Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The People That God Can Use - III

(This is the third of a four sermon series.)

For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep. – Acts 13:36
In every generation we find people whom God uses to accomplish His purposes. They all have certain common characteristics.

The last two Sundays we have learned that the people that God can use will:
Learn to depend on God rather than depending on themselves.
Live to serve others rather than to be served.

Today we will see that:
Love the praises of God more than the praises of men.

John 12:42-43 - Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

1) Don’t fret over what others think about you.

* Most people you meet don’t think twice about you.
They are wondering what you are thinking about them.

* The praise of people is passing.
Main question: What have you done for me lately?

* Living to please others is a trap. Why?
You can’t make everybody happy. Can kill yourself trying.
Saul fell into this trap and lost his kingdom. 1 Sam 15
“I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.”

John Calvin called this the “golden shackles of earthly honors.”
Jesus never worried about what people thought. His concern was what His Father in heaven would want Him to do.He said, “I always do what pleases Him.”

2) Figure out the nature of God’s praise.

* God’s praise is a matter of the heart.
Rom. 2:28-29 - A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

EX: Prophet Samuel looking for new king at Jesse’s home.

1 Peter 3:3-4 - Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

* God’s praise is delayed until the end.
How long can you wait to be rewarded? Delayed until heaven?

1 Cor. 4:5 - Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

* God’s praise will come when you live so that He will be praised.
Matt 5:16 - let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Do you reflect honors toward God or absorb them for yourself?
Andre Crouch Song – “and should I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary”

Questions to Ponder:

1) Who am I doing “this” for?

Me? Reward myself. Most people work for this person. Jesus said these people will get their reward in full in the here and now.

Others? May or may not reward you on earth.
Step up the motivational ladder. But still living for this world only.
“Acceptance Addiction” – both love and need people.

God? Reward is waiting in heaven. Is it true when we sing: "Living for Jesus thro’ earth’s little while, my dearest treasure, the light of His smile."?

2) How will I react if nobody notices that I am doing “this”?

“THIS” is the thing that you hate doing the most. For me it is:
scrubbing toilets / washing dishes / changing diapers.

What does the Bible say about “THIS”?
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. – Colossians 3:23

No comments: