A Call to Community

September 22, 2012

“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him…a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”   (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

The wisest man who ever lived wrote that we were not meant to fight our battles alone.  We need community.  Jesus told us that He is where two or three of us get together in His name (Matthew 18:20).  When Jesus said that, He was not consoling us for poor attendance at a prayer meeting.  He was giving us a prescription for an intentional dynamic we call a small group.

For nearly the first 300 years of Church history it was illegal to be a Christian.  That forced the Church to meet in small house churches.  Today we have many large churches. The only way to have meaningful interaction with other believers when you are part of a mega church is to meet in small groups. Here at the close of the Church age all over the world the Church is again meeting in small house churches

Perhaps this is what Solomon meant when he wrote that a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  Not only is a cord or a cable of three strands very strong; when cord number one is you, cord number two is another believer, and cord number three is our God – you have the cord that is not quickly broken.

The Old Testament calls this “Hesed.” The New Testament calls this concept of community “fellowship” or “koinonia.” When you are part of that threefold cord you are “wrapped in a bundle of life with the Lord your God.”  (I Samuel 25:29 Berkeley)

Have you personally discovered one of the greatest dynamics in the Bible?  Or do you believe you don’t need anybody because you can handle anything that comes your way and you can handle it alone?


A Panic Attack Prescription

March 18, 2012

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!  Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, ‘There is no help for him in God.’”  (Psalm 3: 1, 2)

As David writes the Third Psalm he is facing the greatest crisis of his life.  His son has turned the entire nation against him and has driven him out of Jerusalem into the wilderness where he hid from King Saul when he was a young fugitive.  His situation is so desperate that many people said that even God could not help him.  But in this psalm David explains how he knows God will be there for him; he is not having a panic attack so he gives us a prescription for one.

Observe the way David uses three tenses as he lays out his prescription that kept him from panicking.  He recalls that in the past there were many times when he cried out to God and the Lord heard him.  When he lay down to sleep not knowing if the enemy would slit his throat while he was sleeping, he awoke alive because the Lord sustained him.  He then declared that he will not be afraid of the thousands of people who wanted to see him dead.  He then declares in the present tense that God is with him and His present blessing is upon him.

When you are in crisis think back to times in the past when God met you and brought you through a crisis.  Then let those past answered prayers inspire you to trust God for the present and the future crises in your life.

Look back.  With faith, look forward.  Then look around at your present circumstances, not with panic but with faith and peace.