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Summary: Our community is filled with people who, once were regular fixtures down at the local church. Something was said…an impression was given…grace was denied…and they walked away.

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Have you ever noticed that when we get wounded, we tend to isolate ourselves from others…?

Nations build walls of isolation…ancient cities were surrounded by motes and high walls, for the purpose of keeping others out.

Many are isolating themselves from the body of Christ and are suffering, alone and afraid.

Our community is filled with people who, once were regular fixtures down at the local church.

Something was said…an impression was given…grace was denied…and they walked away.

Many of you have been in that spot but you chose to get it one more shot and I thank you for that.

I want to encourage you to stay the course and keep up the fight.

David went into isolation and found that his troubles only increased.

Ps. 25: 16,17 “16 Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress.

17 My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all!”

Loneliness and distress seem to go hand in hand…

One thing that cause isolation is the lack of encouragement.

We get too busy putting each other in their place that we forget to encourage each other.

Heb. 10: 24 says “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”

MOTIVATE= To encourage…to inspire…to stimulate…to persuade…

1. give somebody incentive: to give somebody a reason to do something

2. make somebody willing: to make somebody feel enthusiastic, interested, and committed to something

What I have noticed is that there are basically 4 types of people

1. Those who are present and accounted for:

These are people who don’t know the meaning of quit…

They show up no matter what…Sunday morning Bible study/Worship…Sunday night…Wednesday night…

They are connected to the Power source and feed on the encouragement.

I want to encourage you to keep up the good work and my prayer for you is that you experience the abundant life that Jesus so wants for you.

2. Those who are present but not accounted for:

Pastor Jimmy, that makes no sense…

It is very possible to be here, in this place but not present.

There is a test that shows if we are present but not accounted for.

a. Are you connecting with people? [Don’t mean during the “meet & greet” time]

b. Are you building relationships? Or pushing people away by what you say and how you act…

c. Are you stirring others or being stirred toward good deeds?

e. Are you entering into accountable relationships? Scary one because some people just can’t wait to tell everything they hear…

*I read that there are 4 reasons people reject accountability.

1. I fear rejection…

2. I fear embarrassment…

3. I resent control by hostile people…

4. I don’t like facing my negative feelings…

3. Those who are AWOL:

These have jumped the fence and escaped…they just gave up.

Some of the AWOL have been hurt…

Some of the AWOL don’t like the light because their deeds are evil…

The challenge for Elim Bible is whether or not we can provide that place of comfort and safety.

Will we have the atmosphere of grace that will draw them out of isolation?

Can we encourage them to “love and good works”

4. Those who are MIA

These have fallen into enemy territory…spiritually lost and captive…

They have no compass nor map the guide them because they left the Word of God in the pew when they walked out.

It is vital that Elim Bible and all churches develop a community of compassion…a community that is intentional…deliberate…one with a purpose in helping them find their way home.

Gregory Slayton, once said that when he came to Silicon Valley that he sensed, even the Christian leaders were under its spell.

People would not return his call, because his company was not ready to be a publicly traded stock prospect. He said that he was treated as if he had been infected with anthrax.

Slayton said “The sense of isolation is a curse” He calls it “the curse of ten thousand acquaintances.”

Many times people are MIA because even though the church may be filled with people…they find no one to talk to when things go wrong…

Invitation

2003

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