Pleasing GodBro. David Chancellor
1/29/2006 11:00 AM
As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? For if I yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
“For do I now persuade men, or God?…” Do we persuade men, or God? There are times when we are to be a help to our fellowman, and show our concern for their souls. This is referring to the choice between pleasing God or pleasing man (including self). Paul preached so as to be pleasing to God. There will be times when we will be given a choice between pleasing God and pleasing someone else. We don’t want to abandon the word of God for anyone. The only way you can be voted into the body of Christ is when God votes for you. Seek out the things that please God.
2 Timothy 2:3-5
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
Endure hardness. This doesn’t mean be tough and hard, but go through the hard times. Sometimes the hard times come from entanglements; things that seemed okay at first but later had to be gotten rid of. Entanglements will drag you down. There shouldn’t be anything we can’t put aside for God. Be set to please God above everything else.
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13; 4:1-8
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
Paul had showed them how they should walk to please God and how to abound in it. If you would live a holy life, you need to care about other people. Holiness requires the love of God in the heart. Defraud not. Despise not. When we have the love of God, we won’t have these thoughts toward others. We need to realize that we can’t have everything we want. If a desire wouldn’t please God, you need to get victory over it. We need to get past, “Okay, if I have to..” to “Lord, help me overcome it to please you.” God puts care for our fellowman in us.
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
God didn’t want animal sacrifices. He wants us to give thanks to him and to others. He wants us to do good. Good works help us to please God. Be careful in your communication with others. Be careful what and how you share. Be willing to share and help others. The offering of the first fruits was about sharing. We have to get past the “mine,” and be willing to help out. God’s pleased when you give up something to help others. That kind of sacrifice is backed by love. Under the law the sacrifices were forced. God is pleased by the sacrifice that comes from the heart. We want to be able to do for others.
When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Focus on pleasing God first. When you focus on God, you can be pleasing to others, too. When you live to please God, others will find good in your life, too. The life of a saint can wear a lot of things down. Witnessing is more than just talking. There may be a need for some wearing down first. God can bring peace where there seems to be no peace. Please God first and then others. When we have the love of God in us, we can live peaceably in an ungodly world.