Summary: Third in series on Fear.
Fear is one of the primary weapons of the enemy. This has turned out to be a lot tougher series of messages to bring than I thought it would be.
There is an oppressive burden whenever I have preached or taught on the enemy. Fear is one of the primary tools of Satan and the burden has been present. Please keep me in your prayers as we continue this series the next couple of weeks.
Fear is a terrible thing!!! Especially the fear of loneliness. Loneliness is a terrible burden to carry.
Show Tom Hanks in the Castaway clip on the ocean as "Wilson" floats away.
It seems crazy but he really cried over a volley ball.
Why? Because he needed to be with people.
The Fear of Loneliness
Max Lucado records this Mini-Biography. The epitaph did not give the dates of her birth or death. It included only her name, the names of her two husbands:
Sleeps, but rests not.
Loved, but was loved not.
Tried to please, but pleased not.
Died as she lived -- alone.
She is not particularly unique!
Sting, a singer and musician?? Wrote, "Seems I not alone at being alone. Hundred million castaways searching for a home."
You and I were created for community. You were created for community. We need other people in our lives.
Gen 2:18-19 CEV The LORD God said, "It isn’t good for the man to live alone. I need to make a suitable partner for him."
Gen 2:19 So the LORD took some soil and made animals and birds. He brought them to the man to see what names he would give each of them. Then the man named the tame animals and the birds and the wild animals. That’s how they got their names. None of these was the right kind of partner for the man.
None was good enough for man. And aren’t we glad!
Yet, 54 % would pick an animal over a people to live with as a companion if stranded on a desert island! (According to the American Animal Hospital, cited in American Demographics (7/96))
God gave us Marriage. It is a gift designed to give us a taste of heaven! Ephesians 5:21 talks about marriage as a picture of the kind of relationship that God wants to have with every one of us.
How? Through the church!
The Church is the community you need. I’m sold out on church! The church is the bride of Jesus. He died for her and she is absolutely beaurtiful.
There was a time when I was in Bible College that my generation viewed the church as an institution rather than an organism. (That’s ORGANISM not ORGANIZATION. One is alive and the other is a collection of information.) Many in my generation rejected the church because it was to them a collection of rules and traditions.
Let me say this as nicely as I can. They were wrong then and those who reject the church today as irrelevant, tired, or useless are wrong now.
Jesus gave everything for the church. He’s sold out on the church and He wants you to be sold out on His church too!
It is the community of believers, those who have been called from a life in the world and of the world.
There is nothing in the world as good as CHURCH!
Here is where you will find real community!
The Five Characteristics of a Real Community
Affinity means that you have something in common.
Amos 3:3 (NLT)
Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?
You’ve got to start with affinity. Does this mean you’ll never disagree and will always see eye to eye? Of course not. But you will have large areas of commonality. This is why the church makes one of the best places to build enduring friendships. As we cross the line of faith and become members and grow spiritually we develop a unity. There’s a common sense of purpose and mission and vision. If you’re a person of faith begin looking for building friendships with like-minded individuals.
"A friend loves at all times"
Pro 17:17 CEV
A friend is always a friend, and relatives are born to share our troubles. Without this ingredient you’ll never go deeper in your relationships than acquaintance level.
The Bible tells us this about true friendships:
Babe Ruth: One of the all-time greats in baseball was Babe Ruth. His bat had the power of a cannon, and his record of 714 home runs remained unbroken until Hank Aaron came along. The Babe was the idol of sports fans, but in time age took its toll, and his popularity began to wane. Finally the Yankees traded him to the Braves. In one of his last games in Cincinnati, Babe Ruth began to falter. He struck out and made several misplays that allowed the Reds to score five runs in one inning. As the Babe walked toward the dugout, chin down and dejected, there rose from the stands an enormous storm of boos and catcalls. Some fans actually shook their fists. Then a wonderful thing happened. A little boy jumped over the railing, and with tears streaming down his cheeks he ran out to the great athlete. Unashamedly, he flung his arms around the Babe’s legs and held on tightly. Babe Ruth scooped him up, hugged him, and set him down again. Patting him gently on the head, he took his hand and the two of them walked off the field together.