VIDEO RECORDING OF THIS SERMON
AUDIO RECORDING OF THIS SERMON
This time of year some family members and friends are asking each other, “What do you want for Christmas?” Have you ever thought to ask God what he wants… and I don’t mean what he wants for Christmas, but what he wants all the time. Here’s what God wants:
God wants your love – Matt 22:36-38 – to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind is the first commandment because it’s what God wants the most. For all of David’s faults, he had this one thing right. David was a man after God’s own heart. He truly loved God. And his love for God influenced his son, Solomon. One of the greatest testimonies in the Bible is found in 1 Ki 3:3, “Solomon loved the Lord.” Can that be said about you? 1 Jn 4:19 says, “we love him because he first loved us.” God has demonstrated his love to us in so many ways and he has given us the fruit of his Holy Spirit, which, among other things, is love. It should be our principle desire to love God.
God wants your obedience – Deut 8:1-6 – God put Israel through some hardships and tests to prove them to see if they would do his commandments or not. They needed to learn this lesson before going into Canaan. Once they were situated in the land, it was going to be too easy to turn away from the Lord. And, sure enough, they did. The angel of the Lord said, “but ye have not obeyed my voice,” Jud 2:1-2. Samuel rebuked Saul for his disobedience in 1 Sam 15:22-23. He said, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” And Solomon, who loved God, disobeyed the Lord’s commandments given directly to kings in Deut 17:14-17. In 1 Ki 4:26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses. In 1 Ki 10:28 Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt. In 1 Ki 11:3 Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. And in 1 Ki 11:4 when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods. This problem of disobedience plagues Israel to this day. Do you know what the Lord wants from us? He wants us to obey him. Our obedience is for our good and for his pleasure.
God wants your fellowship – 1 Jn 1:3 – reading the epistle of John is like reading the continuation of John’s gospel. It’s like Jn 13-17 should be followed by 1 Jn 1-5. God wants our fellowship with him. He walked with Adam. He walked with Enoch. Paul wrote in 2 Cor 6:16, “ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Instead of filling our days with activity, we should pause and be sure that we are walking with God, enjoying his fellowship in everything we do.
God wants our unity – Jn 17:21 – “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” In Eph 4:3-4 Paul wrote “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Our peace is maintained in our reconciliation with each other. The devil would love to cause division where God desires unity. In the New Testament, Jesus’ new commandment is for us to love one another as he loved us, Jn 13:34. And in 1 Jn 4:11, John wrote, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” We preserve our unity in charity, which is the bond of perfectness, Col 3:14. My mother is 94, and the one thing she says to my siblings and me, more now than ever before, “I’m so glad we all get along so well.”
Conclusion: We can see clearly in Scripture what God wants from us. So, we should endeavor to always give him these things.