinous sins against God, and he was getting ready to send them into a 70 year captivity in Babylon.
He was displeased with their behavior but notice his promises as their Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom cushion and seam in exchange for you because you are what folks precious in my eyes. Have you ever thought about this and that God loves that you think you're gorgeous precious in his eyes made her monitor and listening to moments of hope coming joins me in ways making lasting will be right. This is the ministry meant focusing on ministries that have a positive impact on our community by Mark McManus and here's Jim Noble with the dream Center, Charlotte hello Jimbo and Bowen direct take a minute to thank you, Melissa Poe, David Marilyn Chadwick, all of you there will, for us, you been there since OA rankings and grew into the dream Center mill the last eight weeks following seating 55,000 words that you made such an impact in the city is is one word with the meals. Brotherly remark that never amount as well is the meals you know the first only made this route and provide you all you everything you and not only is this week is all dreams and with you as you got last week is see and thanks for listening today doing mean the stadium is our pastor David blank anything serving you. Hi Jan, it's great being with you well in your morning devotions. He recently started a series that were calling David is them and one of your recent devotions was called last to be a blessing yet you and these David isms are truths I've learned through the years from my mom and dad, coaches, mentors, and they've accumulated in my brain and I've had people asked me please write them down and so I've done so now, and they're involved in a daily moment of hope that our listeners can receive just go to moments of hope Church.org and you can subscribe to these David isms. These daily moments of hope, so that I can start off your day at 7 AM every morning with a moment of hope and the one that we most recently done is entitled blessed to be a blessing. So when we receive a blessing. It makes us feel good.
Everybody knows that related sometimes relieved, especially when a financial gift might come in.
That takes care of the financial crisis we might have most everyone desires God to bless them we cry out to God regularly. Please bless me and Jacob in the Bible, wrestled with Amanda. We think was God himself all night long and at the end of the wrestling match that Angel or God himself touched Jacob's hip so that every step he took for the rest of his life. He remembered his brokenness and need for God to be his great strength. But what's so interesting is Jacob finally said to that man.
I'm not letting you go in this wrestling match until you give me a blessing. Everybody wants a blessing.
So why does God want to bless us. What's the reason. And here's the simple and compelling answer, so that your life is either a so what or so that so what of shrugging our shoulders. Why are we living but when you realize God's so that's life.
Start to take on new meaning. We are blessed by God, so that we can be a blessing to other people.
That's what God said to Abraham when he called him and made a covenant with him.
In Genesis 12 to I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing God's purpose and blessing us is so that we can bless others with his blessings. He will continue to bless us as long as we use his blessings to bless others. But when we start to selfishly hoard his blessings to us. The flow of blessings from God to us. Yes, seek God's blessings there good wonderful. Just always remember why God wants to bless you.
It's so that you can be a blessing to other people reminded everyone. You are blessed to be a blessing call out to God to bless you. That's a good thing. But just remember, don't hoard it the moment you do. God will stop blessing you and you want to keep being a blessing to other people that said that it reminds me out little that is something I mentioned to my children on the way to school in our prayer time lightly when you beer at dad's feet. We don't want to just receive not have an output and something we want to continually flow in and flow out towards there is a great illustration then the Dead Sea became the Dead Sea because it had no outflow to give its life away to others. The same is true when God told the Israelites to gather up all of the manna but if they tried to gather up too much just for that one day it started to stink. It started to become bad and God didn't want that to happen. You wanted us to learn how to depend upon him every day and when he blesses simply to be a blessing to other people. A great powerful message for all of us today. So again, thank you so much state a.m. thank you listeners for joining us today.
Look forward to talking with you all next week, senior pastor of moments of hope starts to messages from a series called heartbeat online worship service part of our service each Sunday morning nine and 11 o'clock going to moments of hope Church.org your online sign up for David daily moments of hope delivered every morning to your inbox.
They're both free website moments of hope Church.org the entire moments of hope we can