This Week's Gospel Sermons

Please, Please  - Scott Richardson

Abram - Down To Egypt  - Scott Richardson

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**Click Here To Listen To Sermons Presented In Our March Meeting With John Edwards On March 2-7, 2014**

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Exhortation - Editor, David Sandlin


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Schedule Of Services:

Sunday Morning:
Bible Study   9:00
Worship      10:00

Sunday Evening:
Worship       5:00

Wednesday Evening:
Bible Study   7:00

 

 

Jackson Drive's Address:

1110 Jackson Drive Athens, Alabama 35611

 

Preacher:

Scott Richardson

 

Elders:

Owen Griggs

Tim Hamilton

Jackson Drive

Admonisher

March 16, 2014

 

Please, Please


Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2 Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.” 4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:1-6)


“Please” is defined as, “to take only one’s own wishes into consideration in deciding how to act or proceed” (New Oxford American Dictionary). Sometimes it seems as if the entire world has mastered the art of pleasing self. Of course, this is not a new way of thinking. Eve caught on to this way of thinking pretty quickly: “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6). One of the most accomplished masters of pleasing self was a man that God used as a deliverer of Israel—Samson. Full well knowing the instructions that God had given in regard to marrying foreigners, and fully disregarding his parents’ exhortation, he was determined to a have a Philistine wife. “Then his father and his mother said to him, ‘Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?’ But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me, for she looks good to me.’” (Judges 14:3).


Sometimes what pleases self is to “look good” to others, that is, to please them. There are certainly illustrations of this approach in Scripture. One notable example is that of some of the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day. “Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God” (John 12:42-43).


The “Pleasure” of Jesus


What about Jesus and those things which pleased Him? It would truly be well for all to understand the attitude of Jesus and the choices He made. His attitude is the supreme example of the correct attitude (Romans 15:5; Philippians 2:5; 1Peter 2:21; 1John 2:6).


He did not please Himself. The opening text taken from Romans 15 clearly states, “For even Christ did not please Himself.” The world’s tragedy makers have been those who pleased themselves. Besides Eve, as mentioned from Genesis 3, there is the example of King Saul as recorded in 1Samuel. The tragedy of the prodigal son should make everyone think twice about pleasing self: ”But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!’” (Luke 15:17). Judas thought he would please himself, too—what tragedy! “Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? See to that yourself!’ And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:3-5).


The world’s benefactors have been those who did not please themselves. Abraham didn’t follow his on will, but worked God’s works. “You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,’ and he was called the friend of God” (James 2:22‑23). How easily is seen the attitude of Jesus: “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).


How many today are pleasing themselves and giving little thought to God? Human passions must be conquered (Philippians 2:5-8; Matthew 6:33; 1Corinthians 9:26-27).


He did not please the devil. The tempter wants everyone to please him by pleasing self. This is the way he approached Jesus: 1) “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread,” 2) “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down,” and 3) “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Each time, Jesus responded with, “It is written …” Jesus knew Scripture and He knew how to apply it (Matthew 4:1-10).


How many today spend the time with God’s word—knowing it and applying it—so as not to please Satan?


He didn’t please the crowd. Jesus stood for the truth without deviation, even though it meant that some desired to kill Him. “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you’” (John 8:31-37).


The man who compromises in order to please everyone, in the end pleases no one. Pilate wanted to please the crowd (Mark 15:15). He even compromised his own conscience just to gain the favor of the Jews (Matthew 27:23-24). He did not gain the very thing he wanted (Matthew 28:14). The record of history relates that he also lost the favor of the Roman emperor.


How many today try to “ride the fence” and please everybody instead of standing and choosing God?


Our “Pleasure”


Jesus pleased God (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; 1Thessalonians 4:1; John 1:43). Be like Him. Let His “pleasure” be my “pleasure.”
Why should we want to please God? He is our Creator and Benefactor (Genesis 1:26; Colossians 1:16; Acts 17:28). He is the Father who loves us (1John 4:10). We have to give an account to Him (Romans 14:12; Matthew 16:27; 25:14). He has the power to save or destroy (Romans 11:22).


We please Him by obedience. Remember Samuel’s words to Saul? “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams” (1Samuel 15:22).


Our whole purpose in life should be to please Him (Matthew 25:21; 2Timothy 4:7-8; Philippians 1:21). Is that your purpose?


—S. Scott Richardson Sr.


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