Two are better than one… (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
What God has joined TOGETHER let not man separate… (Mark 10:9).
Let’s never under-estimate the high value of fellowship, unity, and togetherness. It is a great treasure!
There are great blessings available as we fellowship with God and faithfully gathering with other brothers and sisters in the family of God. Regularly gathering together is very important. We are instructed to do it. It pleases the Lord.
May we continue to develop an ever closer, and intimate relationship with God – relating to Him respectfully and reverently! As well, may our relationships with one another be healthy, grow deeper, and be worthy of the respect and honor of one another.
GATHERING TOGEThER UNTO JESUS
Genesis 49:10 …and unto Him (JESUS, prophetically) shall the gathering of the people be.
Matthew 18:20 – For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Special note: Jesus is to be central in everything. (The Christo centric principle.) Romans 11:36 – For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 – …concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our GATHERING TOGETHER to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled…
Psalm 102:15-16; 21-22 – So the nations shall FEAR THE name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth Your glory. 16 For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem, 22 When the peoples are GATHERED TOGETHER, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.
Matthew 23:37 – O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to GATHER your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
Psalm 133:1-2 – Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell TOGETHER in unity… for there the Lord commanded blessing..
Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I (JESUS)stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine (sup; eat together; have dinner with; share a meal) with him, and he with Me.
Psalm 34:3 – Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name TOGETHER.
Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, and let us reason TOGETHER,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Psalm 50:5 – “Gather My saints TOGETHER to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
Isaiah 60:4 – “Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather TOGETHER, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side.
I Thessalonians 4:17 – Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up TOGETHER with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
TOGETHERNESS WITH JESUS
2 Corinthians 6:1 – We then, as workers TOGETHER with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
Ephesians 2:5,6– – even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive TOGETHER with Christ (by grace you have been saved),and raised us up together, and made us sit TOGETHER in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
I Thessalonians 5:10 – who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live TOGETHER with Him.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work TOGETHER for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
TOGETHERNESS WITH ONE ANOTHER
Psalm 122:3 – Jerusalem is built As a city that is compact TOGETHER,
Isaiah 40:5 – The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it TOGETHER; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 52:8,9 – Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing TOGETHER; For they shall see eye to eye When the Lord brings back Zion. Break forth into joy, sing TOGETHER, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 31:13 – “Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, And the young men and the old, TOGETHER; For I will turn their mourning to joy, Will comfort them, And make them rejoice rather than sorrow.
Mark 10:9 – Therefore what God has joined TOGETHER, let not man separate.”
Romans 8:17 – and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified TOGETHER.
Colossians 2:2 – that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit TOGETHER in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,
Colossians 2:19 – and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit TOGETHER by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
Special note: Through body ministry there is growth and supernatural increase from God.
I Peter 3:7 – Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs tOGETHER of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
I John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have FELLOWSHIP with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Ephesians 2:19-22 – (fellowcitizens; the household of God; we are built TOGETHER for a habitation of God).
Ephesians 1:3-5 – (we’ve been adopted and accepted into His family)…
Ephesians 4:16 – (fitly joined TOGETHER; compacted by that which every joint supplies)…
I Thessalonians 5:12-13 – …know those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord…
Hebrews 13:17 – Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account…
DON’T STOP GATHERING TOGETHER
Hebrews 10:23-25 – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 NOT FORSAKING the ASSEMBLING of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so MUCH THE MORE as you see the Day approaching.
Acts 2:42-44– And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common.
Like the song goes – “better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere”… 2
Psalm 84:10 – For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Special note: If your companions are pulling you away from fellowship (like some are doing), leave them – not the church. That is not just a man-made rule. It comes directly from Scripture – “…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is…”. One of 10 commandments is – “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). “You shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary, I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:30; 26:2)
Definition: being close to another person or people. Some similar expressions: camaraderie (close friendship in a group of friends or teammates), family feeling, connectedness, fellow-feeling, affection, , community of interest, team spirit, team spirit; comradeship, intimacy; friendship and love; good will; feeling of devotion or adoration; good fellowship; companionship.
“FELLOWS – SHIP” (fellows in a ship – more than one fellow in the ship – plural, not singular).
Companionship – company; company of equals; partners – helping; togetherness; friends – (getting along with each other); communion.
SPECIAL SECRETS ARE REVEALED TO THOSE WHO FEAR THE LORD and faithfully gather together for fellowship
Psalm 25:14 – The secret of the Lord is with those WHO FEAR HIM, and He will show them His covenant.
Special note: Through fellowship together we come to know the Lord better, and receive revelation from Him and through others of HIs ways…
SOME REASONS WHY WE NEED TO ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER IN TIMES OF FELLOWSHIP TO BE COMMITTED TO WALK IN THE FEAR OF GOD!
1. Jesus is going to judge us according to what we have done in our bodies while here in this earth. 2. Because of the awesome price that He paid for our redemption. Jesus act of obedience on the cross brings an awesome reverence and resect for God! 3. It helps give godly purpose to our lives: (Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.) 4. God instruct us to – it is very important to the Lord, and for us! 5. It is the wise way to live! 6. He promises that if we fear Him, He will bless us! 7. However, those who do not fear the Lord will know torment, and not experience God’s blessings!
BETTER TOGETHER – (Rick Warren) 1
Some of the following is condensed and summarized from Rick Warren’s book as a primary resource – “Better Together” – What on earth are WE here for? (see footnote)
WE NEED EACH OTHER!
It is impossible to thrive without each other! We need to be connected to a church fellowship family, and planted in the house of the Lord. That is very important for spiritual survival! We must continually remind ourselves that we belong to each other and need each other! Fellowship helps us grow more. It also helps others to grow more! Let’s help one another to know that we belong, and are accepted and needed!
Psalm 92:13 – Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.
Genesis 2:18 – …It is not good for the man to be alone.
Special note: There are many who would appreciate loving attention, and a thoughtful visit when sick and in need of loving prayer and concern.
Sad story: The news reported a man who died in his bed, and laid there for 2 years before his neighborhood in the same complex discovered it. He had lived there for 20 years already, but no missed him. Obviously he had not become connected in the neighborhood, nor developed friendships where there was any measure of accountability or reason to be missed.
I Corinthians 12:14-18 – (We are members of his body – every member is important.)
I Corinthians 12:21, 27 – And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”… 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
Romans 12:5,10 – So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another… 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Ephesians 4:11-16 – And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Colossians 1:8 – He is the head of the body, the church…
Colossians 2:2 – that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,
Ephesians 5:25-31 – Christ loves the church and gave his life for her…
Jeremiah 3:15 – (Pastors are given by the Lord, to feed with knowledge and understanding.)
Matthew 18:19,20 – When 2 or 3 agree in prayer TOGETHER, it shall be done… when 2 or 3 gather, Jesus is in the midst.
I Corinthians 11:23 – (Communion and remembrance of the Lord in our times together.)
Micah 4:1-2 – In the last days, people shall flow unto the house of the Lord together.
We need to be committed to each other!
COMMITTING TO ONE ANOTHER MEANS:
Loving no matter what – (Proverbs 17:17; Romans5:8). Being there for one another – Our presence is a source of encouragement (Hebrews 10:25). People need to feel that there is someone who cares, and is concerned about them personally. That is a great source of blessing and help. Benefiting each other – (1 Corinthians 12:7).
COMMITMENT MEANS WE RECOGNIZE EACH OTHER AS PARTS OF A GREATER BODY WORKING TOGETHER (Romans 12:4-5)
WHO OR WHAT ARE YOU COMMITTED TO? Have you ever established an intentional commitment to someone?
Romans 14:19 – Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
James 3:18 – the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Proverbs 18:24 – A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
- another translation – Some friendships don’t last for long, but there is one loving friend who is joined to your heart closer than any other!
We need to respect each other!
WE EXCEL IN SHOWING RESPECT WHEN WE WORK HARD AT BEING:
Tactful, not just truthful – (Ephesians. 4:15; Proverbs 15:4). Understanding, not just demanding – (Luke 6:31). Gentle not judgmental – (Romans 14:12-13). Polite not rude – (Romans 12:21).
Romans 12:10 – Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Hebrews 13:17 – Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account…
We need to support one another!
Galatians 6:10 – …as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
I Peter 3:8 – Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous (keep a humble attitude)….
I John 4:18 – Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
I Peter 1:22 – You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.
Special note: May there be a loving, friendly atmosphere as we gather. People need to sense love and acceptance from one another – it helps them to look forward to attending services with joyful anticipation.
I Thessalonians 5:11 – So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Ephesians 4:32 – Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
We need to get along with each other
James 3:17-18 – Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
Romans 14:19 – So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault.
I Corinthians 1:10 – I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
We need to be patient with each other
Ephesians 4:2 – Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
I Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud.
We need to be honest with each other (no more lies).
- Honesty strengthens fellowship
Ephesians 4:25 – So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
2 Corinthians 10:5 – We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
John 16:13 – When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
- Honesty requires that we mean what we say and say what we mean
Acts 20:20 – I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes.
- No more lies
Colossians 3:9 – Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
- The devil is the father of lies
John 8:44 – For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Romans 1:18 – But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
- The truth sets free
John 8:32 – And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Several kinds of lies
- Lies of commission (specifically and intentionally make false statements) – Ephesians 4:25; I Timothy 4:2; I Timothy 6:5)
- Lies of omission (fail to tell the whole truth, or deceive others) – Prov. 28:23; Prov 24:26)
No more pretense (2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5
Dishonesty pollutes our lives together – honesty is noble, and draws us together instead of bringing separation.
Special note: Let’s gather together with people who speak the truth, love the truth, and who worship in truth – (John 4:23,24),
Philippians 4:8 – 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest (noble), whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Luke 16:10 – He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
Galatians 2:11,12 – Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.
Special note: Peter was corrected by Paul because of withdrawal and separation, when he discontinued fellowship.
We need to be faithful to the Lord AND to one another
2 Timothy 2:2 – train faithful men… And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Psalm 133 – The Lord commands His blessing where there is unity and togetherness! – vs 1 – Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! vs 3… there the Lord commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.
Ephesians 4:1-3,13 – I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. … till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
As we faithfully GATHER TOGETHER it is a source of great encouragement and comfort to one another, and the Lord is pleased!
Let’s continue to be committed! Each member of the body is important! We belong to each other, and need one another…
- Special Acknowledgement: “Better Together – What on earth are we here for?” by Rick Warren; PurposeDriven Publishing, Lake Forest, CA, USA. This book was one of the primary resources used for a portion of this message.
- “Better is One Day in Your Courts” by Matt Redman, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndVRcqziKWA&ab_channel=SpreadingLightMusic
- Special Acknowledgement and thanks to Evelyn Asuncion for assistance helping with some of the preparation of this message and for sharing it at our online service.