The Better Way

Text: I Peter 4:1-6


I.         What is accepted and praised in the world isn’t always what is best for people

            A.        Jesus’s sermon on the mount began with startling facts - Matthew 5:3-12

                        1.         When you take the opposites of what Jesus states brings true happiness, you find a list of things most people seek after: riches, happiness, assertiveness, fullness, revenge, do as you please, troublemakers, and avoiding trouble.

                        2.         Yet, none of the world’s ideas truly bring about happiness.

            B.        As a result, the world doesn’t understand - I Corinthians 2:14

II.        Might doesn’t make right

            A.        Proverbs 16:32 - Those who rely on strength don’t often take time to think

                        1.         They see no need to restrain themselves.

                        2.         At times you find books and movies glamorizing the berserker – the guy who goes mad with fury, destroying all who oppose him

                        3.         Yet anger rarely produces righteousness - James 1:19-20

                        4.         Strength is found in overlooking wrongs done to self - Proverbs 19:11

            B.        Proverbs 14:29 - People who don’t think act foolishly

            C.        Thus wisdom beats strength - Proverbs 21:22

                        1.         A wise person is strong without needing physical strength - Proverbs 24:5

                        2.         Illustrated - Ecclesiastes 9:13-18

                        3.         But because it isn’t “showy,” it isn’t honored as it should be

            D.        Better to have integrity - Proverbs 28:6

III.       Money can’t buy you everything

            A.        Having wealth doesn’t make up for people hating you and giving you grief - Proverbs 15:16-17

                        1.         Righteousness and love excel every time.

                        2.         Proverbs 16:8

            B.        It can’t give you a quiet spirit - Proverbs 17:1

                        1.         It has no stability - Proverbs 23:5

            C.        Striving for riches gives you more trouble - Ecclesiastes 4:6

                        1.         Better to be content with what you have - Ecclesiastes 6:9

            D.        Wealth doesn’t buy you wisdom - Proverbs 16:16

            E.        It can’t buy you love - Song of Solomon 8:6-7

IV.      Personal pride doesn’t bring satisfaction

            A.        Humility is better - Proverbs 16:18-19

                        1.         A proud person doesn’t watch where he is going

                        2.         Thus he easily falls - I Corinthians 10:12

            B.        Better to be alive and connected than death in your pride - Ecclesiastes 9:4

                        1.         Pride has no weight - Psalm 62:9

            C.        A proud man is rarely patient - Ecclesiastes 7:8

            D.        The proud end up putting their own desires first and won’t submit to God - Proverbs 28:14

                        1.         I Peter 5:5 - Submission affects more than just immediate relationships in this world.

V.        Lies doesn’t make life easier

            A.        Proverbs 19:22 - Lies are often justified as an attempt at being kind to someone, but lies are not truly kind.

            B.        Proverbs 27:5 - Open rebuke is better than concealed love

            C.        A liar doesn’t see the ramifications of his lies - Proverbs 19:1

                        1.         He is caught up in his own lies - II Timothy 3:13

            D.        There is no stability in lies - Psalm 5:9-10

VI.      The wicked don’t have more fun

            A.        Righteousness is better evil - I Peter 3:17

            B.        But the evil become beasts to be destroyed - II Peter 2:12-19

            C.        Fun is found in a simple life - Ecclesiastes 2:24; 3:12, 22; 8:15

            D.        Or as Paul put it - II Thessalonians 3:12-13

VII.     Which shall it be for you? Fruitless pursuits of temporary pleasures or working for a solid home? - Hebrews 11:24-27

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