Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1
Pleasing God (Part 1)
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins
Intro: How do you know whether you are pleasing God?
1. Paul's discipline of "Prayer" has elements of (vs 9a)
- General, with thanksgiving
- Asking, specifically
God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. Romans 1:9-10
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
2. Paul's Prayer is - they be "filled with the Knowledge of God's Will' in Understanding that the Spirit gives.
Followers of Christ - in addition to the law...
(Deut. 4:6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people)
(1 Chron. 22:12 May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.)
...we are given the Spirit who equips us to lie the life Christ demands.
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Jeremiah 31:33-34
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:26-27
The Purpose: live obedient and God honoring lives (verse 10)
QUESTION: How do you know (and live in) "the will of God"?
- You must be born again
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
- You must study God's Word
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105 (Amanda loves this verse).
if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law.
- Your mind must be transformed
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform 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. Romans 12:1-2
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
- You must commit to be a living sacrifice - obedience
The above is Pastor Joe's outline. The following are things that Pastor Joe said that I decided to write in my journal. Remember, we want to always be checking scripture with every sermon that we hear. I love listening to Pastor Joe. He is a father. He is a husband. He is human. And he does occasionally make mistakes. It's our responsibility to be Bereans and not believe everything we hear:
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
God's expectations for me are reasonable.
Do we pray for things like a better job, good health, more money? They are not bad prayers but Paul prayed and thanked God for their faith.
A General Prayer is "God bless them". A Specific Prayer is asking for something specific.
Through prayer I play a little part in God's power and will.
- God is Sovereign
- God is a perfect God
- God is good
The danger is living our will and asking God to bless our will.
You must study God's Word!
What you know about God's Word must transform your mind.
God is trying to change our image to be more like Jesus.
Your will be done and not mine.
It's not about us and what makes us happy. That isn't good for us. It's not about what brings pleasure to us but in knowing what brings pleasure to God.
Live obedient to God and in that He finds pleasure