Faithlife Sermons

Avoiding Spiritual Neglect

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Neglect is to be unconcerned with, or to ignore.
Verses about neglect...
1 Timothy 5:8 KJV 1900
8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.


Acts 20:28 KJV 1900
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Note the order that Paul gives this instruction: First to yourselves, then to others. You cannot pour out what you your cup does not contain. God’s grace, love, peace, and mercy are infinite, but if we do not take the time to fill our cup, then we will be emptied quickly.
This is important to pastors but just as important for you. Before you fulfill your responsibility to your family, your Sunday School class, your ministry, your friends, your coworkers… Take heed to yourself.
1 Timothy 4:14–16 KJV 1900
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Examine yourself carefully… are you spiritually healthy? are you growing? Do not spend all your days trying to assist others without having a close, vibrant relationship with Christ. It is wearisome. You will burn out before you make a difference if you do not take heed to spiritual needs first.
When I think of priorities in the Scripture, often I think of self-neglect as a positive thing, but that is only true when it comes to seeking personal gain. Look again at Jesus’ command
Matthew 6:33 KJV 1900
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
This is not a priority of self-neglect but of neglecting the flesh. It does not command you to ignore your needs but rather to realize what your needs truly are. We each MUST seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness of God. In fact, when we do not neglect our spiritual needs, God promises not to neglect our physical needs.


2 Peter 1:12 KJV 1900
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
Paul is speaking here to pastor’s
Elders — Acts 20:17 “17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.”
Bishops (overseers) Acts 20:28 “28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
Pastors (shepherds) to feed the church of God
Nourish those whom God has put in your care. Acts 20:28

Never forget the source of nourishment Luke 9:13

Luke 9:13 KJV 1900
13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.
John 6:27 KJV 1900
27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Protect those whom God has put in your care. Acts 20:29

Warn those whom God has put in your care Acts 20:30

Surrender (20:32)

When responsibilities become heavy, we often struggle to the point of our self-neglect. The solution to this problem is this last part of Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians, surrender.

Paul commended them to the Word of God.

Acts 20:32 KJV 1900
32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Paul commended them to his example

Acts 20:33–35 KJV 1900
33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Paul commended them to prayer

Acts 20:36–38 KJV 1900
36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. 37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, 38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
Don’t forget that the most important investment you can make into the life of another person is prayer.
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