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Showing posts from August, 2020

BETTER TOGETHER verse

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24 NIV https://matthew.bible/matthew-6-24

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 23)

Which Will You Serve: God or Money?  Would you agree that we live in a culture of materialism? It’s like the goal is to get more and more and more. And just about the time you catch up with the Joneses, they refinance or file bankruptcy. And just about the time you think you’ve got it all, the Christmas advertisements come out, and they tell you about all kinds of things you didn’t know you couldn’t live without. It’s tough keeping your priorities right when you live in a society that’s all about “getting.” The one with the most toys wins, right? No! The one with the most toys still dies, whether or not you’ve got toys. There is only one antidote to materialism: generosity. Every time you’re generous, you have a spiritual victory in your heart. Every time you’re generous, your heart grows. Every time you’re generous, you break the grip of materialism in your life. Why? Because materialism is all about getting — get, get, get, get! It is your nature to get and to hold on. God say

BETTER TOGETHER verse

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV https://2corinthians.bible/2-corinthians-9-7

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 22)

Four Heart Attitudes for Giving How do you have the attitude God wants you to have when you give? It starts with your heart. God is a lot more interested in your willingness to give than your wealth, because he’s interested in what’s happening in your heart when you decide to give. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully’” (NLT, second edition). This verse talks specifically about four key heart attitudes you should have when you give. 1. Give thoughtfully. Don’t give impulsively. The most spiritual kind of giving is when you think about it and pray about it and make up your mind about it. Why? Because we plan anything that’s important in our lives. God wants your giving to be important and meaningful in your life. 2. Give enthusiastically . Don’t just say, “I have to give! If I don’t give God’s going to hit me with lightning or

BETTER TOGETHER verse

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV https://2corinthians.bible/2-corinthians-9-7

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 22)

Four Heart Attitudes for Giving How do you have the attitude God wants you to have when you give? It starts with your heart. God is a lot more interested in your willingness to give than your wealth, because he’s interested in what’s happening in your heart when you decide to give. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully’” (NLT, second edition). This verse talks specifically about four key heart attitudes you should have when you give. 1. Give thoughtfully. Don’t give impulsively. The most spiritual kind of giving is when you think about it and pray about it and make up your mind about it. Why? Because we plan anything that’s important in our lives. God wants your giving to be important and meaningful in your life. 2. Give enthusiastically . Don’t just say, “I have to give! If I don’t give God’s going to hit me with lightning or

BETTER TOGETHER verses

I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. Luke 16:9 NIV https://luke.bible/luke-16-9 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:18‭-‬19 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/1ti.6.18-19.NIV

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 21)

The Best Investment You’ll Ever Make Generosity is an investment. Luke 16:9 says, “Use your worldly resources to benefit others” (NLT, second edition). I’ve said many times that you can’t take it with you. Did you know that mortuaries sell burial suits? They’re for people who want to be buried in a suit but don’t have one. Do you know what the difference is in a burial suit? There are no pockets in them! It’s true! You don’t need them, because you can’t take it with you. But you can send it on ahead. How do you do that? By investing in people who are going there. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:18-19, “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven — it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well” (TLB).

BETTER TOGETHER verses 1 - 2

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 NIV https://matthew.bible/matthew-6-21 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. Acts 4:32 NIV https://acts.bible/acts-4-32

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 20)

The Connection Between Generosity and Community When we’re generous with each other, we draw closer to each other, and that creates community. Someone from my church sent me a letter once that read: “My neighbor asked if he could borrow my ladder, and I said of course. I later learned that he already had one of his own. He didn’t need to borrow my ladder; he just used it as a way to build our relationship. When he borrowed my stuff, it made me feel that I was needed, and I liked that feeling. I’ve now learned to do the same thing with my other neighbors. Another neighbor has a shop vac, and I borrow it every Friday night to clean my car with my son. In fact, now Roger leaves it out for me. I told Roger recently that I could afford to buy my own shop vac, but I just like the interaction of borrowing his. Roger asked me to please not buy one for myself. He had learned to see the connection between generosity and community.” The Bible says in Matthew 6:21, “Your heart will be where

BETTER TOGETHER verses

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8 NIV https://1peter.bible/1-peter-3-8 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19 NIV https://james.bible/james-1-19 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. Proverbs 20:5 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-20-5

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 19)

Learn How to Be Empathetic You’re never going to live in harmony with your wife, your husband, your friends, or anybody else without empathy. You can’t have a team without being aware of what’s happening in each other’s lives. That’s why when people work together in an office, they may do work together, but they’re not a team unless they know what’s going on in each other’s lives. Empathy is so important because it meets two of our deepest needs: the fundamental need to be understood and a deep need to have our feelings validated. If you’re going to build a team of friends or at work or in your small group, you have to build empathy into the structure. So how do you become an empathetic person? 1. Slow down.  Because our culture teaches us to move fast, we end up relationally skimming. That means you’re hitting the high points and missing all kinds of details in the lives of people you care about most. James 1:19 says, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry”

Verses 3 - 4

A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. Proverbs 11:13 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-11-13 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-17-17

BETTER TOGETHER verses 1 - 2

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16:10 NIV https://luke.bible/luke-16-10 Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find? Proverbs 20:6 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-20-6

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 18)

Here’s How to Become a Trustworthy Person Trust is the emotional glue that draws you closer to your friends, your family, and your small group. Without trust, you’re never going to have the intimate relationship that God wants you to have. Teamwork without trust is impossible. Proverbs 20:6 says, “Many people claim to be loyal, but it is hard to find a trustworthy person” (NCV). That was written thousands of years ago, and yet we have the same dilemma today: Who do you trust? How do you find a trustworthy person? More importantly, how do you become a trustworthy person so that people trust you? 1. You earn people’s trust by being consistent.  The Bible says in Luke 16:10, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” (NIV). Today everybody wants to serve God in the obvious and showy ways. But God says you build trust by being faithful in little things. Even when no one is watching you, God is. He sees what you’re doing. And he says that if you’re faithf

BETTER TOGETHER verses 1 -4

then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Philippians 2:2 NIV https://philippians.bible/philippians-2-2 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:9 NIV https://1corinthians.bible/1-corinthians-3-9 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:5 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-12-5 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: Ecclesiastes 4:9 NIV https://ecclesiastes.bible/ecclesiastes-4-9

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 17)

You Serve God By Serving Other People There’s only one way you can serve God: by serving other people. Whenever you use your talents, time, energy, and resources to help other people, that’s called ministry. But God doesn’t want you to minister alone! Philippians 2:2 says, “Make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose” (NLT, second edition). Why does God require this? Why can’t you just serve God on your own? 1. Because we’re family. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:9, “We are co-workers in God’s service” (NIV). If you’re in God’s family, God wants you to get along with the other family members. In fact, God is more interested in the relationships you build during service together than he is in the service that you do. He wants you to learn to get along with the family of God. 2. Because we need each other.  We need each other to serve. Nobody has all the talents. Nobody has all the gifts. G

Verses 3 - 4

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10 NIV https://james.bible/james-4-10 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 NIV https://1john.bible/1-john-1-7

BETTER TOGETHER verses 1 - 2

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 NIV https://james.bible/james-5-16 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-28-13

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 16)

Four Benefits to Admitting Your Mistakes There’s a secret ingredient that builds community faster than anything else: admitting our mistakes. But why in the world would anybody risk honesty? Because it’s worth the risk. God says there are four benefits of being honest about our mistakes, our feelings, our faults, and our fears. 1. Emotional Healing  The Bible says in James 5:16, “Admit your faults to one other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (TLB). There is a big difference between forgiveness and emotional healing. If you need forgiveness for something in your life, all you need to do is confess it to God. Emotional healing comes from telling somebody else. 2. A Fresh Start  Proverbs 28:13 says, “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.” One of the most helpful things you can do in your small group is help people forgive themselves. A lot of people need somebody to say,

BETTER TOGETHER verses

that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Romans 1:12 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-1-12 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 1 Timothy 4:7 NIV https://1timothy.bible/1-timothy-4-7

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 15)

When You Help Others Grow, You Grow, Too God wired it so that when you help other people grow, God helps you grow. You never grow faster than when you’re in fellowship with other believers and encouraging each other’s commitment to following Jesus Christ. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:7, “Keep yourself in training for a godly life” (TEV). How do you keep training for a godly life? You stay in a small group, and you get a spiritual partner. Have you noticed that it’s always easier to work out when you’re working with somebody else? You need someone to walk alongside side you through your journey of faith, and you need to make the same commitment to other people. Nothing affects your life more than your commitments. Tell me what you’re committed to, and I’ll tell you what you’re going to be in 20 years, because you are becoming whatever you are committed to. Your commitments shape your life! And if you’re not committed to anything, other people are shaping your life. Your commit

BETTER TOGETHER verse

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10 NIV https://galatians.bible/galatians-6-10

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 14)

The Greatest Gift of Love Is Attention The Bible says in Galatians 6:10, “Give special attention to those who are in the family of believers” (NCV). So why do people in the family of God get special attention? Because whatever you pay attention to is going to grow. If I pay attention to my garden, it’s going to grow. If I pay attention to my kids, they’re going to grow. If I pay attention to my marriage, it’s going to grow. If I pay attention to my work, it’s going to grow. What is the greatest gift of love? It’s not diamonds, flowers, or chocolate. The greatest gift of love you can give is focused attention. You can affirm people just by looking them in the eye, which essentially tells them, “I value you. What you have to say is important to me because you matter to me.” What people want more than anything else is focused attention. They want to know that their thoughts matter, that their lives matter, that they are valuable. The essence of relationships is not what we do for

BETTER TOGETHER verses 3 - 5

equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:21 NIV https://hebrews.bible/hebrews-13-21 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Ephesians 1:17 NIV https://ephesians.bible/ephesians-1-17 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. 2 Thessalonians 3:5 NIV https://2thessalonians.bible/2-thessalonians-3-5

BETTER TOGETHER verses 1 - 2

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. Colossians 4:12 NIV https://colossians.bible/colossians-4-12 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. Hebrews 3:19 NIV https://hebrews.bible/hebrews-3-19

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 13)

How to Pray for Spiritual Growth Paul wrote about a prayer warrior in Colossians 4:12: “Epaphras ... always prays for you that you will grow to be spiritually mature” (NCV). Epaphras is a hero to me. I don’t know about you, but prayer is hard for me. You’d think it should come naturally, but it doesn’t for me. So it impresses me even more that Epaphras had the discipline to always take time to pray for people. But I also love the fact that he prayed for peoples’ spiritual growth. We usually pray for peoples’ needs — health and financial and relational — but we don’t spend nearly as much time praying for their spiritual growth. We don’t pray that God would change our character to be more like him. I think one of the reasons is that we don’t know what to pray about. Fortunately the Bible is filled with verses about how to pray for somebody to grow spiritually. “May you be able to feel and understand … how long, how wide, how deep, and how high [God’s] love really is; and to ex

BETTER TOGETHER verses

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-15-7 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-12-10

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 12)

Affirm Others By Accepting Them Here’s a little secret: Everybody is looking for affirmation. Have you noticed that? People will do almost anything to get it. If you don’t believe that, just watch some of the reality shows. Look at what people do to get on TV, just so people will applaud them. God is an incredibly affirming and loving Father. When you affirm other people, you are showing love and representing Christ. Jesus affirmed people as he ministered, so you are ministering like Jesus did. You’re showing the world a little bit more about what God is like. One of the best ways to affirm people in everyday life is to show them acceptance. Romans 15:7 says, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you” (NIV). The easy choice sometimes is to snub and belittle and demean people, especially when they don’t measure up to our standards. We all have a tendency to take our strengths and project them on other people, and then put them down when they don’t meet our expectat

BETTER TOGETHER verse

when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Ephesians 4:21‭-‬22‭, ‬24‭-‬25 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.4.21-25.NIV

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 1

Change Requires Honest Community To change the defects in your life, you have to have people in your life who tell you the truth. You’re not going to get well on your own; you’re going to need other people in your life. You’re going to need support. You’re going to need a small group. Change requires honest community. There are some things in your life you’re never ever going to be able to change on your own, typically the things that are the most difficult in your life and that you don’t want anybody else to know about. You’re never getting over those things until you share them with someone. You don’t have to tell everybody. You just need to find one person who will trust you and whom you trust — someone who will be confidential, love you unconditionally, not be judgmental, and pray for you. Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing. This does not mean a small group where you get together on a superficial level and everyone is “fine” or “doing great.” You have to ge

BETTER TOGETHER verse

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 NIV https://1john.bible/1-john-4-18

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 10)

Love Drives Out the Fear in Your Relationships “I hate you!” When people say that in relationships, it’s often a sign that somebody’s trying to control somebody else. What’s beneath that control? It’s fear. Insecurity causes us to try to control others or resist the control of others. When you’re so insecure that all you think about is what others think of you, it destroys your relationships and disables your life. It’s an amazing dilemma we have as human beings: We long to be close, but we also fear being close. We long to have intimacy with others, but we’re also scared to death of it. Insecurity prevents intimacy and destroys your relationships. You can’t get close to somebody if there’s fear in the relationship. If insecurity destroys relationships, then what builds them? Love! Love builds relationships. The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “Love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it … shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love”

Verse 5

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; John 11:25 NIV https://john.bible/john-11-25

Verse 5

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13‭-‬18 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/1th.4.13-18.NIV

Verse 4

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God   ; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1‭-‬3 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/jhn.14.1-3.NIV

Verse 3 continue

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.  For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.   “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:4‭-‬14 NIV https://bible

Verse 3

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3 NIV https://matthew.bible/matthew-24-3

Verse 2

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:1‭-‬5 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/2ti.3.1-5.NIV

Verse 1 from tonights Service

my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. Hosea 4:6 NIV https://hosea.bible/hosea-4-6

How Close is the Rapture is the title of the Sermon.

GREAT MESSAGE! https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1675422525956466&id=579670035531726&sfnsn=mo&d=n&vh=i

Verses 4 - 5

to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:23‭-‬24 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.4.23-24.NIV In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; Philippians 2:5‭-‬6 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/php.2.5-6.NIV

BETTER TOGETHER verses 1 - 3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, Philippians 2:3 NIV https://philippians.bible/philippians-2-3 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-16-18 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8 NIV https://1peter.bible/1-peter-3-8

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 9)

Pride Destroys, Humility Builds Up Pride destroys relationships. It shows up in a lot of different ways, like criticism, competition, stubbornness, and superficiality. The problem with pride is it’s self-deceiving. Everybody else can see it in us but us. When you have a problem with pride, you don’t see it in your life. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride leads to destruction; a proud attitude brings ruin” (NCV). I love this verse in the Message paraphrase: “First pride, then the crash — the bigger the ego, the harder the fall." Pride destroys relationships, but humility is the antidote to pride. Humility builds relationships. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:8, “Live in harmony, be sympathetic, love each other, have compassion, and be humble” (GWT). How are you and I going to grow in humility? It happens by letting Jesus Christ begin to control our thoughts and hearts and attitudes and reactions. He’s got to be a part of this. Ephesians 4:23-24 says, “Let the Spirit change your way

Verses 4 - 5

and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24 NIV https://ephesians.bible/ephesians-4-24 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; Philippians 2:5‭-‬6 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/php.2.5-6.NIV

BETTER TOGETHER verses 1 - 3

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8 NIV https://1peter.bible/1-peter-3-8 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, Philippians 2:3 NIV https://philippians.bible/philippians-2-3 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-16-18

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 9)

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 9) Pride Destroys, Humility Builds Up Pride destroys relationships. It shows up in a lot of different ways, like criticism, competition, stubbornness, and superficiality. The problem with pride is it’s self-deceiving. Everybody else can see it in us but us. When you have a problem with pride, you don’t see it in your life. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride leads to destruction; a proud attitude brings ruin” (NCV). I love this verse in the Message paraphrase: “First pride, then the crash — the bigger the ego, the harder the fall." Pride destroys relationships, but humility is the antidote to pride. Humility builds relationships. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:8, “Live in harmony, be sympathetic, love each other, have compassion, and be humble” (GWT). How are you and I going to grow in humility? It happens by letting Jesus Christ begin to control our thoughts and hearts and attitudes and reactions. He’s got to be a part of this. Ephesians 4:23-24 says, “Let the Spirit ch

Verse 4

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. Mark 8:35 NIV https://mark.bible/mark-8-35

Verse 3

not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:4 NIV https://philippians.bible/philippians-2-4

Verse 2

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? James 4:1 NIV https://james.bible/james-4-1

BETTER TOGETHER verse 1

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7‭-‬8 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/gal.6.7-8.NIV

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 8)

Sow Selflessness and Reap Eternal Life Selfishness destroys relationships. It is the number one cause of conflict, arguments, divorce, and even war. James 4:1 says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (NIV) Every trouble starts because of our self-centeredness. It’s very easy for selfishness to creep into relationships. When you start a relationship, you work really hard at being unselfish. But as time goes on, selfishness begins to creep in. We put more energy into building relationships than into maintaining them. If selfishness destroys relationships, then it is selflessness that makes them grow. What does selflessness mean? It means less of “me” and more of “you.” It means thinking of others before you think of yourself and putting the other person’s needs before your own (Philippians 2:4). Selflessness brings out the best in others. It builds trust in relationships. In fact, if you start acting selfless

BETTER TOGETHER verses

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 NIV https://hebrews.bible/hebrews-11-1 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Luke 5:20 NIV https://luke.bible/luke-5-20 ("Friend.... is Written in Red)

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 7)

Raise Your Expectations of God God works in people’s hearts when we expect him to do so. Before each service at Saddleback Church, I pray, “God, it would be a waste of time to go out there and talk to those people without expecting you to do something. So I’m going to thank you in advance for changing lives. I expect it to happen in faith. Not because of who I am, but because of who you are.” That is the faith that God uses to change lives. Very few people come to Jesus Christ the first time they hear the Good News. They’ve got to think about it and take the time to make the right decision. Never give up on anybody. Nobody’s hopeless! You have to trust God. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (NIV). Some of you have been praying for some time for your boyfriend or your child or a close friend to become a believer. You’ve been praying for years, and yet you don’t see any evidence that they’re any closer in their

Verse 2

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV https://2timothy.bible/2-timothy-1-7

BETTER TOGETHER verse 1

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-12-16

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 6)

Make Friends to Make Disciples Everybody’s looking for a true friend — not just acquaintances but people who are there with you when you need them most. God wants you to build true friendships with the people that are already in your life so that you can share the Gospel with them. God has put these people — your co-workers and classmates, neighbors and teammates — in your life specifically so you can share with them about the most important decision they will ever make. If you don’t tell them about what Christ has done for them, then who will? The Bible says in Romans 12:16, “Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people” (CEV). Christians tend to fall into one of two extremes: isolation or imitation. Some Christians say, “I don’t want to get polluted by the world. I’m just going to isolate myself. I’ll build a wall and my own little culture.” Isolation doesn’t work! How are you going to build any friend

BETTER TOGETHER verse

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NIV https://acts.bible/acts-1-8

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 5)

Tell Others Your Great God Story The most effective way to let other people know about the great things that God can do in their lives is to tell them the story of what God has done in your life. That is what makes a difference. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere” (NLT). When I hear the word “witness,” I think of a courtroom. It’s a perfect picture of what God’s asking us to do to make a difference in the world. He doesn’t tell us to be the attorney, arguing the case. He doesn’t tell us to be the judge, judging other people. He wants us to be his witnesses. What does a witness do? A witness just says, “Here’s what I’ve seen. Here’s what I heard.” A witness just tells other people the story of what God’s done in their life. Friends don’t keep good news from other friends. You tell them the good news of what God has done in your life so that it can make an eternal difference in their lives. Are you unsure how to get started? H

Verse 2

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Colossians 4:3 NIV https://colossians.bible/colossians-4-3

BETTER TOGETHER verse 1

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel Philippians 1:27 NIV https://philippians.bible/philippians-1-27

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 4) sorry I'm a day late.

Go on Mission Together You were made for a mission. God wants you to share his love with other people — your friends, family, and the people you work with — who are not in his family. Why does he want you to do that? Because God wants everybody in his family. God has never made a person he didn’t love and have a purpose for. God has never made a person that Jesus Christ didn’t die for. So God wants us to share that Good News. But you’re not alone! God wants you to go on mission with other people. Philippians 1:27 says, “You are standing side by side with one strong purpose — to tell the Good News” (TLB). How do you share with your friends that God loves them? And how do you do it in partnership with other people? You do it through your small group. First, you pray together. You ask your small group to pray for your friends who don’t have a relationship with God. You can’t force anybody to love God, but you can pray for them. Your friends may reject your arguments or refuse t

BETTER TOGETHER verse

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-12-15

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 3)

When You Face Trouble, Community Is Your Safety Net When you experience suffering in life, you need people to weep with you. There are situations that nobody should ever have to go through alone. Nobody should ever have to wait alone in the hospital while a loved one is in a life-and-death surgery. No woman should ever have to wait alone for the lab report on a problem pregnancy. Nobody should have to wait alone for news from a battlefield. Nobody should have to stand alone at the edge of an open grave. Nobody should have to spend the first night alone after a spouse has died or walked out. The fact is, some of these things are going to happen to you. They’re inevitable. You’re going to go through tragedy. You’re going to get bad news. You’re going to experience heartache. Only a fool would go through life totally unprepared for something that you know is going to happen. The time to build the safety net — the network of supporters and friends — is now. What is God’s safety ne

BETTER TOGETHER verse

to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up Ephesians 4:12 NIV https://ephesians.bible/ephesians-4-12

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 2)

Community: God’s Answer to Defeat Who’s watching out for you? You need people who will defend you, stand up for you and protect you, help you stay on track, and warn you. We all need this, because we all have blind spots. Philippians 2:4 says, “Look out for one another’s interest, not just your own” (TEV). If you want a counter-culture verse, that’s it! In America, the general idea is it’s all about “me” — my needs, my interests, my wants, and my ambitions. But the Bible says we should care about each other. We’re family! As brothers and sisters in God’s family, we should defend each other and help each other stay on track. Since Sept. 11, 2001, we’ve all been more vigilant in watching out for each other. But did you know that you have an enemy far more destructive than terrorists? Oh, yes! You have a personal enemy, and he hates your guts. His name is Satan. He wants to mess up your life. He wants to ruin your relationships. He wants to defeat you. Why would he do that? B

BETTER TOGETHER verses

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16 NIV https://ephesians.bible/ephesians-4-16 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6‭-‬7 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/col.2.6-7.NIV

BETTER TOGETHER (Day 1)

In the Journey of Life, We Need Each Other! The Bible says in Colossians 2:6-7, “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him” (ESV). The Bible often compares life to a walk, because you don’t just sit still in life. We are on a journey! Throughout the New Testament we’re told to walk in wisdom, in love, in light, in obedience, and in the Spirit. But one of the key ways that God tells us to walk is this: You were never meant to walk through life alone. This has nothing to do with whether you’re single or married. Marriage does not solve the issue; community does. And you find community in your spiritual family — the Body of Christ. Some of you say, “What’s wrong with walking alone? I like waking alone. In fact, I prefer it. I can go at my own pace. I don’t have to wait for anybody.” You may like walking alone, but you need others to walk with you through life. Let me give you three reasons. 1. It’s safer.  Have you ever had to walk through a dark alley at night or d

Verse 4

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13‭-‬14 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/gal.5.13-14.NIV

Verse 3

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:7‭-‬10 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/2ti.1.7-10.NIV

Verse 2

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:12‭-‬18 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/2co.3.12-18.NIV

GOD SO GOOD verse 1

(Some of it is Written in Red) Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.  “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”  The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.  In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. T

GOD SO GOOD (Day 5) Last Day

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Where The Spirit Of The Lord Is  The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:17 :  … where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  Paul did not follow Jesus during His earthly ministry. Instead, he spent his days persecuting people who followed Jesus. It wasn’t until years after Jesus’ death and resurrection that Paul was on the road to Damascus and had a supernatural encounter with Jesus that changed his life forever.   This framework really enhances the meaning of the phrase, “where the spirit of the Lord is ...” because Paul was a living example of what could happen when the Spirit of the Lord intervenes.  If the Spirit of the Lord could take someone like Paul—who spent his days trying to kill followers of Jesus—and transform him into one of the most influential voices in the early church and the author of most of our New Testament, then there truly is nothing God cannot do.  When you are in Christ, you are not the sins you have committed, the person you once were

Verse 5

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:12‭-‬13 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/jhn.14.12-13.NIV

Verse 4

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. Luke 10:18‭-‬19 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/luk.10.18-19.NIV The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Luke 10:17 NIV https://luke.bible/luke-10-17 Th

Verse 3

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “ ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:8‭-‬12 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/act.4.8-12.NIV

Verse 2

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9‭-‬13 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/rom.10.9-13.NIV