Together in Christ: 'More than Me!' — Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Friday, April 12, 2024

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

— Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT

Key Thought

God did not create us to be alone — to be a solitary person trying to make it through life alone in a harsh world. [1] When we read the Scriptures, we discover that some of God's strongest servants had trouble when trying to serve Him when alone. [2] Jesus intentionally sent out his disciples and apostles in pairs to do His work. [3] In the Torah, [4] God insisted that any legal testimony had to be established by at least two or three witnesses. [5] In addition, the Lord Jesus emphasized the importance of two or three believers gathered together in His name to have active fellowship that involved forgiveness, reconciliation, discipline, and community. [6]

Bottom Line: We need each other. We need Christian fellowship. We need the support and encouragement of other believers weekly, [7] and even better, daily. [8] So, we shouldn't be surprised by this insightful proverb found in our verses today. We are better off with a friend to share in our work, and they need us also. We can help each other up when we've fallen, keep warm when it is cold, defend each other when under attack, and be a solid and cohesive team when we weave our lives together with God. And these principles apply to physical, emotional, and spiritual situations!

So, dear brother or sister, don't try to do the Christian life alone. Join with other believers and encourage each other. [9] Our mutual support is vital to our faithfulness to Jesus!

[1] Genesis 2:18.
[2] When he was in Athens, Paul was laughed out of town and ridiculed over his teaching about the resurrection. He hadn't waited for Silas and Timothy to return (Acts 17:14-34) as planned. He came to Corinth in great distress and hardships (1 Corinthians 2:1-3). He felt alone when imprisoned and facing certain death (2 Timothy 1:8, 15, 4:6-7, 9-16). Even Jesus cried out in deep sorrow when he felt alone on the cross (Mark 15:34).
[3] Mark 6:7; Luke 10:1.
[4] The Torah is the part of the Bible containing Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. It is sometimes called the Books of Moses, The Law, or the Pentateuch.
[5] Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1; Hebrews 10:28.
[6] Matthew 18:20.
[7] Hebrews 10:25.
[8] Hebrews 3:12-14.
[9] There are many "one another" passages in the New Testament, emphasizing the importance of fellowship in Christ. Some translations have "each other" rather than "one another."

Today's Prayer

I come to you, my Abba Father, to ask for Your help and blessing as I seek to be an encouragement to other believers and find close Christian friends to share our fellowship and encouragement together. I know, dear Father, that I need other believers to strengthen and encourage me. Please help me to be that friend and encourager in the lives of other believers, as well. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 3:12-15, 10:23-25
  • 2 Corinthians 13:11-14, 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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Illustration

Illustration of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT — Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.