Pleasing the Father

Text: John 8:29
Proposition: How can we please the Father?
Children have a desire to please their father. They don’t always do the things that please their father because they also have a desire to please themselves. Jesus put aside his own desires. His desire was to please his father and not himself. He is our example of how we can please the Father. Jesus Father was pleased with Him. After Jesus baptism God said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
I.                    Claim Him as your Father.
II.                 Work for the Father’s glory, not your own.
III.               Bear fruit
I.                    Claim Him as your Father. (Why claim him as your Father?)
A.     If a son denies his father it is one of the most dishonorable things he can do. If someone asked me, “Is your father Harold Rhea?” And I said, “No, I don’t know my father.” My father would be angry and upset, and I would be a liar. If I say proudly, “My father is Harold Rhea.” My father would be pleased with me.
B.     Jesus knew his father and would not deny him. 
1.      John 8:54 and 55
2.      Jesus knew who he was and where he was going.
C.     If we deny Jesus, God is not our Father.
1.      I John 2:22-23
2.      The Jews did not acknowledge who Jesus was. They denied Jesus claims that God was his father. They wanted to kill him for his claims.
3.      John 5:18
4.      Peter denied Jesus three times. Matthew 26:69-75
5.      If we do deny him like Peter, we should repent of our denial like Peter did.
6.      If God is not our Father that only leaves one option of who our father is, the devil.
7.      John 8:42-44
II.                 Work for the Father’s glory not your own. (Why work for the father’s glory, not your own.) Matthew 5:16.
A.     If you work for your own glory you have no reward with our Father whom is in heaven.
1.      Matthew 6:1
2.      We like to be noticed by men. I like it when people say that was a good sermon. I have a desire to please other people. Sometimes this may be good, but if that is what motivates us we the only reward we have is that men are pleased with us. Sometimes we may have to speak what other people are not going to want to hear. They will not be pleased with us, but our Father in Heaven will be. 
3.      Matthew 6:2-4, Don’t give to impress other people. Men usually want people to know how generous they are. They want to get credit for their donation. They want their name on a plaque or their name publicly announced so that they get the glory for their generosity.
4.      Matthew 6:5-6, If our prayers are meant to impress men they will not impress God. Impressing men is the only reward we will receive.
5.      Matthew 6:16-18, If we fast to be noticed by men our fasting will be in vain. The only reward we will receive is that men will be impressed with us.
B.     God will glorify us if we glorify him here on the earth. 
1.      John 17:1-5, Jesus was almost finished with his work here on earth. He knew he was going to go through the most humiliating time of his life, but when He was finished God would glorify Him.
2.      If we do the father’s will here on earth. God will glorify us. That is what is the most important. Glory from men here on earth is nice, but it is only temporary. Glory from God is for eternity.
III.               Bear Fruit. (Why bear fruit?)
A.     A father is very proud when his son has a child. Grandparents love to see their grandchildren. They will travel thousands of miles and spend hundreds of dollars to see their grandchildren. You will not hear them complain of the time or the expense. They know it is worth all the time and money. 
B.     God wants us to bear fruit as Christians.
1.      John 15:1-8
2.      If we don’t bear fruit we do not honor or please the father. He will cut us off the vine and throw us in the fire.
3.      We need the fruits of the Spirit in our life.
a.       Galatians 5:22-23
b.      Love – we are commanded to love one another. We must make a choice to love one another. John 13: 34 and 35. By our love for one another men will know we are Jesus’ disciples.
c.       Joy – Christians should have joy. There are no crabby Christians in this world. If you have no joy you are not bearing fruit. Nehemiah 8:1-10, God’s word brings about joy when you do right.
d.      Peace – We are to be peacemakers, not trouble makers. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
e.       Patience – Patience is needed in every area of our life. We need patience with other people. We need patience to trust in the Lord.
f.        Kindness – be kind with one another. 
A Lesson From a Terrapin
One brother said that during his childhood in the country, he once found a terrapin. When he started to examine it, the terrapin pulled in its head and closed its shell like a vice. This displeased the boy, and he picked up something and tried to pry it open. His uncle saw all this and said: "No, that is not the way! You may kill it, but you will not get it open."
The uncle took the terrapin into the house and set it on the hearth. It was not but a few minutes until it began to get warm. Then the terrapin pushed out its head, then its feet, and began crawling. "Terrapins are like that," the uncle said, "and people, too. You cannot force them into anything. But if you first warm them up with some real kindness, more than likely they will do what you want them to do."
g.       Goodness – A Christian wants to do good to others.
h.       Faithfulness – this word here is loyalty or fidelity. A Christian is loyal to God. You don’t have to wonder from day to day if he is on the devil’s side or on God’s side. He is loyal to his wife and children. He is faithful in the kingdom of God the church. He is faithful to his word and promises. If he says something you can count on it.
i.         Gentleness – King James says meekness. 
A Superior's Superior Attitude
Bruce Barton told of an incident in the life of Abraham Lincoln which illustrates a winning spirit. Lincoln, in search of firsthand information on the progress of the Civil War, sought out his general, George B. McClellan. McClellan was not at home when the President and a cabinet member arrived, so Lincoln waited an hour. At last the general returned, but instead of greeting Lincoln, he went upstairs and retired for the evening, sending a servant to explain that he was too tired to see the President.
Lincoln's companion exploded in rage, but the President laid his hand gently on the man's shoulder: "There, there, do not take it so hard. I will hold McClellan's horse if he will only bring us victories."
j.        Self-control – King James uses the word temperance. We normally think of temperance referring to intoxicating drinks. We should not drink intoxicating drinks. The word here means more than not just drinking alcohol. We need self-control with our tempers, to not eat too much, to control our spending and every area of our life.
4.      Christians should also produce other Christians. That is what we are to do is to tell others about Christ. Teach them the gospel, baptize them and teach them to observe all Jesus has commanded. Our goal in life should be to save as many as we can from the fire of hell. 
Being a Christian is the best way of life. It is the only way to have eternal life.
IV.              Obey his commands (How can we obey his commands?) John 14:31
A.     Learn obedience
1.      Hebrews 5:7-9
2.      Jesus had to learn obedience just like we do. He had to learn to deny himself and do the father’s will
3.      John 10:18, The Father commanded Jesus to lay down his life. Jesus obeyed and gave his life.
4.      Some things in life we have to do that may be against our will, but they are the will of our father. 
B.     Love him
1.      If you love your father you will want to obey him. A love for God will help us to not do anything that displeases Him.
2.      I John 5:2-3
C.     Do his will, and deny yourself.
1.      Matthew 26:42, Jesus had to deny himself. He didn’t want to be whipped, beaten and crucified. He obeyed and put his father’s will above his.
2.      We will have to deny ourselves and do our Father’s will instead of our own.
Jesus Father wasn’t pleased with him because Jesus made a lot of money. If a father has a son who is a successful businessman and makes a lot of money he is pleased with him and he tells people about his son. If his son is in a powerful political position he is pleased with his son and wants everyone to know. This is normal and it is good to be proud of your children. 
God wasn’t pleased with Jesus because he made a lot of money or had a powerful political position. He was pleased with his Son because he did his will in everything.
Jesus claimed God as his Father. He worked for the Father’s Glory. He bore much fruit. He had the fruits of the Spirit and he showed the way to eternal life. It is because of him we can escape from hell. Jesus obeyed his Father’s commands.