God With Us Through Apathy – Stephen Orr 24/10/21

Passage: Psalm 136

Galatians 5:7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.

What is Apathy?

Apathy – lack of interest of feelings, enthusiasm or concern

The warning from Jonah: his apathy to the needs of the people of Nineveh and to God’s command – it lead to him ignore God’s words, and deeds. 

Paul warned the Galatians and us. Could apathy be the issue for us?

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.

Paul to the Galatians (Galatians 5:7-10)
Think about:
  • Is apathy an issue for you now or has it been in the past?
  • How is it affecting your spiritual walk?

From a human point of view these add to apathy 

  • Mood
  • Distraction
  • Discouragement 
  • Disillusionment 
  • Misplaced focus 
  • Pain 
  • Energy levels
  • Hatred 
  • Spite 
  • Envy 
  • Unforgiveness 

What can you add to this list?

From a spiritual point of view these can add to apathy 

  • Not using gifts
  • Not serving
  • Not worshiping
  • Not praying
  • Not spending time with God
  • Not loving one another 

What can you add to this list?

If we are honest with ourselves, are these an issue for us?

Paul asked, “what stopped you running the race?”

Let us beware: the danger of spiritual apathy 

What is getting in and working its way through to damage our walk with God? 

What dispels apathy? 

Realising God is with us 

As we go through these times, God is with us, as we know from Psalm 23 and Jesus’ teaching on the Holy Spirit in John 14 and 16, Matthew 28:18-20.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus’ final words to his followers

Remembering what God has done for us Psalm 136 

God love (HESED) endures forever

As we give thanks to God it helps us to defeat apathy 

God’s love for creation 

Think about: What God has done in creation?

God’s love for his people 

Think about: What God has done in the past?

Jesus 

God’s love for us and in Jesus 

Think about: What God has done for you?

Our personal faith journeys 

We give thanks

Think about: how can we increasingly live lives of thanksgiving ?

Living with Purpose

Love God, love neighbours, love one another, make disciples 

Romans 12 – Love

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Paul to the church at Rome (Romans 12:9-15)

Let us heed Jesus’ warning and recognise his invitation  

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The risen Jesus to the church at Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22)

Parents and Children – from the resource “With God Together” by Faith in Kids

Chat with your child about what we learned. Try asking…

  • What is something God gave us that shows he loves us? Encourage your child to go and get it or point to it. (It might be something you talked about in Kingdom Kids, like something in creation.)
  • What is something I do (as your parent or carer) that makes you feel loved?
  • At different points in the week (successes and failures), ask your child, ‘How does God feel about you right now?’ Whatever they answer, reassure them that God loves them forever.

Let’s pray!

Sometime this week, say a family prayer and invite everyone to thank God for…

  • Something in creation
  • Something he did in the past
  • Something he did for you

After each item say, ‘His love continues forever!’ (Psalm 136). You could make up a hand motion that expresses ‘forever’ and use it as you pray.

Apply

What have I found interesting? 

What has challenged my life, attitudes and actions

How would this habit help me to become more like Jesus?

How would this habit help me to introduce others to Jesus?

What practical steps do I need to take to incorporate this habit into my life?

Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?

Is there someone I should to share with, pray with or encourage

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