Psalm 37 the part I want to focus on is beginning with verse number 3 where the bible reads, "Trust in the Lord and do good, so shall thou dwell in the land. And verily shall thou be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." What I want to preach about this morning is delighting yourself in the Lord. We often talk about loving the Lord. We often talk about loving the Lord. Of course we know the greatest commandment the bible says is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul and mind and strength. When we think of love it's a very broad word.
It has a lot of different aspects to it. For example the bible often talks about the fact that this is the love of God that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous. Where the bible says in 2nd John this is love that we walk after his commandments. There is a component of love that has o do with doing right by people and doing your duty. Doing what's expected of you. For example if I love my wife that means I'm going to stay faithful to her. I'm going to commit adultery. It means that I'm going to be a provider that goes out and makes the money necessary to put food on the table. Those are things that are encompassed within the word love.
There's another aspect of love that has to do with delighting in someone. See it's not just doing what's expected of me but rather finding pleasure and enjoyment in Lord. That also is an aspect of love. Or having pleasure or enjoyment in my wife is another side of love. Because love is very broad. The aspect of love that I want to focus on this morning is that aspect of delight. Delight thyself also in the Lord the bible says in verse 4. He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Flip over if you would to Proverbs chapter 3, just a few pages to the right in your bible. Let me just show you a few scriptures that connect this idea of delight with love. First of all the bible says while you're turning to Proverbs.
The bible says in Isaiah 42, 1 "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." That scripture is quoted in Mathew 12 as "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased." We see there that being beloved and well pleasing is what it means to be someone who is delighted in. Look down at your bible there Proverbs 3, 12 "For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." We see that delighting in someone is part of what it means to love someone.
Now let me just give you an illustration. My wife and I pretty much on a weekly basis we go on a date together. Either we go out to eat or we go out for ice cream or we go out just to do errands. Because honestly when you have 8 kids just getting out by yourself and doing anything is a lot of fun. We'll hang out, go shopping, go out for a snack, go out for dessert whatever. We have a scheduled time each week we do that. Sometimes we'll go other times during the week and sometimes we'll skip it depending on the situation. We pretty much have a routine of at a certain day, a certain time we go out for this date together just the two of us.
Well here's the thing about that. I've noticed that it's not enough just for me to show up to that time of day and be in a good mood and have a good time. Take her somewhere nice. Rather I have to actually convince her that I want to be there, which makes sense. She doesn't want me to just go through the motions, I'm taking her out on a date. I'm showing her a good time because I have to. She wants to genuinely believe that I delight in her. That I actually want to spend time with her. This is something that I'm looking forward to. I've noticed that sometimes if I don't seem jazzed enough about the date that sometimes she'll act like, "Well I don't even want to go." Because of the fact that she desires love and she desires to be delighted in not just to going through of the motions.
Go to Song of Solomon chapter 2, you find the word delight a few times in the book of Song of Solomon. This is what God wants from us. He doesn't just want us to go through the motions of reading our bible and praying and sowing because we have to. He actually desires us to like him. He actually wants us to delight ourselves in him, to enjoy reading the bible. To enjoy spending time with him in prayer. To enjoy preaching, to enjoy church, to enjoy singing the hymns. He wants us to get pleasure from walking with him and not just do it out of a sense of obligation. Let me say this, doing it out of a sense of obligation is better than nothing.
Don't sit there and say, "Well if I can't do it wholehearted I'm just not going to do it." No, sometimes you do have to force yourself to do things out of obligation. Sometimes you do things out of duty. Because if we only did things when we felt like doing them, we'd often not do what we should do. Yes there is an aspect of love that is duty. There is an aspect that says, "Hey, I'm going to spend time with my wife because it's the right thing to do. I'm going to provide, stay faithful to her." Wait a minute, there's another aspect of delighting in doing that and God wants our heart also. He just doesn't want us to only do things out of duty. He wants us to delight in him.
Look at Song of Solomon chapter 2, of course this has to do with husband and wife, says in verse 3, "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." Flip over to Song of Solomon chapter 7, just a few pages to the right in the bible. Song of Solomon chapter 7 verse 6 the bible reads, "How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights. This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof, now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples. And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me."
Again the bible is showing here not just a business agreement between husband and wife. Actually a sweet relationship where there is desire there. There's delight there, where there's excitement there. It's not just a going through of the motions. This also applies to our marriage by the way. Not just delighting in the Lord, we should delight in our wife or delight in our husband depending on whether you're a man or a woman. Because of the fact that God wants us to love each other. Also to delight in each other as married couples. This will prevent a lot of adultery obviously, this will prevent a lot of strife and anger if we delight in our spouse as we should.
It's not just enough to say, "Well you know I cooked all the meals and I cleaned the house. I took care of the kids, I'm available to him whatever. I don't know what else my husband wants from me." Well your husband wants you to love him, he wants you to delight in him. Or the same thing if a husband said, "Well I'm paying the bills. I'm staying faithful, I'm doing what I'm supposed to do." Yeah but are you showing love to your wife in the sense that you delight in her? That you want to be there. Sometimes you do have to go through the motions in marriage. Just because obviously marriage has its ups and downs. If we're realistic, we know that marriage is not a Hollywood movie where it's just always perfect and always exciting. You always live happily ever after every single day. Sometimes you do have you do your duty. You know if that's all you're doing, that's a pretty sad marriage, if it's just your duty all the time.
You know what? Your spouse will figure that out if that's how you feel. Your husband can tell whether or not you really love him. Your wife can tell whether or not you really love them. Because of the fact that, that delight comes through. Well let's apply this spiritually. God wants us to love him. He wants is to him will all our heart and mind and soul and strength. He wants us to delight ourselves in him. He says, "If you will delight yourself in me, I will give you the desires of your heart." God will you success, God will give you the things that you want in life. I'm not talking about the success of the world in the sense of driving a Mercedes and living in a fancy house. I'm saying God will give you success where you will succeed spiritually. Where you will be able to serve him and do well and prosper.
If you would flip over to Matthew chapter 22 where the bible talks about the greatest commandment of loving the Lord thy God with all your heart. This is not just the love that we always talk about. Where if you love me, keep my commandments and that's important too. I say that to my wife all the time, no I'm just kidding. I'm not kidding about that concept, I'm just kidding that I say that all the time. Anyway, if you love me, keep my commandments. What about delighting in the Lord? What about enjoying being with the Lord? What about enjoying reading the bible? What does the bible say here in Matthew 22, 35 "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Flip over to Mark chapter 12, just a few pages to the right in your bible, Mark chapter number 12. Beginning in verse number 29 the bible reads, "And Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is, hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, this is the first commandment." Now go back to Deuteronomy 6 because this is actually a quote from Deuteronomy chapter number 6. Notice how in Mark when he quoted it, he started out with, "Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart."
You'll see that exact same quote here in Deuteronomy 6 beginning in verse 4 the bible reads, "Hear, O Israel, The LORD our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." The first point that I want to make this morning is that number 1, we should delight in the word of God. If we're going to delight ourselves in the Lord, if we're going to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul and strength.
Number 1 we need to delight ourselves in the word of God. Notice how when this first commandment is carried out, where you love the Lord. You end up talking about the word of God all day long. You end up having God's word in your heart. You end up teaching it to your children, talking about it when you get up in the morning. Talking about it when you get to bed at night. Why? Because we talk about the things that we love. Things that are important to us. If we have a hobby, we talk about it all the time if we love it. If we have any kind of a passion or anything we care about. It's going to come out of our mouth. Why? Because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. If we have love for the Lord in our heart, if we delight ourselves in God's work, we're going to be reading it, having it in our heart and talking about it all day long.
Look at Psalm 1, just flip over to the book of Psalms. I'm going to show you a whole bunch of scriptures from Psalms. Actually if you'll turn to Psalm 119, I'll just quote you from Psalm 1. You've probably heard it before, it's a pretty famous verse. Flip over to Psalm 119 but in Psalm 1 verse 2 it says, "But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Notice what's the result in delighting in the law of the Lord? You end up meditating on it day and night. Why? Because we think about the things that we love. We think about the things that we get pleasure from. We talk about them. When it comes to memorizing the bible, because the bible talks about having God's law in your heart. Which would be how we always describe memorizing something, knowing it by heart. Or when we talk about meditating day and night.
Obviously that's not just somebody just day and night walking around with a physical book. That's wouldn't be possible. How do you meditate on the word of God day and night? It's in your heart, you memorize it, learn it, quote it. In your mind and verbally and in your heart. When we talk about bible memory, some people think, "Bible memory that's way too hard. I can't do that. That's for little kids or something." Because little kids, they're just like a sponge, they just soak it up. That's not true. Actually little kids who memorize verses they work hard at it. The reason little kids walk around and quote scripture. The reason they say go to kids they always have it, it's because they worked on it for hours and hours and hours.
That's true, kids don't just automatically memorize things more than adults. I understand that some people as they get much older they might struggle with their memory. For those of us who are just normal adults and middle aged or young aged, we're able to memorize the bible. The truth of the matter is that little kids are just delighting in it a little more than adults are. That's the bottom line. When it comes to memorizing scripture there's no trick or silver bullet that I've found. I've had people show me different tricks and techniques and tools and gimmicks. If they work for you, great. I'm not doubting on it if it works. I've never found any of that stuff to work.
The way that I memorize scripture is the hard way. I just repeat it over and over again. I just chant it over and over again. I just get a scripture and I just take a phrase. I just quote it my mind a 100 times. Then I get the next phrase of the verse and quote it a 100 times. Next verse, quote it a 100 times. That's how I learn scripture. I don't really have any tricks or tools that I can show you. You know, for 19.95 I'll share with you this method for scripture memory. This will blow you away, you'll be the best in the Sunday school. I don't have any tricks like that. I've tried different tricks and everything and I found just repeating it over and over again the hard way. Hard work [inaudible 00:15:12] memorization. I've memorized well over 100 chapters of the bible that way and it worked for me. That's what I do. I'm memorizing scripture right now.
I'm working on some new goals for the new year. Some chapters that I want to memorize. Here's the thing about that, there's one tip to succeeding at bible memory, only one, you have to love the bible. Because if you love the bible, you'll spend hours quoting it over and over and over again. If you don't love it, that's going to bore you out of your mind. That's basically the simple truth of it. Bible memory starts with loving the bible. If you love it, if you enjoy it, you're going to put in the hard work necessary. If you don't then you won't. Here's the thing about that, let's apply this to bible reading. People who read the bible every year cover to cover at least one time. Or people who read it more times than that, 4 times a year or more, they're people who love the bible.
That's how they can spend an hour everyday reading or 15 minutes every day reading. Versus the gut who just can't bring himself to even spend 15 minutes reading the bible but you got hours for TV. Hours for movies, hours for sport, hours for other hobbies. Can't take the time to read the bible. No it’s not that he can't take the time, it's just he doesn't delight in it. When you look forward to something, when you enjoy something, when you take pleasure in something, you'll find time to do it won't you? We find time for the things that are important to us in life. When people say, "I don't have time." It's just not a priority for you. Because whatever is a priority for you, you will find time. My marriage is a priority, I find time to be with my wife. To spend time with her. Because that's a priority to me.
Church is important to me, that's why I make time to be there and show up and be there at the services. I make time to get out sowing. I make time to be in the work because these things are priorities. To put in a lot of time into something, you got to love it. It's that simple. How could you sit and memorize the bible for hours if you don't love the bible? Not going to happen. Delighting yourself in the law of the Lord, that's what leads to meditating on day and night. Look at Psalm 119, I'm going to show you a bunch of scriptures that associate delighting in the word of God, loving the word of God with memorizing the word of God.
Look what the bible says in Psalms 119 verse 15, "I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes. I will not forget thy word." Notice, not forgetting has to do with delighting in it, loving it, meditating it. Verse 23, "Princes also did sit and speak against me. But thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors." Look at verse 35, "Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness." Go to verse 47, notice he says I delight in the commandments. I wonder if today we delight in God's commandments. It's amazing to me how certain parts of the bible people avoid or they don't want to talk about. Because they're ashamed of God's word in this adulterous and evil generation.
It's like, "Well I know the bible says no to homos. God is really a nice guy, don't let that." No I love all God's commandments. "Well the bible does tell us not to drink. The bible does tell us not to commit adultery. I guess we're not ..." Why don't you love the commandments of God? Why don't you say, you know what? I love the fact that God forbids adultery. I love the fact that he forbids stealing. I love the fact that he forbids killing and murder. I hate murder, I hate adultery, I hate sin. I love God's word. I love purity and cleanliness and righteousness and Godliness. How I love thy God it's my meditation night and day. That ought to be the attitude not like, "God is kind of strict." No, God's perfect, he's book is great.
Atheists will be, "What about this verse?" Christians are like, "Man, let's not talk about that verse." I love it, what verse do you want to talk about? I love it, I love all of it. I love Leviticus, love Numbers, love Deuteronomy, love Joshua, love it all. Don't be ashamed of God's word. You know who ought to be ashamed of himself? Sinful wicked people. Why would we be ashamed of God's law and God's word? We ought to delight in it and say, "These laws are great. These rules are great." God made all the best rules so we can live the best life. You want to talk about your best life now? Joel Osteen needs to talk about more about the commandments then if he wants you to live your best life now. Because you live your best life by delighting in God's laws, God's words, God's commandments. Jesus Christ and what he taught us and what we have in the New Testament and what we have in the entire bible, it's all perfect.
We ought to love it. I don't know about you but when I read the bible, I love it. I love it, the stories, I love the stories. I love the commandments, love all of it. That's what God wants us to do. He wants us to actually not just love him in the sense of doing our duty. That's important but he also wants us to like him. He also wants us to delight in him. He wants us to enjoy it. He wants us to take pleasure in it. I love how David talks so much about this in Psalms. We don't even have time this morning to look at all the scriptures. Where he talks about how God's word is sweet in his mouth. It's like honeycombs unto him. It's better than gold, it's better than silver. It's better than anything. It's better than wine, better than anything.
He says God's word is his favorite thing. He says I opened my mouth and panted for the longing I had for God's word. That's why David is a man after God's own heart. It's not because he was a perfect person. He made a lot of mistakes. You know what he's a man after God's own heart? Because he loved God with all his heart and soul and mind and strength. Here's the thing, if you would really love your wife, with all your heart, mind, soul and strength I bet she'd forgive a lot of flaws in you. I bet your husband would forgive a lot flaws in your wives if you would just love him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and delight in him.
Because love covers a multitude of sin that’s why. God wants us to delight in him and to love him. Look down at Psalms 119 again verse number 47, “And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.”
Notice delight, love, love, all about rules. You’ll notice that today we live in a Christianity that will often say, “Hey, forget the dos and the don’ts man, it’s the relationship.” We have to love the dos and don’ts because they're perfect. I mean that’s what I see in the bible. The bible says in verse 70, “Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”
Look at verse 77, “Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.” Verse 92, “Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts; for with them thou hast quickened me.” Verse 143, “Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.” Verse 174, “I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight.”
Did you notice how many times in that passage not forgetting the word or meditating on the word day and night was associated with delighting in it? Because when you love God’s word, you read it. If you love your wife you're going to spend time with her. I'm talking about love in the sense of delight, right? Because it’s not a tragedy, it’s something you look forward to, it’s something that you say, “Yeah let’s do it, right?” well what about reading the bible? Yeah let’s do it. What about bible memory time? Let’s do it, I'm looking forward to it.
What does the bible say in Psalms 112? Flip back just a few pages to Psalms 112. While you're turning there, I’ll read for you from Psalms 40 where it says, “I delight to do thy will, O my God; yes, thy law is within my heart.” Look at Psalms 112 verse 1, “Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house; and his righteousness endureth for ever.” These are some big promises to those who delight greatly in God’s commandments. Do you see that in verse 1? That’s a big promise.
What about this, whatsoever he doeth shall prosper? That’s a pretty big promise. What's that associated with? His delight is in the law of the Lord and it is law that you meditate day and night, he shall be like a tree planteth by the rivers of water that bringeth forth this fruit in the season and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. That’s a big promise. I want to take advantage of that promise. Love God’s word, meditate on it, delight in it.
Romans chapter 7 verse 22, you don’t have to turn there but just to give you a New Testament verse on this. The Apostle Paul said, “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. He said, “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; but I see another law in my members,” talking about the flesh, “Warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Go to Psalms 122. Apostle Paul in the New Testament is reiterating the same thing that we found in Psalms 119 where he says, “I delight in the law of God after the inward man.”
Now I remember when I was a kid, people would say, “Well you know you’ve got to love your sister or you’ve got to love your brother or you’ve got to love your parents or love one another, but you don’t have to like them.” Who has ever heard that statement, you’ve got to love them but you don’t have to like them? Here’s the thing, God wants us to love them and like them. We need to like the bible. I like it, I like all of it. That ought to be the attitude. We’ve got to love God’s word and love the bible.
Number one, delighting in the word of God but number two, we ought to delight in the house of God. Delighting in the house of God. Listen to what the bible says in Psalms 122 verse 1, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.” Now we can go to Hebrews 10 and show you where it says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of Psalms is, but exhorting one another and so much the more as we see the day approaching. We can approach it from an aspect of, “Hey, don’t forsake the assembly because God said so.” We could show where right after that he talks about, if we sin willfully, referring to not going to church, all the doom and destruction that God has planned for us. The bottom line is though, we ought to just enjoy going to church, we ought to love it, delight in it.
Now just as much as your husband wants you to delight in him and the wife wants her husband to delight in her, and just as much as God wants us to delight in him and his word, even the pastor of the church wants you to delight in church. Everybody wants you to be excited about it and happy about it not just, well; we’ve got to go to church. I don’t let my kids say, “Oh we have to go to church.” That should never be spoken. No we get to go to church. My children don’t say that, my children do love going to church and they do look forward to it. Is it a church day? Yeah. They get excited about church days. They ought to never say something like, “Oh we have to go to church now. We have to go to church today.” No, no. going to church is fun; going to church is a blessing. Going to church is a joyful experience.
I was glad when they said unto me; let us go into the house of the Lord. As we are going through this sermon, a question that might be on your mind, I mean this the question that’s on my mind as I study this in the bible and thus reading all these scriptures about delighting in the word, delighting in the Lord, delighting in the house of God and so forth. I asked myself this question, what makes one person delight in it and another not? What makes one person love the Lord and another not love the Lord? What makes one person love hard preaching and another person can’t stand hard preaching? What makes one person love bible reading and bible memory and another not? What makes one person love singing songs, hymns and spiritual songs and another person not love it?
Honestly if you study the bible on this subject you will find that the answer to that question is simply a choice that you make, it’s an act of the will on your part. That’s why this is a command where God commands you to love the Lord. That’s why this is a command where he says in imperative, “Delight yourself in the Lord. Love the Lord.” I don’t believe in this nonsense doctrine of we don’t have free will. Its foolishness, we do have free will. We wake up every day and we choose and God sets before us life and death and God sets before us a blessing and a curse and God says choose life. Every single day, we wake up in the morning and we write the book. We decide what we are going to do with our lives. You know what? That’s why God even said, “What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. What you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. That’s why he said to Adam, “Hey, you name the animals whatever you want.” Whenever Adam named them, that was the name thereof.
God gives us free will. I heard somebody say, “Well you’ll never find free will in the bible,” then you just do a little search in the concordance for the world free will you will find it I believe like 17 times. The word free will. Hey if you're going to make an offering unto the Lord, he talks about a certain offering, do it of your own free will he said, not because you're being forced to. There's this foolish doctrine that makes us all into robots and God controls everything like a puppet master and basically none of us has any free will. No we have free will. I firmly believe, I've studied the bible on this, I went through all the scriptures that we are reading this morning and other scripts on delight and I came to the conclusion that it’s very clear that this is a choice that you make.
This is an act where you decide, you know what? I'm going to love the bible, I'm going to love church, I'm going to love the things of God. I'm going to love the commandments of God. You make that choice, you get on that path. God will give you the grace to do it. God will help you to do it. That is the way to get on board with what I'm talking about this morning. Look, think about it in your marriage. If I went into my marriage and the reason I keep bringing up marriage is because it’s such a great illustration of this. Because it’s a loving relationship on this earth that we can relate to because we understand.
Okay, I'm married, I have my spouse, we have a relationship. That’s something that we can see whereas God is unseen, okay? That’s why I like to relate it to marriage because it’s such a great illustration of this. What if I went into marriage, think about this. What if I went into marriage desiring to dislike my wife? What if I said, “You know what? I'm 15 years into this thing and I want out of this marriage. I'm going to try to not like her. I'm going to find everything I don’t like about my wife.” Think about it if I went into with that attitude, don’t you think I can will myself to dislike my wife? Why? Because I think about all of her negative attributes and I focus on those things. I think about all the bad things that have happened in our marriage, all the bad times, all the bad things that she did and I would just think about all that and dwell on that and focus on that.
I mean this is what people do after they get divorced, right? It’s like they just trash everything about their married life. It’s all bad. Look if I decided to right now dislike my wife, I can make myself dislike my wife by just forgetting all the good things, not paying attention and just focusing on the bad and wiling myself to dislike my wife. She can do the same thing to me. There's plenty of negative things that she could bring out about me and negative memories and negative attributes to just say … Just despise me and hurt if she wanted to.
Or you can go into marriage wanting to like your wife, wanting to have a good time. Go into that date desiring to have fun and desiring to have a good time and saying, “This is something I'm looking forward to, this is going to be good, this is going to be fun.” Then you're thinking about all the things that you like, all the good attributes, all the good times and then you delight in it. Then you delight in her. Then you delight in him. It’s the same thing with the Lord. It’s all about here’s the word, your attitude going into it. What’s your attitude going into church? What's your attitude going into reading your bible? When you go into it with the right attitude, you’ll delight in it more and more.
You go into marriage with the right attitude; you’ll have more and more delight. You go into church, you go into the service of the Lord with the right attitude and you’ll learn to take pleasure in the things that God wants us to take pleasure in and you’ll learn to hate sin and you’ll learn to despise that … It’s like I was saying, if I want to dislike, I can. Well if you want to have sin, you can get to the point where you hate sin. You can get to a point where you love church. The Holy Spirit is there to help you, but you have to go into it with that desire, that willing heart.
Go if you will to Malachi 1, number 1 we want to make sure that we delight in the word of God. Number 2 we want to delight in the house of God. Number 3 we want to delight in serving God. Delight in serving him, delight in giving unto him, delight in sacrificing for him. That’s what the bible teaches in Malachi chapter 1. Now the reason that I stopped and talked about the act of the will is because I don’t want you to walk away from this sermon and just say, “Well I just don’t really delight in the bible, so I guess I'm just not going to be real successful in bible memorization. I guess I'm not going to be real successful at marriage because I just don’t really delight in my wife that much.” As if it’s just an accident or something.
No, no, you’ve got to make a decision my friend and say, “I'm going to love the Lord with all my hear.” He said, “This is the first commandment.” He didn’t say this is the first statement about some people who automatically just happen to love the Lord. No he said, this is the first commandment. He said, there's a commandment love the Lord. Here’s a commandment, love thy name. That means you have the choice to love the Lord and you have the choice to love your neighbor. God wouldn’t command you to do something that’s impossible for you to do. He says, “Love me.” That means that when you wake up in the morning and you decide I'm going to love the Lord, I'm going to delight in him.
What does the bible say in Malachi chapter 1 verse 10? “Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought?” Nought means nothing. “Neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, the table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.”
Now watch this, this is the key at the beginning of verse 13. “Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it.” What does it mean when he says, “What a weariness is it?” It’s saying, “Man, what a drudge.” Basically they're saying that it’s something that they don’t enjoy but it’s something that they do as a drudgery, right? It’s such a drudgery, it’s so weary. Oh here we go again, go to church again, read the bible again, go soling again, it’s such a drudge. Oh what a weariness is it and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick. Basically their heart is not in serving the Lord. It says back in the old testament when they would do burnt offerings, they're bringing the burnt offering and because their heart is not in it, it’s such a weariness, it’s such a paint to have to do all that stuff.
It’s just like oh let’s just sacrifice this little lot because it’s so lame. Let’s just give it to the Lord. It can’t even walk. It’s already been torn anyway, give that to the Lord. Its sick, oh this one is sick? Yeah. Sacrifice that to the Lord. Why? Because their heart is not in it that’s why. You don’t do your best if your heart is not in it. He said, “Thus ye brought an offering. Should I accept this of your hand? Saith the Lord, but cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing; for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.”
Okay, so go back to verse 10 now that we’ve read the whole context. It says, “Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? He’s basically saying that would even just shut the doors of the house like unless they're basically being paid. Or unless there’s something in it for them. It’s like they have no heart to just serve the Lord out of cheerfulness and because they want to. It’s like they're only going to do what they're being forced to do. Who is there among you that would shut the doors for nought? Neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. What does he say next? I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts.
God doesn’t have pleasure in us when we are just doing things as a drudgery, when we are half hearted about our service to the Lord. When our heart is not in it, we end up doing things halfway, we end up doing things sloppily, we don’t give it our best, right? When our heart’s in it, when we delight in it, we give it our best. That’s what God desires. He says, “I have no pleasure in you when you come with this half in half out, you show up to church, you show up late, you slump down in your seat, you sleep through part of it, you’re not turning into the scriptures. Pastor is like, “Hey, turn to 2nd Corinthians 9.” No really turn to 2nd Corinthians 9. 2nd Corinthians 9 and everybody is just like, no. Or sing a song, “All right, let’s sing our song, turn to song number 162 to God be the glory,” and basically nobody is turning or you're not singing.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice, praise the Lord, praise the Lord ... Or just lip syncing. God is not pleased with that. God wants us to show up wholehearted, he wants us to show up and be excited and say, “I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord. This is my story, this is my song,” singing out, turning in the hymn and all, singing loud. Bring your bible, turn in the scriptures, showing up, being happy to be there, rejoicing in the Lord because the joy of the Lord is your strength. Not just going through the motions. Just like my wife didn’t want me to show up for that date, here we go again. It’s that time of the week again.
Get this out of the way so I can do something better with my time. That’s not good enough, that’s not going to work. Well what do you want? I took you out to that expensive meal. No you're supposed to delight in it. Spend lots of money and enjoy it. I'm just kidding. Enjoy the sacrifice. Don’t serve her that which is lame. We are going to McDonald’s for the day.
Anyway look at 2nd Corinthians chapter 9 verse 7, we find the same thing pretty much that we see in Malachi chapter one where it says verse 7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;” watch this, “Not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” See what I mean about serving the Lord with gladness, cheerful giver, delighting in serving God. It says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” A lot of people will take verse 7 and just say, “Oh let’s just not give then.” God only wants us to do it willingly and cheerfully so it’s okay not to do it. Is that what he’s saying? No he’s saying do it cheerfully.
It would be like if I said, “Well the pastor was preaching and he said that when I go out with my wife, I'm supposed to have my heart in it and my heart is not in it. Therefore date time is over for 2016.” No dates. Hey I'm only supposed to do it when my heart’s in it so we’ll just skip it. I mean imagine what kind of relationship I would have with my wife if we never went on dates together, we never spent time together, we never went to the bedroom together and did that which married couples do in the bedroom, what kind of relationship am I going to have with my wife? A terrible, I’d be destroying my marriage.
The answer is not to just say, “Oh well let’s not just do it then unless we are …” No, no what you need to do is you need to do it and you need to get your heart in it and you need to get cheerful about it. You need to learn to delight in it through act of the will. Through deciding what you want to be as a person. I want to be a cheerful giver. I want to be one who says, I'm glad to go to the house of the Lord. I want to be one who delights in the Lord and meditates in his law day and night. I don’t want those promises to be for some other guy like a David, some other guy but too bad that can’t happen.
No, no, you write the book of your life, you make the choice. Are you going to delight in Hollywood, are you going to delight in the world, are you going to delight in sin, are you going to delight and have which is carnal and worldly? Or are you going to delight in spiritual things? What kind of person do you want to be? You decide. You show up to church and you decide, I'm glad we are going to church. We are singing the hymns, great, let’s do it, let’s sing the hymns. Let’s listen to some preaching, let’s read the bible, it’s going to be great. Go into it with that right attitude.
Love the Lord thy God the bible says and keep his charge and his statutes and his judgments and his commandments always. Deuteronomy 30 verse 15, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil. In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.”
Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father we thank you so much for everything that you’ve done for us Lord. Thank you for your unspeakable gift of eternal life. Thank you for the blood of Jesus Christ that taketh away our sins Lord. Thank you for heaven, thank you for church, thank you for all the wonderful blessings and countless benefits that you’ve bestowed upon us Lord. Help us not be this lame, grumbly, grudging givers and grudging church members and grudging spouses. Lord help us to not just love you on paper by doing our duty but help us to actually have that feeling of love in our heart Lord. Where we actually feel joy and pleasure and we actually love you not just with our mind but also with our soul, also with our heart and with all our strength Lord. Help us to delight in you in Jesus name we pray, amen.