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Pleasing God and making Sacrifices for God
This is an addition to what we have already studied on getting more prayers answered.

I would first like to make this statement: regardless of whether or not all of our prayers are getting answered we should always be striving to please God and be willing to make sacrifices for him.

As we mentioned in our previous study we have all had prayers answered. We know that God has taken care of us through the years. He has supplied our needs and always been there for us so why do we struggle with getting certain prayers answered.  Especially when it comes to healing.

This study isn’t for the sole purpose of getting more prayers answered but is also to help strengthen our relationship with
God. Let’s start with a scripture from 1st John.

1Jn 3:22 (NKJV)  And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

Notice that there are two conditions for answered prayers.
1. Keep his commandments.
2. Do the things that please him.

As Christians we should know what it means to keep his commandments.
Mat 22:36  "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Mat 22:37  Jesus replied:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
Mat 22:38 
This is the first and greatest commandment.
Mat 22:39 
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
Mat 22:40 
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

So now let’s take a look at doing the things that please God. I named this study “Pleasing God and making sacrifices for God” because they kind of go together. Before we look at more scriptures let’s ask ourselves some questions.

• Is God pleased with everything that I watch on TV?
• Is God pleased with all the music that I listen to?
• Do I let my light shine so that others see Jesus through me?
• Do I tell others what God has done for me through the years or do they see me constantly complaining and worrying?
• Do I pray, study and fast like I should? Are my prayers from the heart or from the lips?
• Do I gossip about others or do I pray for them?
• How often do I tell God from the heart how much I love him and thank him?
• Am I to busy with my own wants and desires to make time for God?

We could go on and on but it’s going to be different for each individual. This doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect to get prayers answered, God has answered many of our prayers. What we’re talking about is that the more we do for God and strive to draw closer to him then the more he will do for us.

Remember the disciples that couldn’t cast out the demon. They had been casting out other demons, so what happened? They even asked Jesus why they couldn’t do it. His response to them is in Mar 9:29 when he said to them,
This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. He told them that the only way that this was going to happen was by prayer and fasting.

The same is true for us. We do get prayers answered but there are some things that requires more of us. Let’s face facts. Healing seems to be one of the greatest obstacles that we face in our prayer life. Have you ever noticed that when someone needs healing and they get anointed at church that people will gather around and pray then go back to their seats and not even expect anything to happen. What is the reason? God has not changed. We need to take a look at ourselves. If more was required of the disciples then don’t you think that more will be required of us? Isn’t it time for us to get out of our comfort zone and start making some sacrifices?

Let’s take a look at some scriptures on pleasing God and making sacrifices.

Col 1:10 (NIV)  so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

•The Amplified version says it like this: That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition].

Paul tells us that bearing fruit is pleasing to God. So what are the different ways we can bear fruit? The bible tells of 3 different ways to do this:

1. Fruit of the Spirit
Gal 5:22 - 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control.
Eph 5:9  (For the fruit of the Spirit
is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
2. Fruit of our lips
Heb 13:15  Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of
our lips, giving thanks to His name.
3. Fruit of our labor
Php 1:21  For to me, to live
is Christ, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22  But if
I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.

Let’s take a look at another scripture that urges us to please God even more then we are.

1Th 4:1  As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.

Even though they were living a life that pleased God, Paul was urging them to do it even more.

The Amplified version says it like this: FURTHERMORE, BRETHREN, we beg and admonish you in [virtue of our union with] the Lord Jesus, that [you follow the instructions which] you learned from us about how you ought to walk so as to please and gratify God, as indeed you are doing, [and] that you do so even more and more abundantly [attaining yet greater perfection in living this life].

Heb 13:15  Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Heb 13:16  But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

The Life Application Commentary says it this way: Heb 13:16 - Another “sacrifice” that pleases God focuses on service to others. Acts of kindness and sharing our resources are very pleasing to God, even when they go unnoticed. In times of persecution especially, Christians depend on one another (see
Heb_10:24; Heb_13:20). Doing good and a willingness to share with those in need strikes a blow at the self-centeredness of our times. Believers experience fellowship with other believers when they make their resources available to those in need.


SUMMARY

This study is based on 1Jn 3:22. The Amplified version says it like this: and we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.

It is important to understand that the more we do for God, the more he will do for us. Heb 11:6  tells us that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Never, never, never give up on praying for the sick, financial needs, relationship problems, stress and depression or any other need. Just continue to strive to please God and to draw closer to him. The closer we draw to God the more power we will have in our prayers. Remember the disciples had been casting out demons but came across one that they couldn’t cast out because more was required of them to do this. If it was true for the disciples then it will certainly be true for us. God does answer many of our prayers but just like the disciples there will be circumstances that requires more of us.