Summary: A message exploring the 4 most popular ways we displease God and the 3 ways we please Him most.
Stephen N. Collins
Millville – 09/05/08
What Pleases God?
“What does the LORD require of you?”
Icebreaker: (Show Pictures of Office)
Intro: I came in that day to my office, worn out. The stress of a busy week was getting to me, and I walk in my office to see that. And you know what? I laughed my tail off. My day got brighter. I love that sort of thing. I pick on my friends, and when someone picks on me a little bit, it lets me know that they consider me a friend, too.
-When someone does something like that for me, it lets me know that they have taken the time to get to know me, to remember things about me, and to invest their life into mine. It’s very pleasing to me. It brings me joy.
-What brings God joy? Have you ever thought about what pleases God? Have you ever thought what He wants for you?
-Maybe you think that there are some sort of strict requirements that you have to meet in order to please God.
-We had a wedding here yesterday at Millville and both the husband and wife had to meet some pretty stringent requirements in order to get married. They had to apply for a marriage license, they had to fill out all kinds of paperwork, they had to plan the wedding, they had to meet with me every 2 weeks over the course of about 5 months before the wedding, they had to read a book I required them to read and answer to pretty tough personal questions before I would perform the ceremony for them.
-Every facet of our lives has requirements and consequences. We’re used to both. We know the requirements our job places on us. We’re know the consequences if we don’t meet the requirements. We know the requirements of the law. We know the consequences if we fail to meet them. We know our requirements to pay taxes to the government. We know the consequence if we don’t. In this year’s presidential election, there’s a lot of talk about the “required experience” to serve in the highest public office in the land.
-We are used to requirements. So let me ask you: What does God require of you? What are required to do with our lives to please God?
-Today, we’re going to find out. I promise you this: it’s not as hard as you think.
-The first thing we’re going to look at are the most popular ways we humans displease God.
The 4 Most Popular Ways to Displease God
1. Living with an absence of a real faith. (Heb. 11:6a)
Illustration: Faith is important in relationships. For example, faith plays a big role in my relationship with you as the preacher today. You know why? Because it is only by faith that you came here today expecting me to have anything worth saying. And it is only by faith that I believe you’re actually paying attention when I speak!
Questions: So, faith plays an important part in our relationships, right? So how important must it be in our relationship with the author of our faith?
Main Point: Faith always pleases God. But living with an absence of real faith hinders us from pleasing God.
Scripture: Hebrews 11:6a
“And without faith it is impossible to please God.”
-We can’t please God if we constantly worry about tomorrow and all it might or might now bring, because God wants to be trusted, and He wants the world to see the peace he offers to those who have real faith in Him.
-Where’s the evidence of faith in your life? Some people talk a lot about faith, but that’s all it is – talk. They may know all the right words to say, but their lives don’t reflect God’s power. It’s nothing new.
Scripture: 1 Cor. 4:19 (NLT)
“But I will come—and soon—if the Lord lets me, and then I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power.”
-Paul says that the Kingdom of God is to be lived, not just talked about. There’s a big difference between knowing the right words and having a close walk with God. And pleasing God is always directly linked to our daily walk with Him. Whoever wants to find God must seek Him with their whole heart.
-So, are you really experiencing God’s power in your life? Would you say your faith is pleasing to Him or not? Are you seeking Him with all of your heart? If not, there’s no way your life can be pleasing to Him.
2. Allowing the activity of the flesh to guide our decisions. (Rom. 8:8)
Main Point: The 2nd most popular way to displease God is allowing the activity of the flesh to guide our decisions.