Thursday, February 7, 2019

“To Please God"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"To Please God"

     Through the Lord Jesus Christ in whom God the Father is "well pleased," born again believers can live in a manner that brings pleasure and delight to the heart of God (Matthew 3:17).  Moreover, to whatever degree we have done so in the past, through Christ, we can do more.

    "Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more" (I Thessalonians 4:1).

   First, it should amaze us that we possess the capacity to please God.  "What is man, that Thou shouldest set Thine affection upon him?" (Job 7:17).  How an infinite and eternal being can be emotionally invested in creatures such as ourselves must now and forever be a matter of wondering awe and grateful adoration.  Especially considering we are as "sheep gone astray," the fact that we can please God must instill desire in us to do so (Isaiah 53:6).  The issue, of course, is the Lord Jesus.  First, we please God by being the spiritual habitation of His cherished Son.  This constitutes a matter of the most sublime grace, namely, God is pleased with believers because of who we are in Christ.  "To the praise of the glory of His grace… He hath made us "accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).  Thus, we first please our Father not by anything we do, but by trusting completely in all that the Lord Jesus did to birth us as sons and daughters of God.  "The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy" (Psalm 147:11).

   From this basis of grace received in the establishment of relationship, we then proceed to the grace of living in the light and enabling of our spiritual bond with the Lord Jesus.  "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6).  We are meant to serves as prisms of Christ's light.  He shines through the facets of our person, heritage, upbringing, experience, and relationship with Him and people.  As this happens, our Father is pleased to see His Son in the unique and personal way that can only shine through us.  Christ, as revealed in us, pleases the heart of God regarding both the Lord Jesus and ourselves as we glimmer with His glorious Light.  "It pleased the Father that in Him all fulness should dwell… The Lord taketh pleasure in His people" (Colossians 1:19; Psalm 149:4).

   A final point: as referenced in yesterday's message, most of our opportunities to please God will be found in the small matters of life.  There are so many of them, thus paving a path of joyous opportunity and anticipation.  All will somehow involve the self sacrificial love of Christ revealed in our attitudes, words, deeds, and relatings to God and people.  A word here, or a word not spoken there.  A merciful attitude and accompanying prayer for those who offend us.  An act of unselfishness known only to God and ourselves, or sometimes known only to Him as our left hand does not see the doings of the right.  An offering of praise and thanksgiving in times of blessing, or even more, in times of challenge.  All of these and countless other opportunities present themselves throughout our days, and throughout this day.  To please God - wondrous possibility and blessed actuality as we more and more devote ourselves to the Christ who dwells within us for the pleasure of His and our Father.

"Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."
(II Thessalonians 1:11-12)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
(Galatians 6:1)

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