[00:00:00] Well, hi everyone. And wherever you are in the world or in the neighborhood, hey, welcome. We're so glad you're a part of our online community and, we're just excited to do church together. So, hey, I want to begin this message by taking you to the book of Acts. The book of Acts is the sequel to the gospel of Luke.
[00:00:16] And at the beginning of the book of Acts, it talks about the early church, how Jesus founded the church, and how it got started. And it has an incredible passage, and I want to begin right there. They, the church, the early church, devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need every day. They continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and they ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
[00:01:00] [00:01:00] I want to just make a statement. I love the church, and I don't think there's anything more attractive to an unbelieving world than a fully functioning church. We are like hotly pursuing what it means to be a fully functioning church.
[00:01:11] And that's what I want to talk to you about today. And so why don't we just begin with a word of prayer and just ask God's blessing upon our time together. So Father, thank you for each and every person who is experiencing this service right now. God, wherever they are in the world, wherever they are in the neighborhood,
[00:01:25] God just thank You that they're there. And Lord, I pray that You would just literally speak to each and every one of our hearts. What we're going to talk about today is incredibly relevant and it's very, very important and it deserves our very best attention. So help us give that Father. Teach us, lead us, guide us, direct us.
[00:01:39] We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. All right. I want to tell you a story that is a bit of a bizarre story, okay? This is a true story. It happened back in January of 2006 on January 25th of the year, 2006 in London, England. Authorities Made a horrific discovery [00:02:00] and the discovery made the news. It made it big time. Uh, this is from the British newspaper, the Guardian "woman dead in flat for three years. Skeleton of Joyce found on sofa with tele still on. Okay. Let me break this down for you. Lying on the sofa was a skeleton of a 38-year-old woman who had been dead for almost three years. In a corner of her studio apartment, there was a television that was turned on, tuned into BBC 1, and it was playing.
[00:02:35] They found a small pile of unopened Christmas presents in her apartment. Right kind of at the foot of the couch, they found a mountain of mail behind the front door. They found the food in the refrigerator had expired. And again, this happened in 2006, the food had expired in 2003. Uh, the bodies woman was the dead bodies woman was badly decomposed, and from pictures and dental [00:03:00] records, they were able to go that's exactly who this is.
[00:03:02] And so they were able to solve that. Her name was revealed to be Joyce Carol Vincent. Her story was so bizarre that not only did it make, you know, the newspapers, but it created a bit of a, kind of a Raul among people like what's going on here. And there was actually a producer of movies that wanted to find the story and make her story, which she did.
[00:03:24] She asked people all around London, "Do you know this woman?" She got the facts, got the story, made the made the movie. Now I don't want to go into the details of the movie. That's not important, but what I want to do is simply ask a couple of questions. How can this possibly happen? London is a city, a metropolitan.
[00:03:41] It has 8 million people. All right. It's huge. How in the world can this happen? And yet it did happen. How can no one know? How can no one notice? How could no one question? Are there no family members who would like, no? Are there no friends that would notice? Are there no neighbors [00:04:00] that would pay any attention? Now if this discovery was made in the North of Alaska, in a cabin, in a remote place you would go yeah, that's pretty much, yeah, that's what happens when you that far away, but to happen in the, literally in the city of London, in the center of the city, Is just, it's just a total enigma. Now I want to put this in perspective for you. I want to say this, that this would happen in the world of 2006 is utterly inexplicable.
[00:04:30] How can this happen? And yet it did happen. How, how can it happen in the middle of a city how can it happen? If this were to happen in the world of 20 to 2020, excuse me, it is almost predictable. If I told you this happened last week somewhere, you would go, man, we're this pandemic man. It's just really, yeah, it's crazy.
[00:04:56] It's predictable now, but it's utterly inexplicable then. We are [00:05:00] living in very, very difficult times. It is a lonely time folks to be alive. It is a lonely time to, to be trying to find your way. We'll just call that out. We'll call it what it was. You know, there was a modern. You know, kind of a headline of our day, it would be a killer loose among us.
[00:05:17] And we'd all go. I know exactly what we're talking about. The killer loose among us. The story would be about a silent, unnoticed stocker that's destroying people's lives. It's this killers reaching in to bustling cities and sprawling suburbs and, and the sleepy countryside. It's showing up everywhere.
[00:05:36] This, this, this killer. Its victims are both the young and the old and the rich and the poor men and women. Both the successful and the, and the disillusioned with their career. It just doesn't care, this killer's wiping everybody out and you can say it's a public health threat. And of course it's a public health threat and you go, I know exactly what you're talking about.
[00:05:55] So obviously we're talking about killer. It's the silent killer. I know exactly what it is. [00:06:00] It's the Coronavirus. It's killing everyone. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. The Coronavirus is not the killer I'm talking about. The Coronavirus is simply a tool, an instrument that is being a weapon that is being used by this killer.
[00:06:19] What am I talking about? What is this silent killer? It's isolation folks. It's isolation, and it's killing us. Now, let me just say this. It is the great threat of our day, just as a lion would seek to find the gazelle that separated from the herd. That's the vulnerable one. We are vulnerable when we are isolated and we are alone.
[00:06:41] And the fact that sometimes we even disagree and just go no, I'm fine. I'm good. I don't need anybody. This happens to others. It's not me. That is all part of what makes us so vulnerable now, by the way, let me say this about the isolation. Okay. It's not the isolation so much that's going to do you in it's the consequences [00:07:00] of the isolation.
[00:07:01] It's the consequences of the isolation. What consequences? Well, let me explain it this way. The whole pattern isolation leads to loneliness. Loneliness leads to depression. Depression leads to further separation from people. And the further separation from people actually leads to tragically suicide, and it all starts with loneliness.
[00:07:27] And loneliness comes from being isolated. In fact, let me just show you the definition of loneliness, lone solitary, without company, companionless. It's the feeling I don't, I don't have any people in my life. There's just nobody around. It's a subjective feeling of isolation. That's what loneliness is.
[00:07:49] It's a very subjective feeling. And let me just fire off some numbers to you. And again, I don't want to put these on the screen. I just want to move quickly. 60% of Americans say they regularly [00:08:00] experience real loneliness. This was before the pandemic, by the way that they say that the damage that's done by loneliness in our lives is equivalent
[00:08:10] to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. I don't know how they came to that. Like, why not? 14? Why not? 16. Why 15? How, how do you do that? I don't know, but they say you smoke 15 cigarettes a day. It does as much damage to you as, as loneliness will, loneliness will do. It's a simile, you know, it's like that.
[00:08:28] And how do you determine that? I don't know, but here's what we do know. The number of single households in America has risen each decade over the last five decades. And we know that the suicide rate over the last decade has been record setting. It's off the charts right now. Um, chronic loneliness has clear links to an array of health problems, depression, dementia, anxiety, self-harm heart conditions, substance abuse.
[00:09:00] [00:09:00] That's why kills us is isolation just goes because it's not my problem. I don't have an issue. We, you know, we tend to think that others struggle with this, but we don't struggle with this. I'm good. According to time magazine. And this is very important. You lock this in, in your mind, time magazine May 8th, 2020, all right.
[00:09:19] They had an article on this issue and how it's hurting us. And they actually had a lot of bar graphs and whatnot, and they revealed something in this that came from Cigna health. And it was involved asking people in 2019. So before the pandemic, which has only exacerbated the loneliness issue, They literally, they asked the five generations that are currently alive.
[00:09:42] And if you don't know the five generations, let me just walk you through. Okay. Gen Z 18 to 22 year olds, millennials, 23 to 38 year olds, gen X, 39 to 51 year olds boomers 52 to 71 year olds. And then they, the silent, uh, the silent generation [00:10:00] or the elderly. And that is 72 plus. So here's the assignment.
[00:10:03] Here's what I want you to do. You can see this clearly, I'm going to ask you that, put them in an order as to who are among all those people, like which one of those groups is the most lonely group by their own confession. Not somebody saying they're lonely, but they confess it we're incredibly lonely.
[00:10:21] Which group is the most lonely, which one is the next most lonely and put them in an order. And I'll give you just half a second to do that because I really want you to think who's the most lonely among us. So self admission, most suffering of loneliness ready for this, um, gen Z 79% of them said we are really lonely millennials, 71%.
[00:10:49] Just watch this gen X 65% boomers, 50%. And the silent. 38%. Now you need to stare at that for just a moment to [00:11:00] understand again, time magazine, March 8th, 2020. All right. That makes no sense because we tend to think well, it's the elderly that are isolated. It's the elderly that don't have friends around them. Oh.
[00:11:11] And they certainly would say yes, we're lonely 38%. Yes, we're lonely. But what is so mind blowing about this is that we would say the last people that would be lonely would be gen Z. I mean, these are the young people that are running out, having a great time, going everywhere with all their friends. And yet they're telling us we're incredibly loneliness.
[00:11:32] Now, listen, I need to make a point. I'm going to put a statement up here. I want you to get this. Okay. If you are feeling lonely, you are not alone. And this is really important that you understand this. If you're feeling lonely, you're not alone. Most people feel lonely. And I say that to encourage you.
[00:11:50] You're not alone, even though it feels terribly alone. Now, before we move on, I also want to point one other thing out. According to that article in time, [00:12:00] men are lonelier than women. That's counterintuitive. Most people go, there's no way. No men are lonelier than women. Don't tell me we don't have an issue with loneliness.
[00:12:12] Now I want to explain something. This is to me is very important that we get this throughout this whole series that we've called Foundations, we've kind of had this little mantra, you know, how to build a faith, that endures. That's kinda been the thing, and now I'm going to do something. I'm gonna do this on purpose.
[00:12:29] Okay. So we started this thing with a faith that endures, but I want to point something out to you. When you say something that endures, it involves something that just survives that doesn't get killed off. I want to suggest that God has so much more for you than a faith that just doesn't get killed off in a pandemic. So I'm going to shift this. I'm going to put a nuance in here, how to build a faith that doesn't survive how to build a faith that thrive in times like this. Is that even possible? I believe it [00:13:00] absolutely is possible. And I believe that's the life God wants us to have. And I think you can do that.
[00:13:05] I believe it's possible because I want you to understand something that, uh, Sometimes we forget, God has for you a better life. He has for you a better life, and there's a way to live this better life you go. How, how do I live this better life? So I'm going to put a simple concept out and to whatever degree you buy into this, I think you're going to have a better life.
[00:13:29] In fact, that's the title of this man, a better life. How do I have a better life? Well, let me just, it's a simple concept. Life is better together. Always. Life is better together. You want a better life. Don't do it alone. Don't let yourself fall into isolation. Stay away from that. That's not the best that God has for you.
[00:13:52] And you weren't made for that. You just weren't made to be alone. Let me do something real quick. All right. Let's just walk through something. [00:14:00] I want you to take your Bible and I want you to go to the very beginning of your Bible. We're going to go to Genesis. I didn't even know where that is. Very beginning.
[00:14:07] Okay. And, and in the beginning, that's the first three words of the Bible in the beginning. So go to the beginning, Genesis chapter one is the story of creation of the six days of creation. All right. And we won't take time to read that, but as you work your way through the six days of creation, a common refrain, God would create something and he would look at it and he was, Oh, that's good.
[00:14:31] Oh, that's good. This is good. He creates something. Oh, it's good. It's good. Yeah, it's just the way that God does things. He just does things and they're good. And God's good. And so it's good. Good, good, good, good, good. In fact, it all concludes in verse 31 where it says this, God saw all that he had made all of the do look at it, all of it, and it was very good.
[00:14:51] Awesome it's very good. And there was evening and there was morning the sixth day. It was awesome. Good, good, good, good, good. Now I want to do something here. I want to [00:15:00] show you. After all the good of creation. I want to show you the first not good in the Bible. It literally says not good. What's the first not good.
[00:15:10] Well, let's jump to chapter two. The Lord, God said it is, there it is, not good. First "not good" for the man to be alone. So he had created Adam, but he hadn't yet created Eve. I will make a helper suitable for him. You see the first not good in the Bible is that man is alone. And I need you to understand something. God looked at man alone,
[00:15:32] he goes, that's a problem. And guys, is that not a problem? We can get it right. That's a problem. A guy alone. That's a problem, women. Amen. A guy has a problem. It's almost now he didn't, but it's almost like God goes, oops. You know, like that, uh, the we ain't letting that go on, we've got to fix that one. So God created a companion.
[00:15:51] Say he made a team, a male and female. My wife, Lisa and I been married for 42 years. We're a team. And that's what a great marriage is, is the team. All right. So he says, you're going to [00:16:00] create this. Now, if you don't think a man alone is trouble and there's a number of illustrations I could use. Let me give you just one.
[00:16:07] David, the absolutely beloved, most cherished King of Israel prior to Jesus. He, he was, he had an army around- men of what they called his mighty men. These were men of Valor. These are men who would take any mountain. David said, let's take it. They were, they were hardened. They were warriors steel nerved, and they were awesome.
[00:16:29] And David did all kinds of wonderful things when he was surrounded by his mighty men. But in one time in the Bible, it tells us about in the spring time, when Kings go out to war, David decided not to go out to war, but he sent his army out, he sent his mighty men, go, go fight the battle. I'm going to hang out here.
[00:16:45] And I'm just going to have some downtime alone time. This is when he went out on his balcony and he looked over and he saw a woman bathing on another rooftop. And that was Bathsheba. And then that was the beginning of some [00:17:00] incredibly difficult, difficult days in the life of David. You see, a man alone is not good.
[00:17:05] And so God looks at it. He goes, we've got to make sure we, we know this and we deal with this. All right there, wasn't going to come off now. I just am trying my hardest to make the point that you are not meant to be alone. And I want to suggest to you that you know this to be true. And in fact, you're not the only one who knows this, and God isn't the only one who figured this out because he created us.
[00:17:30] But, um, Hollywood has figured this out. In fact, it is so prevalent in Hollywood, this idea that we're talking about, you maybe have never connected it, but I'm going to connect it for you right now. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to play a little jingle and then see if you could figure out what this jingle goes to.
[00:17:49] There's a show it's connected to. We'll play the jingle and then I'll tell you what the show is. Okay. Ready? It's not gonna be hard.
[00:18:00] [00:18:00] Oh, it's easy to see. The older you are to the easier that one is, that of course is cheers and great show, but it's all about a community centered around a bar. All right. Here's the next one?
[00:18:17] Not hard at all. Is it, you know exactly. It took you right there. Of course that's friends and six friends and it's a story of their lives as they do life together. Here's the next one.
[00:18:32] If there is ever an iconic jingle, it's that jingle right there. That of course is the theme of Seinfeld. And, and here's this one. So a little more current one. See if you know that
[00:18:48] Not hard is it? And then of course, depending on your age, you're going to relate to some more, we can do more, but of course that is the theme song of the big bang theory, which, um, it's just guys, what do [00:19:00] they all have in common? What is Hollywood intuitively know? That we like having friends that we need friends that we need to be in community.
[00:19:09] And these are blockbuster TV shows. I mean, they are absolutely off the charts in terms of the records that they've set. Because you got to understand a simple principle folks. It's really not hard. Life is better together. Always. It's better together. Never is it not, all right? Now, again, I want to show you something and I wish time were not an issue, and I can just show you all the different connections, but the Bible is absolutely replete with examples of the blessing of friends and I, and I really believe that God wants us badly to build friendships with one another.
[00:19:44] I just do. Cause he praises the, the character friendship so much. Let me just from the book of Proverbs. I'll just fire some again. I've had to cut some out. I just, for the sake of time, a friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a time of [00:20:00] adversity and it also didn't have a friend that loves you. Here's another one wounds from a friend.
[00:20:04] can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses, all of us have been kissed up to by somebody who literally was trying to drive a knife in our back. A friend, a wound from a friend you can rely on. And by the way, a friend will never stab you in the back. They'll stab you in the chest as they're dealing with you and trying to help you to see something, all right, perfume and incense, bring joy to the heart, the pleasantness of a friend, springs from their heartfelt advice, having somebody speak into your life to help you through it, God goes this is good.
[00:20:35] And by the way, I want you to understand that if you feel like I'm the loneliest person out there right now. I want you to know something. God, God wants you to be his friend. He invites you into friendship. You go, you can't be a friend of God, what are you talking about God doesn't have friends. Oh yeah, God has friends.
[00:20:53] And, and, and, and the words specifically, let me show you, let me show you just a couple of paths, we gotta go quick. The Lord would [00:21:00] speak to Moses face to face as one speaks to a friend. Yeah. You know, my friend, God. Yeah. Moses. Yeah, my friend, I love this passage, Isaiah 41:8, but you Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen you descendants of Abraham my friend, you guys ever heard of Abraham, you know, Abraham, which Abraham, Abraham, the friend of God.
[00:21:24] Oh, that Abraham and you hear this and you go, these guys are so lucky because God befriended them. I would love to be friends with God. But God would never want me, God would never want. I mean, my life is so messed up and I got so much junk I'm working through and I've done so many things. There's not possible that God could love me much less, become a friend, excuse me, or invite me into his circle of friends.
[00:21:50] Can I just remind you of something about Jesus? This is too good to not get. Do you know that they condemned Jesus? You know what they condemned Jesus for? Let me remind you. All [00:22:00] right. Matthew 11. The son of man came eating and drinking and they say here's a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors, and sinners.
[00:22:13] This is what they condemned them for. This guy hangs out with people who are messed up and the Holy righteous people that they felt they were could not see the possibility that God could love people who were hurt, hurting, and damaged. And I just need you to understand no matter how hurt hurting or damage you feel you are, God's going.
[00:22:34] I want to be your friend and I will be there for you. All right. I think that's absolutely cool. Now I want to take you one more place before we wind this up, wind it down or whatever we're going to wind through. We're going to wind something. Go to Acts. We're going to Acts chapter 18 and there's some so much in Acts 18
[00:22:55] that is so cool. It's so interesting. I don't think we can do it justice, but let me [00:23:00] just give you a sense of it, kind of the flavor of it. All right. And it should give you. It should give you instruction into something about how God works in our lives. Cause I think this is really cool. Acts chapter 18, the first three verses.
[00:23:14] And I'll just read this and kind of break it down so we're following. Okay. After this Paul, the apostle Paul left Athens and he went to Corinth. Okay. Let me stop right here and explain something to you. Okay. So he was in Athens and Athens was, it was the center of debauchery. You just got to understand it was pretty messed up.
[00:23:31] A lot of bad things going on there. A lot of crazy things people were thinking about. And so he left there and he went to Corinth. Okay. Now here's what you need to understand about Corinth. Corinth. Corinth was worse than Athens. Corinth was so bad that what they did made Athens blush. All right. So Paul goes from bad to worse and he goes into this incredibly horrible place.
[00:23:51] And there he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus- that's in Turkey- who had recently come from Italy with [00:24:00] his wife, Priscilla. We believe she was a Greek. Because Claudius had ordered all the Jews, Jews to leave Rome. Let's stop right here and pause you. Okay. So Paul is coming from a bad place to a worse place.
[00:24:11] So a bad situation to a worse situation. And God it's as if God knew I, okay. Well, I got to get him some friends. I got to get him some people, I got to create some support in his life. And so he orchestrated through Claudius that we're going to them out so that we end up in the same place. Cause I need some support given to Paul as he's going to do what he's going to do there.
[00:24:32] And so he in Corinth, he kind of orchestrates a meeting. Do you ever wonder if God ever orchestrates your friendships? You ever wonder if God's just actually pull some strings? So you and you and you and you and you, would actually can get to know each other and you'd have a reason to meet. Then you'd have something to talk about.
[00:24:49] You go, what did they have the talk about? Well, you're going to discover they had two things to talk about. Cause they had two things in common. And friendship is based on commonality. And the first thing they had in common is [00:25:00] they all love Jesus. They all love Jesus. Now Aquilla and Priscilla were a man and wife.
[00:25:05] They certainly loved each other, but Jesus was a center of their life. They were a team and then they added Paul. And so it was Paul, Aquilla, and Priscilla. And you go, okay. They had Jesus in common. What else? Well, let me show you. All right. So Paul went to see them because he was a tent maker as they were, he stayed and worked with him. You understand what they had in common, Hey, we all do tents, man.
[00:25:27] We built tents. We sow tents. And they were like showing hacks to each other. Like, you can do this. Isn't it amazing how all you gotta do is just kind of let your, the things that you're drawn to your affinities get out. And pretty soon people. If you, if you'll be looking, they'll find you, I've got a friend that I love to fish with a guy in this church.
[00:25:45] His name is Don. Don, he literally found me on Canyon Lake one day I was on Canyon Lake. I guess I went by him. He recognized me. He came and we met and we talked and we fished together all the time. I love Don and it's a, it's a thing. So God just kind of [00:26:00] orchestrates these meetings. So you're not going to do life alone.
[00:26:03] If you were a parent in your, your son came home and said, Worst day at school. And he said, what friends, what do you mean? And nobody talks to me or nobody will eat with me. Or I got this guys bullying me. Would you not as a parent get involved? And go, Well, I'm going to go down, I'm going to talk to someone and we're going to remedy that.
[00:26:22] You're not going to blame your kid. You're going to go try to help. And I believe that's exactly what God does. So, so there's little team forms of Paul and Aquila and Priscilla. Aquila's a guy. All right. So the next verse. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul, the devoted himself exclusively to preaching, I can stop right there, but here's what you need to understand.
[00:26:43] There's another team. Silas and Timothy. The guys, there were a team, they were doing gospel work. They were working together. They come and Paul's got, Hey, can you get this? I got it. Then. And then Paul did his thing. It's incredible. You go on a little bit further. There's some stuff happening and don't have time to show you all [00:27:00] that.
[00:27:00] You get down to verse seven. Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus a worshiper of God. So he goes over and he kind of forms a team with Titius and then Titius and Paul began to influence this guy named Crispus. Crispus, the synagogue leader and his entire household
[00:27:18] believed in the Lord. And many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized. And I think Paul left Titius and Crispus as a team to work there because we know if you keep reading on that Aquilla and Priscilla are going to connect with a guy named Apollos. And God's going to use them to change him.
[00:27:36] And here's what it needs you to understand. Folks. God wants you to have friends and you know how you builds friends in the church. He puts you on a team together. That's how it works. It's doing life together as being on a team. It's having a common purpose and a common desire. Jesus himself had 12 apostles.
[00:27:56] That was his team. If I had time, I could tell you about [00:28:00] teams I'm on I, my life rotates around teams. God wants you to be in a team and he wants you to understand that you matter, and you have something to contribute. Now let me finish, but please stay with me. All right. You know how you punish someone?
[00:28:16] You know how the penal system punishes someone? What is it extreme form of punishment. They call it solitary confinement. You take a prisoner and you set them apart. You punish him by isolating him. According to an article in the journal of the American Academy of psychiatry and the law isolation can be as distressing as physical torture.
[00:28:40] And they just talk about the serious psychological distress that we know happens when you isolate a prisoner. And by the way, it can be as short as one day in isolation and psychological damage can be done. Now we can talk about the cruelty of [00:29:00] taking somebody and sticking them in a cell, separating them and isolating them from everybody else.
[00:29:03] We could talk about that, but my question is, why do we do that to ourselves? Why don't we, why do we punish ourselves? Why do we do that? Why do we even think that's going to be a good idea? See, I want to tell you folks, you, you are not made to be alone. God wanted you on a team. God wanted you in a community.
[00:29:24] God wanted you to have people around you. He wanted to bless your life. And he wants to use people to shape you into the person he wants you to become. And in our church, we have all kinds of teams have kinds of serving teams, and those are awesome. But you know, one of the teams that exist that we don't really talk a lot about are our life groups, our life groups, or teams of people with a purpose and are Rooted groups or teams with a purpose.
[00:29:50] And we do this because doing life together is better and it matters. And you know what happened to go? What happens in a life group? What [00:30:00] happens in a rooted group? Well, I would suggest this. Um, do you belong to any group of people that know you well? You belong to any group of people who know you well and, and choose to encourage you.
[00:30:13] Do you belong to any group of people who know you well, and not only encourage you, but challenges you. When you're drifting when you're getting something wrong, when you're messing something up that cares enough about you, they sit you down and go, what are you thinking? Do you have a group of people that hold you accountable?
[00:30:31] Who can actually, get you when you're going the wrong direction to like, Hey, I'm not just going to sit idly by as you jack your life up, I'm not going to do that. Do you have a group of people you process the Bible with? See, this is what life group and Rooted groups are all about, cause you weren't meant to do all this alone.
[00:30:51] You were meant to be on a team. Now I'm gonna put a very dark thought out here. Okay. And I realized that dark. Alright, [00:31:00] if you died. No, no, no. I'm not. I'm not suggesting. Okay. But now if you die, now you go, why would you say that? Preacher? I don't know if you've noticed this, but they've done studies and you know what they discovered about humanity.
[00:31:14] Humanity is 100% fatal. The fatality rate is off the charts, man, if you're alive, you're going to die right now. You're not going to die. Jesus returns. And we're certainly praying that he would return. But if he doesn't return, you're going to die. If you're know you're going to die, wouldn't it be the smartest thing you could do to think ahead and to make some plans to like, okay, this is how I hope it goes.
[00:31:37] So I've just got two very simple questions for you to think about. If you were to die, question number one, how long would it take for someone to notice? Oh, I know you want to say, Oh no, no, it would be overnight. I mean, it'd be just that fast when maybe within an hour. I mean, it'd be like no time at all. I don't know.
[00:31:56] I don't know. You know, we we've talked about [00:32:00] social distancing. And that's made us like, that's really a bad phrase by the way, physical distance against really what we're talking about. Not socially, but we've got social distancing, which means that we've learned how to be alone. We've learned really well, how to be alone.
[00:32:13] How, how alone are you these days? Would anyone know? Because you've separated yourself so far? I don't know. It would be horrible to have happen to you. What happened to the lady that started this message. Now that's question one, question two. How hard of a time with the one who loves you most have finding six friends to carry your casket to your grave site.
[00:32:43] Would it be just a simple thing because you'd got friends all over the place or would it be really, really hard and people go with it, like there's a pay anything? No, it's what friends do for friends. So. How hard now we end [00:33:00] all these messages in this series with a challenge, a series of challenges. So church going to challenge you.
[00:33:05] Challenge number one, call so many haven't talked to in awhile, check in on them. How are you doing? You be proactive. Don't wait for them to call you. You call them, how are you doing, just thinking about you, how you doing? Call them. Second one. And these two are going to sound similar, but stay with me. Get your current life group who started and regrouped.
[00:33:24] Let me say something about life groups, life groups. We, gosh, we have some of the most incredibly fantastic life group leaders, I think on the planet, but it's been a tough time for life group leaders. There's never been a period of my leadership. That's been more challenging and difficult and all of our life group leaders have experienced the same stress and strain, and we're so incredibly grateful and for the leaders that lead, but.
[00:33:48] Um, because of the chaos for the last six months, they're in various States of disrepair. So if you're a part of a life group, can you just maybe call your life group leader and encourage them and let's [00:34:00] get this thing going and let's get it to come out and we'll work with you and we'll get it going and help them bless you by the way they lead.
[00:34:05] And, and let's just get these things regoing. Okay. And, and you know, something, let me just say this here. Every time we, we, we talk to you every week, we say, Hey, if you online are ready to come back, we're ready for you. The doors are open. The seats are available. Whatever. I want you to understand, there's a reason we say things like that.
[00:34:25] You see there's nothing more attractive than a fully functioning church, nothing more compelling. And with you not being here, we can't be fully functioning. And with you not being in a life group, we can't be fully functioning. So this is why it matters. Now some of you go, well, I've never been in a life group though.
[00:34:41] That it's funny. You say that that's my third challenge right here. Take the initiative to get in one or in a rooted group. Just go, I'm going to jump in here. I'm going to be a part of this and I'm not going to miss out on it. It's an absolute priority. Well, now I don't [00:35:00] know if you've ever thought about this, but it's a great place.
[00:35:02] I think, to end. Um, it's just a simple idea. Life is better together. Always. Don't do it alone. I want, I Brad and Christine have a story that they want to share with you, and I think it's a fantastic story. Would you please watch this? We were kind of going through the routine of, okay, we're going to church each week, but nothing more than that.
[00:35:28] And we knew that we needed more in our lives. We just needed to figure out, okay, what's our journey next. That's why rooted just seemed like the perfect opportunity for us because it's open to everybody of all ages. It was very different from my church experience, but I immediately fell in love. I was like, this is what I've been looking for my whole life.
[00:35:51] And I wanted more of it. You get so close with these people. I never would have thought in 11 weeks you could become so close to someone. [00:36:00] And now it's like, you know, these aren't my friends. I've got 12 new family members. Having this group to do life with this year has really been such a bright spot. If I'm feeling anxious, I can call up someone in our life group and say, Hey, I'm having a rough day can you pray for me.
[00:36:17] What better way and better time to get through those struggles then during a time of community, it's not like it's just the two of us anymore. I'm just so excited to see you where this takes us. Hi, my name is Brad. And I'm Christine, and this is our story.