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Session 24

Stop Trying To Please God

Read: Hebrews 13:15-25

Too many Christians spend most of their time trying desperately to please a God who is already pleased. There’s no freedom in their lives. And by caring more about rule keeping than disciple making, we steal freedom from others. Jesus didn’t die to make bad people better. Jesus died so we could have a relationship with God. Rules tame behavior; the love of God changes lives.

God created the sacrificial system because He desperately wanted a relationship with His people and they were separated from Him by sin. Through animal sacrifices, the people paid for their sin and could approach God. The entire system foreshadowed what Jesus would do on the cross. Jesus was the final sacrifice, permanently removing all sin and guilt, and satisfying God’s holy demands on our behalf. But until that time, the priests’ work never ended (Hebrews 10:11).  

Today, we can look back to Jesus’ sacrifice and rest because He has finished the work for us. God accepts us because He accepts Jesus. When we recognize how much God loves us to sacrifice His Son on our behalf, we’re moved to honor Jesus the way Hebrews 13:15-18 describes.

Only when we know Jesus can we begin to do good and share with others, not because we have to but because we want to. Only when we know Jesus will we willingly submit to our leaders instead of complaining and criticizing because we trust God to work through them.

Reflect:

  • Think about what motivates your behavior. Are your actions an attempt to win God’s acceptance or a way to thank Him for what He’s done for you?
  • How has reading this passage affected your motivation for what you say, what you do, and where you go this week?
  • Our intimacy with God determines the impact of our lives. What’s one way you can make time to be alone with God?

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