2.26.2017

We can please God! And He is delighted when we do!

People-pleasing topic of study - ✓
It's done!
Three weeks of uncovering what it means, how it affects life, and how to replace incorrect thinking with biblical thinking.
Whew.
The study was intense, overwhelming, powerful, disturbing (seeing your own sin usually is), challenging, and encouraging. While we may have patterns of sin in our life, it does not mean we have to keep using the pattern. It can be torn, wadded up, and pitched into the trash bin, and then replaced with a better plan.
A plan created with biblical truth and righteousness.
Though time is needed to change behaviors and replace old thinking with new thinking, having the knowledge that it is necessary to do so provides strength and security to embark on a new way of living. It is not easy, but it will be life-changing, and therefore - totally worth the effort!

Though all of the remaining chapters were terrific, there is just one I want to highlight.
So What Exactly Does It Take To Please God?
If we are going to stop seeking the praise and approval of man, and no longer put all of our energy into making people happy (or trying not to make them unhappy), we have to replace it with something else, right? There is only one option - Please God!

Pleasing God requires faith.
Without saving faith, no one can please God.
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.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact, the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:7-11
Changes that truly please God are internal: they are made in our hearts. Biblical change requires a transformation of our thoughts and motives.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Pleasing God requires walking with Him.
Your walk refers to your daily pattern of conduct - the way you conduct your inner and outer life.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God ... Colossians 1:9, 10To walk with God is to advance or make progress in one's godliness - to become more like Christ.

Pleasing God requires sanctification (holiness).
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification ... I Thessalonians 4:1-3
Do you see your walk as an opportunity to bring pleasure to God as an expression of your love for Him? The Christian walk is not simply a matter of keeping your life relatively free from sin - it's a matter of your heart motives.
In your attempts to please God ... don't lose sight of the goal: becoming more like Christ.

Pleasing God requires your cooperation.
To please God, you must (by faith) do what the Bible says is necessary to grow as a Christian.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12, 13
So when we "work out" our own salvation - when we do those things that the Bible says cause us to grow as Christians - we are pleasing God. Think of that: your spiritual growth and the things you do to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the process of growth delight and bring pleasure to God.

Pleasing God requires doing good works.
God is pleased when you tangibly share the things He has given you with others.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16

Pleasing God requires knowledge and wisdom.
The longer we walk with God and the harder we work for Him, the greater our knowledge of Him should be.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. II Peter 3:18
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. I Peter 2:2

Pleasing God requires gratitude (worship).
By giving thanks to the Lord for who He is and what He has done, you actually perform a service to God that brings Him pleasure.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28

Pleasing God requires godly ambition.
Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. II Corinthians 5:9, 10A person with godly ambition has such a heartfelt determination to bring pleasure to God that it penetrates everything he does - every thought, every decision, every word, every attitude.

This is my favorite part!
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
II Timothy 2:3,4
You have been selected to serve in God's army. He is the one from whom you take orders. You serve at His pleasure. If you are serious about learning to please the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, you won't allow anything to become so inextricably woven into your life that it distracts you from doing what He has enlisted you to do.

Amen?
AMEN!

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