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Sermon No: 21959-God's will and our desires - Part 7



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SERMON TOPIC: God's will and our desires - Part 7

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 4 June 2017

Topic Groups: CHARACTER, WILL OF GOD, DESTINY

Sermon synopsis: God has a blueprint for the life of His children.

Ephesians 5:8-17 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord............ Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
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God’s will and the desires of my heart Part 7.

How important is God’s will?

Matthew 7:21

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

The Biblical definition of faith?

Hebrews 11:1. Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

What am I hoping for?

Do I have a desire to be holy?

What is my vision for the future?

Is my hope in man?

Is my hope focussed on God and His ability and resources?

Do I believe that God knows what is best for me?

Is what I have put my hope in worth sharing with others?

“Prerequisites" before God reveals His will.

A total surrender is needed to know God’s perfect will. Rom 12:1.

You have to separate yourself from the world. Rom 12:2.

You have to want to do God’s will before knowing it. John 7:16-17.

Philippians 2:12-13 {Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure}

You have to know God to know His will. 1 John 4:3-6.

God’s will is not always appealing to the flesh...

God’s will and the desires of my heart.

Ask yourself…

Am I totally available to God?

Are all my rights His?

Am I separate, different from the world and allowing God to transform my mind and life?

Do I have an honest desire to know God's will?

Am I living up to what I already know?

Am I willing to wait for God's will to be revealed?

God’s uses certain things to reveal His will.

God’s will and common sense.

It is God’s will that we should prayer.

1 Timothy 2:1-8. I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth......Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

Reasons for unanswered prayer.

Idolatry - Jeremiah 11:11-14.

Disobedience - Ezekiel 8:15-18.

No compassion for the poor - Proverbs 21:13.

Ignoring the plight of the oppressed - Isaiah 1:11-17.

Un-repented sin - 1 Peter 3:8-12.

Selfish motives: your own pleasures - James 4:2-3.

Self-righteousness - Luke 18:9-14.

Doubt - James 1:5-8.

God says not your will - Matthew 26:38-44.

Unseen spiritual warfare - Daniel 10:10-14.

God’s will and our free will.

From the Scripture we can see clearly that the situation that God’s people find themselves in does not only depend on God’s will, but on man’s free will.

God has given man a free will, meaning that man has a choice:

Man can choose to do God’s will.

Man can choose not to do God’s will

Psalm 32:8-9.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

God is not willing that any should perish.

2 Peter 3:9.

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Jesus involvement in seeing this accomplished, culminated in His going to the cross and suffering at the hands of those He was desiring to save.

What are you and I doing to see God’s will implemented.

Do we pray “Thy will be done”?

Are we witnesses?

Are we prepared to suffer for Christ our Lord?

God has a blueprint for the life of His children.

Ephesians 5:8-17.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.

Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord............

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

God’s wants us to be holy.

God's will is for us to be sanctified.

That is to be separated and set apart for pure and holy living .

Ephesians 5:8-17.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

God’s wants us to be holy.

God's will is for us to be sanctified.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

God’s will is for us to live good lives.

1 Peter 2:12-17.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.

Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor.

God’s will is that we live lives worthy of Him.

Colossians 1:9-12.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

Ephesians 4:1-3.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

The man in the mirror.

We must not make the mistake of trying to get to the place where we feel worthy of approaching God.

We are not to try change ourselves so that we can come into His presence, but we are to come into his presence to change.

2 Corinthians 3:18.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

In the presence of God we see ourselves as we really are.

Isaiah 6

Woe to me! I cried. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.

Luke 5:8.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus knees and said, Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!

Job 42:4-6.

You said, Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.

Self examination.

There are two types of examination we are told to do in Scripture.

We are instructed to examine ourselves to see if we really are Christians.

2 Corinthians 13:5

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you, unless indeed you fail the test?

2. Christians are told to examine themselves as they come to the Lord’s table or they will face God’s discipline.

1 Corinthians 11:28

But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

1 Corinthians 11:31.

But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.

Self examination.

Our physical lives need routine check-ups to see that we are healthy and to prevent and diagnose health problems before they become a major threat to our lives.

Our spiritual lives are susceptible to problems as well and require self-examination in order to purge the unhealthy tendencies we have and replace them with the habits that God desires.

Psalm 119:59.

I thought about my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies.

Haggai 1:5-7.

Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, "Consider your ways! "You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes." Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Consider your ways!

Self examination.

Questions to evaluate where you are in the Christian life:

1. Am I praying with faith? I could have asked, “Am I praying?” That would be a good question, but this question goes further. In Luke 18, Jesus teaches us that we ought always to pray. Then at the end of that teaching he asks a question: “When the son of man comes will he find faith on the earth?” Notice, He doesn’t ask, “Will the son of man find prayer on the earth?” but “Will the son of man find faith on the earth?” Why? Because what matters, is not that I am saying my prayers, like the Pharisees did, and like millions of people in all religions around the world do, but am I praying with faith.

Questions to evaluate where you are in the Christian life.

2. Am I serving with zeal?

Romans 12:8.

“The one who leads,” must lead “with zeal.”

There’s something about passion here, something about vision and something about direction. The leader must care passionately about where he or she is going.

1 Peter 5:2. says to leaders.

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers, not because you must but because you are willing as God wants you to be.”

Are you doing what you want to or what you have to??

If not then your will is not aligned with God’s will...

Questions to evaluate where you are in the Christian life.

3. Am I believing with confidence? God says that “the gospel… is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

Do I believe that when I pray for an unbelieving friend or relative?

When I struggle with a powerful temptation, with a habit that is difficult to overcome, do I believe that God is able to deliver me through the Gospel?

When I become tired, get discouraged, begin to wonder how long I can continue, do I believe that the God who saved me is able to keep me?

2 Timothy 1:12.

For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Questions to evaluate where you are in the Christian life.

4. Am I confessing with humility?

Martin Luther said “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ He meant that the whole life of a believer should be repentance.” Christ calls us, not to a prayer of repentance, but to a life of repentance, a life of turning ever more fully to Jesus Christ.

A life of repentance is not a life of misery, but a life of growth in which the Holy Spirit is constantly opening your eyes to how you can take the next step in becoming more like Jesus.

A Christian is a person who has light to see what there needs to be less of and what there needs to be more of in his or her life. This leads to a life of confession, in which you see your sins and your failings, and you confess them to the Lord.

When you live life like this, you don’t waste your life in the shallow water of compromised obedience, instead you launch out into the deep oceans of following Christ. Can you name a sin that you have confessed in the last week? In the last month?

Questions to evaluate where you are in the Christian life.

5. Am I worshipping with joy?

When I come to worship, do I participate or do I observe?

In the presence of Jesus, there will not be a single person with their arms folded, listening to the angels and observing the worship.

We will all sing. We will all shout for joy.

Ask yourself, “Am I worshipping with joy?” If not, why not?

6. Am I giving with gladness? Giving is an indicator of love within marriage. A marriage that’s marked by withholding is not healthy. Giving is also an indicator of your love for Christ and your love for the bride of Christ. Is that true of me? Am I a cheerful giver???

Questions to evaluate where you are in the Christian life.

7. Am I reaching out with love? Here we are in a world of need, and some Christians are stretched out in sacrifice, so that lost people on their way to an eternal darkness may see the light of Christ through the Gospel and be saved.

What about you?

Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter. Charles Spurgeon

If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.

Charles Spurgeon

Self examination.

3 things that are necessary for self-examination.

You need sight.

You need light.

You need a mirror.

To examine yourself you need sight.

Isaiah 43:8. Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!

Isaiah 42:18. Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see!

Ezekiel 12:2. Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.

Jeremiah 5:21. Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.

Mark 4:11-12. The secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding”

To examine yourself you need sight.

1 John 3:6.

No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him.

If you have had an encounter with Jesus, you will know why John says this in his epistle. Because the Lord only reveals Himself to the sincere seeker and opens their eyes to their sinfulness so that He can deal with it.

Jeremiah 29:13.

You shall seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Hebrews 11:6.

He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Revelation 3:17-18. You say, I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

To examine yourself you need sight.

Self righteousness blinds us.

Matthew 7:1-5.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Self-righteousness blinds us.

We have a responsibility to take the speck out of our brothers eye.

This is true, but only when we have by God’s grace dealt with the beam in our own eye. (We all have to deal with the beam of self-righteousness)

James 1:26.

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

James 2:12-16.

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful…….

The mirror of God’s Word.

1 Corinthians 11:28.

A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.

Do you get up in the morning and go to work or to Church without looking in the mirror to wash your face, shave, brush your teeth, comb your hair or do your make-up? Then why do we do it spiritually?

Hebrews 4:12-13.

For the word of God is alive and active.

Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

To examine yourself you need a mirror.

The mirror of God’s Word.

Self examination is a waste of time unless you do something about what you see, take action.

James 1:23-25

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Lamentations 3:40.

Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD.

To examine yourself you need a mirror.

A mirror will reveal your own image and not someone else.

Romans 14:2-5. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.

2 Corinthians 10:12. We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

To examine yourself you need a light.

A Christian may sin but does not walk in darkness, consequently their sin is very quickly exposed so that it can be repented of.

John 8:12.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

Psalm 90:8.

You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.

John 3:20-21.

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

To examine yourself you need a light.

Jesus came to bring us light.

John 12:46.

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

To examine yourself you need a light.

God’s Word brings light.

Psalms 119:105.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Psalms 119:130.

The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

To examine yourself you need a light.

2 Peter 1:19.

We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

To examine yourself you need a light.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ….

V6 For God who said “Let the light shine out of darkness,” has made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Some reject Jesus Christ.

John 3:19.

This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, but men preferred the darkness to the light because their deeds were evil.

The light of conscience is not reliable enough.

Paul knew that even though he felt no conviction of conscience, it did not mean he was without fault.

1 Corinthians 4:3-5.

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.

My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

Psalm 139:23-24.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

The light of conscience is not reliable enough.

Psalm 26:2.

Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

Psalm 139:1-24

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. …..

Children of the Light have no fellowship with darkness.

1 John 1:5-10.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

But

Children of the Light have no fellowship with darkness.

Ephesians 5:5-14.

For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Children of the Light have no fellowship with darkness.

A Christian must not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. This applies to marriage and business.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?

Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Therefore, Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Children of the Light have no fellowship with darkness.

Children of the Light have no fellowship with darkness.

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Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)




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