Pleasing God

Jesus always worked to please His Father.  John 8:29 “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”  When He was on the mountain of transfiguration, Matthew 17:5b “a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’” Jesus was pleasing to His Father. As you seek to be like Jesus, you also will seek to please God your Father.

First of all, if you are without faith, you cannot please God.  Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  If you are fleshly minded, you cannot please God.  Romans 8:7-8 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

If a boy is trying to please a girl that he likes, he will avoid doing things that he knows she disapproves of and he will do things that he knows makes her happy or glad.  In the same way, when you seek to please God, you should avoid doing things that you know He disapproves of and seek to do those things that you know make Him glad.  Let us look at some things that we are told please God.

The prophet Micah gave a short description of what pleases God in Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”  This might be reworded as to do the right thing, to be merciful to others and to be humble before God; these attributes please God.

Being fruitful in every good work pleases God.  Colossians 1:10 “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Since good works please God, you might ask what are good works?  There is no catalog of good works; you cannot pick from a list. I would say that good works are actions that proceed from our faith and fulfill what is taught by Jesus and the apostles.  Examples might include helping those in need, serving others, doing more than is expected, and returning good for evil.

When you obey God’s commandments found in the Bible, you please Him.  His commandments are one way that He tells us what pleases Him.  1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.”  1 John 3:21-23 “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.  And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.  And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”  One of the greatest commandments God has given is to love one another; having true love for your fellow Christians is especially pleasing to God.

Praising and thanking God pleases Him.  He wants your praise and thanksgiving. Doing good to others and sharing what He has given you pleases God.  Hebrews 13:15-16 “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.  But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”  Just as the Israelites gave animals from their flock as sacrifices to God, when you give of your time, money and possessions to serve others, such sacrifices please God.

The Bible tells us about God.  It describes how He interacted with people long ago.  It describes His plan of salvation.  It includes His commandments and principles.  It describes how holy men lived.  Therefore, by reading and studying the Bible, you will come to understand the things that please God and the things that displease God. Ephesians 5:8-10 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”  The word here translated acceptable can also mean well-pleasing.  Find out what is well-pleasing to the Lord.

Once you find out what pleases God, make it your goal in life to do what pleases Him.  2 Corinthians 5:9-10 “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”  Continue to grow more and more into what pleases Him.  2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

You should want to please God because of your love for Him.  He has forgiven you of your sins, given you eternal life, and blessed you with every spiritual blessing.  He loved you first. 1 John 4:19 “We love Him because He first loved us.”  Your love for God will cause you to seek to please Him.

I encourage you to continually seek ways to please your God. 

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