Purpose Driven Life (part 6)

PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE (Part 6)

How To Make God Smile

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)     INTRODUCTION – WE CONTINUE OUR SERIES OF MESSAGES ON THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, BASED UPON THE BOOK BY RICK WARREN. LAST WEEK WE FOUND THAT WE WERE CREATED FOR GOD’S PLEASURE AND THAT THE THING THAT BRINGS GOD PLEASURE IS CALLED WORSHIP.  WE FOUND THAT THE WORSHIP THAT GOD SEEKS IS FAR MORE THAN SOMETHING THAT WE DO IN CHURCH.  IT IS FAR MORE THAN MUSIC OR A STYLE OF MUSIC, AND THAT WORSHIP IS NOT JUST A PART OF YOUR LIFE, WORSHIP IS YOUR LIFE.  GOD WANTS OUR EVERY ACTIVITY TO BE AN ACT OF WORSHIP.   Col 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…” TODAY WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT WHAT MAKES GOD SMILE.

II)    THE SMILE AND APPROVAL OF GOD IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL AS A CHRISTIAN.

A)   THE BIBLE SAYS, “FIGURE OUT WHAT WILL PLEASE CHRIST, AND THEN DO IT.” EPH 5:10 (MSG)

B)   THE BIBLE ALSO GIVES US A CLEAR EXAMPLE OF A LIFE THAT GIVES PLEASURE TO GOD.  THIS MAN’S NAME WAS NOAH.

C)   IN NOAH’S DAY, MUCH LIKE TODAY, THE ENTIRE WORLD HAD BECOME MORALLY CORRUPT.

D)   EVERYONE LIVED FOR THEIR OWN PLEASURE AND NOT FOR GOD’S.

E)   GOD WAS GRIEVED AND REGRETTED MAKING MAN, EXCEPT FOR NOAH.

F)    NOAH BROUGHT PLEASURE TO GOD AND GOD DECIDED TO DESTROY ALL MANKIND AND START OVER BEGINNING WITH NOAH AND HIS FAMILY.

G)   FROM NOAH’S LIFE WE CAN LEARN THE FIVE ACTS OF WORSHIP THAT MAKE GOD SMILE.

III)   1ST – GOD SMILES WHEN WE LOVE HIM SUPREMELY.

A)   NOAH LOVED GOD MORE THAN ANTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD, EVEN WHEN NO ONE ELSE DID.

B)   THE BIBLE TELLS US, “NOAH CONSISTENTLY FOLLOWED GOD’S WILL AND ENJOYED A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.”GEN 6:9B (NLT)

C)   IT IS MOST ASTOUNDING THAT THE GOD THAT CREATED THE UNIVERSE DESIRES A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH OF US.

D)   GOD MADE YOU TO LOVE YOU AND IT IS HIS DESIRE THAT YOU LOVE HIM IN RETURN.

E)   GOD SAYS, “I DON’T WANT YOUR SACRIFICES – “I WANT YOUR LOVE; I DON’T WANT YOUR OFFERINGS – I WANT YOU TO KNOW ME.”  HOSEA 6:6 (LB)

F)    LEARNING TO LOVE GOD AND ACKNOWLEDGING HIS LOVE FOR US SHOULD BE THE HIGHEST GOAL OF OUR LIFE.

G)   JESUS CALLED IT THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT: “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL OF YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.”  JESUS SAID, “THIS IS THE FIRST AND THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT UPON WHICH HANG THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.” MATT 22:37-38 (NIV)

IV)  2ND – GOD SMILES WHEN WE TRUST HIM COMPLETELY.

A)   THE SECOND REASON THAT GOD LOVED NOAH WAS THAT NOAH TRUSTED GOD COMPLETELY.

B)   THE BIBLE SAYS, “BY FAITH, NOAH BUILT A SHIP IN THE MIDDLE OF DRY LAND.  HE WAS WARNED ABOUT SOMETHING HE COULDN’T SEE, AND ACTED ON WHAT HE WAS TOLD…AS A RESULT, NOAH BECAME INTIMATE WITH GOD. HEB 11:7 (MSG)

C)   NOAH HAD REASONS TO DOUBT:  1ST HE HAD NEVER SEEN RAIN, FOR IT HAD NEVER RAINED.  THE EARTH WAS WATERED UP TO THAT TIME THROUGHT THE GROUND.  2ND NOAH LIVED HUNDRED OS MILES FROM THE NEAREST OCEAN.  3RD HOW AS HE GOING TO GET THE ANIMIALS INTO THE SHIP THAT HE WAS TO BUILD.

D)   NOAH DID NOT DOUBT BUT TRUSTED AND OBEYED GOD. TRUSTING GOD MEANS TRUSTEDING THAT HE KNOWS WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR LIFE.

E)   THE BIBLE SAYS, “HE TAKES PLEASURE IN THOSE THAT HONOR HIM; IN THOSE WHO TRUST IN HIS CONSTANT LOVE.” PS 147:11 (TEV)

F)    IT TOOK NOAH 120 YEARS TO BUILD THE ARK.  I IMAGINE THAT HE FACED MANY DISCOURAGING DAYS.  I AM SURE THAT HE WAS MADE FUN OF AND EVEN CRITICIZED AND THAT HIS CHILDREN WERE EMBARASSED BY THE GIANT SHIP BEING BUILT IN THEIR FRONT YARD.  YET NOAH KEPT ON TRUSTING GOD.

G)   TRUSTING GOD IS AN ACT OF WORSHIP.  THE BIBLE SAYS, “WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD.” HEB 11:6 (NIV)

V)   3RD GOD SMILES WHEN WE OBEY HIM WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

A)    PRESERVING THE ANIMAL POPULATION FROM A WORLD WIDE FLOOD REQUIRED GREAT ATTENTION TO LOGISTICS AND DETAILS.

B)   EVERYTHING HAD TO BE DONE JUST AS GOD SAID.

C)   GOD DIDN’T TELL NOAH TO BUILD ANY OLD BOAT YOU LIKE.  HE GAVE VERY DETAILED ISTRUCTIONS AS TO THE SIZE, SHAPE AND MATERIALS OF THE ARK AS WELL AS THE NUMBERS OF ANIMALS TO BE BROUGHT ABOARD.

D)   THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT NOAHS RESPONSE WAS: “SO NOAH DID EVERYTHING EXACTLY AS GOD HAD COMMANDED HIM.” GEN 6:22 (NLT) NOTICE THAT WORD EXACTLY!  (SEE ALSO HEB 11:7B)

E)   WHEN GOD ASKS US TO DO SOMETHING WE DON’T SAY, “I’LL PRAY ABOUT IT”. YOU DO IT WITHOUT DELAY.  DELAYED OBEDIENCE IS DISOBEDIENCE.

F)    GOD DOESN’T OWE YOU AND EXPLANATION FOR EVERYTHING HE ASKED YOU TO DO.  UNDERSTANDING CAN WAIT, OBEDIENCE CANNOT.

G)   INSTANT OBEDIENCE WILL TEACH YOU MORE ABOUT GOD THAN A LIFE TIME OF BIBLE DISCUSSIONS.

H)   YOU WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND SOME OF GOD’S COMMANDS UNTIL YOU OBEY THEM FIRST. OBEDIENCE UNLOCKS UNDERSTANDING.

I)     OFTEN WE TRY TO OFFER GOD PARTIAL OBEDIENCE.  WE WANT TO PICK AND CHOOSE THE COMMANDS WE OBEY.

J)    I’LL ATTEND CHURCH, BUT I WON’T TITHE.  I’LL READ MY BIBLE BUT I WON’T FORGIVE THE PERSON WHO OFFENDED ME.

K)   THE BIBLE SAYS, “OBEY HIM GLADLY.” PS 100:2 (LB)

L)    JAMES, SPEAKING TO BELIEVERS SAYS, “WE PLEASE GOD BY WHAT WE DO AND NOT ONLY BY WHAT WE BELIEVE.” JAMES 2:24 (CEV)

M)  WE DO NOT EARN OUR SALVATION BY THE GOOD THINGS THAT WE DO FOR GOD, BUT WE BRING PLEASURE TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER BY OUR OBEDIENCE. AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE IS AN ACT OF WORSHIP.

N)   JESUS SAID, “IF YOU LOVE ME KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.” JOHN 14:15 (TEV)

VI)  4TH GOD SMILES WHEN WE PRAISE AND THANK HIM CONTINUALLY.

A)   FEW THINGS FEEL BETTER THAN HEARTFELT PRAISE AND APPRECIATION.

B)   GOD LOVESIT WHEN WE EXPRESS OUR ADORATION AND GRATITUDE TO HIM.

C)   NOAH’S LIFE BROUGHT PLEASURE TO GOD BECAUSE HE LIVED WITH A HEART OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING.

D)   NOAH’S FIRST ACT AFTER SURVIVING THE FLOOD WAS TO EXPRESS HIS THANKS TO GOD BY OFFERING A SACRIFICE ONTO GOD.

E)   THE BIBLE SAYS, “THEN NOAH BUILT AN ALTAR TO THE LORD…AND SACRIFICED BURNT OFFERINGS ON IT.” GEN 8:20 (NIV)

F)    BECAUSE JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS FOR OUR SINS, WE NO LONGER SACRIFICE AS NOAH DID, BUT WE ARE TOLD TO OFFER TO GOD “THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE.” HEB 13:15 (KJV) AND “THE SACRIFICE OF THANKSGIVING.” PS 116:17 (KJV).

G)   WE PRAISE GOD FOR WHO HE IS, AND WHAT HE HAS DONE.

H)   DAVID SAID, “I WILL PRAISE GOD’S NAME IN SONG AND GLORIFY HIM WITH THANKSGIVING.  THIS WILL PLEASE THE LORD.” PS 69:30-31 (NIV)

I)     AN AMAZING THING HAPPENS WHEN WE OFFER PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING TO GOD.  WHEN WE GIVE GOD ENJOYMENT, OUR OWN HEARTS ARE FILLED WITH JOY.

VII) 5TH GOD SMILES WHEN WE USE OUR GOD GIVEN ABILITIES.

A)    AFTER THE FLOOD GOD TOLD NOAH, “BE FRUITFUL AND INCREASE IN NUMBER AND FILL THE EARTH…EVERYTHING THAT LIVES AND MOVES WILL BE FOOD FOR YOU.  JUST AS I GAVE YOU THE GREEN PLANTS, I NOW GIVE YOU EVERYTHING.” GEN 9:1,3 (NIV)

B)   IN OTHER WORDS GOD WAS SAYING, “GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE” DOIN THE THINGS THAT HUMANS WERE DESIGNED TO DO.  MAKE LOVE TO YOU SPOUSE. HAVE BABIES.  RAISE FAMILIES. PLANT CROPS AND EAT.  ENJOY.  BE HUMANS, AS I DESIGNED YOU TO BE.”

C)   WE SOMETIMES FEEL THAT GOD ONLY IS PLEASED WITH US WHEN WE’RE DOING “SPIRITUAL ACTIVITIES” – LIKE READING THE BIBLE, ATTENDING CHURCH OR PRAYING, OR SHARING YOUR FAITH.  THE BIBLE SAYS, “THE STEPS OF THE GODLY ARE DIRECTED BY THE LORD.  HE DELIGHTS IN EVERY DETAIL OF THEIR LIVES.” PS 37:23 (NLT)

D)   EVERY HUMAN ACTIVITY, EXCEPT THAT WHICH IS SIN, CAN BE DONE FOR GOD’S PLEASURE AND GOD’S GLORY, IF YOU DO IT WITH AN ATTITUDE OF PRAISE.

E)   GOD ENJOYS WATCHING YOU DEVELOP AND USE YOUR ABILITIES THAT HE GAVE YOU.  HE MADE SOME YOU ATHELETIC, SOME ANALYTICAL, SOME OF YOU ARE GIFTED IN MUSIC AND ARTS.”  SOME OF THE MOST TALENTED PEOPLE IN HISTORY WERE GREAT CHRISTIANS AND GAVE GLORY TO GOD.  THESE INCLUDE THOMAS EDISON, BEN FRANKLIN, BEETHOVEN AND MICHALANGLEO, SIR ISSAC NEWTON.

F)    YOU DON’T BRING GLORY TO GOD BY HIDING YOUR ABILITIES OR TRYING TO BE SOME ONE ELSE.

G)   ANYTIME YOU REJECT ANY PART OF YOU – YOU ARE REJECTING GOD’S WISDOM AND SOVEREIGNTY IN CREATING YOU.  GOD SAYS, “YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO ARGUE WITH YOUR CREATOR.  YOU ARE MERELY A CLAY POT SHAPED BY A POTTER. THE CLAY DOES NOT ASK, “WHY DID YOU MAKE ME THIS WAY?” ISA 45:9 (CEV)

VIII)       IN CONCLUSION: IN THE FILM “CHARIOTS OF FIRE”, OLYMPIC RUNNER ERIC LIDDELL SAYS, “I BELIEVE GOD MADE ME FOR A PURPOSE, BUT HE ALSO MADE ME FAST, AND WHEN I RUN, I FEEL GOD’S PLEASURE.”  LATER HE SAID, “TO GIVE UP RUNNING WOULD BE TO HOLD HIM IN CONTEMPT.

A)   THERE ARE NO UNSPIRITUAL ABILITIES, JUST ABILITES THAT ARE MISUSED.

B)   GOD ALSO GETS PLEASURE WHEN WE ENJOY HIS CREATION.  HE GAVE YOU EYES TO ENJOY BEAUTY, EARS TO ENJOY MUSIC, NOSE AND TASTE BUDS TO ENJOY SMELLS AND TASTES, AND NERVES IN OUR SKIN TO ENJOY TOUCH.

C)   EVERY ACT OF ENJOYMENT CAN BE AN ACT OF WORSHIP, WHEN WE ENJOY GOD’S CREATION AND PROVISION WITHOUT SIN AND GIVE THANKS GOD FOR IT.

D)   PARENTS DO NOT REQUIRE THEIR CHILDREN TO BE PERFECT, IN ORDER TO ENJOY THEM.  GOD ENJOYS US AT EVERY STAGE OF OUR DEVELOPMENT.   HE IS CONCERNED IF HIS CHILDREN DO NOT DEVELOP AND MATURE, AS WE ARE WITH OUR CHILDREN.

E)   HE DOESN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO REACH MATURITY BEFORE HE STARTS LIKING YOU. THE BIBLE SAYS, “HE CERTAINLY KNOWS WHAT WE ARE MADE OF.  HE BEARS IN MIND THAT WE ARE DUST.” PS 103:14 (GWT)

F)    WHAT GOD LOOKS AT IS THE ATITUDE OF THE HEART.  IS PLEASING HIM YOUR DEEPEST DESIRE?  THIS WAS THE FOCUS OF PAUL’S LIFE.  “MORE THAN ANTHING ELSE, HOWEVER, WE WANT TO PLEASE HIM.”  (JESUS) 2 COR 5:9 (TEV)

G)   WHEN YOU LIVE IN THE LIGHT AND TRUTH OF ETERNITY, YOUR FOCUS CHANGES FROM, “HOW MUCH PLEASURE AM I GETTING OUT OF LIFE?” TO “HOW MUCH PLEASURE IS GOD GETTING OUT OF MY LIFE.”

H)   GOD IS LOOKING FOR PEOPLE LIKE NOAH IN OUR TIME – PEOPLE WILLING TO LIVE FOR GOD’S PLEASURE – PEOPLE WHOSE GREATEST DESIRE IS TO MAKE GOD SMILE.

I)     THE BIBLE SAYS, “THE LORD LOOKS DOWN FROM HEAVEN ON ALL MANKIND TO SEE IF THERE ARE ANY WHO ARE WISE, WHO WANT TO PLEASE GOD.” PS 14:2 (LB) .

J)    WILL YOU MAKE PLEASING GOD THE GOAL OF YOUR LIFE THIS MORINING?

K)   IT’S A MATTER OF TRUST.  PS 147:11 “THE LORD IS PLEASED WITH THOSE WHO WORSHIP HIM AND TRUST HIS LOVE.”  WILL YOU TRUST HIM TODAY?

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