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Summary: Encouraging Christians to face their weaknesses, to wake-up from spiritual coma’s, and to pursue spiritual revival.

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10 Ways to Tell You’re Slipping

Sunday AM – Lynn Haven – 01/13/08

FOCUS:

• Spiritual Depression

• Slipping Away From God

FUNCTION:

• Encouraging Christians to face their weaknesses & pursue spiritual revival.

A. Pleasantries

B. Slumps. They happen all the time, don’t they?

1. When you hear the word “slump,” what do you think about?

2. There’s a couple phrases that come to mind:

a. There’s “Sophomore Slump”

1) This describes the phenomenon that often happens when someone who starts something fast slows down in their second year.

2) It’s a Sophomore Slump

b. Churches often experience “Summer Slumps”

1) When families often take trips & vacations in the summer months, attendance numbers are often depressed.

2) It’s a summer slump.

3. But when I think of the word slump, being a sports fan, I most often think about baseball

a. You’re probably aware that baseball keeps track of a ridiculous number of stats.

b. One of the most well-known stats is “Batting Average.”

1) This is where you take the number of base hits a player has and divide it by the number of total at bats that same player has.

2) What you get is a percentage – the average number of times a player will get a base hit.

c. But the thing about batting averages is that they aren’t static.

1) Say there’s a guy that gets on base 30% of the time.

2) Does that mean that EVERY 10 times that guy comes up to bat that he gets a hit 3 out of every 10 at bats?? NO!

3) Sometimes, he only gets a hit 2 out of 10 at bats.

4) But then in the next 10 at bats, he might get 4 hits so that it evens out to 30%.

d. Sometimes, hitters go into slumps

1) They might go through a stretch of 10 at bats with no hits.

2) Some slumps are short

3) Some last longer.

e. If a slump lasts a REAL long time, you begin to wonder if a player’s skills have eroded & if they might be slipping.

4. We can also have spiritual slumps, can’t we?

a. You know, you go a period of time where you just aren’t 100%

1) You may not be praying as much

2) Or reading the Bible as much

3) Or going to church as much

4) You’re going through a spiritual slump

b. It’s easy to slump after the Holidays, isn’t it?

1) In 8 days, on January 21st, we will experience what is called “The Most Depressing Day of the Year.”

a) It will be a Monday – nobody cares for Monday’s.

b) The Holidays will have been over for almost a month

i. So, any residual warmth of holiday cheer and family fun has kicked the bucket by Jan. 21st.

ii. The thrill of New Year’s celebrations & turning over a new leaf are over.

iii. Reality starts to set in.

c) The Credit Card Bills come due & you’re right between pay-days.

i. So you can’t spend your way to happiness.

ii. And the worry over paying your bills adds even more grief.

d) We’re still near winter’s solstice

i. So the days are short

ii. And we don’t get a lot of sunlight.

e) And even if we did get sunlight, the weather is at its worst.

i. So, whatever sunlight we do get, it’s probably blocked by it being overcast.

ii. Plus, it’s bitterly cold.

2) So, you guys looking forward to next Monday as much as I am?


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