Summary: A message on faith. It is absolutely impossible to please God without faith.
May 6, 2018
Lanier Christian Church – David Simpson
How to Please God
How can I please God today? More than likely, you did not wake up this morning with that on your mind. For most of us, our first waking thought is: “What do I have to do today?” with the emphasis on “I.”
On Sundays, you may think – “I am going to church first, then………..” I know most Sundays, I’ll ask Faith (my wife) after church, “What’s the plan for today?” No offense to my wife, but she has never responded, “David, we’re going to please God today!”
If we are committed believers, we will most likely start our days by saying a brief prayer and then get on with our work. We will check our calendars for appointments, check off the tasks of the day, make needed phone calls, conduct business, chat with friends and family. But, I must be honest; I have rarely started my day with the priority of simply wanting to please God, but I should.
Throughout the Bible there are several references to what pleases God.
Integrity – 1 Chronicles 29:17
Wicked people repenting – Ezekiel 18:23
Jesus – at his baptism and transfiguration – Matthew 3:17; 17:5
Preaching the gospel – 1 Corinthians 1:21
Peaceful, quiet, godly and holy lives – 1 Timothy 2:2-4
Sacrifices of Praise – Hebrews 13:15
Doing good and sharing with others – Hebrews 13:16
All of those are great examples of what is pleasing to God. Though not listed, I am certain there are other attributes of God’s creation that are pleasing to Him. Yet, there is one attribute in Hebrews 11:6 that clearly states what we must have in order to please God.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
It is absolutely impossible to please God without faith.
By the way, most people have some type of faith every day.
We trust in our money. We have confident faith in our abilities. We even have faith in others to do their job. We trust that our cars will start each day and get us to our destination. We have faith that other drivers will stop at traffic lights. We have faith that the caffeine in our morning coffee will wake us up for the day. We place great faith in our smart phones to work throughout the day. We trust there will be food and water and oxygen to supply our daily needs.
So, anytime someone tells you they are not a person of faith, then you need to correct them and tell them that they are!
What they are missing out on is saving faith, strengthening faith, hopeful faith, forgiving faith, loving faith, joyful faith, lasting faith, life-changing faith.
So what is this faith the Bible speaks of? Well, the Hebrew writer described faith in Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. - NIV
Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. – NCV
Biblical faith is placing our trust in the promises of God and knowing that He is real, even though we can’t see Him. Now, many people in our world today, and many you are exposed to every day, do not believe in the reality of Almighty God. Yet, even atheists have faith. It is simply misplaced faith. They have faith in themselves!
That’s why the Hebrew writer challenges us to move beyond ourselves and place our faith in the one who has proven himself over and over again – the one true God. We must believe in Him, the creator of all things, the one who loved us so much that He gave His son for us, the one who forgives and forgets, who restores and redeems, who has never once failed on a single promise.
I believe that God exists. Most of you here today do too. That’s the starting point of faith; to believe that there is a God. But, the next part is where we often stumble. Do you believe that God will reward you for earnestly seeking him?
When I think of rewards, I think of the treasure chest at my dentist’s office when I was a kid. If I was a good patient and didn’t cry or squirm, then I was rewarded for good behavior with a prize from the treasure chest.
So, because we often think that way in life, we often translate this verse improperly. We think it’s like a trip to the dentist. If I’m a good boy or girl when I come before God I’ll receive a prize: more money, better health, success, perfect relationships, no stress, no troubles. God will reach into his treasure chest and reward us with impressive gifts.