Bible Study 2020
THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE
WORSHIP THAT PLEASES GOD
God wants all of you, all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind and all of your strength. He desires your full devotion. God is not interested in your leftover time and money. Hebrews 12:28 says, “Since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Now, the kind of worship that pleases God has four characteristics:
God is pleased when our worship is accurate. We cannot create our own image of God that is comfortable to us or politically correct. People say, “I like to think of God as ….,” and then they start their idea of the kind of God they would like to worship. That is idolatry. Worship is based on the truth of Scripture. Jesus said in John 4:23, “True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.”
God is pleased when our worship is authentic. When Jesus said you must ‘worship in spirit,’ He wasn’t referring to the Holy Spirit, but to your spirit. Made in God’s image, you are a spirit that lives in a body, and God designed your spirit to communicate with Him. Worship is your spirit responding to God’s Holy Spirit. Worship must be genuine and from your heart, not just a matter of saying words you don’t mean.
Praise that doesn’t come from your heart is not praise at all. When we worship, God looks at our heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God gave you emotions so that you can worship Him with genuine emotions. God hates hypocrisy. God does not want pretense worship, He wants your sincere worship.
Many forms of praise are mentioned in the Bible, among them: confessing, singing, standing in honor, kneeling, dancing, playing musical instruments and raising hands. The best style of worship is the one that most authentically represents your love for God. God wants you to be natural. You can enjoy intimacy with God being outdoors, creating art, or serving others or having solitude or having fellowship.
God is pleased when our worship is thoughtful. Jesus tells us to ‘love God with all your mind.’ If worship is mindless, it is meaningless. Jesus calls thoughtless worship ‘vain repetitions.’ Try making a list of synonyms and use fresh words like admire, value, appreciate and honor. And be specific about compliments rather than speak in many vague generalities. Make it understandable to others.
God is pleased when our worship is practical. Romans 12:1, “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Why does God want your body? Because 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.” Real worship requires a cost. 2 Samuel 24:24 says, “I, David, will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.”
Real worship costs us our self-centeredness. You cannot exalt God and yourself at the same time. You do not worship to be seen by others or to please yourself. Worship takes effort and energy because Jesus said, “Love God with all your strength.” Worship is not always convenient or comfortable, sometimes it is a great sacrifice in areas where Christianity is hated and persecuted. It is matter of your heart.
YOU WERE FORMED FOR GOD’S FAMILY
Romans 12:5, “We, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” God wants a family and He wants you to be part of it. This is God’s second purpose for your life, which He planned before you were born. Ephesians 1:5, “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
Because God is love, He treasures relationships and He identifies Himself as Father, Son and Spirit. The Trinity is God’s relationship to Himself. It is the perfect pattern for relational harmony. God has always existed in a loving relationship to Himself, so He desired a family. James 1:18 says, “He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
When we place our faith in Christ, God becomes our Father, we become His children, other believers become our brothers and sisters and the church becomes our spiritual family. The family of God includes all believers in the past, present and the future. Every human being is created by God, but not everyone is a child of God. The only way to get into God’s family is by being spiritually born again into it.
The invitation to be part of God’s family is universal, but there is one condition and that is faith in Jesus. Romans 10:13 says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Mark 8:34 says, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Your spiritual family is more important than your physical family because it will last forever. It is a much stronger union, a more permanent bond than a blood relationship. Our families on earth are temporary, often broken by divorce, distance, growing old and death. Ephesians 3:14-15 says, “I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.”
As children of God we get to share in the family fortune. Here on earth we are given “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”(Eph. 1:7) and “to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” (Eph. 3:16), and “His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering.” (Romans 2:4) But in eternity we will inherit even more. Ephesians 1:18 says, “That you may know the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
What is our inheritance? First, we will be with God forever. Second, we will be completely changed to be like Christ. 1 John 3:2, “It has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him.” Third, we will be freed from all pain, death and suffering. Revelation 21:4, “There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Fourth, we will be rewarded and reassigned positions of service. Mark 10:30, “No one who has left family or lands or persecutions for My sake, who shall not receive a hundredfold in this time and in the age to come, eternal life.” Fifth, we get to share in Christ’ glory. Romans 8:17, “We are joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” You are richer than you realize.
1 Peter 1:4, “We have a priceless inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” This means your inheritance is priceless, permanent and protected. No one can take it away, and it can’t be destroyed. This eternal inheritance is what every Christian should be looking forward to. Colossians 3:24 says, “Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward.”
Baptism signifies your inclusion into God’s family. It is not an optional ritual to be postponed. Baptism publicly announces to the world that you are a part of God’s family. Jesus commanded this in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
Why is baptism so important? Your baptism declares your faith, shares Christ’s burial and resurrection, symbolizes your death to your old life, and announces your new life in Christ. Your baptism is a physical picture of a spiritual truth. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”
Baptism does not make you a member of God’s family, only faith in Christ does that. Baptism just shows that you are a part of God’s family. Like a wedding ring, it is a visible reminder of an inward commitment made in your heart. It is an act of initiation, not something you delay until you are spiritually mature. Acts 8:12, “But when they believed the things concerning Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.”
At Pentecost, 3000 people were baptized on the same day they accepted Christ. An Ethiopian leader was baptized on the spot when he was converted. Paul and Silas baptized a Philippian jailer and his family at midnight. There are no delayed baptisms in the New Testament. If you believe and haven’t been baptized as an expression of your faith in Christ, do so as soon as possible, to follow Jesus’ command.