Summary: We please God when we read, believe, understand, and practice what the Bible says.
Mark Twain once said, “Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you will always find someone else to do it for you.”
This week has been a week of learning for every single one of us. I spent parts of four days at a seminar in Indianapolis and by the second full day had a headache from the schedule and pressure of learning. It was well worth it and you will be getting bits and pieces of it in the later stages of this sermon series.
Some of our kids and teens have spent the week trying to remember what they learned up to this point as they took the ISTEP test. And we adults learned some new things as well on the job, at home, and in the community. Some of the learning was perhaps formal learning like my experience this past week and the rest was informal learning. But all of us learned something this week.
We are always learning – formally and informally. We never stop learning something each and every day of our lives.
Granted, some of us are glad when formal learning, school, was/is over and we no longer have to study things that we don’t understand, or like or find irrelevant to our lives. But we are always learning and some of the learning is hard for us to accept sometimes because it forces us to deal with aspects of life that we rather not have to deal with.
One important source of learning for us as followers and believers of Christ is the Bible. What have you learned from the Bible this week?
We are spending this fall looking at ways we please God. Two weeks ago we were told that we please God when we regularly examine our motives and priorities against God’s standards for us as His people. Last week we learned that we please God as we follow God’s plan of salvation.
Last week I also gave us a working definition of pleasing God because the word please and the idea of pleasing have emotional baggage for many of us because we have had times in our lives in which we have had to please difficult people in ways that were sometimes very demeaning to us and others. Here is our working definition, “to please God is to follow God and His purposes as stated in the Bible with a motivation of love and obedience.”
Our stop today is a key stop because it is a strategic way that we are able to please God because, as far as our first two stopping points, it is the standard against which we are able to measure our lives and it describes the way of salvation that God has made possible through Jesus Christ. We please God when we read, believe, understand, and practice what the Bible says.
Our text for this morning illustrates the place that scripture plays in helping us to please God, 2 Timothy 3:14-17:
But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.
Paul, an important Christian missionary, is writing to a younger man named Timothy in this passage of scripture. We read more about Timothy in the book of Acts where we find out that he accompanied Paul on two of his three missionary journeys.
This book, 2 Timothy, was Paul’s last book. It is written toward the end of his life that ended by execution. It is a last work from a member of the first generation of Christian leaders and believers to a person who was a member of the second generation of Christian believers and leaders.
Please notice the following statements:
• Remain faithful to the things you have been taught, you know they are true for you know you can trust those who taught you
• The holy Scriptures… have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
• All Scripture is inspired by God
• Useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives
• God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.