"TOGETHER" From the Start

Dr. Richard Foth

09-15-13

 

Acts 2:42 - Koinonia (agreement, common purpose)

              - Fellowship (20 times in NT)

You can see the sign just north of Fort Collins, CO - Overland Trail

…they gathered in INDEPENDENCE, MO  and they came west….came through Camp Collins and Laporte en route to OR or CA…500,000 from 1843 to 1869…in wagon trains…traveled together…not singly. Why? For safety, direction, provision, company

It’s what people have done in migrations around the world for centuries

TRAVELED TOGETHER

Let’s look back a minute…

GENESIS 1:26-27

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; 
   male and female he created them.

The creation of human beings is a shared decision. Not a whim, not independent but interdependent

“Let’s do this!” 

Man in God’s image?  Spirit, intellect, choice.

How about “together?”

WE ARE DESIGNED FOR IT…

…IT’S BUILT INTO US…

…FROM THE START     

We have the capacity for sharing because we were meant to be together.

Ecclesiastes 4:7-12

7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: 8 There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. 
There was no end to his toil, 
yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. 
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” 
This too is meaningless—a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. 
10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. 
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. 
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Anyone who’s ever worked out knows how much easier/better it is TOGETHER…

…and a Trainer’s even better

Can’t be close to MANY, but 2 or 3 is do-able

HERE FOTH GOES AGAIN!!!

The motif is found throughout the bible…

          Moses, Aaron and Hur

                   Daniel and the Hebrew children

                             Elijah and Elisha

                                      Jesus and disciples

It’s about one friend and The Trainer.

IT’S BUILT INTO US…FROM THE START

“Together” could be near or side-by-side, but it really means face-to-face.

Matthew 18:19-20

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” 

Parallel play in pre-school…side-by-side but no sharing

But, what makes teams…or military units…or marriages work?

Average to good players win games because they are together

Great individual players can lose games because they are individual.

Hard to be together…NOT FOR WIMPS!

The way Scripture talks about how we deal with “one another” is fascinating. WE ARE CHALLENGED BY IT.

Scripture commands us to be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10), honor one another (Romans 12:10), live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16; 1 Peter 3:8), accept one another (Romans 15:7), serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13), be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32), admonish one another (Colossians 3:16), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13), spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24), offer hospitality (1 Peter 4:9), and love one another (1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11; 3:23; 4:7; 4:11-12).

BUILT INTO US FROM THE START...YOU ARE A MIRROR FOR ME

II JOHN 12

"I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete."

I Corinthians 13:12

"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

CULTURE IS BITS N' BYTES….email, Facebook, twitter

That’s connection, but rarely “together”

Older woman in Penn Station in NY: “eye contact”

The power….meaning….intimacy:  I can see you’re your eyes and sense your heart and emotion.

Mom taking my hand and holding it to her face.

This yearning for together…IT’S BUILT INTO US

Genesis 2:18 "The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

When “together” stops, I move toward “alone”.  Alone is hell; together is heaven.

From timeouts to solitary confinement…

Aloneness is not about being single…(marrieds can be)

Different than choosing solitude (in a few months)

Not about the feelings of aloneness (we all have those)

Felt “most alone” during a Christmas in college….too tense at home….couldn't go there…But, I wasn't alone……I am designed for together

“Together” is expressed most profoundly (in Jesus’ actions toward me).

“Not good to be alone….is answered in Jesus….Immanuel…God with us. 

Came to be with….disclose His heart… reveal the Father

….look us in the eyes…hold us close

….take us Home with Him.

MOM’S STORY, July 11, 1910     

GWENDOLYN  FOTH

Pain…aloneness…music…humor…worked at staying connected….BEING TOGETHER

Three years ago last month at 100, Mom went HOME

FACE-TO-FACE…TOGETHER…         

Built for it…from the start