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In Search Of The Better Life:

I. Better Is A Little With The Fear Of Jehovah:
II. It is Better To Take Refuge In Jehovah:
III. He Is Also The Mediator Of A Better Covenant:
IV. Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice.
V. It is Better To Suffer For Right.
Conclusion: Everything About Being A Christian Is Better


Introduction:
A. It is the natural goal of everyone to make their lives “Better”, but what in the world’s eyes does it take to make life “Better?”
1. A Better Personal Appearance? Face, hair, body, tan, clothing, teeth, etc. (Note: Millions of dollars spent in the cosmetic and fashion industry--Billboards now with cosmetic surgery ads).
2. More Money and Things? New Car, House, Boat, Bike, Bills Paid Off?? Win Lottery??
a. Some follow ups report that winning the Lottery has ruined some peoples lives, instead of making them better.
1 Tim 6:9-10 "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
3. Having fame, influence and friends in high places?
4. A Life free of troubles, trials and illness?? (If marriage or family is hard: better to leave???)
B. Fact is we are constantly making very important decisions about what is better in this material world:
1. Better means Superior, preferable, greater:
2. The world is telling us that the “Better” life is found in clothes, cars, credit, exercise, entertainment, etc.
C. We must let the Bible show us what really will give us the Better Life: True happiness, health, home, SALVATION!

I. Better Is A Little With The Fear Of Jehovah:
A. Contrary to the world’s general view, happiness is not found in wealth, but it is found in a faithful relationship of respect for God:
Prov 15:16-17 "Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Eccl 4:6 "Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit."

B. Love with a little is far better than wealth without love.
Prov 15:17 "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith."
C. An honest, upright life with a little is better having wealth, but no integrity.
Prov 16:8 "Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right."
Prov 19:1 "Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool."
Prov 28:6 "Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich."

D. A peaceful disposition is better than one who is contentious:
Prov 17:1 "Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife."
Prov 21:19 "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman."(or man).
Mat 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."

E. Self control is better than strength or might:
Prov 16:32 "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."
James 1:19-20 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God."

F. Wisdom and Character are better than having great possessions:
Eccl 7:1 "A good name is better than precious ointment; ..."
Eccl 9:18 "Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good."
Eccl 9:16 "Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard."

1. Our wisdom and character is all we will retain from this world:
Job 1:21 "And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
1 Tim 6:6-8 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."

II. It is Better To Take Refuge In Jehovah:
A. We must all trust someone or something in this world for our guidance and support:
1. Self?? Science?? Psychology?? Man made religions?? Material things??
B. The wise will realize that God is our only dependable helper:
Psa 118:8-9 "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. 9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes."
Psa 37:3-7 "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass."

C. It is Better To Trust In the Lord:
Prov 3:1-13 "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. 11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. 13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding."
D. It is better to never become overly concerned with what men might think or do:
Prov 29:25-26 "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. 26 Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment cometh from the LORD."
Heb 13:5-6 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."

E. Gods Word Must Be Our Confidence:
Psa 119:72 "The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver."
F. God’s Presence Is our better dwelling Place: Have some found a better place to be today??
Psa 84:10 "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."
Psa 122:1 "A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD."

III. He Is Also The Mediator Of A Better Covenant:
A. There are many prescriptions as how we should worship and serve God, but only one that is the Better Choice:
B. It is better to approach God through His Son Jesus:

Heb 1:1-2 "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"
Heb 3:3 "For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house."

C. We have a better covenant with better promises:
Heb 8:6 "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises."
Phil 3:7-9 "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"

IV. Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice.
A. Beware of the false idea that being religious is being better in God’s eyes:
1. Religious activity might be better than some things, but it is not as good as obedience:
1 Sam 15:22 "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."
1 Pet 1:22 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:"
Heb 5:8-9 "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"

B. Obedience is better than:
1. Faith alone
2. Religious sacrifices made up by men.
3. Morality without truth.
4. The Approval of the majority.

V. It is Better To Suffer For Right.
A. Most people think that it is better to be free of all trouble and suffering:
B. But, the Bible shows us that is not necessarily so especially if we suffer for right or because of God’s chastening.

1 Pet 3:17 "For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing."
Heb 12:5-6 "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."

C. Some may think it better, not to be rebuked when they are wrong:
Prov 27:5-6 "Open rebuke is better than secret love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."
Eccl 4:13 "Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished."

D. It is not always better to be free from sorrow:
Eccl 7:2-3 "It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better."

Conclusion: Everything About Being A Christian Is Better
A. It is better to be a Christian than to be a lost sinner:
1. A Christian home is better.
2. A Christian education is better.
3. A Christian marriage mate is better.
4. The Bible is better than man’s philosophies and teachings.
5. The church of Christ is better than churches created by men.
6. The Gospel plan of salvation is better than man’s way of salvation.
7. The simple Bible pattern of worship is better than the creations of men’s desires.
B. Why is it better to be a Christian?? You may escape Hell Fire:
Mat 18:8-9 "Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."
C. It is FAR BETTER to be with Christ:
Phil 1:23 "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:"
D. It is better not to turn away from the Lord:
2 Pet 2:21-22 "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

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