Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pleasing God

Today, in church, we sang this worship song:

I bow my knee before Your throne;
I know my life is not my own;
I offer up a song of praise
To bring You pleasure, Lord.

I seek the Giver, not the gift;
My heart's desire is to lift
You high above all earthly kings,
To bring You pleasure, Lord.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Glory to the King!

(Bonnie Deuschle)

You know, it still amazes me that I could possibly bring pleasure to God. I know too much about me. Most of the time, I can't even please myself! Yet, Scripture says I can bring pleasure to God.
"So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil." (2 Corinthians 5:6-10)
Did you see that? "We make it our aim to please him." So, it is possible to please God.
Or, consider this:
"By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And 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 11:5-6)
Enoch "pleased God". Why? Because he had faith in God: "Without faith it is impossible to please him"; therefore, it must be possible to please God, if we have faith in Him.
But, how is it possible for sinful human beings like us to please holy God?
"Since then we have a great high priest..." (Hebrews 4:14)
We can please God because we have One who has made atonement for our sins. In Christ, we are made acceptable to God. Through Christ, we can approach God with worship that is pleasing to God.
"As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:4-5)
This precious truth that, through Jesus Christ, I can actually bring pleasure to my God fills my heart with love and praise.
My heart's desire is to lift You high above all earthly kings,
To bring You pleasure, Lord.
Hallelujah!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

How to "please GOD"?

Are we not pleasing GOD when "We make it our aim to please him."

"We make it our aim (hearts desire / ambition) to please him." seems to be all that's required.

In reading your profile I found you have 2 sons, isn't it a joy when they do something/anything just to please you. Specialy when it comes w/o any pre-thought as to what they will receive from it. Don't it just make your heart swell and almost become to big for your chest.

Don't happen often does it.

Just consider that as the "parent" of the world, GOD may feel this way?
If it's from the heart it's acceptable/pleasing.

"LOVE WINS."
What a great way to lead ones life!!!

wwdunc said...

Anonymous,

First of all, thank you for reading, and for your comment.

You state, "Are we not pleasing GOD when 'We make it our aim to please him'."

I don't think so.

That "we make it our aim to please him", is only to state our goal: "To please him". That doesn't mean we're there already; it's just our goal. If my goal was to get to Chicago, I'm not there just because I made it my goal. I still have to get there by some means. I think the same thing is implied by the apostle. "We make it our aim", but if we do not utilize the means God has provided (faith in Jesus Christ), we'll never reach our goal.

You also state, "Just consider that as the 'parent' of the world, GOD may feel this way [i.e., that it's "a joy when we do something/anything just to please" him]. If it's from the heart it's acceptable/pleasing."

Again, I have to disagree.

I could do something with the goal of pleasing God, but if I was living in blatant sin (for instance) I wouldn't please him: "To obey is better than sacrifice" (1 Samuel 15:22). I can't get around God's demand for obedience just because I desire to please Him, or because I'm doing something from the heart.

Another example: There are multitudes in other religions who, with all sincerity, are trying to please God. Yet, they don't please him. Why? Because they don't acknowledge Jesus Christ, the Son: "No one comes to the Father except through [him]" (John 14:6).

And, here's the problem (as I was trying to bring out): NONE can please God, because ALL have sinned. Any sin is displeasing. This is why I said it is only through Christ Jesus that we can please God. Good intentions don't count!

So, to sum up, we must first be rightly related to God through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Then we go on living before God in a continual attitude of faith and repentance. The only way God can be pleased with sinners like us is if we are found "in Christ".

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I thought U would understand that I was talking as one Believer to another. But it seems U don't take that as a given w/o a total profession of faith. Your statement "living before God in a continual attitude of faith and repentance" is just a start. We are required as practicng Believers to respond to Jesus's teachings, the main one - Mt 22:37 -
And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD
YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL
YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'

Mt 22:39 -
"The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR
NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' in a like manner. Not as the Pharasee w/ rules & regulations.

Read my first comment again & take this as from a "True Christian", a disciple of Jesus son of the Living GOD.

"Love Wins"
The only way to lead a CHRISTIAN life !

wwdunc said...

Anonymous,

I'm still not sure that I can agree.

Faith and repentance is not "just a start", but a continual part of the Christian life, as I see it. That it is impossible to please God without faith (see Hebrews 11:6), is not just with respect to the beginning of the Christian life, but all the way through.

"The righteous shall live by faith", says God, through the prophet Habakkuk (Habakkuk 2:4; quoted in Romans 1:17). But, then, the writer of Hebrews adds to this: "and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him" (Hebrews 10:38).

As far as repentance, I see continual repentance implied in passages like 2 Corinthians 7:1 and 1 John 1:6-9:

"Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God."

"If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:6-9).

God wants us to actively turn from sin (repent) daily. He also wants us to "keep short accounts" with him, confessing our sin as soon as the Holy Spirit makes us aware that we have somehow sinned against God.

As far as "love" is concerned, the proof of our love is in our obedience. This is not being pharisaical. It is true that we're not justifed by keeping the law, however, the fact remains that the proof of our faith is in our obedience. "Faith apart from works is dead" (James 2:26).

Listen to John, again:

"By this we know that we have come to know him [Christ Jesus], if we keep his commandments. Whoever says, 'I know him' but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked" (1 John 2:3-6).

So, I hope you can see that love does not rule out obedience. God's love doesn't rule out his holiness.

As I said before, we're not pleasing to God in ourselves: "Nothing good dwells in [us]" (Romans 7:18). Our only hope is to "be found in him" - in Christ Jesus our Lord (Philippians 3:9).

So then, God accepts us, for Christ's sake.

I hope this helps. Again, thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your time.

For my salvation - all I know is that John 3:16 wherefore John
15:9-12 & vs. 17 is my responsibility because Matthew 22:36-40. My reward will be Luke 10:28.

Jesus's teachings, no others will I have faith in. All others are someones addons. Matthew 22:40
LOVE WINS. Try it.

wwdunc said...

Dear Anonymous,

I do certainly appreciate your reading my blog, and I certainly do welcome your comments. It is always good to think about why we believe what we believe.

I would urge you, please do not set Jesus’ teaching in opposition to the rest of Scripture—it is all the Word of God and is profitable.

I agree fully with the Scriptures you cite. Jesus says, in the very passage you reference, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10). In the next paragraph, Jesus goes on to say, “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14).

My only point is, God’s love does not excuse us from obedience to God’s commands, and God’s love doesn’t rule out God’s holiness. Because we are unworthy sinners, we stand, only “in Christ”, and bring pleasure to the Father only because of Christ.