Iliff and Saltillo UM Churches
August 22, 2004
“What Makes God Smile?”
Psalm 119:135 Msg. Bible
“Smile on me, your servant; teach me the right way to live.”
Numbers 6:25 NLT “May the Lord smile on you.”
INTRODUCTION: Have you ever thought of God as a HARSH God toward you? Maybe someone who is “out to get you”? Sometimes we think He is someone who loves to punish us and frown upon our every move. We often mistake the FEAR of God as being “scared to death of Him.” A Christian once said to me, “if the Bible says FEAR, that’s exactly what it means--to be scared to death!”
On the other hand, have you ever considered what makes God smile? Probably most of us haven’t given any thought to that. From listening to people talk, it seems as if many don’t seems aware of God’s smile in their lives--even Christians so much of the time seem to be living without any indications of God’s smile in their daily lives. You may be at this point in your life where you feel that He has forgotten about you or that He is even frowning on you. But scripture says that God does, indeed, smile. We need to think about WHAT makes God smile upon us today and live in such a way that His smile will be more evident in our daily experiences. Let’s see what we can find in scripture that answers this question for each of us.
David in the Psalms was always trying to find ways to please the Lord and to make sure that the Lord was pleased with him. In Psalm 119:135 (NIV) he prays, “Make your face to shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees.” The Message Bible says it this way, “Smile on me, your servant; teach me the right way to live.” In these few verses he is concerned about the right way to live that is going to please God. He goes on to say, “I cry rivers of tears because nobody’s living by your book.” David was one person who felt the Smile of God on his life because he was said to be a person after God’s own heart.
Here are some things that cause God to smile upon us:
1. Putting God First: God smiles when we love Him with all our heart and put him first in our lives. Many Christians live on the fringe of what God wants them to be and do. “I’ll just go to church enough to keep my membership active or just give enough to satisfy the basic requirements. I will just do the minimum to get by.” David said in Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” He is saying, “As a deer thirsts for a stream of water, in the same way I thirst for you.” The water for a deer is a first priority--David felt this priority in his relationship with God. It wasn’t a casual, ho hum kind of thing. People will often come out right and say, “If I don’t have anything better to do, I’ll come to church.” In many of the Psalms you can see the intensity of David’s relationship with God and that he was not a person who was satisfied with the bare minimum spiritually.
Making God Number 1 in our life is not necessarily an easy thing to do because many things come to crowd out our commitment to Him. We have to DECIDE to follow Jesus. We have to DECIDE to not allow the cares of our life to crowd Him out. We may not always FEEL like going to church. We may even be out of the habit of going. We may not feel like making the tough choices when something else is calling for our attention. We may PREFER to do something else.