3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: A message on how the church should be an enabling, welcoming place for "survivors" of all this world dishes out.


ƒ{ Many are familiar with the popular TV series Survivor

o If you’re like me and have never seen it let me explain.

1. 16 people are divided into 2 tribes and placed in a remote location

2. They have to survive off the land and pass difficult physical and mental tasks

3. At the end of each episode one person is voted off the tribe

4. At the end one remains as the ultimate survivor

5. And wins a prize of $1 million dollars

ƒ{ I began thinking about this concept and how much it relates to Christian life:

o We are on this planet

1. The saved tribe

2. The un-saved tribe

ƒ{ But trials come on the just and the unjust that try us:

o Physically

o Mentally

o Emotionally

o Spiritually

ƒ{ Ultimately, those who survive get a prize that is better than one million dollars

ƒ{ As a pastor, I get the privilege of seeing and hearing so many triumphant stories of how someone survived a most tragic event

ƒ{ I find strength in watching others overcome.

ƒ{ So, over the next few weeks

ƒ{ You will hear some great stories of survivors

o People who attend church with you every week

o And I will be preaching some principles about surviving life’s challenges

ƒ{ In this opening message I want to discuss finding a tribe that won’t vote you out

Illustration -- Story of a Survivor

„X This man was ship wrecked on a desert island.

„X He was the only person who survived.

„X So, he had to struggle and scratch out for himself a life on that lonely deserted island.

„X Some years later, a ship passing nearby the island saw a thin trail of smoke in the distance.

„X So it altered course and headed for the smoke, and it headed right for his island.

„X As the ship approached the captain looked through his binoculars and saw 3 huts.

„X One with smoke coming out of it, and a long-haired dirty man.

„X The ship anchored off shore and the captain led a small launch to the beach.

„X He stepped off onto the shore to meet a very happy and newly rescued man.

„X The captain shook the man’s hand, looked around and asked,

„X "Where are the others?"

„X The man gazed back at the captain with a puzzled look and said, "There are no others".

„X The captain pointed at the three huts and asked him, "Well, why then, are there 3 huts on this beach?"

„X The man glanced over at his 3 huts and said, "Oh, that...well, the one in the middle is the hut that I live in and the one on the right is where I go to church."

„X The captain asked, "Well, what’s the other hut for?"

„X Then the man said, "Well, that’s where I used to go to church, but there were some problems and I felt like I needed to leave."

ƒ{ Many times in the church world we have a tendency to vote people out.

o Not out of the church

o But out of our graces

o We exclude people

o And close our circles of love for some of the silliest reasons

VIDEO Survivor 5, September 19, 2002

Tribal Vote Scene

Preacher gets voted off

HEBREWS 10:24-25

* How can you find a tribe that won’t vote you out?

* I believe Citipoint is that tribe

* We are recognizing that we are all on a journey

* All saved by grace

* Perfect people don’t fit in well here

ƒ{ In order to feel safe in a church you should find these characteristics:

1. Love Should Be Our Focus

Verse 24a

* Spur one another on toward love

o Bike giveaway

o Feed the Multitude

o Leon Crawford’s church

Love = agape = Selfless

Self sacrificing

Puts others first

John 13:34-35

* I felt people didn’t think I loved them, so I:

1. Went to the foyer

2. Prayer letters

3. NBF

4. Youth Services

2. Show Love By Serving Others

Verse 24b

* And good deeds

o Inward

o Outward

Good Deeds = doing good things

In October of 1983 in the town of Worchester, Massachusetts, police found an elderly woman dead on her kitchen floor. But this was no ordinary discovery -- she had been dead for 4 years. Police estimate that she died of natural causes in 1979 because that was when her bank transactions ended. But how could she become so cut off from her community?

To a great extent she caused it herself. She didn’t like to be bothered by anyone. She had lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years, but no one knew her very well. She never spoke to anyone. So, when neighbors thought that something was wrong back in 1979, they called the police.

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