Are We Pleasing to God?
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Have you ever prayed to God that you will be pleasing to Him? Do you remember as a child how important it was to be pleasing to your mother and father? It is to most children. It certainly was very important to our mother and father that we were. How much more imperative this must be to God, because it shows an attitude and determination to honor Him.
Our responsibility and opportunity before our Heavenly Father is spelled out in 1 Thessalonians 4:1: “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.” This isn’t just a matter of personal choice. It is essential as Christians that we live our lives to please God.
As Christians, we are to be continually evaluating ourselves. It is clear that we should make an effort to do this on a daily basis. We should endeavor to excel in the specific area of pleasing God.
As children, we often recognized when our actions would be pleasing to our parents, and we knew when we were disappointing them. As children of God we should be striving to bring Him pleasure, not disappointment. We certainly ought to appreciate how much God loves us. We are told in Matthew 22:37, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” If we are to please God, this love must be the foundation for all that we do.
We can easily recognize the importance of being pleasing to God. It is through the gift of the Holy Spirit that we can have a will to do so. The Scriptures give us the knowledge we need and they tell us that we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. We do this by not conforming to this world but by being transformed through the Holy Spirit to become more and more like Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1-2).
This subject of pleasing God is huge, but I would like to focus on four main points: love towards God, faith in God, increased wisdom and knowledge of God, and bearing fruit.
1. Love towards God
Jesus, the very embodiment of a loving Son of God tells us, “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind” (Matthew 22:37). And John teaches that if we truly love God we will keep His commandments (1 John 5:3). Do we comprehend how much this means to God? Do we love God enough to humbly walk the way we should and earnestly keep His Commandments?
Keeping God’s Commandments is one way to demonstrate our love for God. We also recognize that we must draw near to God through Jesus Christ, and we do this through the study of His Word, and through prayer and meditation. Love toward God is also demonstrated by being thankful. David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), gave a beautiful example of being thankful. Psalm 105 starts with, “Oh give thanks to the Lord!” This is a wonderful Psalm in which are found many reasons to be thankful. It is important to understand that having love toward God is not just an emotional feeling. It is a call to action. We must demonstrate our love toward God by transforming our lives, being humble, recognizing our personal sins and bad habits, and making the necessary changes. We must learn to put the love of God first. We read in 2 John 1:6: “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”
2. Faith in God
Hebrews 11 is known as the faith chapter. Verse 6 says, “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.” To please God, it is absolutely necessary to believe Him and His Word. We must have complete confidence in God, His truth and His promises. To have this faith we must continually grow in our knowledge of God.
3. Wisdom, spiritual understanding, and knowledge of God
Scripture shows the importance of being filled with the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9-10 says: “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” It is clear in the Scriptures that we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What can we do in order to increase our wisdom and spiritual understanding? It takes daily Bible Study, not simply doing so on the weekly Sabbath day. In addition to personal study, there are opportunities for Bible Study through the UCG website, and all of our literature is available on the web. Also, many congregations have interactive Bible Studies and a variety of classes to assist in our growth. On the Sabbath, seek out the brethren who are anxious to talk about the Bible, the sermon or topics of individual study. Grow in the knowledge of the doctrines and fundamental beliefs so you feel confident in explaining them to all who ask.
4. Bearing Fruit
As Colossians 1:10 said, we are to be fruitful in every good work while increasing in the knowledge of God. Too often we think we might be pleasing God because of what we don’t do. We don’t use drugs, steal, kill or practice the works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19-21. Instead, we need to focus on what we are doing. Study the Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 and the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. We should be asking God to show us how and where we can grow. We must desire to have Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, directing our lives. It is important to read and understand the parable of the True Vine found in John 15:1-11. It is very obvious that we will not bear fruit if we do not abide with the Father and Him with us. It is also apparent that there are consequences if we are cut off from the Vine. We must abide with Him so that Christ in us can reach out and touch others during our Christian lives.
We all want our walk with God to be pleasing to Him. We can do this if we develop a stronger love of God and grow in faith while being filled with wisdom and spiritual understanding, which will assist us in developing the Fruit of the Spirit. “Therefore we also 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 you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
We can’t consider ourselves worthy of this great calling; it is God who counts us worthy. Yet, it is clear that there is an important message in the Bible that we must strive to bring pleasure to our heavenly Father!
For more information on what God requires of His children, request a free copy of Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion