July 9, 2006
Knowing God’s Pleasure
All three of my sons have played sports over the years and one of the things I enjoyed most about the experience was the way that whenever one of them scored a goal, they would immediately turn and look to where I was standing to see if I was watching.
Have you ever worked in a place where those who are in charge never speak to you unless it is to bring criticism? Of coarse there are times when rebuke is necessary but most of us respond better to positive motivation.
We want to please those who have authority over us.
- At work we want our employer to appreciate us.
- We want parents and grandparents to be proud of us.
- We want our teachers to approve of our progress.
- We want to know God is pleased with us.
Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.
For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.
Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.
I’m not talking about earning God’s love, we have that without condition.
We’re not earning points, God’s not gonna “getcha” if you don’t do what he wants, I’m talking about building a passion into your faith by being willing and obedient.
There are a lot of strange ideas around the Church about what brings God pleasure.
- Some think dressing a certain way, keeping a certain hairstyle, and not wearing jewelry or having tattoos is the thing. Cleaning the outside of the cup.
- Some go with self-deprivation, the more miserable they are the better they think they are doing, no fun, no money, no abundant living.
- Some play the self-righteous game; they avoid all evil places, people, and things. They won’t go to the theatre so they have to wait and rent it on DVD.
So often we have no idea what someone else will appreciate. It’s like watching guys in Speedos at the beach, thinking the women like what they like. No clue!
Show the clip from:”Chariots of Fire”.
God takes pleasure in his creation in Genesis. Today we are going to look at what the bible says will bring God pleasure.
It brings God pleasure when we:
1. Run after Him.
This is what the LORD says:
"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.
The closer a relationship is the harder it is to get away with lies. Once you have been married a few years you will stop trying if you are smart. As soon as I come in the house Kathy looks at me and says, “What have you been up to?”
Look what the scripture says:
- Understands me
- Knows me
- Gets my kindness, justice, and righteousness.
Take David as an example, here is what God said:
After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ’I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart.
David knew how God felt about him:
Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.
He was a real worshipper. He was also an adulterer and a murderer but he kept on running after God.
Look at your own life; is there any evidence of a passionate relationship with God? Are you still running after Him or have things cooled to a lukewarm level?
Compare it to a good marriage, the early emotions are not the same, they are replaced by either a deeper committed love or a cooled passionless thing.
Song of Solomon 1:2-4
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the maidens love you!
Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers.
It brings God pleasure when we:
2. Push the boundaries of our faith in Him.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Although we know that; most of us settle into a comfort zone and stop pushing ourselves unless some disaster befalls us.
Last year when Silas’ appendix burst on Boxing day I was immediately plunged into a fervency of prayer and faith.
Sometimes we ask God for something and when things do not turn out as we had planned we give up on the whole idea of faith.
Our experiences do not negate the word of God.
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ’Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ’Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ’Do this,’ and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.
Have you pushed the limits of your faith lately?
Maybe you can begin by doing number three.
It brings God pleasure when we:
3. Love someone in His name.
The unmistakable and overwhelming theme of the New Testament and especially of Jesus ministry is love.
Psalm 133:1, 3
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Why not bring God some pleasure by putting some action to your love.
- Have someone over and get to know them better.
- Drop off a load of groceries for someone in need.
- Seek forgiveness if you have become estranged from someone
- Mend a broken relationship.
Power Point Available on request – email@example.com