ANSWERING LIFE’S BIGGEST QUESTIONS
Part 4 (1 of 2) – What Should Now Be the Focus of My Life? God.
February 3, 2019
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor -SCBC
Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied, You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.
If you will let your life begin with God, much of the fog of life will lift and many of the answers to big decisions will become clearer.
1. OPEN YOUR HEART TO KNOW THE GOD WHO MADE YOU. (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26)
- Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the one who pleases God, He gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the one who displeases God, He gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to eventually hand it over to the one who pleases God.
- The key to our wisdom for making right decisions, our understanding about how live and the future happiness of our life is a growing relationship with God.
- Hebrews 1:3 Jesus radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command.
- Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
- Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (NLT)
2. LEARN HOW TO MORE AUTHENTICALLY WORSHIP GOD. (Ecclesiastes 5)
- Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will revere Him.
- We can worship God any place and at any time. Worship and love toward God should be every day not just Sunday. We worship God best through our obedience to Him and our love toward Him.
- Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. (NLT)
- Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. 2 Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
- What are the principles of worship that Solomon is teaching us?
1. When we come before God, come prepared to meet with Him. “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.”
“The worship of God is the highest ministry of the church and must come from devoted hearts and yielded wills.” (Warren Wiersbe)
2. Come to church with an attitude – an attitude of humility and awe of God.
a. Ecclesiastes 5:7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore, stand in awe of God.
b. “Think greatly of the greatness of God.” (Puritans)
We are to come before God with awe and wonder.
“I reverently invoke for my guidance the direction and favor of Almighty God.” (Teddy Roosevelt)
Worship is an opportunity to be reminded of who God is and to let God know we love Him.
Ecclesiastes 5:1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools…
3. HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN WE HAVE TRULY WORSHIPPED GOD?
A. Ephesians 5:18-21 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. 19 Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (NLT)
B. Worship involves singing. (Ephesians 5:19)
C. Worship involves gratitude. (Ephesians 5:20)
Ephesians 5:20 And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
D. Worship involves an improved relationship with each other. (Ephesians 5:21)
Ephesians 5:21 And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (NLT)
4. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PROMISE GOD. (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6)
- Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 When you make a vow to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to Him. 5 It is better to say nothing than to make a vow and not keep it. 6 Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?
- A vow is a pledge, a promise to God.
- After the service I will go to the Next Step Center and speak to a minister about how I can know God personally.
- This week I will work through the student notes again on how to improve my worship of God.
- I will be careful about what I promise God and whatever I do promise Him, I will make sure to follow through.