From the Pastors Desk
Jan31FriJanuary 31, 2020 Pastor Byron Hand
What is the essence of living the Christian life? I know that question can be answered on MANY different levels with different nuances. But I would like to take a shot at answering that question very simply. What is the essence of living the Christian life? Not, what does it mean to become a Christian? But rather, once a person has by faith trusted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, what is to be the essence of living out that Life?
I believe that the answer is simple: You Live to Please God! The answer, in itself is simple, the implications and applications are massive. I won’t even try to tackle all of what it means as a Christian to please God. What I wanted to do today was simply allow the scripture to speak for itself and see six ways to please God … I will give little explanation, I just want the scripture to speak:
1. Faith Pleases God – Hebrews 11:6 “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.” This is the starting point of everything.
2. Being Spiritually Minded Pleases God – Romans 8:6-8 “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For 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.” This is how you were before you became a Christian … you had your mind set on the flesh.
3. The Fear of the Lord Pleases God – Psalm 147:11 “But the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” It is not that God delights in us being terrified of Him. Rather, a fear of God indicates our incredible respect for His power and our ultimate accountability to Him.
4. Listening to and Following Jesus Pleases God – Matthew 17:5 “He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Jesus said He always did “those things that please Him” (John 8:29), so we should study the four Gospels to learn how we, too, can please God.
5. Obeying God Pleases God – 1 Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” Our Heavenly Father takes great delight in our obedience as His Children (See 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3 – Sunday’s passage) Hebrews 13:21 “[May God] equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
6. Sacrifice Pleases God – Here we are assuming that the sacrifice is not out of selfish motive – Hebrews 13:15-16 “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Just to name a couple of these sacrifices the author identifies: 1) The Praise of Our Lips; 2) Sharing what we have for the good of others.
Let me close with two scriptures that relate to pleasing God:
Proverbs 16:7 “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” – What a statement!
Luke 12:32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” – What a Promise!
See You Sunday,