2.16.2017

It is a JOY to please God!

This book just gets better and better! (Though still incredibly convicting and challenging. The chapter on Pride? WHOA!)
Chapter eight was a breath of fresh air after the Pride chapter because everything in it focuses on the characteristics of a God-pleaser.
We were made to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, amen?
So, how do we do that?
Let's take a look!

The characteristics of a God-pleaser.

- "He studies the Scriptures to understand exactly what it takes to please God.
He spends plenty of time in the Word and plenty of time getting the Word into his heart.
Pleasing God requires doing His will. But you can't do His will unless you first know it. The God-pleaser wants to understand what the will of his Lord is. (Eph. 5:17)
The person who delights in the Lord delights in the Scriptures."

- "In everything he does, he is conscious of pleasing God.
His mind is set "on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth." Colossians 3:2
In every decision he makes, he knows that he is choosing either to please God or to displease Him.
What will God think if I do this?"

- "When he pleases people, he does so out of loving motives, not selfish ones. He knows that love gives people what they need, not necessarily what they want."
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39

- "He knows it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Because the man who loves to please God is not consumed by selfishness or fear, his focus is on what he can give, not on what he can get."

- "He considers amending not only his actions, but also his thoughts and motives.
Sanctifying this inner man, whom no one but the Lord sees, is the ambition of this God-fearing Christian."
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:9, 10

- "He is concerned about fulfilling not only his public duties but also his private ones.
Behind closed doors, he worships God, thanking Him for who He is and for all He has done. He confesses his sin to God, and repents of it. He agonizes in intercessory prayer. He gives of his money and material possessions in secret. He prepares his heart for worship before he goes to church. He reads and studies his Bible regularly. He meditates on Scripture. He cooperates with the Holy Spirit in the sanctification process.  He cares for his soul and for the souls of those for whom he is responsible. And if anyone tries to pressure him into additional public service, he will not accept it if, in his heart, he knows it will keep him from fulfilling his private obligations."
I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. Psalm 101:2
* This is one of my favorites! How I long to be this person!

- "He is more concerned with what God sees in his heart than what man sees in his appearance.
He is performing on God's stage for an audience of One.
Though many others may be watching, he considers the applause of God to be better and sweeter, more thunderous and more glorious than the applause of all the kings and rulers, celebrities, and dignitaries he will ever hope to meet."

- "He programs his conscience by the Bible rather than by the culture."

- "He does not shy away from necessary conflict or confrontation.
A God-pleaser is a true peacemaker. He is willing to confront sin when it is biblically necessary - even if it results in conflict, rejection, the oss of a friendship, or even persecution. As much as he may dread the conversation, he dreads the thought of displeasing God even more."
He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with the tongue. Proverbs 28:23

And for the icing on the cake:
"... set your mind on becoming the kind of person who seeks to please God first and foremost and to please man only as a fruit of your intense desire to please God."

His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor His pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His steadfast love. 
Psalm 147:10, 11

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