Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 reads, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
There are a number of things that can make us feel alone such as guilt and shame. Maybe you’re not happy with yourself or what you have done.
However, you can still be with people and be lonely. We must understand that accepting the love others offer to us is the way to knock down the walls of loneliness. You need:
As Solomon said, “If you fall alone you are in real trouble.” Your loneliness may be something you have become used to but it’s depriving you of the life God meant for you. As a result, misery sets in and you become angry and bitter. You can’t let how you’ve been mistreated lead you into ungodly behavior. You’ve got to start fresh. You have to believe in the love others have for you.
This “triple-braided cord” are your friends and God joining together to form a community that glorifies God. This community is not easily broken and will speed up the healing you need in your life.
Have you ever seen the TV show “Doomsday Preppers?” I’m sure you’ve probably at least heard of them. Perhaps you’ve heard of conspiracy theories? The list could go on and on when it comes to apocalyptic matters but I think there needs to be a balance. I think the focus can be too extreme or one-sided. Nevertheless, I think we should focus more on what God has to say about the end-times. Yes, I believe in the Book of Revelation because it is God’s history written in advance. It is the apocalypse or the unveiling of what’s to come. However, it’s my concern that we can be extreme talking about the kingdom of God that is to come instead of being the expression of the kingdom of God now.
We need to live as though He may come tomorrow but prepare as if He may not come back in 100 years. As a young teenager, I remember Y2K very well. Almost everyone I met was in a frenzy of how the world will never be the same. Granted, the world isn’t the same as it was before the year of 2000, but it still doesn’t negate the fact that there was fear in lots of people. I also remember how everyone of us held hands in a circle on New Year’s Eve and we made this statement in repeated unison, “Come Lord Jesus!” Obviously, the Lord didn’t come back and after we were done we all went back to our routine!
I said all that to say this. Let’s have a balance in our message. This balanced message conveys that Jesus is coming soon unexpectedly but He also wants us to continue building, preparing and planning until He comes again. It doesn’t do any good to prep for doomsday instead of prepping to meet our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I know, I know. There’s a lot of bad things happening out there. It’s terrible. Recently, there’s been a terrorist attack killing 50 people in Orlando. Last year, Chattanooga suffered a terrorist attack killing 4 marines and 1 sailor. There’s much unrest in this nation and the world. If there ever was a time for the church to shine, it’s now. Everything is a mess but look who has the message! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. We know there will be a rapture of the church and there’s a Great Tribulation coming but let’s not forget this simple message of truth and love. I don’t know what will happen in the near future but I do know God is sovereign and I trust in that truth and in God the Creator and Redeemer.
Let’s face it. There could be way more years left here on earth which means there’s more time to reach people for Christ Jesus. We are looking for that great reunion which could take place tomorrow but we should also be seeking the lost at any cost. Let’s pray for the peace of Jerusalem (when you pray for the peace of Jerusalem you are actually praying for Jesus to come again because there can be no true peace without Him) but let’s also pray for more laborers and workers because the harvest is ready.
Community is key in the kingdom of God. Its more than just attending a church service but actually getting involved in some type of ministry. There are so many opportunities to experience the togetherness God desires for us. It is by our love for each other that the world will know that we are His disciples. Jesus prayed that we would be one even as He and the Father are one. However, this togetherness is not just about doing things but having a genuine relationship with each other while doing things for God. There are 4 togetherness principles that are essential for spiritual growth:
Get Together: Hebrews 10:25 is clear upon getting together. Today, we think getting together with other believers is not important but getting together is highly important. Notice what the verse says, “not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.” He actually tells us to get together more.
Go Together: Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” So not only do we need to get together but we must go together with one mission in mind.
Give Together: What if we saw the success of others as our own? We should be known for our generosity. We have worn people out with words. How about we give them a breath of fresh air with acts of generosity. Also, we are to give a tenth of our income. Just think if the whole church body gave a tenth of their income? Think of the possibilities.
Grow Together: I honestly believe if we don’t get together, go together and give together we will not grow together. We will remain spiritual babies if we don’t live in obedience to God. If we never take the time for togetherness, then we put a heavy load on those who are expressing these principles and commands in their lives. You can get all the information you can get on every subject in the Bible but until you apply what you know there will be no growth. What if the depth of your application of the word was more than the knowledge of the word?
I know getting together, going together, giving together and growing together doesn’t make you a Christian but it’s what Christians do. If you aren’t doing this, then maybe you should evaluate on why you aren’t doing these things.
I deliver God’s word every week and it’s important for me to interpret the word of God through the proper context. From an objective standpoint, there has to be one interpretation God wants to deliver through a particular passage of Scripture. It’s my responsibility every week to rely upon the Holy Spirit to rightly divide the word of truth. If I have the wrong interpretation, then my attitude and application to life will be skewed.
However, the Bible isn’t the only book that needs proper interpretation. Our life needs proper interpretation. Your interpretation of life will either give you hope or despair. Everything that happens to us needs to be viewed in light of what God says. Remember, it’s not what happens to us that affects us; it’s how we interpret what happens to us. Are you ready for a life change?
• Interpret your failures, mistakes and sins through the eternal plan of God. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” Philippians 1:6 says, “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].” God has a plan and a purpose for your life but your interpretation of your life must agree with these verses. We have all failed but we must look at our shortcomings through the interpretation of redemption. We don’t look through this lens to continue in sin but to instill in ourselves hope so even in our mess we can rely upon a perfect God. This lens gives us the confidence we need and makes us God-conscious and not sin-conscious. The more you focus on your shortcomings the more you will come short but if you focus on what God says your life will align with His will! Your interpretation is a result of your focus.
• There will always be a daily battle to counter faulty interpretations. Paul gives the admonishment in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].” Your mind needs to be reminded daily of God’s word because according to Scripture your mind is being saved. Your mind isn’t full of heaven so you need to be intentional about feeding your mind with the word of God.
Always remember hopeless situations only need a different interpretation based on God’s word.