I wish to encourage you to please the Lord
We certainly live in a pleasure driven age and society. It’s fascinating how the world manipulates its floating morals in order to accommodate pleasure, ease and comfort, often at a high price.
The apostle Paul explains that as Christians, “whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him (the Lord)” (2 Corinthians 5:9). Whether we are alive in this mortal body or alive in the presence of the Lord, our aim is the same, to bring pleasure to God. This priority should determine every value we possess. Even during intense suffering, the Psalmist understood this primary priority in life, saying; “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD…” (Psalms 69:29-31). Living a life to please the Lord is to live in thankful praise of the Lord, regardless of circumstances.
Now, here’s the most amazing truth for believers that is often overlooked; “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). It’s a divinely sovereign work within the believer by the Holy Spirit that empowers them to function as He has determined for the purpose of bringing God pleasure. That being said, we need also to remember the opposite truth; “the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8).
First, understand that ”without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Jehovah responds to genuine believing faith in His existence. This faith motives the individual to move closer to Him instead if living independent or indifferent to Him. We do well to remind ourselves often of the pleasure we bring God through living out our faith in Him. What wonderful privilege we have as God’s children!
As you would expect of the apostle Paul, he encouraged the saints at Thessalonica in sharing the gospel message. He explained; “as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). We share the gospel with the unsaved for God’s pleasure! The Lord’s glory is primary, while our experience of sharing and that of our hearers is secondary. Obviously the greatest honour, the greatest pleasure is had by all when a disbelieving sinner repents of their sin and turns to the Lord by placing faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour. Therefore, testing the motive of why we tell others of the gospel is very important if we want our personal evangelism to be a pleasure to God.
Today, I echo the exhortation of Paul; “we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:1). As we grow in our spiritual maturity, may we also grow in our desire and ability to please God!
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz