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Better Together - Jeremy Cook

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Better Together ("If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.")

1. Introduction.

a. Many years of overseeing pastors and leaders has taught me they all usually battle with one main issue, I limits growth, it withholds blessing, and is the cause of many a good leaders failure – Insecurity.

b. Insecurity comes along the path initially of shame (you’re not good enough), then to rejection , and eventually gives rise to pride and insecurity.

c. Insecurity then leads to:

i. Making comparisons (forbidden)

ii. Weak self-identity and poor sense of calling in God

iii. Divisive and or controlling behaviour (jealousy, gossip, criticism etc).

iv. Inability to rejoice in others success and fruit.

v. Lack of harmony and love.

d. We in the Ukraine need to be free of that.

e. This group going forward needs to get rid of any issues of this but it is not an easy task.

2. Some Biblical Perspectives

a. Paul is clear we are one in Christ (Gal 3:28).

b. Jesus prays for harmony (John 17:21), so that others may believe.

c. Act 2:42-46 models unity and growth.

d. Mathew 18 gives us a practical model for forgiveness and demonstrates the consequences of unforgiveness.

e. Paul in Romans 12 and 1Cor 12 gives a message of the body of Christ and our need for each other. God designed it that way.

f. We are called to prefer one another , love one another, and serve one another, that is what the world longs to see. The NT contains that theme all the way through. .

g. The resurrected Christ always appears in of for community

i. The two Marys are sent back to the disciples having seen the resurrected Jesus (Matt 28),

ii. On the road to Emmaus the two disciples return to the community after having met the resurrected Jesus (Luke 24)

iii. Thomas doesn’t see the risen Christ until he returns to the community of the disciples (John 20).

iv. Peter goes back to fishing in his disappointment, but the other disciples go with him (community). John sees the Lord on the shore, Peter swims to him. (John 21).

h. Paul chastises the Corinthian church in 1Cor 1:10-12 because of divisions and quarrels.

i. Hebrews 12:15 (NIV84) 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. – One bitter root poisons a whole plant.

3. Some Practical Applications

a. Your brother is not your enemy.

b. Be honest about your issues

i. Do you need to confess things/behaviour?

ii. Do you need to ask for forgiveness?

iii. Do you need to pray for healing?

c. Determine at all times:

i. Speak the best of one another.

ii. Think the best of one another.

iii. Always trust one another.

iv. Prefer one another.

v. Pray for one another.

vi. Be honest with one another.

vii. Find ways to be kind to one another.

4. How can I overcome Insecurity?

a. We are beloved sons and daughters of God – our challenge is to live a life based on that knowledge.

b. Imagine your life as a straight line as below

c. A small life that passes fast, and two questions dominate;

i. Who are we?

ii. Who am I?

d. We answer that in three ways:

i. I am what I do – our feelings reflect our success or failure.

ii. I am what others say about me – can be very powerful and also very deeply wounding when negative and critical.

iii. I am what I have – when we gain or lose our emotions go with it.

e. Because this is wrong, our life goes up and down.

f. We survive by trying to stay above the line , but life is a zig zag. The end is death.

g. There is another way - We are the beloved of God.

i. Before Jesus temptation in the desert, he is baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit, when the Father says “this is my son whom I love, with him I am well pleased”

ii. Jesus now faces adulation, criticism, persecution, ridicule, and finally humiliation death – how because he is the beloved, he never lets go of that truth.

iii. The voice that calls you beloved, is the voice of first love, you love because God first loved you.

iv. Once that truth sits in your heart and life it controls everything. Humiliation, criticism, rejection and pruning only push us deeper into the love of God.

The life of the beloved

If we live in the truth of we are loved, it is s like a growing spiral fills our entire life.

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