Summary: We need to live our lives so that they please God… not living lives that simply please the people around us or even our leaders or our pastors! Our focus must be to please God, not man or ourselves.

We need to live our lives so that they please God… not living lives that simply please the people around us or our leaders, or our pastors. Our focus must be on God, not on man.

People, leaders, pastors… we all have funny ideas on what kind of lives that people should be leading. But the reality is, that we should aim to please God first. And this isn’t something to be taken lightly… Philippians 2:12 says that we should be working our our own salvation with fear and trembling!

So how do we please God?

Isaiah 64:6 says something very appropriate to this.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,

and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;

Nothing we can do as people can please God except the things we do THROUGH CHRIST.

It’s one of the paradox’s of Christianity. Only when we learn that we can’t please God in our own strength can we then start to please God. Interesting eh?

So how do we live to please God? Is it possible???

Yes… Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God… so with faith and in faith we can certainly please Him.

Isn’t that awesome… that we can please God… we can actually please the Creator. What an awesome truth.

But if our righteous acts are as filthy rags to God, then how do we please Him?

God accepts things that we do that are done in these 3 ways:

I. Good works done in faith

II. Good works done from a principle of love

III. Good works done to glorify the Father

These are the attitudes behind our actions that will please God. When we are acting in faith… God is pleased… when we do things from a heart and a principle and an attitude of love… God is pleased… and when we do things that bring glory and honour to God, He is pleased…

How awesome.

So if these are the attitudes that God wants behind our good works, behind our attempts to please Him… then how exactly does God want us to please Him?

READ Colossians 1:9-14

This passage reveals 4 ways that we can please God…

1. In Bearing Fruit

We are often referred to in the Bible as being trees of righteousness. We are planted in the House of the Lord, we grow up into well nurtured plants, we are described as being pine trees, myrtle, olive trees…

Trees that need to bear fruit. One of the most beautiful things about these kind of trees is that they don’t only bear one kind of fruit. Through God’s grace, we get to bear all kinds of fruit for God.

READ Romans 11:17

If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches.

We have been grafted in, like a wild olive shoot gets grafted into an olive root - Israelites & Gentiles

So we get to benefit from this nourishing sap which is the power of God. And through this nourishment we receive the righteousness of God and bear fruit through it!

And we can please God through bearing fruit, which He has given us the power, the nourishment and the opportunity to do it!

The word that is used here in the Greek for ‘bear fruit’ can also mean to be fertile. What does a fruitless person look like? They look stale, they’re crusty in their faith, they’re stuck in a rut. Maybe they’re living to only please themselves or the people around them. God wants people who are fertile, who are ready to be used, who are able to be used.

Some of these crusty Christians are ready to be used, but they’re not ABLE to be used… their trees are withering! They are not strong trees that are planted firmly, that don’t have their roots deep in God and they don’t bear fruit.

We must be ready and also able to be used by God to bear fruit in every good work.

2. Growing in the Knowledge of God

Ok, these verses from Colossians tell us that (in verse 10) we can please God by growing in our knowledge of Him! How incredible!

God loves, He delights in those people that seek to know and understand Him better. God loves it when people endeavour to grow in their knowledge of Him, He loves it when people seek Him in order to understand His ways and understand His purposes to new levels. God delights in those people that search Him in order to know who He is, what He does, why He does things, what He commands us to do.

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Russell Lyon

commented on Aug 2, 2016

Thank you for this outstanding message. It was a help to me in my preparation for a message from this text this Sunday. Pastor Rusty Lyon, Faith Community Church, Fort Atkinson, WI.

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