- “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)
- “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
- “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
We are almost finished with this series. I am sorry that it’s dragged on this long, and I am going to be just as thankful as you are that we finish this series. As usual, I’m not quite sure what direction we’re going to go next, but I can tell you that I have some ideas for 2014. I can also tell you that I have taken no joy in the topic of this series, but am also not going to apologize for taking on this subject. It’s never easy to talk about suicide, but I believe that this is one of those areas that truly breaks the heart of God.
So, I’m thankful that the Holy Ghost lead me down this road, and while it hasn’t been my favorite series…I recognize that some times being in ministry…it’s necessary to set aside the kinds of things I’d like to talk about for things that God wants to talk about. After all, this is really about giving Him a vessel to speak through…and so if He wants to address the epidemic of suicide…then that’s what we’re going to talk about.
So, let’s see what the Lord would like to talk about in this message, and believe with me that the Holy Ghost will say everything He wants to say through me with boldness and clarity.
Today’s Message: “You Belong In Community”
As I think back through my life one of the things I’ve always kind of struggled with was the feeling that I didn’t belong anywhere. I wasn’t athletic enough to hang out with the jocks. I wasn’t smart or focused enough on school to hang with the nerds. I wasn’t rebelious enough to hang out with that crowd. I wasn’t cool enough to hang out with the popular people. I was just kind of there…I just kind of existed…and that lead to my feeling nearly invisible.
So, I never felt like I belonged anywhere, and the truth according to the Bible is I don’t belong. I don’t belong to the world…I belong in it, and until I began to understand Who I belonged to…I wasn’t ever able to really understand that by belonging to Him…I am a resident of a royal Kingdom. I belong to a group that is a joint heir with Christ, and one that is also a joint heir to the blessing of Abraham.
That’s not the point of what I’m talking about though. You see the feeling that I didn’t belong anywhere was one of the things that bolstered the devil’s argument that no one would miss me if I wasn’t around. The more isolated I felt…the more isolated satan made sure I was to the point where…as I’ve often stated…I literally felt invisible to the people around me.
Anyone else ever feel or have felt that way? I’m here to tell you that we’re not as invisible as we think we are. Thanks to the joys of Facebook I’ve forged friendships with some of the people I grew up with, and I was stunned to find out that not only did they notice me…but they thought much more highly of me then I was aware of.
So are you. You are more valuable than you think you are. The devil is a liar, and we are working to expose those lies through this series…Amen!?!
Who do you have in your life that uplifts you, encourages you, and challenges you to seek God faithfully? Who knows the things you’re struggling with and is there for you in a time of need, no matter what time of day or night it is?
There are a few people in my life like this today that I’m very grateful for. One of them is my wife who is always available, and has done a lot to encourage me to do what God’s laid on my heart to do. The truth is, if it hadn’t been for her I’m fairly certain that I’d still be stuck on the “one day I’ll start my ministry”. All of you are benefiting from the fact that she encouraged me and got me to see myself the way God sees me…instead of the person I saw in the mirror…and therefore helped me to step out and embrace the call of God on my life.
God didn’t create us to go through life on our own. He created us to be surrounded by other followers of Christ who build us up, pray for us, and carry us when we can’t go any further. If you don’t have relationships like that in your life, you’re missing out!
The reason God blessed Adam with Eve is because God…Himself understood that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. Therefore, God created a help mate for Adam. Similarly, if you look throughout the Word of God there were always people, and rarely persons. Moses had Aaron, Paul had Barnabas, and when Jesus sent the disciples out He sent them out two by two.
Why? Because of what I opened this message talking about. Isolated people are ripe pickings for the devil. Think about how Jesus was lead into the wilderness by the Holy Ghost…what’s the first thing that happened to Him afterwards? Satan thought that would be a perfect time to see if he could tempt Jesus into doing a few things, and we all know how that ended…but the point being Jesus was isolated…and Satan attacked Him.
Look at the fall. Eve was by herself. The Bible doesn’t say where Adam was while the serpent was talking with Eve, but I get the sense that Adam wasn’t around…and having Eve isolated…he was able to get to her…and by the time satan was finished…sin had entered the world.
So, that’s the danger of being isolated. That’s why the Bible is insistent that we not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as a unified body. In other words, church attendance isn’t an option…it’s a requirement. We absolutely need one another in order to grow and mature and become all that God desires us to be.
he Bible tells us that when two or more people are gathered in the name of Jesus, God is there among them. Two people are better than one, the book of Ecclesiastes says, because if one of them falls, the other is there to offer a helping hand. And just like a cord of three strands woven tightly together is tough to break, a group of believers standing together is strong and united.
Here’s another part to this. When we are gathered together in one accord…Jesus is there in the midst. That’s not to say that Jesus isn’t there in our quiet time with God because He is, and the reason I know that is because I experience His presence whether I’m in a corporate setting like church or a bible study…or in my private worship time. Yet, Jesus made it a point to tell us that where two or more are gathered in His name…He is there…and I don’t know about anyone else…but when Jesus gives us a clue as to when it is when His presence is stronger…because that’s really where our lives are changed and transformed. The more of His presence we’re around…the more He can do in our lives.
You know, my church isn’t what most would consider a “mega church”, but I believe it’s a lot more powerful than many “mega churches”. Why? Just because there’s a thousand people in the church doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re all there in one accord…and that’s why there are large churches that don’t experience the power of God…because He’s not invited.
I’m not going to go into all that because this isn’t the message or the time to do that, and the Holy Ghost isn’t releasing me to go that way…but I just want to close this thought out by saying that the Bible makes it a point to mention that when the disciples were in the upper room awaiting the promise of the Holy Ghost they were all gathered there in ONE ACCORD…and when they did that…the power of God fell on them…and they went out and turned the world upside down.
If you’re reading this and feeling that you don’t have this sense of community in your life, we want you to know that we’re here for you! Check out Church Online at http://live.lifechurch.tv or submit a prayer request to us at http://go2.lc/prayer. We would love to help you continue on this road to restoration and healing. You belong in community!
Also, if you’re reading this and feeling that way you’re welcome to interact with me here at Christlike Ministries NWA. You can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, you can interact with me on Twitter either at my personal account @BJKizer74, or my ministry account at @ChristMinistNWA, and you can also interact with me by friending me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ChristMinistARK, or you can fan our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ChristlikeMinistriesNWA.
I will do my best to help you connect with a church that can help see to it that you find a community of believers that will take you in. It’s important to surround yourself with people who will build you up…not tear you down.
Take a moment now to pray this to God:
God, thank You for creating me to exist in community with people who love and encourage me. I know that I can’t go through life on my own, and ask that You would help me take the step to reach out to others for help and guidance. I believe that You will bring the right people into my life to help me grow closer to You every day. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
As always, we never want to close out a message in this series without giving you links to organizations that can help you or someone you might know who may seriously be thinking that they don’t want to live anymore. It’s a serious epidemic that is helping satan kill our children, and that’s why this series is so important to talk about.
So, if you know someone who needs help…don’t delay any longer…here are the resources:
Call and talk with someone who’s ready to listen 24/7: 1-800-273-8255 (USA only)
Log on to Church Online at http://live.lifechurch.tv and click the Live Prayer button under the video to chat and pray one-on-one with someone who cares.
For outside the USA, find resources in your area: click here.
Reach out to a Church Online volunteer to pray with you via email: click here.
There’s one more message in this series, and then I’m thinking of maybe getting into a countdown series for Thanksgiving. I’m also looking for maybe another one for Christmas like we did last year with the Christmas carols.
Thank you so much for taking the time to check us out, and if you like what you see…please pass along our links to others. We’re available on Twitter, Facebook, and of course here on WordPress. If you don’t have all of our links…make sure you make note of them since they’re all in this message.
Blessings & Grace to you.
Pastor Bryan Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA
“My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 16:24)