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(Heb 13:20-24) Moms That Please God

Mother's Day  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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It is common to live with regrets about how we have lived and this is especially true of our parents. We desire to please the Lord with our lives, but the struggle with sin and futility of life leave us wondering have what it takes to please God. What encourages me in this fear is what Hebrews 13:20-21. We often think pleasing God is about us being good enough. But this passage teaches us the opposite. Our pleasing of God is a work of God in our lives. God is the answer to living a life that pleases God.

Notes
Transcript
Have you ever been traveling,
and accidentally drove on the bad side of town.
Some towns it’s not a big deal. Like Laramie.
Other towns its a really big deal. Like the South Side of Chicago.
Growing up on the wrong side of the track in some towns - can be a brutal way to grow up.
But then I consider what it’s like to be a mom in your average family.
And I think – being a mom is brutal.
> Many men are too weak to deal with stinky diapers, and so who does the diaper changing fall on. MOM.
I must confess – even when we dare to do some diapers, we always turn the atomic bombs over to mom.
Mom’s are the always on call family nurses when someone gets sick.
whether it’s the flu or chickenpox
whether it comes at 2 AM or the middle of a family trip
They often are the first line of discipline.
My sister-in-law is working on teaching their one-year-old not to pour the dog’s water bowl over her head.
and it is infuriating when that little person does it for the fifth time in 10 minutes - just to defy mom.
They often are the first line teacher for teaching children the necessities of life.
Whether it’s making sure the chompers are brushed
Or explaining to the two-year-old why they must eat their protein before having cake.
Never mind the multitude of skill sets required to be a mom we mentioned a few minutes ago.
It often can be brutal, exhausting, and overwhelming to be a mom.
For many Christian mom’s - their innermost fear is that they are failing to please God.
They Love their Lord.
They Love their children.
And they just feel like failures because be a mom is so brutal and exhausting.
Let me relate this message to more than just moms this morning.
All genuine Christians want to please God with their lives.
We want to please God in everything we do.
But life often can be brutal, exhausting, and overwhelming
- and in our private dark moments, we fear that we are failing to please God.
What I hope to do this morning is present to you a text that will help calm our fears about pleasing God.
How can we please God with our lives? And the answer may surprise you.
Let us look at Hebrews 13:20 – 21.
Hebrews 13:20–21 ESV
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
I asked the question - how can we please God?
And the answer may surprise you.
Because the answer to pleasing God - is God himself.
From this Passage I challenge us -

God Helps Us To Please Him

And our texts shows us 3 ways God helps us please him.

How does God help us to please him?
First -

1) God helps us please him by giving us Jesus. (Heb 13:20d, 21d)

Revelation begins and ends with calling Jesus the Alpha and Omega.
Revelation 22:13 ESV
13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Like everything in our Faith -
Jesus is the beginning and the end to pleasing God.
In fact, it is impossible to please God without Jesus.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Who is it that we are to have faith in?
Hebrews 12:1-2 answers that.
Hebrews 12:1–2 ESV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Every aspect of our faith has to begin and end with Jesus.
And our text teaches us that the beginning and end of our pleasing God begins and ends with Jesus.
a) Pleasing God comes through Jesus.
Our text points us twice to Jesus.
Hebrews 13:20–21 (ESV)
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
And as we consider the main flow of the passage.
It is telling us that pleasing God comes through Jesus.
Exhortation:
It has been said you shouldn’t ever build a theology on a single preposition.
But the preposition that is translated by and through in our passage -
is used dozen of times in the New Testament to point us the reality that our relationship with God comes from Jesus.
And in this case - it intends for us to understand very clearly that pleasing God must come through Jesus.
Salvation Challenge:
May I say that means that without Jesus you cannot please God,
>>>>>which is why God gave us Jesus.
You can only have a right standing before God through Jesus.
So if you have not placed your trust in the work of Jesus on the cross, then you will never please God until you do.
But the text goes further than that.
b) Christ as the great shepherd leads us to please him.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a personal guide who will lead us down a path that pleases God.
A GPS that will mark the way we need to take to honor God with our lives.
But this passage not only teaches us that pleasing God comes through Jesus,
it also teaches us that Jesus shepherds us down a path of pleasing God.
Our text calls Jesus the great Shepherd.
A shepherd is someone who leads sheep.
Sheep are prone wonder from the heard,
and so the ancient shepherds would literally guide the flock down the right path.
What is the significance of the great Shepherd in this passage?
It is teaching us that Christ is leading us
for the purpose of making us pleasing before God.
Part of Christ’s work in our lives is to guide us to a path that honors and pleases God.
Both of these are to be a comfort to us today.
Perhaps you’re sitting there and wondering – Am I pleasing God with my life.
And the answer is that you may not be perfect,
but to those who believe in Jesus - God is leading us down a path that will please him.

2) He helps us please him by equipping us. (Heb 13:21a)

One of the hardest part of parenting is knowing what to do.
What do you do when your child repeatedly does foolishness and sin?
What do when sin controls your child?
Parenting often brings us the point we are ready to pull our hair out, - if we haven’t lost it already
and wondering if we have what it takes to train up our children in the way they should go.
To expand this past parenting,
There are many points in life when we wonder if we have what it takes to please God with our lives.
What I love about this passage is that it teaches us what we already know.
We don’t have what it takes.
And we might think that our struggle is a lost cause.
There is no possible way we could ever please God.
But remember I said that the answer to pleasing God - is God himself.
This passage teaches us that God gives us the tools we need to please him.
Hebrews 13:20–21 ESV
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Our passage tells us that God equips us with everything good.
NET: Every Good thing.
The word equip is the idea of handing out tools.
The reason we can be confident we can please God,
is because God is handing us the tools we need to please him.
ILLUSTRATION:
One of the things that I appreciated when I was on a ship in the Navy is that I always had the tools we needed for the job.
No matter what the issue the ship faced -
Navy ships are set up to have the tools, and parts, and everything they could need to accomplish the mission.
And this passage teaches us - that God is equipping us with every good thing.
He’s giving us the tools we need to please him – no matter what we face.
This teaches us that –
a) Equipping means we have everything we need.
When you’re sitting there with your hands in your face
- wondering if you have what it takes to please God.
Remember you have everything you need to please God.
There is nothing else you need to please God, besides God’s equipping.
And how does this equipping happen.
b) Equipping comes through everyday Christian living. (Progressive Sanctification)
We know this reality when we survey theology of progressive sanctification.
But further –
This passage teaches us that Jesus is the great Shepherd who leads us to the path that pleases God,
How does that happen?
Every step of the way, as we follow providential rule of Christ in our lives, God is giving us the tools to please him with our lives.
In other words - Equipping comes through everyday Christian living.
By worshiping God
calling upon his name for help
reading his words
being a part of a local church
and relating Jesus Christ to everyone of our experiences
God gives us the tools, day by day, to live in a way that pleases him.
- So God give the Jesus so we can live lives that please him.
- God equips us with the tools so that we can please him.
And finally –

3) He helps us by making it his purpose for our lives. (Heb 13:21b)

In the course of my life I have taken a lot of leadership courses.
The Navy required me to take leadership courses.
My degree in emergency management required me to take leadership courses.
My master divinity focused on pastoral leadership.
The one area you could say I have checked a lot of boxes off is leadership training.
And in almost every one of those courses - they emphasized purpose.
Truly effective leaders are leaders with purpose.
Highly successful people live with purpose.
Why do they all point out that reality?
Because what you aim at matters.
ILLUSTRATION:
You don’t believe me, go to the rifle range and point your loaded rifle at your neighbor.
Some reason people don’t like that.
Purpose matters in our lives,
But God’s purpose is even more important.
We ought to pay attention when God says he purpose to do something in our lives.
Observe God’s purpose in our lives.
Hebrews 13:21 ESV
21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Why has God given us a great shepherd?
Why does God equip us with every good saying?
Because his purpose in our lives that we would please him by doing his will.
God’s aim and purpose in our lives is to help us please him.
It’s a funny thing.
We so often fear that we live lives that fail to please God.
And yet this passage is teaching us that
- the God of heaven and earth,
- the great shepherd himself,
>>>>>>>>>has purposed to help us do exactly that.
Unless we are to say that God is not the God of heaven earth,
we have to realize that for us to fail at pleasing God would mean >>>>>> that God would have to fail his work in us.
God helps us please him by making it his purpose in our lives.
CONCLUSION:
I began by asking this question - how do we please God with our lives?
We so often think we have to be perfect to please God.
We so often think that we have to be super Christians to please God.
CAVEAT:
Don’t get me wrong
- A true Christian wants to do his best for Jesus.
- A true Christian doesn’t want sin to control their life.
But at the same time
– we have never had the capacity to please God.
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Even as a Christian, our capacity please God was never inside us.
1 John 1:9–10 ESV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
So how could a Christian possibly please God?
And the answer to pleasing God with our lives – is God himself.
God helps us to please him by
1) by giving us Jesus. (Heb 13:20d, 21d)
2) by equipping us. (Heb 13:21a)
3) by making it his purpose for our lives. (Heb 13:21b)
God is the answer to living a life that pleases him.
This passage teaches that -
Pleasing God is a work God does.
We do not naturally please God.
and Pleasing God is a process that culminates in a lifetime of transformation. (Progressive Sanctification)
Let me speak this Mother’s Day to all the moms out there who think they felt the please God in their parenting.
And then let me speak to every Christian who feels like he has failed to live up to their calling in Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to no longer live in the fear of failure,
but instead stand in the confidence of the work of Jesus Christ.
May we leave here this Mother’s Day,
confident that God,
day by day,
is leading us down a path that will please and honor him.
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