Together is Better
Pastor Darrell Johns
“Two are better than one,” said the wise man, Solomon. He reasoned that together is better at work because two can generate more profit than one. Together is better in trouble because a friend can pick you up if you fall. Together is better in the cold, and together is better in battle. Solomon concluded that adding a third person to the equation is like a braided rope, made of three strands, that is not easily broken. (See Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.) Together is better.
The value of being together is expressed in Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Unity is like the holy anointing oil that transformed four diverse spices into one new fragrance. Unity brings diverse people together into one spiritual family. Unity is also like the dew that descended from Mt. Hermon, refreshing the parched hills of Judea. When people come together in unity, the Lord gives the blessing of eternal life. (See Psalm 133:3.)
Jesus prayed that his disciples would become one, that through their unity, the world would believe on Him. (See John 17:21-23.) In the early church, unity was described as fellowship, which is mutual participation balanced by mutual love. When we are bound together in fellowship, a mutual cause is coupled with mutual love among the people who share that cause. Therefore, the people involved in the mission of the church are not expendable. They are the purpose of the mission and they matter. Together is better!
The journey from here to Heaven is not a solo flight. While the Bible says that we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, it also admonishes us to confess our faults to one another, and pray for one another, so we can be healed. (See Philippians 2:12; James 5:16.) This balance of personal consecration and corporate participation is vital
to our spiritual health. The accountability and strength that joining together with a body of believers provides, is better.
Together means connecting to a local church, like Atlanta West, and making it YOUR church. Together means committing to a place of meaningful ministry, and making “together” possible through teamwork. Together means showing compassion toward others who are in need. Together is better, because when you unselfishly give to others, you always receive more than you gave, when you need it most.
Let me encourage you to connect to your brothers and sisters in our church family. Attend church-wide and smaller group gatherings. Participate in our monthly midweek break-out sessions. Make the commitment to join a team and serve the Lord at your church.
Together is better in the local church, but God’s church extends beyond our four walls. We are not an island to ourselves, and should not be isolated from other Oneness Pentecostal believers. We have all been baptized by one Spirit into one body, the church of Jesus Christ in the earth. (See I Corinthians 12:13.)
We are connected to the family of God in over 100 United Pentecostal Churches in Georgia, to the 4,500 United Pentecostal Church International churches in North America, and the 35,000 local churches in 220 countries and territories around the globe. Beyond our church organization, there are millions of born-again believers who make up the body of Christ on earth. (See John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38.) In Heaven, we will all be united together, forever.
Let me share several special opportunities for you to join with other members of the United Pentecostal Church International.
- Georgia District Campmeeting on July 5-7 in Milner, Georgia. Details are in this issue of The Messenger and at “georgiadistrictupc.com” under the events tab.
- Georgia District Junior Camp on July 10-14 for ages 7-11. Details are in The Messenger and at “georgiadistrictupc. com” under the events tab.
- North American Youth Congress on July 26-28 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Join over 35,000 Apostolic young people, youth workers, and adults for this unprecedented event. Lucas Oil Stadium will be shaken by the power of God and the praise of Spirit-filled students from all over North America. For more information go to “northamericanyouthcongress.com.”
- UPCI General Conference on September 26-29, in Kansas City, Missouri. During this week of meetings, training, fellowship, worship, and preaching, the Lord will encourage, strengthen, and give vital direction to His church. For more information go to “upcigc.net.”
Together is better, but not everyone is convinced of the value of being vitally connected and committed to a body of believers. I ran into someone recently who has disconnected from the local church. He assured me that he loves the Lord and has a spiritual leader. In our cordial conversation, I encouraged him to commit to a local church. I’ve thought about him a lot since our conversation. I am worried about him and his family. Alone means vulnerable. Together means stronger. Together is always better!