Summary: The duty and privilege of all believers is to please God.
I am not sure when or how the idea got started, but somewhere along the line some of us have accepted the idea that serving God is primarily about denying ourselves of pleasure…..in order to follow rules.
I believe that the Bible teaches that Christianity is not about following a set of requirements in a dispassionate fashion like schoolchildren who have just found out that they will have to do multiplication tables instead of going to recess. Rather, it seems very clear that God wants His children to understand that they were created for pleasure.
Since the fall, the human race has been separated from the fellowship that Adam and Even shared with God. It was as if heaven and earth had been linked by an enormous golden chain, stretching into the clouds above--but sin quickly severed that bond. Yet God Himself had a solution. He became the sacrifice upon a cross to restore fellowship between Himself and His creation.
The cross was where Jesus reached up with his last bit of strength to clutch that detached golden link, pulling heaven once again to earth, and as He permanently anchored it to the cross, He cried out “it is finished”!
Yet despite these titanic feats of mercy and grace on the Lord’s part, there are still Christians who feel that God is on the outskirts of their lives. I’m here to tell you that God has gone to great lengths for you to have pleasure! His plan is that you would find this pleasure by living to please Him.
In today’s passage Paul talks about three ways in which the weary Christian can enjoy the pleasure of the Lord. God loves you and wants you to enjoy your relationship to Him by using the body, mind and gifts that He has given to you.
With our Bodies
With our Minds
With our Gifts
With our bodies
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.
• The Bible tells us that our bodies have a greater purpose that goes beyond mere dressing, feeding, exercising, and working….they are literally intended to be little temples dedicated to pleasing God!
• I exhort you today, in view of God’s mercies shown at the cross to set some new goals. What do you want to accomplish for the Lord in your lifetime?
2 Cor 5:9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
• And if we share Paul’s goal to please God, we need to see that a commitment to that goal is necessary.
• Paul says that our commitment is to offer our own bodies to God as living sacrifices.
• But notice that this is not a typical sacrifice. Christ died as our sacrifice so that we might live as holy and pleasing sacrifices to God!
• We were bought with a price so that we would live just as Jesus did. John 8:29 summarizes Jesus’ entire mission in one verse:
“The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him."
“For every look at Yourself take ten looks at Christ."
ROBERT MURRAY MCCHEYNE
With our minds
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
• The second way that we are to please God is with our minds.
• Too many times people forget that we are to love God with all of our mind.
• The sinful mind cannot please God, but He delights in the mind controlled by His Spirit.
• We are to use our minds for the Lord by searching for things that we can do to please Him!
Eph 5:8-10 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
We can find out what pleases the Lord by reading His word…that sounds so simple, but the Bible is where God shows us the things that He loves!
• We need to destroy the idea that God’s pleasure and our pleasure are mutually exclusive! By doing what God loves, we will reap dividends of joy for all eternity!
Rom 14:17-18 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.