Summary: Calorie counting and exercise are important but the road to health starts much deeper.
You can’t achieve any significant thing in this life without the help of other people. We need each other. This is the way God has wired the universe. God has arranged the universe so that life goes better when it is done with other people. And he spells this out for us in the Bible …
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).
There are some enormous benefits in doing life together; in “training with a workout partner.” Here’s some …
1. WE WORK BETTER WHEN WE SERVE TOGETHER (v9)
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NIV)
It’s just a simple fact that two people working together can get more done. We really are better together. Paul urged the believers at Philippi to …
[Then] make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose (Philippians 2:12 NLT)
2. WE WALK BETTER TOGETHER (v10)
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:10 NIV)
We really do grow better as we walk together through life. That is why we place such a high value on you belonging to a small group. Small groups are a place where you can practice being a Christ follower.
3. WE GROW IN WARM FELLOWSHIP BETTER TOGETHER (v11)
In fact it is impossible to fellowship alone!
… if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
(Ecclesiastes 4:11 NIV)
Fellowship is important because it helps us to …
Grow spiritually, emotionally and intellectually, socially as we model our lives on the example set by others.
Exercise respect for others
Understand others and learn patience
“Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love
(Ephesians 4:2b NLT)
4. WE WITNESS BETTER TOGETHER (v12a)
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves (Ecclesiastes 4:12a NIV).
It is far easier and more effective to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ when you have the support of others. And on the other side of the coin, seekers find it easier to make a decision for Christ when they are surrounded by people who support that decision. The Bible says …
Above all else, live in a way that brings honour to the good news about Christ … then I will know that you are working together and struggling side by side to get others to believe the good news
(Philippians 1:27 CEV)
Here’s some suggestions to help your small group become a red-hot witness together …
Study God’s heart for lost people (Start with Luke 15).
List and pray – keep a list of lost friends and pray for them.
Throw a party where your small group can rub shoulders with people outside the church.
5. WE WORSHIP BETTER TOGETHER (v12b)
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12b NIV).
God wants you to gather together with your Christian family to worship him weekly. And when you do he will meet you there. Jesus said …
Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you (Matthew 18:20 CEV)
there are some essential parts of worship that can only be done when we meet with others …
Encouraging each other
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Life really is better when it is done together. And if you want to be fit for life then training with a workout partner has to be a central part of the way you walk through your days.
Series and sermon title: Brian Mavis, Outreach Magazine.
Five sermon points based on Rick Warren’s five purposes.