What Does God Want?
Most people are selfish and ask the question of “What’s in it for me? Or What do I want?
More importantly we should ask what does God want?

Matthew 22:15-22
15. Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18. But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19. Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21. They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. 22. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

Jesus was teaching in the temple.
The Pharisees sent their disciples and the Herodians to Him with a question.
“Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”- v. 17
They came to Jesus with deceit and flattery to try entrap Him.
If he answered yes, Jesus would have alienated Jews who resented paying tribute to Rome.
And if He said no, he would have been accused of rebellion.
Jesus immediately called for a coin and asked whose image was on it.
When they answered Caesar’s, He said, “ Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”- v. 21
Jesus’ answer caused them to marvel.
His answer suggests there are things that we ought to be giving to the Lord.
We want to consider some of those in this lesson.

Giving To God
God owns all things.
Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.”
We are stewards of all that we possess.
Neither does God need the things that we have- Acts 17:25.
But there are things God claims and wants us to give to Him.
These are identified in His book, the Bible.
It also reveals the punishment of those who withhold these things and the blessings of those who give them.

God Wants Our Love
It is the great commandment in the Law - Matthew 22:37.
It is our response to His love for us - I John 4:19.
To love God is to want to please Him in all things.
Loving God involves:
Loving His word - Psalm 119:97
Respecting and reverencing His name –
Exodus 20:7.
Keeping His commandments - I John 5:3

God Wants Our Complete Obedience
We demonstrate our love for God and our faith in Him by our obedience to His word.
He expects us to obey all that He has said - Colossians 3:17.
Without addition, subtraction or substitution - Revelation 22:18-19
God’s way is always best for us and for others.
Partial obedience is disobedience.
It substitutes human will for God’s will –
I Samuel 15:22

God Wants Our Worship
God has desired worship in all ages.
God is the only being worthy of worship –
Matthew 4:10
Those who love God will worship Him as often as possible.
God is not pleased with all worship –
Leviticus 10:1-2.
He has identified the worship that He wants.
Worship according His word and from our hearts -
John 4:24.
Human innovations in worship dishonor God.

God Wants First Place
In our hearts and in our lives.
He wants us to love and trust Him more than any other.
His place is shown by our priorities –
Matthew 6:33
God deserves to be first.
Because He is our Creator- Psalm 100:3
Because He is our Savior- John 3:16
Because of the many blessings that He has given to us – Ephesians 1:3.
Things that can take God’s place…
Selfishness or a desire to please self.
Possessions- Matthew 19:22.
Pleasures and approval of the world –
2 Timothy 4:10.
Any thing that takes God’s place in our heart becomes an idol - Colossians 3:5.
When God is first, we will gladly give Him all the other things He requires.

God Wants Our Best
He Commanded the best for sacrifices under the Law - Leviticus 22:19.
Jews in Malachi’s day were cursed because they withheld their tithes and their best - Malachi 3:8.
God has given the best to us - John 3:16.
He deserves the best of our time, energy, talents and possessions.
If God holds first place in our lives, then we will give Him the best that we have.

God Wants Us To Be Saved
The more people who are saved, the more glorified God will be.
God does not want people to perish –
2 Peter 3:9
God gave us His grace in Jesus –
Titus 2:11-14
God saves the righteous according to His own purpose – 2 Timothy 1: 9-10

There are things that God claims, and we ought to cheerfully give them to Him.
Our love, our obedient service, our worship, first place in our hearts and lives, and the best that we have.
He will bless and reward those who give Him these things.
Are you giving these things to the Lord today?

By Carey Scott

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