Summary: Without intentional, spiritual relationships, our love for God can grow cold

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Commitments January 24, 2010

Intentional Relationships

Ecclesiastes 4:8-12

In Romania, after communism fell, we in the west became aware of the many orphans there who were basically warehoused in huge orphanages. They were vastly understaffed. So the babies, while they had most of their physical needs looked after – food, shelter and some hygiene, were very seldom picked up and snuggled or played with. Many of them had what doctors aptly call “failure to thrive syndrome.” They may have been many months or sometimes even years old, but they still looked and acted like newborns. What they did not have is family. Or even a sort of surrogate family who would encourage growth. Many people in North America saw these helpless children on the news and decided that they would adopt one.

Christians can be the same – we might be born into new life with Jesus, but if we are left on our own, we can have that same “failure to thrive syndrome” in our spiritual lives.

This is why teaches that it is so important to be adopted into a fully functioning body of believers. Paul,says in Ephesians 4 verse 14,

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”

There was never meant to be any “Lone-Ranger” Christians.


John Wesley viewed connection to other Christians in community as essential to maintaining faith, growing in spiritual maturity and reaching others with the life-changing good news of Jesus Christ.

Listen to Wesley’s own words on this matter:

“Holy solitaries” is a phrase no more consistent with the gospel than “holy adulterers.” The gospel of Christ knows no religion but social, no holiness but social holiness. Faith working by love is the length and breadth and depth and height of Christian perfection.

In Ecclesiastes 4, Solomon is talking about the things in life that feel meaningless, or vain. He hits on working alone…

8 There was a man all alone;

he had neither son nor brother.

There was no end to his toil,

yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.

"For whom am I toiling," he asked,

"and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?"

This too is meaningless-

a miserable business!

9 Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down,

his friend can help him up.

But pity the man who falls

and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,

two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

I want to talk about Ecclesiastes 4 9-12 related to spiritual growth

9 Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their work:

If the work of the Christian is to come closer to God, and to serve him through serving others, then that work is best done in the company of others.

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