Summary: seven ways to please God
May 6, 2012
“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.”
I know a lot of people. I am friends with a lot of people. Nate, my grandson, said one time when where were at a store and a number of people said ‘hi’ to me, “Grandpa, you sure know a lot of people!” Last week, when Leon and I went into a cafe for breakfast and about a half a dozen people greeted me, he said, “Does anyone in town NOT know you?” I said, “There must be a few!”
I love people. Each one is like a book to me. Each one has a story and each story is fascinating. I have friends from every walk of life - Buddhist, Christians, New Agers, cults, Jews and Gentiles alike. I am friends with cops and some criminals; I am friends with the 1% as well as the 99%. And God has given me a love for them all. Do I agree with them all – of course not – but I don’t have to be disagreeable about it or disrespectful.
I wouldn’t say I am a people pleaser – but I like to please people. I haven’t always been this way. At one time I could care less what anyone thought of me. I did and said whatever I felt like – no matter who it hurt. But God has changed my heart. One of my college professors said, “You will never be able to win anyone to the Lord or minister to anyone who doesn’t like you.”
There is a lot of wisdom there. But as much as I like to please people – I want to please God more. He saved me from an eternity of hell and a life of meaninglessness. He replaced my hate with love. He gave my life purpose. He replaced my tears of sorrow with love and joy. How could I NOT want to please Him in every way? And God has shown me a few ways that I can please Him. I want to share a few of them with you who long to please the Lord as well. This is not a complete list – but here are a few things I have found that please the Lord.
First, let me share why it is so important to please the Lord.
“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Pleasing the Lord results in great reward, not only for eternity, but even for the here and now. Jesus said anything we give up for him will be rewarded a hundredfold. But more importantly – pleasing God is a natural expression of loving God. If you love Him – you will want to please Him. If you don’t care what God thinks – you really don’t have love in your heart for Him.
The Bible says: “find out what pleases the Lord.” Ephesians 5:10
Here are some suggestions of what pleases the Lord.
First, our thoughts. Everything pretty much starts in our brains. Everything pretty much starts in our thoughts. The Bible says,
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
“May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.”
What is going on in our thought life will bleed through to our actions. Someone said, “You are what you eat.” I think it is more accurate to say, “You are what you think.” What consumes your thoughts? What do you think of when you are relaxing? Some people are consumed with fast cars, or fast girls, or fast money. Some are consumed with thoughts of sickness or failure or disaster. God says,
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deut. 6:6-9
God wants us to think on Him and His will for our lives. We need to choose to meditate of God. It is so hard – at least for me. There are so many things demanding my attention - demanding my thoughts – but if we want to please God we need to get into the habit of thinking about Him and what pleases Him.