Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

We Cannot Do It Alone

ECCLESIASTES 4:9-12 – Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

THEME OF THE DAY. WE CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. I need spiritually healthy Christians in my life – a lot. So do you. This thing called “the Christian life” is too hard to go at it alone. And if for some strange reason we don’t think so, we are in serious spiritual trouble. God never intended for us to live the Christian life alone and in private. The Christian life is a community thing and we don’t meet God’s command for us to live in community by an hour or so on a Sunday morning. That won’t cut it. It won’t cut it Biblically and it won’t cut it if we want to be spiritually healthy. Not to mention if we are satisfied with this low level of spiritual commitment to one another, we are failing to see the family aspect of what it means to be a Christian. We need each other and yes, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers! One more thing to consider. The spiritual foes we face in the Christian life are strong and “lone ranger” Christianity makes us easy prey for them. Now this isn’t to diminish the importance of gathering together on the Lord’s Day, but it is impossible to practice Biblical fellowship to the depth the Bible describes on a Sunday morning. There is no time or proper setting. And to prove my point even more, there are likely people attending our churches faithfully we may not even know their names! How is that fellowship? So, if we think we are fulfilling God’s desire and command to “devote ourselves together to the Apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and fellowship” by an hour or so on Sunday, get alone with God with an open heart and Bible letting Him correct us (Acts 2:42). But there is another reason why we need to be together. It safeguards us from a lukewarm, even cold, spiritual condition. Isolation leads to spiritual decline. Isolation leads to spiritual deadness. Isolation leads to spiritual neglect. And to prove these points, ponder this riveting story . . .

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination. As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.” Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.”

May God help us not be a single ember, separated from the fire, and taking us into places of severe spiritual consequences.

PRAYER: “Father, please help me not be self-deceived thinking I can live the Christian life without other believers.”

QUOTE: “God never intended us to live the Christian life alone. To do so is simply disobedience to His command.”