Summary: Have you ever felt like God was just a little bit upset with you about something? In our world it is very common for people to be walking around carrying guilt, even for the Christian. As a matter of fact, I believe most Christians, most of the time, carr
Approach: I like to start off with something funny
A man goes to Africa on a safari.
While there, he comes upon an elephant, in great pain, with a giant thorn in its foot. The man very carefully approaches the elephant, and gingerly removes the thorn from its foot. The elephant begins to walk away, then turns and stares at the man for a full minute, locking eyes with him. The elephant then continues on its way. "I wonder if I ever see that elephant again if it will remember me?" the man muses to himself.
It is a few years later
The man is at a circus back in the States. He notices that one of the elephants keeps looking at him, almost like it KNOWS him.
The man wonders, "Could this be that elephant I helped so long ago?" He decides to get a closer look. With the elephant still giving him the stare down, the man moves in closer, getting right up in front of the elephant. They lock eyes. A knowing look seems to cross the elephant’s face It reaches down ...
...picks the man up carefully with its trunk...
...lifts him high in the air...
...THROWS HIM CRASHING TO THE GROUND AND STOMPS HIM FLAT!
Turns out it wasn’t THAT elephant.
Interview: Have you ever felt like God was just a little bit upset with you about something?
In our world it is very common for people to be walking around carrying guilt, even for the Christian. As a matter of fact, I believe most Christians, most of the time, carry an uneasy feeling that God is a slightly perturbed with them about something. Do you ever feel like that?
Some Christians feel like that because of things in their past, sometimes even things they did years and years ago.
Some Christians feel like that because they do not believe they are living up to God’s expectations day to day. They feel they don’t pray enough, or they don’t read their Bible enough or they don’t witness enough or they are just not good enough.
Some Christians feel like this because they have something in their life they are still struggling with even though they may have been a Christian for many years.
Some Christians feel like this because they were raised in an overly-strict and condemning environment.
Demonstrate: God is pleased with you and he wants to free you from those feelings of guilt or uneasiness.
I am here to tell you that, if you are a Christian, a born-again believer in Christ Jesus, God is not upset with you about anything. In fact God is very very pleased with you. He is so pleased with you he smiles every time he thinks about you. And since he is thinking about you all the time he is always smiling on you.
When Jesus was baptized God did something he has rarely done in all of history. He addressed the world verbally. He spoke out loud from heaven and declared "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Then when we were born-again we were given this same blessing by being made children of God with whom God is pleased. John 1:12 says “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Apostle Paul taught us in Gal 4:4-7 “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”
God made us then he bought us and made us his very own children. And he declares you are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.
Validate: Illustrations of God’s pleasure
Most of us remember the story of Pinnochio. What we remember most about Pinocchio is how his nose grew whenever he told a lie. The story is actually much deeper than that. The original tale was written by Carlo Collodi about 1883. Pinocchio is in many ways a beautiful illustration of what Christ has done for us. The original 1940 Disney film captures some of the essence of the original story by transforming a sadistic, cruel, heartless little wooden boy and turns him into a real boy with a good heart but who is weak-willed and doesn’t always listen to reason.