While attending church, people often ask…
• Are you excited to be here today?
• Have you enjoyed the day so far?
But let’s ask a different question today; “Has God enjoyed the day so far?”
Are you sure that we don’t just assume that He has?
I believe we think that God is quite excited that we merely showed up to church at all, and that we receive some sort of participation points in His eyes for our minimal, "unpassionate", actions.
What if we started asking different questions, selfless questions…
• God, are you pleased with the energy I gave in worship?
• God, were you pleased by the offering that I gave?
• God, are you pleased with how I handled the business that you gave me this week?
• God, are you pleased with how I loved people this week?
“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” - 2 Corinthians 5:9
What would happen if we asked the question, “God, are you pleased with today?” and He said “No”? Many choose to ignore it, but He has before.
"Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you," says the Lord Almighty, "and I will accept no offering from your hands.” - Malachi 1:10
"Why doesn't one of you just shut the Temple doors and lock them? Then no one can get in and play at religion with this silly, empty-headed worship. I am not pleased. And I don't want any more of this so-called worship!
"I am honored all over the world. And there are people who know how to worship me all over the world, who honor me by bringing their best to me.
All except you. Instead of honoring me, you disrespect me when you say, 'Worship is not important, and what we bring to worship really doesn’t matter…you say, 'I'm bored—this doesn't do anything for me.'
And when you do offer something to me, it's a hand-me-down, or broken, or useless.” - Malachi 1:10-13
That is not what I want to hear from God when I ask him if He is pleased.
In the letters to the seven churches, He has this to say…
“I know what you do…I see how you operate, but there are some things that are out of line and if they don’t get back in line then…
• I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
• I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
• I will come to you and remove your light from its place.
• I will fight against you with the sword of my mouth.
• I will repay each of you according to your deeds.”
Remember, this is His bride, His church; this is the ones He loves.
This is not about a formal critique of a Sunday service.
• It’s not about “did I do enough?”.
• It’s not about “did I do it right?”.
• It is about “THE” question.
It is the critical question that every cell of the body of Christ should be asking;
“Are you pleased with the life I live and the worship I give?”
Ask yourself the hard questions today:
• Did we worship from faith today, or was our worship merely function?
• Did we give in faith or function?
• Did we pray in faith or function?
• Is every action taken when we come together faith driven?
• Are you believing for something hoped for, and wanting to see things never yet seen, or are we merely functioning as the church?
Believing that God is who He said He is – to the point that we trust and obey him fully and positioning our lives for more than we can accomplish on our own.
What Has Jesus Called Us To?
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” - Hebrews 11:6
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.” - Romans 12:1
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” - Hebrews 13:15-16
“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” - Hebrews 13:20-21
“And we pray this [God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding] in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” - Colossians 1:10
Every time we gather together we need to be walking in here with a heart and mind focused on crazy faith, sacrifice – focused off of me and on Him, generosity, service, and growth. Because all of those things are pleasing to God.
Jesus made it quite clear what pleases Him, and how the church, as His bride, is called to act.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:4-5
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” - Matthew 10:37-39
The word for "love" here in the Greek is “phileo,” which means “passion.”
Ever meet someone who was insanely passionate about their kid, especially their first? Their kid spits up, and they believe their child deserves to win a Nobel Peace Prize. The simple sound, “Da,” comes out of their mouth and they should definitely win a Pulitzer Prize. Everyone else around them looks at their child with disinterest because of the lack of passion they feel toward them. They cannot share the same passion for the child as a parent does.
We speak with passion about our pets, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, and about our political beliefs because they please us. (notice the end of the last sentence)
We speak with passion about topics, interests, and relationships that please us.
A church who prioritizes their passion for their own pleasures will fade, and the impact will be lost and ignored, but a church that is concerned and passionate about pleasing God will find it all.
Have you asked yourself the hard questions? Has your church asked themselves the hard questions?
Jesus, are you pleased?