What Blesses God (Part 1)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

-Today’s teaching will be part one of a new series I’ve titled; “What Blesses God.” -This because, here in Romans fifteen, I found a total of ten ways that we, as believers, can actually bless the heart of our heavenly Father. -However, we have a problem in that a series teaching ways I can bless God is less appealing than a teaching on ways God can bless me.

-Actually, if the truth be made known, God blessing me, will come vis-à-vis my blessing God and as such we’d do well to put first things first. -In other words, if I seek first to glorify and bless God, He in turn will bless me, proportionately to the measure in which I seek to bless Him. -The scriptures are replete with examples of this truth throughout both the Old and New Testament. Consider just these three passages:

Matthew 6:33 NIV But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Luke 6:38 NIV Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:

-Before we jump into today’s text, I’ll pose two questions the first of which is, “what comes to mind when you think of ways to bless God?” -This second question will require some thought; “what could I ever possibly give God, in order to bless God, that He doesn’t already have? -At the risk of an over simplification, I’ll attempt to answer both questions this way: “I bless God by my obeying of Him and loving of others.”

-Let me explain how I get there, I will bless God to the degree in which I obey God, and I will obey God to the degree in which I love God. -Furthermore, I will also love others to the degree in which I love God. Listen to the words of the Savior as He connects these dots for us:

John 14:15 NIV "If you love me, you will obey what I command.

Matthew 22:37-40 NIV Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' (38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (40) All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

-The Apostle Paul echoes the words of Jesus when he writes his epistle to the churches in Galatia, recorded in chapter five verse fourteen.

Galatians 5:14 NIV The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

John 13:34-35 NIV "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (35) By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

-The reason I wanted to point all this out is that it will be germane to our understanding of what we’re about to see in the chapter before us. -Namely, that God is both glorified and blessed by our treatment of others and as such the Holy Spirit goes to great lengths to show us why. -Simply put, when my children are loving toward each other, it truly blesses my heart. Conversely, when they fight with each other, it’s not.

-With that rather lengthy introduction I believe we are now ready to tackle our text as we study it through the lens of a loving heavenly father.

1. Bearing with others (Verses 1-3) (1) We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. (2) Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. (3) For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." -v1 Paul writes that we, who are strong, ought to bear with the failings of the weak instead of doing that which is pleasing only to ourselves. -v2 He goes on to say that each one of us should please his neighbor for his good because doing so will build him up and not tear him down. -v3 He then says, even Christ did not please Himself quoting Psalm 69:9, which says; “the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”

-Notice first how the Holy Spirit has Paul include the why behind the what, concerning our bearing with the failings of others who are weak. -More specifically, He wants us to first know the “why,” we’re to bear with others such that the reason why is because Jesus did this for us. -By the way, the common thread woven throughout the fabric of this chapter will be this reason why being that of the Savior doing it for us.

-Here’s what I’m thinking, we as believers become more like Jesus when we bear with others, just as, and because, Jesus will bear with us. -I think of what we call, the Lord’s Prayer where Jesus teaches us to pray that God would forgive us our sins as we also forgive others sins. -This part of the prayer seems to indicate the reason why we can be bear with and forgive others is that Jesus bears with and forgives us.

-The bottom line is, we will bear with and even bear up our weaker brothers and sisters proportionate to how Jesus Christ has done it for us. -Perhaps better said, when I realize what I have been the recipient of from the Lord, I too can bear with my brothers and sisters in the Lord. -Moreover, when I have that Christ like attitude, not only will I bless others in my bearing with others, I will also bless the Lord because of it.

Philippians 2:3-8 NIV Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (4) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (5) Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (7) but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Charles Spurgeon -“If any course of action which would be safe to us would be dangerous to weaker brethren, we must consider their infirmity and deny ourselves for their sakes.”