Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Objective #4 Praise God Part 1

Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. (Psalm 150:1-4)


But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3)

I am convinced, one of the most neglected aspects of our walk with God is praise. We work on having a prayer life. We work on having a good testimony. We emphasize adhering to Bible truth and learning the Scripture: all vital aspects of our Christianity. But we neglect this matter of praise. Our prayer life is dominated by petition. We ask for stuff; we ask for help; we ask for money; we ask, and ask and ask. Why do we ask God for something ten times, and thank Him once? I have thanked God many times for my salvation, yet I still feel I am not grateful enough; or at least, have not sufficiently expressed my gratitude. Truthfully, our praise life is just a important as our prayer life.

The reasons for this neglect are several. Primarily, it is laziness on our part. Prayer is work. Praise is even more work; and when we pray, we want to get down to business with God about what we want. Another reason is fear of false doctrine. Some religious movements, i.e. the Charismatic movement, or the "Praise and Worship" movement have distorted the view of certain doctrines, and we do not want to be cast as part of that crowd. I have been in church all my life, and in the ministry for over twenty years. My experience has been that most errant positions are a knee-jerk reaction to some other errant position. We never seem to be able to correct to center.

That having been said, I believe we Independent Baptists need to take another look at our praise life. Eighteen times in Scriptures, we see the phrase "Praise Him;" Twenty four times, the Bible says, "Praise ye the LORD." This is not simply a nice phrase to shout during a sermon; this is a Biblical command. We are commanded to praise the Lord.

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 150)

Praise Him for His mercy

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 106:1)

"His mercy endureth for ever." That phrase appears 41 times in Scripture

Praise Him for His Grace

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)

Grace is God giving you something you do not deserve. Mercy is God not giving you something you do deserve.

Praise Him for His mighty acts.


Deliverance from sin

Provision of wealth

Answered prayer

Praise Him according to His excellent greatness


Biblical truth

Thanking Him for what He is, as well as what He does.

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches,

and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (Rev. 5:12)

Praise Him before prayer

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:

be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

(Psalm 100:4)

We must have a revival of praise in our walk with God. It is a key objective to the Christian life.

Just a thought. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pleasing God: Part 3

Two prime examples of pleasing God.

Everything I believe is based on one of four things: a Biblical command, statement, principal or example. We have seen many statements and commands about pleasing God, but let me give you two Bible examples.

Jesus Christ

Obviously, the prime example of One Who pleased God was Christ Himself. Three of the four Gospel give an account of God speaking publicly from Heaven concerning His Son:

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matt. 3:17

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said,

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Matt. 17:5

And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Mark 1:11

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said,

Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Luke 3:22


The Father of Methuselah and the great grand father of Noah; the Old Testament figure, Enoch had a reputation: he pleased God.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him:

for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Heb. 11:5

Enoch walked with God. He loved to hang around with God. Enoch was not looking for the minimum daily requirement to keep God off his back. He was not trying to get through his "Read the Bible in a Year" chart like some tedious task or chore. Nor was he parading his righteousness before every one around him like hyper-spiritual window dressing. It does not please God when we have to tell everyone else what we did to please God. I hate it when people want to tell me how good they are in the name of "testimony." Enoch desired a close abiding fellowship with God, and God gave it to him in a most unique way. Enoch had a one-of -a-kind walk with God. When your motive is to make God happy, that is pleasing to God.

Five simple things will transform a life of simply obeying God, to a life that pleases God:

1. Obey God: We can give "eye service" obedience without pleasing God; but we cannot please God without first obeying Him.

2. Obey God purely: Obedience with an impure heart does not please God

3. Obey God for the right reason: Remember God the Father is to be the focus of our desire. An impure motive does not please God.

4. Obey God with the right attitude: "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2Cor. 9:7

5. Serve God by serving others: We can never be the focus. As we teach our children in Sunday school, the key to JOY is Jesus, Others and You.

Just a thought. Thank you for reading.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pleasing God: Part 2

God is not pleased with all obedience

Why would God be displeased with me if I am truly in obedience to Him? When my children were young, I taught them that obedience was doing what your told, when your told and with the right attitude. It is the same way with obedience to God. The Bible is full of examples of God's people fallowing the letter of the law when in fact, they were far from pleasing Him.

And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God:

for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness,

and repenteth him of the evil. Joel 2:13

And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. Ezekiel 33:31

God will not bless our obedience for eye service.

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ,

doing the will of God from the heart; Eph. 6:6

God is not pleased with selfish motives.

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers;

but in singleness of heart, fearing God: Col. 3:22

God will not accept obedience from a rebellious heart.

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips;

but their heart is far from me. Matt. 5:8

David, in his great Psalm of repentance really nailed it when He qualified his obedience to the law, with the condition of his heart in Psalm 51:

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Ps. 51:16-18

Then, with a heart that is right toward God, David offers obedience to the law in verse 19:

Then... shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering:

then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

God is pleased, not when we obey, but when we obey with a heart toward him.

Just a thought. Thank you for reading

The Seven Objectives: # 3 Pleasing God

Pleasing God: Part 1

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments,

and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 1 John 3:22

I discussed previously the objectives of Fearing God and obeying God. Our third objective in a series of seven objectives of the Christian life, is to please God.

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us

how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 1 Thes. 4:1

But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Heb. 13:6

There is a difference between obeying God and pleasing God. We feel God is pleased when we obey; and we know God is displeased with our disobedience. But, is there more to pleasing God than just obeying? The Bible couples obedience and pleasing together, but acknowledges them both. What is the difference? God will accept our obedience, but He is pleased by willful service. Are we obeying the rules or are we seeking to obey Him?

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments,

and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 1 John 3:22

There is a difference between serving, and having servant's heart,. Paul, on the road to Damascus, was met by none other than Jesus Christ. It is academic to say he feared God. We see in the passage how he immediately obeyed God. But the first words he spoke when meeting Christ were, "Lord what wilt Thou have me do?" This is the question by which he would live the rest of his life. He did not simply obey God, he began to actively seek the Lord's will.

The Bible tells us David was a man after God's own heart. No one can read the Psalms and see simply a life of obedience. David pursued the will of God.

Two key words make the difference.

Attitude: When it come to obedience, is ours an attitude of obligation, or an attitude of desire? Do we have to pray and read our Bible, or do we want to pray and read our Bible. Do we have to go to church, or do we want to go to church. Desire over obligation is the key to pleasing God

The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law,

and make it honourable. Is. 42:21

Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. Ps. 119:4-6

Lifestyle: The Bible uses the word "conversation" in reference to what we cal "lifestyle." Pleasing God is not an occasional event. We either live to please ourselves, others or Him.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be

in all holy conversation and godliness, 2 Pet. 3:11

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,

and increasing in the knowledge of God; Co. 1:10

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men,

I should not be the servant of Christ. Gal. 1:10

Our attitude and our lifestyle is the key. It is more than just obedience that pleases God. Next time I will explain that God is not pleased with all obedience.

Just a thought. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Public Display of .... TMI

When I was a boy, I heard my mother decry the behavior of a friend of hers. Mom said, "Well, she just likes to air her dirty laundry. Still too you to grasp the abstract, it made no since to me why a woman would hang her laundry out to dry while it was still dirty. Of course, my mom would never do that, especially since Daddy brought home that brand new Kenmore dryer and put it in that closet on the closed in back porch.

That's right, Our back yard clothes line had become a victim of modern technology. It had no purpose other than to catch Johnny Crawford by the neck while he chased me at night. (I knew where the clothes line was. Johnny, on the other hand, learned first-hand what they mean in football when they say, "he clothes-lined the runner.

Things are different now. Today we have all kinds of technology. We have cell phones, e-mail Facebook, My space; we can make our entire world an open forum. And, unfortunately, some do. We have whole new ways to "air our dirty laundry.

People on cell phones in public are particularly annoying. Why is it that when some one is talking on a cell phone in public, they feel every one around them must hear the conversation.
Or, we see and hear the woman explaining to the world and the other party on the line, how, "if she's gonna disrespect me cause I used to date her "Baby daddy," then I'm gonna beat her down." She sounds like she is recording an audition for the Jerry Springer Show.

Facebook can be amusing at times. I am amazed at the people that air their laundry on their Facebook status. Read your status before you post it and ask, "Do I really need to share this? These are actual "status" post on Facebook:

______: (I'll leave out names for obvious reasons.) "Wishes her husband would realize that I am not an idiot."

_____: Thinks that her boyfriend should be a man and do what I want and stop listening to his mother every time she has an opinion!!" (The boyfriend; not husband, is 18. And mom pays the bills)

I would feel bad about sharing this, but they don't. I do not use the slang of the next generation much; other than to tell them that I am "old school." But, one phrase has made its way into my 49 year-old vocabulary: "TMI!" Too Much Information. A friend of mine from high school told me, (on Facebook) although he agrees with me in principle, he still finds it fun to read. I guess so. I just worry about the loss of the entire concept of discretion in this new "Facebook" culture. We certainly found new way to air our dirty laundry. I wonder if Johnny Crawford is on Facebook? Just a thought. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Objective #2 Obey God (Recap)

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

It has been said, the key to everything God has is obedience. Solomon bears this out in the Scripture.Fear God; obey God.

Fear God, and keep His commandments; this is the whole duty of man. Last week I wrote the first installment on Seven Objectives of the Christian Walk. This was born out of a series of messages I am preaching to my people. (Originally, I had six objectives, but I had to add one more.) The first was fear God. The second objective is to obey God.

The first sin mankind committed was disobedience. One old preacher from Texas was drawn into a debate about what kind of fruit was actually on the tree. He used to say, "The problem was not the apple on the tree; the problem was the pair on the ground." If we understand the fear of the Lord, then we must understand the power of obedience to His commands.

A few points to ponder

Understanding does not lead to obedience: obedience leads to understanding.

Many parents feel they must help their children understand why they should obey. When a child questions his authority, he is, neither seeking nor desiring a greater understanding. He wants to get his way. The child takes the position, "If I understand, then I will obey." But this is opposite of what the Bible teaches.

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.


If I obey first, it will lead me to understanding. Submission and yielding allow the heart to gain understanding.

Obedience before understanding is an act of faith.

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. Luke 5:5

Simon Peter and his partners had fished these waters. He knew what was out there. He was, after all a professional commercial fisherman. He did not understand the Lord's command to drop the nets in, right there; right now. It did not make since. But we find that beautiful phrase in verse 5:

"nevertheless at Thy Word..."

That is a wonderful picture of faith. I do not understand, but I will obey. Peter found out in a miraculous way that obedience before understanding is an act of faith; the kind of faith God blesses richly. The number 1 act of faith is obedience.

Obedience is the beginning of God's blessings.

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: Exodus 19:5

But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. Exodus 23:22

God gave great promises of blessing to Israel throughout Scripture simply for their obedience to His commandments.

Obedience is better than sacrifice.

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

and to hearken than the fat of rams.

1Samuel 15:22*

The Lord is more interested in our obedience than He is in how Baptist we are; or how religious we are; or how pious we are. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Obedience does not require motive.

But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

Matthew 21:26-31

The son who obeys is the one who did not want to obey Is that hypocritical? I do not know, but I know it is obedient. Obedience does not require motive. It is give to joyfully give. But if I cannot give joyfully, should I give at all? Of course I should! "The Lord loveth a cheerful giver." But even if I am not cheerful, I should still be obedient.

Obeying when I don't want to obey is a sign of character. The flesh never wants to obey! Obeying when I don't want to obey is a sign of character. The flesh never wants to obey!

The first act of obedience for any sinner is to repent

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Acts 17:30*

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,

and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2Thes. 1:8*

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us,

what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1Pe 4:17*

We are commanded to repent. The day I placed my faith and trust in Christ Jesus for my salvation. it was an act of obedience to the "Gospel of God." 1 Peter 4:7. The first act of obedience for any sinner is to obey the Gospel. If you are reading this, and have never come to Christ as a sinner, I encourage you to do so today.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead. Thou shalt be saved. Romans 10: 9

If you are reading this and have any questions concerning you salvation or eternity, please send me a comment. It will not be posted without my reading it, so it is confidential. Please; settle the question today. I will continue part 2 on obedience next time.

Just a thought. Thank you for reading