Smoke and Mirrors- One Is The Loneliest Number

Smoke and Mirrors

Speaker: Pastor Ty Neal
Date: September 24, 2017

Just when you think you have life figured out, it happens - the unexpected. It's ironic how life has so much mystery that leaves us asking more questions than there are answers for. So we go to God. We try to figure Him out. We cross our t's and dot our i's expecting him to be controlled and domesticated. But God is not to be tamed like a circus lion. This blows us up. So what are we to do? Where are we to find meaning and lasting happiness when we don't have all the pat answers we so desperately desire? What do we do when life feels like a bunch of smoke and mirrors? Join us as we go through the enigma, wrapped up in a mystery, surrounded by a riddle within the Bible known as the book of Ecclesiastes.

Title One is the Loneliest Number

Genesis 2:18 - 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Virtual Friendship

Friendly Friendship

Proximity Friendship

Big Idea: - need a friend in the gospel that pushes me deeper into Christ and pulls me further out of myself.

Quote “It is best to befriend those now who we hope to be his friend for all eternity. It is best to consider anyone a friend who drives us closer to God.” Thomas Fuller

Quote-“This truth of the Gospel is the principle article of all Christian doctrine…Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.” Martin Luther

Ecclesiastes 4:4 - 4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:5 -5 The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 -6 Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:7-8 - 7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 - 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 - 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

Proverbs 27:6 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Ecclesiastes 4:11 -11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?

Quote - To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. C.S. Lewis

Ecclesiastes 4:12 - 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:13 -13 Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.

Romans 8:1 - There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[

Quote - “In our work together, we’ve come to focus on developing and using a practice of gratitude…. The first step on this path is recognizing that gratitude isn’t just an exercise of etiquette: one more virtue we should cultivate…. Rather, it is our spontaneous response when we wake up to that fact fact that life is a gift.” Alan Jones

John 15:13-15 - 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants,for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Matthew 11:19 - 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

What is your excuse?

Who is or who could be your friend?

Quote - “True gospel-centered (friendship) moves you from being a sealed envelope to being an open letter.” Paul David Tripp

Quote“No one human being can bring out all of another person, but it takes a whole circle of human beings to extract the real you.”C.S. Lewis