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Summary: The only way we can stand strong in our families, churches and communities is when we walk in unity and guard against division and strife.

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UNITED WE STAND: DIVIDED WE FALL

INTRODUCTION: Vision 2016: “Seek God First.”

• “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8, NKJV).

• My hope is that this year you will catch a glimpse of the awesomeness of Jesus, and Seek God First in every area of your life! He is GOOD! Preach…

• TESTIMONY: Youth on Friday night – 7 students made first time decisions for Jesus!

• “So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” (Romans 5:11, NLT).

OPENING TEXT: “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24-25, NKJV).

THE BIG IDEA: The only way we can stand strong in our families, churches and communities is when we walk in unity and guard against division and strife.

BACKGROUND TO THE STORY:

• For the past three weeks, we have been studying the story of kings and prophets in Israel.

• The first three kings in a unified Israel were Saul, David and Solomon.

• As we come into First Kings Chapter 12, King Solomon has just died.

1. REHOBOAM’S CORONATION DAY:

“1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt, for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. 3 The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. 4 “Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.” 5 Rehoboam replied, “Give me three days to think this over. Then come back for my answer.” So the people went away.” (1 Kings 12:1-5, NLT).

• Solomon began ruling unwisely by overtaxing the people, forcing them into hard labor.

• His son Rehoboam is being crowned king, and the people ask him to lighten up.

2. REHOBOAM SEEKS ADVICE FROM WISE OLDER MEN:

“6 Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?” 7 The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.” 8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men...” (1 Kings 12:6-8a, NLT).

• Here was some great advice from some wise men, but Rehoboam rejected it!

• This was good advice: Jesus taught the concept of servant leadership too:

• “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.” (Mark 10:43, NKJV).

• Rehoboam’s dad Solomon had written: “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14, NKJV).

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