SERIES: JUBILEE By Pastor Philippi
Part 2: IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR CAGE 7/26/15
The Importance of Connection
I’m thinking the way we approach addiction may be completely wrong. We have it in our head that if someone does drugs there is something physical in our bodies. Drugs have been illegal for 100 years. Portugal was one of the worse countries for addiction. Fifteen years ago they made all drugs legal. If you were addicted, instead of putting you in prison, they took that money into rehabilitation. This included counseling, mentors and family connections, as well as jobs. The government paid half their salary for one year. They reconnected them. Today drug abuse is down by 50%.
They did an experiment with a mouse and a cage where they put two things in the cage. Water and water laced with heroine. It took the heroine water until it died. Yet many who took heroine while in Vietnam returned and 95% of them got off of it. Older folks who received the same type of drug for hip replacements didn’t become hooked.
Another experiment was done offering heroine to the mice, but in a much different setting. They were placed in a social environment with cheese, plenty to do and males with females. Most of the mice tried the heroine, yet none of them got addicted. People turn to drugs because there is no other place to turn. Their childhood was horrible. For most people is because they are disconnected to life.
The Sabbath is a time to connect. Recovery Road makes sure people have friendships, a job and ways to connect. A lot of counseling is being done based on knowledge, but many would get through and over it if they just reconnected and knew somebody really cared about them. Set time aside for other people.
Connect through Hospitality, The Power to Unlock Many Things
Hospitality will never be convenient. You have to clean your house, cook some food, go visit the hospital. So what! Think of it as an investment. Put nothing in, you will get nothing out. Hospitality means the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm friendly way. Radical hospitality is part of this church’s core values and mission statement. Fill the earth with light, warmth and hospitality of God.
We were once strangers and God took us in. God uses that encouragement to the Israelites to care for others (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). Someone shared the gospel with us. Now we are no longer strangers, but a part of a family, God’s family (Ephesians 2:19).
We are called to be hospitable. Jesus said our judgment will be based on how we treated those in need (Matthew 25:34-36, 45). He taught as we act toward others we are acting that way toward Him. It’s not about entertaining angels perhaps once in a lifetime, its about entertaining Jesus every time you do it.
Hospitality unlocks many things. It bears fruit and unlocks revelation. Abraham entertained strangers (Genesis 18) and God responded by sharing His plans. Abraham then began to plead with God about saving Sodom and Gomorrah. So it can lead to unlocking cities.
Hospitality can unlock multiplication. God sent Elijah to the widow woman during a famine. He was sent to the poorest person in the area. The widow had two sticks and had just enough for one meal for her and her son. He asks her to give her their last meal. You may think you don’t have time for someone else, you need it for your family. If you take care of other families, God will take care of your family. God blessed her because of her hospitality. And hospitality can unlock dead places. Her son died right after this and Elijah brought him back to life.
Hospitality can unlock family salvation. Rahab the harlot risked her life to protect the spies and it saved her entire family. Hospitality can be a risk. She probably called cousins three times removed. I believe everything started shaking and the walls started falling. I believe when all of the walls came down her small area was the only one left standing. She then married a Jewish guy and became the great-great-grandparents of David. God took her into the genealogy of Jesus.
Hospitality is Intimate Fellowship
Acts 4:32-35 shows how believers were united so close they shared their possessions.
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 talks about the importance of taking the communion properly through discerning the Lord’s body. Discerning the body means you don’t hide when someone has a problem. Just be there. The reason you’re strong is because someone else needs you.
Hospitality may require long suffering. You know what that means? It means to suffer long. You have to put up with some people. You can be nice even if they get on your nerves or they’re not like you. Make an effort to get to know one another.
Colossians 3:12, 14, 15 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. 14 And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. 15 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. (The Message)
Since the 1950’s, the number of people you call friends have been declining steadily. In an age when you can link in with anybody in the world in a moment, we have fewer friends than ever before. We are more disconnected in this age of connection than we’ve ever been.
It’s all about the cage. We need to build a habitat where we can connect with others and really love each other. People are looking for community, for family. We need to build new cages for people. Extend your family. Make a difference!