What gives us pleasure?I find
pleasure in looking into my grandchildren’s sweet faces and seeing those big
blue happy eyes. I recently experience pleasure listening to an orchestra concert
and heard plenty of old tunes from the big band era.
God created us for his pleasure. Our first purpose in life it to bring
enjoyment to God. Bringing pleasure to God is called “worship.”Anything we do that brings pleasure to God is
an act of worship. Rick Warren tells us, “The most common mistake Christians make in
worship today is seeking an experience rather than seeking God.”
A. W. Tozer, once regarded as a prophet of the 20th
century, said, “True worship is to be so personally and hopelessly in love with
God, that the idea of a transfer of affection never even remotely exists.” So…how do we do a good job of pleasing
God and making him smile?
“He takes pleasure in those that honor
him; in those who trust in his constant love.” Psalm 147:11 (TEV)
We please God by what we do and not only
by what we believe.” James 2:24
A.We please God
when we give him our whole being – our heart and soul and mind and strength.
“Love the Lord you God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30
We please him when we obey wholeheartedly…when we love him supremely….
When we trust him completely…when we praise and thank him…when we use our
abilities…when we enjoy his creation…when we use kind words…when we tell the
truth…when we encourage others.
Question: “How much pleasure is
God getting out of my life?”
B.The heart of
worship is when we surrender all of ourselves to him.
A.W. Tozer said, “The reason why many are still troubled, still
seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come
to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering
with God’s work within us.”
We can’t fully surrender until we come to the end of ourselves. We
fully surrender when we rely on God to work things out instead of trying to
manipulate others, control situations, and force our plan. Letting go and
letting God have ALL is our challenge.
Surrender yourselves to the Lord, and
wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7a
Question: "How much have I surrendered to God?"
It’s comforting to know that we are asked to surrender to someone who
wants to be our best friend.
C.We please God
when we make him our best friend.
We make Jesus our best friend by getting to know him. We read of him
and we talk with him. We carry on a constant dialogue with him. What are the
characteristics of a best friend relationship? We trust our best friend. We
share secrets with them. We are honest with them. We often indulge them. We
talk kindly to them and they talk kindly to us. We say good things about them. We
praise them. We introduce them to others.
That only happens when we spend
time with them. Jesus wants to be that kind of friend. How can we worship him
in our friendship? All that we say, think, feel and do throughout the day will
be an act of worship toward our best friend.
Question: "What kind of friend am I to God?"
Real personal worship characteristics
A.Comes from a
desire to give God our heart and soul and mind and strength
B.Comes from full
surrender to God
building a relationship with God.
To hear an audio of my lesson, Real Worship, click below:
If your life were a
metaphor, what would it be? Forest Gump’s mama taught him, “Life is a box of
chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” How do you describe life?
Is it a game? A dream? A cabaret? A dance? A battle? A mystery? How we view
life speaks volumes about how we shape our decision and what we think, feel,
say, and do? In his book What on Earth Am I Here For? Rick Warren
tells us the Bible offers three metaphors that teach us God’s view of life:
Life is a test, life is a
trust, and life is a temporary assignment.
Life on earth is a Test.
All of life is a
test.We are always being tested.
Everything is important because everything we think, say, and do reveals our
character.Our responses to people and
our experiences reveal who we are.When
we experience problems, conflict, success, sickness, we have opportunities to
reveal character, andwe either show
that we are walking closer to Christ or moving away. Perhaps the most important
test comes when we don’t feel close to God – like those days when we’re in our
cave of sadness or anger or depression.Everything
is significant.Every moment of life is
a growth opportunity.Can we consider
our obstacles as opportunities? It’s good to remember that god wants us to “pass”
the tests of life, and He promises to give us the strength to endure them.
Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to
people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested
beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will
give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out. I
Corinthians 10:13 (GNT)
Life on Earth Is a Trust
God has entrusted us with
gifts and resources.He has given us all
things to use wisely. Remember, he has given each of us our garden to tend. God gave Adam and Eve the original garden. I’m
sure he showed them the beautiful rivers, and streams and trees and flowers. He
pointed to the sun and said, “I give you warmth of the sun during the day.” And
then he said, “I give the cool of the evenings.” “I give you each other to love
and care for. And go out and populate the earth and then care for the children
and all mankind. But… see that tree over there? That’s the one thing you cannot
have. That is for me.You may not have
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.But enjoy everything else.I set
that boundary for your good and my glory.” And what did Adam and Eve do? They crossed the
boundary. God wanted them to take care of all the “stuff” of the earth and
leave the one thing for him but they messed up his “trust system.”
Do we care properly for
what gives us? Do we properly use our skills, and talents, and personality, and
gifts, and finances and bodies and time and relationships? He’s entrusted us
with them. Life is a trust. We are managers of all that God trusts us with.
Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. I
Life on Earth Is a Temporary Assignment Our life is short, we know nothing at all;
we pass like shadows across the earth. Job 8:9
compared with eternity, life is brief. I know that some days seem like an
eternity, don’t they!! Are you
familiar with the old gospel hymn, “This World Is Not My Home”?
world is not my home I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore
We really are just
visiting earth. We’re temporary residents on earth. We’re citizens of heaven.
The Bible warns us not to get too attached to what’s around us because it is
Those in frequent contact with the exciting
things the world offers should make good use of their opportunities without
stopping to enjoy them; for the world in its present form will soon be gone. I
Corinthians 7:31 (TLB)
C.S. Lewis said, “All
that is not eternal is eternally useless.” How does our living today
change when we begin to consider our permanent residence more important than
our earthly one?
When we daily focus on
life as test, a trust, and our temporary residence, we begin to bring more
glory to God and greater blessings for us.
To hear the related lesson I taught from What on Earth Am I Here For? click here.