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Better- Together is better

Better
part 2
Together is better

Ephesians 2:19 (LB) “you are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.

1. Increased focus on independence

2. Increased Mobility

3. Increase in Modern Conveniences

4. Increase in Social Media

Text Ecclesiastes 4:8-12

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: 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. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

1. Seclusion.

verse 8 “There was a man who was all alone”

2. Selfishness.

verse 8b “His eyes were not content with his wealth.”

3. Sadness.

verse 8c “this too is meaningless a miserable business”

4. Sickness

5. Sin

Why is together better?

1. You need help.

verse 8 “there was a man all alone, he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil.”

Genesis 2:18 “It is not good for man to be alone.”

Genesis 2:19 “I will create a help mate for him.”

Genesis 1:26 “Let us create man in our image.”

2. You need to help others.

Ecclesiastes 4:8-10 “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!”

Ephesians 2:10 (LB) “It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.”

3. We need to help each other.

Verse 9 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor

Better- Wisdom is better

Better
Part 1
Wisdom is Better

God’s ways are better

Ecclesiastes 2:12-14 NCV “Then I began to think again about being wise, and also about being foolish and doing crazy things. But after all, what more can anyone do? He can’t do more than what the other king has already done.13 I saw that being wise is certainly better than being foolish, just as light is better than darkness.14 Wise people see where they are going, but fools walk around in the dark. Yet I saw that both wise and foolish people end the same way.”

1. Wisdom is not easier

2. Wisdom is not quicker

3. Wisdom is not more popular

Why is wisdom better?

1. Wisdom gives you constant protection

Proverbs 2:10-11 MSG “Lady Wisdom will be your close friend, and Brother Knowledge your pleasant companion. 11 Good Sense will scout ahead for danger, Insight will keep an eye out for you. 12 They'll keep you from making wrong turns, or following the bad directions from those who are lost themselves”

2. Wisdom gives you clear direction

Proverbs 2:6 and 9 “For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding…Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go.

Proverbs 4:10-11 MSG “Dear friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life. I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way, I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road. I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys, or wasting time making wrong turns.”

3. Wisdom gives you continued success

Proverbs 3:-1-2 MSG “Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you; take to heart my commands. They’ll help you live a long, long time, a long life lived full and well.”

Proverbs 3:15-16 NLT “Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.

So if wisdom is that much better, then how do I get it?

Proverbs 2:6 (CEV) “all wisdom comes from the Lord and so do common sense and understanding.”

Proverbs 8:22-30 “The Lord formed me (wisdom) from the beginning, before he created anything else. 23 I was appointed in ages past, at the very first, before the earth began. 24 
I was born before the oceans were created, before the springs bubbled forth their waters. 25 
Before the mountains were formed, before the hills, I was born—26 before he had made the earth and fields and the first handfuls of soil. 27 I was there when he established the heavens,
when he drew the horizon on the oceans. 28 I was there when he set the clouds above, when he established springs deep in the earth. 29 I was there when he set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries. And when he marked off the earth’s foundations, 30 I was the architect at his side.

Proverbs 2:3-5 "call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Proverbs 2:6-8 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”

SOAP- Part 4

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

4. It opens our eyes

verse 12-13 “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.”
APPLICATION:

3 things I must do with God’s word.

1. I must accept it’s authority.

Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is flawless.”

Psalm 119:96 “Nothing is perfect except Your word.”

2. I must assimilate it’s truth.

Psalm 119:11 “I will hide his word in my heart…”

Psalm 119:97 “How I love Your teachings, I think about them all day long.”

3. I must apply it’s principles.

John 13:17 “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

James 1:22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

PRAYER:
God let your word get in me and change me and help me to get your word to others.

SOAP- Part 3

SOAP
Week 3
Acts 15

SCRIPTURE:

Acts 15:36-41 “Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.”

verse 39 “They had a sharp disagreement

OBSERVATION:

Conflict happens, even among Christians

1. Unresolved conflict hinders your peace

Psalm 55:12-14 “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14  with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God,
as we walked about among the worshipers.”

2. Unresolved conflict hinders your prayer

Matthew 11:24 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours."

Verse 25 "and when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins."

Matthew 5:23-24 "So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and suddenly you remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God."

3. Unresolved conflict hinders your progress

Amos 3:3 “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?”


APPLICATION:

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”

1. Speak the truth in love

2. Apologize when I’m wrong

James 5:16 "Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you might be healed."

3. Let it go and move on

PRAYER:

God help us to learn to live in your peace in all of our relationships

SOAP- Part 2

SOAP
Part 2: Acts 8

Scripture
Observation
Application
Prayer

SCRIPTURE:

Acts 8:1-8 “And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. 4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.”

OBSERVATION:

verse 1-4 “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. 4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”

  1. Build your character

James 1:2-4  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”

b. Teach you to depend on God

c. Bring hope to someone else with the same pain

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
“Praise be to the God …. the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

d. Reveal God’s glory

John 9:3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

APPLICATION:

Verse 8 “There was great joy in the city”

How do we keep our joy even in painful times?

1. Stop asking why.

2. Start seeing bad circumstances as a good opportunities.

3. Stay focused on what really matters.

PRAYER:

God help us to endure the painful times with your purpose in mind.