Summary: (PowerPoint Slides freely available by emailing Emile@wWolfaardt.com) Learning to live each day to please God.
God-Pleasers – Part 3
We are wrapping up a three part mini-series entitled God-Pleasers. I have come to understand that what God expects from you and me is to live as God-Pleasers. Jesus did, and the Father said of Him, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus Himself made this incredible statement in John 8:29, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
Paul understood this and lived his life with the same goal – that was constantly before him – he tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:9 “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.”
We are instructed to make that very same goal the ambition of our lives – anywhere - everywhere, any time - every time.
Colossians 1:10, “. . . 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.”
That, folks, is the mandate. That is the bottom line. Allow me to give you a very simple but powerful question to ask. This will change the way you do what you do when you ask it. Are you ready?
Is what I am thinking, doing or saying please to God or displeasing to God!
Is it not interesting but if you ask the average Christian what pleases God you will probably get one of two responses. You either find them tongue-tied – not sure how to answer it – or you they will give you some outward measures. They will speak of . . .
Certain religious experiences (prayer, Bible study, witnessing, mode of baptism)
The absence of certain vices (don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t dance, don’t watch "R" rated movies)
The affirmation of certain theological litmus tests (abortion, view of the end times, stance on spiritual gifts, and version of the Bible you use.)
Now folks, here is a very important truth – if we miss this we may miss the whole thing altogether – and not even know we are missing it. You and I do not get to decide what pleases God. God has told us what pleases Him. We must go to the Word for that. If you and I will live to pursue that – it will save us from the ever present and spiritually crippling dual tendencies we have on the one hand to live to please others and on the other, to live to please ourselves.
We firstly spoke about The Biblical Pattern for God-Pleasers
Secondly we have seen some of The Biblical Practices of God-Pleasers
This morning I want to wrap that second point up and then thirdly look with you at . . .
The Biblical Promises to God-Pleasers
The Biblical Practices of God-Pleasers
So far we have seen from the Word of God that God-Pleasers . . .
Walk by Faith
Worship as a Lifestyle
Commit to Justice, Kindness and Humility
Now we learned last week that we need to take stock as God’s people. Watch this - you cannot pray your way into what you will not obey your way into! Why? Because prayer is not a substitute for obedience. As a matter of fact, we saw last week that . . .
Prayer without obedience is presumptuous.
Faith without obedience is pretentious
Positive Confession without obedience is arrogance.
The Biblical Practices of God-Pleasers
h. God-Pleasers Have a Faith Reputation
I would dare say that each one of us is known for something. It may be the fact that you are pretty, or successful or good with people or loud or too hasty. We all have reputations one way or another.
Hebrews 11:5 “For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God.”
This issue at the end of the day is simply this – am I living as a God-Pleaser? Is that my ambition – my goal – my singular purpose – my reputation? Here is how it works in Christian maturity. You make a principle decision to pursue a life that is pleasing to God. Then as you grow, as Christ is formed in you, as you mature you discover more and more that the things that please God please you too. Now watch this - when the things that please God are the things that please you, you can ask for whatever you want, and you will receive it. You can believe for whatever you want and you will be given it. You can do anything you want and you will succeed at it. You can confess anything you want and it will happen. You can have faith for anything you want and God will move heaven and earth to give it to you. Listen to this – God will move heaven and earth on response to the faith of somebody doing what He wants them to do. Here is the dirty little secret we easily get twisted. Faith is not the way for us to get God to do what we want, but the way God empowers us to do what He wants. Church – may I say that again? Faith is not the way for us to get God to do what we want, but the way God empowers us to do what He wants. Faith gets twisted when I use it to accomplish what I want, when I focus on me. The reason faith is given is to accomplish divine purpose.