TOPIC: Pleasing Self Or Pleasing God
TEXT: Mk. 7:20-23; Gal. 5:17-25
MEMORY VERSE: Jas 1:13-14.
Your focus for living, either to please self or to God, is revealed by your responses to life’s situations (2Cor 5:14-15; Col 1:9-12; Jas 1:14-15). This focus is dramatically illustrated by the translation of various New Testament words describing some of these responses. The same words in the original language of the New Testament are translated differently according to their emphasis on pleasing self or pleasing God.
Discuss the following responses to different life’s situations.
1. Worry versus Concern
A. You sin when you worry or are anxious, because both are self-centred responses that reveal a lack of trust in God’s care and sovereignty in your life (Mt 6:25-34; Lk. 12:22-31; Phil 4:6-7).
B. However, you walk in God’s way when you have concern or care for the welfare of others and the glory of God (1Cor 12:25; 2Cor 11:28; Phil 2:20).
2. Fear versus Reverence
A. You sin by focusing on self when you live in fear of men (what they think of you or
what they can do to you) (Mt 10:28; Lk 12:4; 1Pet 3:13-15).
B. However, you please God when you are living a holy life, reverencing the Lord
(2Cor 7:1; 1Pet 1:14-17) with the promise of His blessings to follow (Ps 103:17;
128:1, 4; Act 10:34-35).
3. Covet/Lust versus Desire
A. You sin when you covet or lust. It is forbidden by God since it selfishly focuses on
possessing what does not belong to you (Rom 13:9; 14; Jas 1:14-15).
B. However, you demonstrate godliness when you desire or have great desire to please
God and edify others (Phil 1:23; 1Thes 2:17; Heb 6:11).
4. Jealousy versus Zeal
A. You sin when you are jealous. Jealousy is full of evil (Jas 3:13-18), it is part of the deeds of darkness (Rom 13:12-14), and is a detriment to spiritual maturity (1Cor 3:1-3)
B. However, you please the Lord when you have zeal, an earnest desire to please God and edify others (Jn 2:17; 1Cor 12:31; 2Cor 7:6-7, 11; 9:2).