Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Standing Strong

The Bible is full of questions… questions from our eternal God to you and me.

And He’s not asking those questions because He doesn’t know the answer. He’s asking because He wants to lead us to the truth through our own journey. He wants to stimulate us to work out the answers.

One of those questions is found in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes was written by a pretty smart guy by the name of Solomon. In fact, Solomon was one of the wisest men to ever walk the face of the earth. And through the words of Solomon, God asks an important question:

But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:10-12).

Did you catch God’s question there? It’s found in verse 11: “How can one be warm alone?” The purpose of this question is to make sure that we understand completely our need for companionship and fellowship.

And in these verses, God helps us discover several reasons why we need to pursue fellowship and companionship. One of which is that we are in a battle zone!

Many Christians walk around dazed and confused, saying, “I don’t understand what’s happening to me; it’s almost like I’m under attack or something.”

Friend, we are under attack! We’re in a battle. And we really do have an enemy.

This enemy is the enemy of your soul. He wants to destroy your family and your spiritual life. He wants to rob, steal, and kill. (How else does a minor argument with your spouse over who left the peanut butter out escalate to “I want a divorce!” ten minutes later?)

The atmosphere we live in today isn’t just natural. As believers, we have an adversary. And if we’re ignorant of it, he will manipulate us and steal from us. Read these verses from Ephesians 6 in the Living Bible:

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all the strategies and tricks of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies, the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world (v. 11-12).

In this great spiritual battle we’re engaged in, God's made it so that we're dependent upon each other. Let me give you one example from the Bible that shows why this is so important.

In Judges 18, there's a story about a group of people who “had no ties with anyone” (v. 7). As the chapter tell us, an enemy came in and killed them all. The Bible tells us the reason they were destroyed was because they had no ties with anyone. There was no one close enough to deliver them.

Remember, you and I need to have ties. We need friendship and companionship. When we assume the posture of, “Hey, if the devil fights you, he’s got to fight me…and if the devil fights me, he’s got to fight you,” we’re getting somewhere!

The amazing thing that happens when we as Christians bind ourselves together is that we bring a third Person into the bundle (Ecclesiastes 4:12). And who is this third cord?

It’s Jesus.

Our decision to be unified brings the presence of the Lord in the time of battle. And the devil hates that.

In Matthew 18:20, Jesus says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” When we gather…when we have fellowship and friendship with one another in His name…when we bind our lives together…when we decide to fight for one another…Jesus is right in the mix, strengthening us! That’s a cord that won’t be broken by the enemy!

Today, I want to challenge and encourage you not to be an island to yourself. Tie yourself in to other Christians who’ll share life and the battle with you. Because none of us is strong enough to go it alone!

Praying for unity in the hard times
Pastor Mike

Today's joke:

You Know it's Summer When ...

The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.

The trees are whistling for the dogs.

The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.

Hot water now comes out of both taps.

You can make sun tea instantly.

You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.

The temperature drops below 95 and you feel a little chilly.

You discover that in July it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.

You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.

You actually burn your hand opening the car door.

You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.

Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"

You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.

Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.

The cows are giving evaporated milk.


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