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The Purpose Driven Life #1 - You Were Planned for God's Pleasure

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The Purpose-Driven Life #1:

You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure

Text: Gen. 6-9

Thesis: To learn ways to be a pleasure to the Lord.

Introduction:

(1)   Rick Warren has written a great book entitled The Purpose-Driven Life.  In this book he enumerates 5 purposes of life for everyone.

(2)   Today, we will look at the first one of those purposes and will discuss ways to make God happy.

(3)   Rick Warren wrote: “The smile of God is the goal of your life” (69).

(4)   From the life of Noah, let us note ways to make God smile. (Note: “Noah was a pleasure to the Lord” [Gen. 6:8, TLB]).

Discussion:

I.                   God smiles when we love Him supremely.

A.    Listen to what is said concerning Noah: “Noah consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with Him” (Gen. 6:9b, NLT).

B.     How can this be said of us?

1.      The greatest commandment is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37, NIV).

a.       In Jesus’ reply, He quoted Deut. 6:5 (cf. Deut. 11:13).

b.      In essence, Jesus is saying:

(1)   “Love for God should be wholehearted, involving all that we have and all that we are” (Morris 563).

(2)   One must have a “wholehearted devotion to God with every aspect of one’s being, from whatever angle one chooses to consider it – emotionally, volitionally, or cognitively” (Blomberg 335).

2.      Who/What is the center of your life?  God desires to be and considering all that God is and has done and will do, He deserves to be!

II.                God smiles when we trust Him completely.

A.    Listen to what is said concerning Noah: “Noah was another who trusted God. When he heard God's warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was then no sign of a flood, and wasting no time, he built the ark and saved his family. Noah's belief in God was in direct contrast to the sin and disbelief of the rest of the world-which refused to obey-and because of his faith he became one of those whom God has accepted” (Heb. 11:7, TLB).

B.     How can we learn to trust God completely?

1.      Illustration – Boy trapped in fire who jumped only when he heard his father’s voice.

2.      First, consider the loving nature of God and look to past examples of His goodness.

3.      Second, consider the unchanging nature of God and know that He always will have your best interest at heart.

4.      Third, trust and obey!

III.             God smiles when we obey Him wholeheartedly.

A.    Listen to what is said concerning Noah: “So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him” (Gen. 6:22, NLT).

B.     What about us today?

1.      We are not at liberty to pick and choose which commands we wish to obey (cf. Rev. 22:18-19 – Must neither add to nor take away from).

2.      God says what He means and means what He says!

3.      Therefore, we must do it God’s way. After all, His way is the best even when we don’t understand it completely.

IV.             God smiles when we praise and thank him continually.

A.    Consider what Noah did immediately after he got off of the ark: “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and sacrificed on it the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. And the LORD was pleased with the sacrifice and said to himself, ‘I will never again curse the earth, destroying all living things, even though people's thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood’” (Gen. 8:20-21, NLT).

B.     God still delights in our worship today!

1.      “The Lord is pleased only with those who worship him and trust his love” (Psa. 147:11, CEV).

2.      “Worship is not a part of your life; it is your life” (Warren 66).

a.       “Worship Him continually” (Psa. 105:4, TEV).

b.      “Praise Him from sunrise to sunset” (Psa. 113:3, TLB).

c.       “Let every detail in your lives – words, actions, whatever – be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way” (Col. 3:17, The Message).

3.      “God-pleasing worship is deeply emotional and deeply doctrinal. We use both our hearts and heads” (Warren 101; cf. John 4:24).

4.      “The heart of worship is surrender” (Warren 77).

a.       ‘Surrender’ is “to yield (something) to the possession or power of another” (Webster’s).

b.      3 barriers to surrender:

(1)   Fear

(2)   Pride

(3)   Confusion

Conclusion:

(1)   You can live a life that makes God smile!

(2)   One day, you can look upon His face and see that smile as He says: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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