Christian Universe ™
What Does God Want?
October 30, 2011
For ages man has asked, "What is my purpose in life?" The scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, give us the answers to this question. Our purpose is to do God's bidding. He made us to dress and keep His garden. He told us to subdue the earth. "Fear God, and keep His commandments!" That is the entirety of our duty to God, who tells us to be holy as He is holy. God has many wonderful attributes, chief among them being grace, mercy, peace, forgiveness, compassion and love. Love, most of all. It is not burdensome, it is our reasonable service.
What Does God Want?
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 10-30-201 1
Presented to the Load church of Christ on 11-20-2011
Do you ever think about what God really wants from us? To grasp the answer, consider that God is Creator, and we are the creature that He made. If you were able to give life to something like yourself, what expectations would you have for that creation?
God made us for a purpose. Throughout the ages, many have inquired of themselves and others, “What is my purpose in life?”
If we look at the early evidence, we find the answer to our question.
Genesis 2:8 “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
Genesis 2:15 "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."
God made man to do the work that He appointed man to do. In the beginning, He had a garden in Eden, and he put the man there and told him to dress it and keep it. He made him a gardener!
Ecclesiastes 12:12 "And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
Whatever commandments that God gives, He expects us to follow. After all, He is the Creator and we are the creature. How difficult is it to follow God’s commandments?
1 John 5:3 "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."
Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
From these witnesses, John and Paul, we see that God does not demand more of us than we can perform. His requirements are not grievous – that is, burdensome or onerous. The service that He requires of us is reasonable – not excessive or extreme.
How can we know what God requires of us? God has not hidden from mankind. On the contrary, He has made His presence and His expectations known of old. And God changes not!
Malachi 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed"
Psalms 102:27 "But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end."
James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
These scriptures all indicate that God does not change. He remains the same. The writer of Hebrews establishes this truth, as well. God’s word is immutable, or unchangeable.
Hebrews 6:17 "Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;"
God is known to us by His unchanging characteristics, several of which I wish to discuss.
Grace – God gives us what we do not deserve. It is God’s favor toward us, His gift to us. As in, life itself. As in, forgiveness of sins. As in, eternal life. He gave us Jesus Christ as a sacrifice.
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"
Romans 5:15 "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."
Mercy – God does not give us what we deserve. We deserve death and destruction, but He gives us life.
Titus 3:3 "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
Peace – God brings us reconciliation, unity, and calm.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all"
Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Forgiveness – God cancels our debts, not making us pay for what we have done wrong.
Matthew 6:14 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Compassion – God has compassion upon those who are in trouble.
Romans 9:15 "For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
1 John 3:17 "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him"
Love – Most of all, God has love toward His creation. It is love that we do not earn or deserve.
1 John 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
What does God want? He wants us to have His attributes – to be like Him.
1 Peter 1:15 "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
This is what God has always wanted from the creature, called man, which He has made.