Sermons

Summary: Paul gives us three great ways we can PLEASE the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY - 1. Being a bold and courageous witness 2. Possess a "Pleasing God" Mindset 3. Serve with Agape Love (Nursing Image)

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 ; Psalm 1

Theme: "It's Been My Pleasure"

Paul gives us three great ways we can PLEASE our LORD GOD ALMIGHTY - 1. Being a bold and courageous witness 2. Possess a "Pleasing God" Mindset 3. Serve with Agape Love (Nursing Image)

INTRO:

Grace and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ, God's Only Son - our Messiah, Savior and King! Peace from the Holy Spirit who infills us and transforms us this morning!

We have all watched it in some form or fashion and more than likely we have all done it or been the recipients of it. What is "it"? We have all done our best or have watched others do their best to either please us or we please them.

+We have watched a young man or a young lady do their best to please their girl friend, boy friend or spouse. They have spent hours getting ready, putting on the right clothes, the right make-up or getting their hair fixed just perfect. They have spent hours putting together the perfect date or the perfect meal or vacation. They have lost weight, gained weight, gotten into shape, bought new clothes, a car, learned how to do all kinds of new things all with goal of pleasing the person that they care about and love. They are willing to do practically anything to bring that other person some happiness and joy.

+We have watched parents attempt to do the same thing for their children. They give of their time, talents and resources to make their children happy. They go out of their way to find this particular electronic device or that particular pair of shoes or article of clothing. Countless hours are spent in gyms, on ball fields, at music and taekwondo studios, cheerleading sessions and who knows what else. More than enough Happy Meals are bought, Chuckie Cheese trips are made along with the occasional adventures to Wendy's and Burger King. Vacations to Disney World are carefully planned out and executed to bring happiness and joy to their little ones. And as the children grow older there are I-pads, I-phones, I-tunes along with a host of other "necessary" electronic devices all bought with the sole purpose of pleasing this child or that child.

+We have watched people at work do everything within their power to please the boss or the company. Precious hours spent at work instead of being with friends and family. Hours of work brought home so that some boss could be pleased or so that some report could be turned in that would make the boss look good.

+We have watched the same thing with some teacher or some student athlete with their coach or team. They sacrifice their time, their talents and even their bodies to please the coach, the team or the teacher.

In our passage this morning we see this same mindset and passion from the Apostle Paul. Only instead of trying to please a spouse, a child or someone else the Apostle Paul is doing his best to please the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.

In verse four we read these words:

"Rather, we speak as people whom God has validated to be entrusted with the gospel; not with a view to pleasing people, but in order to please God, who validates our hearts." (KNT)

The goal for Paul is that of pleasing God. It's the same goal that we see in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. In John 8:29 the Bible tells us - "And the one who sent me is with me. He hasn't left me alone, because I always do what pleases him."

And in fact, that is exactly the response that we see Jesus receiving on the day of his baptism. In Matthew's account of Jesus' baptism these are the words he recorded -

"Then there came a voice out of the heavens. This is my son, by beloved one, said the voice, I am delighted with him." (Matthew 3:17 - KNT)

This morning, let's look at those little phrases - "in order to please God", "I do what pleases him" and "I am delighted with him".

What exactly does it mean to please the LORD? What exactly does it mean to have that as one's life goal - "TO PLEASE THE LORD?" What does it look like in every day life?

I mean is that a concept that we see a great deal in our world today? Is it not true that when most people think of God they think more how God can please them? How God can meet their needs? How God can answer their prayers and take care of them? How many people come to church, read their Bibles and say their prayers all with the underlying notion of getting something from God? They do this so naturally God has to do that.

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