Grace for a Purpose Driven Life Chapters 9 & 10

February 7, 2004

“Grace for a Purpose Driven Life” – Week 5

* Brief review of Lessons 1-4

1.  It All Starts With God – life isn’t about you (your own purpose) – it’s about God and you fulfilling HIS purpose for you being on this earth – and that time is temporary – a window of opportunity to bring glory to His name!

2.  Every Person’s Life Is Driven by Something – the question is, what is it?

3.  Life on Earth Is a TEST (to prove the genuineness our faith)and a TRUST (life is about stewardship of what God has entrusted to us) and we’re on a TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT.

* Last week, Dave Jones led our study of chps. 7 & 8 – which reminded us about . . .

I.  The Reason for Everything

Q: What is that reason?  >> The ULTIMATE goal of the universe is to show the glory of God

  • Glory = has it’s root in a Hebrew word meaning “opinion

- So if we are to give ‘glory’ to God, we will be giving to others the right opinion of God!

* We can do that in a number of ways:

1.  We bring God glory by worshipping Him – not just on Sundays, but everyday of our lives and in every situation

2.  We bring glory to God by loving other believers.

- that is the 2ndgreatest commandment – to love our neighbors, as ourselves

- Paul put it this way:

  • Galatians 6:10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

3.  We bring God glory by becoming like Christ!

- Remember the words that Matthew wrote quoting God the Father:

  • Matthew 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

4.  We bring God glory by serving others with our gifts.

- One of the outstanding characteristics of our Lord is that He was a SERVANT!

- It is impossible to be truly Christlike if you are not a servant!

5.  We bring God glory by telling others about Him

- Don’t keep His love and grace and truth a secret!

- Let’s pick up our study in chapters 9 & 10:

  I.  What Makes God Smile?

Input: How would you answer that question?  [various answers]

- Let’s look at several ways we can make God smile (approve of) on our lives!

A.  God smile when we LOVE Him supremely.

  • Noah was a pleasure to the Lord – we want God to say, “_________ (your name) is a pleasure to me!”
  • Genesis 6:8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
  • David was described in Acts 13 as . . .
  • Acts 13:22"After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, 'I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.'

“This is what God wants most from you; a relationship!  It’s the most astounding truth in the universe— that our Creator wants to fellowship with us.  God made you to love you, and he longs for you to love him back.” – p. 70

  • Your life should be one day at a time showing God how much you love Him by your obedience and your service!
  • Remember, loving God and your neighbor are the 1stand 2ndgreatest commandments!

B. God smiles when we TRUST Him completely.

“Trusting God completely means having faith that he knows what is best for your life.  You expect him to keep his promises, help you with problems, and do the impossible when necessary.” – p. 71

Input: In what areas of your life do you need to grow in your trust of God?  What areas do you tend NOT to trust Him, and you know that needs to change?

[What about the little things – or do you only pray for the BIG ones]

C.  God smiles when we OBEY Him wholeheartedly.

- Every parent knows that delayed obedience is really disobedience – p. 72

  • In fact, you could make the argument from the Scripture that you really don’t know truth until you have put that truth into practice:
  • Titus 1:1Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness.

Input: If we divided the white board into two halves – one for commands you typically like to obey and the other half of the board for those you don’t – what would you list on each side?

[various answers]

D.  God smiles when we PRAISE and THANK Him continually.

  • Praise = for who God is – Note:  Take time to PRAISE the Lord for _____________
  • Thank = for what He has done – Note: Take time to THANK the Lord for ___________

E.  God smiles when we use our GIFTS and ABILITIES.

“Like a proud parent, God especially enjoys watching you use the talents and abilities he has give you.  God intentionally gifted us differently for his enjoyment.  He has made some to athletic and some to be analytical.  You may be gifted at mechanics or mathematics or music or a thousand other skills.  All these abilities can bring a smile to God’s face.” – p. 74

  • There are no unspiritual abilities, just misused ones!
  • Spiritual gifts come only to those who are saved – abilities are those skills we posses because we are created in the image and likeness of God

Cf. God wants us to enjoy our relationship with Him – John 15, “that my joy might be in you, and that you joy might be full!”

 “Parents do not require their children to be perfect, or even mature, in order to enjoy them.  They enjoy them at every stage of development. In the same way, God doesn’t wait for you to reach maturity before he starts liking you.  He loves and enjoys you at every stage of your spiritual development.” – p. 76

“When you live in light 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?” – p. 76

- God even enjoys watching you sleep – Ill: Watching my kids sleep at night! One of my favorite times to pray for them, kiss them, stop and enjoy them!!

II.  The Heart of Worship

* The heart of worship is surrender!

Input:  What is our culture’s typical view/understanding of the term surrender?

[various answers]

  • unpopular
  • disliked – as is submission
  • implies losing / admitting defeat / quitting

-  But that’s not the case from God’s perspective – surrendering to God’s authority and rule in your life is a good thing

Input:  What other words/phrases would the Bible use to describe the concept of surrender?

  • Consecration
  • Lordship
  • Denying yourself & Taking up your cross
  • Yielding to the Spirit

Point:  It’s really not what you call it – it’s whether or not you DO it!

  • Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

* Three barriers that hinder our surrender to God: Fear, Pride, and Confusion

A.  Fear – Can I Trust God?

Cf. Jerry Bridges book, Trusting God, and Ed Welch’s book, When People Are Big and God Is Small

  • Some never trust God because they are not convinced that God loves them – or that He has their best interest at heart
  • There is something wrong with that line of thinking even as it stands:

1)  God is holy and cannot make a mistake, so whatever He does/allows is right

2)  The ultimate goal is to bring Him glory – not to satisfy you

3)  God is love and He loves us regardless of what a person my think!

Input:  How do you know that God loves you?

 [various answers]

  • God tells us in His Word – He cannot lie
  • God sacrificed His Son on your behalf!

“God is not a cruel slave driver or a bully who uses brute force to coerce us into submission.  He doesn’t try to break your will, but woos us to himself so that we might offer ourselves freely to him.  God is a lover and a liberator, and surrendering to him brings freedom, not bondage.” – p. 79

 

B.  Pride – Admitting Your Limitations

  • We don’t want to admit the fact that we are the CREATURES and not the CREATOR – which means we’re not in charge of everything!
  • That was at the heart of the temptation in Genesis 3:  “You’ll be like God!”
  • But there are two things we need to keep in mind:  (1) There is a God (2) You are not Him!

“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.” – A.W. Tozer

Point:  We’re not God, so why try to play God – the submission and humility route is one that God has promised to give us grace!

1 Peter 5:5-7  5You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,7casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

 

 

C.  Confusion – What It Means to Surrender

1.  Surrendering is best demonstrated in obedience – i.e. submission!

  • Psalm 51:17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Quote the words to the song:  Yes, Lord Yes!

I’ll say yes, Lord, yes, to your will and to your way.

I will say yes, Lord, yes, I will trust you and obey.

When your Spirit speaks to me, with my whole heart I’ll agree;

And my answer will be yes, Lord, yes . . . Lord, yes!

2.  Another aspect of a fully surrendered life is walking by faith.

Input: Examples of people in the Bible who ‘walked by faith, and not by sight’?

  • Abraham
  • Hannah – with the birth of Samuel
  • Ester – entering into the kingdom for such a time as this
  • Joseph – how God would use his imprisonment in Egypt
  • Daniel – lions den

“Surrender is hard work. In our case, it is intense warfare against our self-centered nature!” – p. 81

3.  The blessing of a surrendered life

Q:  What follows a life of commitment, surrender, or obedience to God?

A:  Peace with God – and usually with people, but not always

Freedom to operate within God’s parameters and enjoy the boundaries He established

God’s power to overcome temptation – power to do the will of God!

  • God can use the ‘wrath of a man to praise Him,’ but He most often uses a man/woman who has surrendered his/her life to be molded into the image God desires!
  • - Great example of that would be Mary, the mother of Jesus:
  • Luke 1:38 And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

4.  A surrendered life is just the best way to live – the only way to live and please God!

- Nothing else works

- Life without God doesn’t work – it may seem like it for awhile (temporal view) but not for eternity!

“Your wisest moments will be those when you say yes to God!”

Q:  What area(s) in your life are you holding back from God?

Illustration:  Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ – estimated over 150 million people have come to know Christ through his efforts

When asked, Why did God use and bless your life so much?

Answered:  “When I was a young man, I made a contract with God.  I literally wrote it out and signed my name at the bottom.  It said, ’From this day forward, I am a slave of Jesus Christ.’”

Q:  Do you have contract with God?

Q: What should you be doing with your life?

- I’m thankful for the many who look for ways to serve our Lord and demonstrate their submission to His Lordship!