Summary: God extends His arms to us each day. But how often do we ignore his overtures?
"Learn To Detect Neglect"
Hebrews 12:15 (all scriptures used are NLT
Neglect, according to the dictionary, is "a lack of due care and concern often resulting in an unintended injury to another." A neglected child, longing for the love of a parent, often suffers extreme emotional trauma. Even more tragic is when we neglect our heavenly Father. Patiently, persistently, lovingly, God extends His arms to us each day. But how often do we ignore His overtures? And ironically, in this one case the person we hurt the most is ourself.
I. WHAT CAN I DO WHEN I FEEL NEGLECTED?
A. Psalm 66:20 - Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer and did not withdraw his unfailing love from me.
While others may neglect us, God never turns away from us.
B. Psalm 68:4-6 - Rejoice in His presence!
Rejoice in the continuous presence of our Lord.
C. James 4:8 - Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.
When we feel neglected we must not let these feelings cause us to withdraw from God.
II. WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF NEGLECT? HOW DO I KNOW WHEN I AM NEGLECTING SOMEONE?
A. James 2:14 - Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone.
If you are not doing anything to help others or serve in your church, you are being neglectful.
B. Matthew 23:23 - You ignore the important things of the law-justice, mercy, and faith.
Ask yourself, and others, if you are neglecting what is truly important.
III. WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF NEGLECT?
A. Ecclesiastes 10:18 - Laziness lets the roof leak, and soon the rafters begin to rot.
B. Matthew 25:14-30 - ...Then the servant with the one bag of gold cam and said,"...I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth and here it is." But the master replied,"...Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
C. Proverbs 21:13 - Those who shut their ears to the cries fo the poor will be ignored in their time of need.
IV. HOW CAN I PREVENT NEGLECT?
A. Proverbs 22:6 - Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.
Diligently teach your children the truths of the Bible.
B. Hebrews 12:15 - Look after each other so that none of you will miss out on the special favor of God.
C. Hebrews 13:1-3 - Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers...Share the sorrow of those being mistreated.
D. Matthew 25:31-46 - I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters you were doing it to me!
There are so many needs; move in to help those people who are longing for it.
V. HOW DO WE NEGLECT GOD?
A. Nehemiah 13:11 - I immediately confronted the leaders and demanded, "Why has the Temple of God been neglected?" Then I called all the Levites back again and restored them to their proper duties.
B. Hebrews 10:25 - Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other.
We neglect God when we neglect the church and our responsibility to serve within it.