“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
One of my all-time favorite Christmas presents was a Rubik’s Cube. My folks gave it to me for Christmas when I was in the first grade. Momma ordered the Rubik’s Cube. She didn’t order it online. There was no such thing as “online” when I was a kid. Momma ordered the Rubik’s Cube from the Sears and Roebuck catalog.
Today, with all the technology and video games available to them, a kid would not want something like a Rubik’s Cube. But when I was a little boy, everybody wanted one for Christmas. I was so excited on Christmas morning when I opened that gift. I spent most of the Christmas break learning to work the Rubik’s Cube.
When school started back, I took my Rubik’s Cube to show off to all my friends. At my school, we had a bully. His name was Big Jamie. Big Jamie should have been in the third grade, but he was held back. Being “held back” is a nice way of saying he failed. Big Jamie failed the first grade twice. So, he was two or three years older than the rest of us, and he used to push us around.
I was out on the playground with my Rubik’s Cube when Big Jamie snatched it out of my hand. Someone told me that a bully was just a lot of hot air and bluff. If you stand up to him, he will get scared of you and run. Then you won’t have anymore trouble out of him. That was the worst advice I ever had. I said, “Give me that back or you are going to get it.” Big Jamie hit me in the face. The blow knocked me down. Big Jamie stood over me with my Rubik’s Cube in his hand and laughed.
I heard a voice say, “Give it back to him and leave him alone.” I turned and saw my friend, Joe Ray, standing in front of Big Jamie with his fists raised. The next thing I knew, they were fighting. Joe Ray whipped Big Jamie and handed me my Rubik’s Cube. For the rest of my school years, if I stayed around Joe Ray, I never had to worry about that bully bothering me.
If you try to whip the devil on your own, he will beat you every time. Jesus defeated Satan at Calvary and gave power and authority to His church. You need other people in the church to help you fight your spiritual battles.
Some of you reading this today, will go to church this week for Christmas services. For many of you, this will be the first time since Easter that you have been to church. Some of you only go to church twice a year. If that is you, I use the term “chreasters” to describe you because you only show up for church on Christmas and Easter. When I call you a chreaster, it is not my intent to discourage you from going to church this week. I want you to go. But I also hope that you go next week, and the next week, and so on. I hope that you will find and become a part of a local Bible believing church.
The point is: You need a church family, so you don’t face the trials of life alone. Helping each other can strengthen us, but self-reliance makes for weakness. Christianity is not a choose-your-own-path religion. God says you need to go to church more than twice a year.
Don’t be a chreaster.
James Collins is the pastor of Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. You are invited to their community breakfast tomorrow at 9:45 am, followed by their Christmas Sunday service. You are invited back the following Sunday, and the next, and the next. For more information visit the website fortscottfsbc.com.