Strength in Numbers   Leave a comment

I have always been one who enjoys playing games.  I don’t mind the challenge of a good computer game from time to time, but I’d prefer the ones where you are competing against another person.  I like board games, card games and thinking games.  In my younger years, I thoroughly enjoyed the games of football, basketball, baseball and racing bicycles.  Competition was always a healthy activity and challenge.

 

Since six knee surgeries now prevent me from participating in any of those physical games I used to play, I find myself missing them the most.  As much as I enjoy sitting down with a table full of friends and Dominos, I miss the games that required me to rely on the help and strength of others.  They were team games, and I always enjoyed playing those games the most.

 

The writer of Ecclesiastes wrote some verses that one of my study Bibles subtitles, “The Value of a Friend.” 

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NIV.

 

In our life of faith, we are never alone.  I frequently challenge from the pulpit for Christians to find ways to take their faith to the next level, whatever that may be.  While this is always a suitable challenge for those who would dare to be disciples (learners) of Christ, it is often perceived that this is something one does by oneself.  While a quality quiet time is certainly a great growth tool, it is one of many.

 

This is where church enters the scene.  We have many opportunities to grow together as disciples within the church.  There are Bible study times, corporate worship, small group activities, mission organizations for all ages and even more.  I’m not trying to sound like a commercial, but I would love to help you understand the many venues available for you to learn in such an atmosphere that you never have to feel like you are experiencing your life of faith all by yourself.

 

There is strength in numbers.  Take that last statement from the Ecclesiastes literally.  Find a string and break it.  Easy.  Fold it over once.  Trying to break it is not impossible, but certainly not easy.  Now, fold it so there are three strands together.  Unless you are really strong or possess some really weak strings, you won’t be able to break it.

 

Get involved in your community of faith, joining together with other believers as we all share this common adventure with Christ.  It was the cause of unity and our understanding of living life in faith that Jesus was praying about in the Garden of Gethsemane when he said,  “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:22-23, NIV.  He was praying a prayer of protection for those who would become his disciples.  One way that God has provided the answer to that prayer is by giving us communities of faith in which we can grow together.

 

You are never alone.  With Christ in your heart, you can stand against the world.  With Christ in your heart and a surrounding of fellow believers, there is no limit to what God can do in and through us together!

Posted September 11, 2008 by David N. Peppler, Sr. in Church, Relationships

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