Summary: (PowerPoint Slides freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Learning to live daily with one goal in mind - to please God.
God Pleasers – Part 1
Everybody is living to please somebody. There are no exceptions. You may be living to please your father or mother, your spouse or child, your teacher or coach, your girlfriend or boyfriend. You may be living to please yourself or you may be living to please God. But everybody is living to please somebody. This morning I want to embark on a life changing venture with you as we start a mini-series I have entitled “God Pleasers.” You see, I believe that the church at the commencement of the 21st century is in danger of falling into one of two equally fatal and ultimately destructive errors – that of being man pleasers on the one hand, and that of being self pleasers on the other. Either of those will be her undoing. You and I face that challenge as strongly as any.
Jesus lived His life to please God. God testifies to this saying, “This is beloved My Son in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)
Jesus says in John 8:29, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
What was Paul’s ambition in life? He records it for us in 2 Corinthians 5:9 “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.”
What was the main ambition of Paul’s life? It was very simple – to please God.
Are we an ambitious people? I hope so! Are we striving to exceed, to excel, to attain excellence and do outstanding exploits? I really hope so! And the first and foremost way in which we desire to accomplish that is by pleasing God. Let me give you Bible for that:
Colossians 1:10, “. . . so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
You see my friend – this is the distinctive mark of the Christian’s life. It is this that differentiates us from the world. It’s not that we LOVE MORE or CARE MORE or DO MORE than our neighbors. There are times the world loves more, cares more and even does more than the Christian. It is that WE LIVE TO PLEASE GOD. As a matter of fact, I would dare to say that our only business in this life is to please God.
1 Thessalonians 4:1, “Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.”
May I ask you this morning – is that the driving force of your life? Is that the focus of your ambition, the mark of your passion, the summing-up of your purpose? May I suggest to you this morning that anything short of that or anything beyond that or anything other than that departure from purpose and, as such, illegitimate and inappropriate?
So then the question we must ask ourselves is this: - What does it mean to please God? What does it mean to live as God pleasers? I want to give you the 12 marks of God Pleaser as we look at some biblical characteristics of those who please God.
As I do that may I go straight to the point and tell you that I am preaching for your life change. I am not preaching for your approval or your entertainment. I am looking for nothing short of a life-change commitment from you this morning and over the next few weeks as we look at the Word of God together.
1. God Pleasers Seek Intimacy
Hebrews 11:5-6 “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
One of the marks of a God pleaser is that they spend their lives seeking to draw closer and closer to God. I believe it is possible to be committed to the church of God without being committed to God, committed to ministry for God without being committed to God, committed to the promises of God without being committed to God. There is a large contingent of people who attend church, are involved in ministry, witness and put money in the offering plate but they do not pursue God. It is not about God – it is about them. They are more caught up with singing songs than with worshiping God, with the gifts from God than the glory of God. They are addicted to the anointing, enjoy the abundance of blessing – function in the ministry with their gifts like religious bounty hunters. The last time I checked God was still looking for a bride, not a one night fling with a girlfriend who was enamored with herself.