Jump Start # 3472
1 Thessalonians 4:1 “Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more.”
Pleasing the Lord—that is at the heart of every disciple. Paul told the Corinthians that he made it his ambition to please the Lord. To please the Lord, means the Lord approves of what you are doing. You are doing something right. You put a smile on the face of God.
Every human seeks four things.
· We want attention. This is why little ones will show off. This is why teens do crazy things. This is why a wife craves for conversation from her husband.
· We want acceptance. We want to be included, invited and liked.
· We want affection. We like some praise spread our way.
· We want approval. We want to know that we are doing a good job.
Now, it is in our DNA to crave these things. And, when we cannot find them in the proper channels, we’ll find them in illegal and immoral ways. This is why some join a gang. They are looking for attention, acceptance, affection and approval. This is why some teens engage in sexual activity. They are looking for attention, acceptance, affection and approval.
The disciple is looking for approval from God. The five talent man heard, “Well done, good and faithful slave.” Timothy was told to “present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed.”
Let’s think about this idea of pleasing God.
First, some have the idea that God is never pleased. Like the coach who tells his players to run faster and faster, that’s how they view God. You can never do enough. You can never be good enough. God is never satisfied with what we have done.
This thinking leads to frustration and failure. You try and try, but you can’t get away from the guilt. I’m not doing enough. God is not pleased. Tired, weary, exhausted and filled with shame because we know we didn’t do enough, we hold our heads down in fear, failure and guilt. We want to go to Heaven, but we doubt it deep inside.
This is not the spirit of the N.T. This thinking is wrapped around perfection and a system of works. “Well done,” is what the master told the five talent man. He did it well. Revelation 22 states that we shall “see His face.” Paul said there was a crown awaiting those who have loved His appearing.
Second, a life that walks with the Lord pleases God. That life will be Bible based. That’s how we know the Lord. The warning in Matthew 7 is directed towards those wo did not do the will of the Father. One cannot please the Lord while He is ignoring what God said.
Third, a life that serves as God served pleases the Lord. In the judgment scene of Matthew 25, it’s not what one knew, but what they did that mattered. Food, drink, clothing was provided to those who did not have any. It wasn’t being able to answer questions correctly. It was having a heart of service like Jesus did.
Fourth, a life of holiness pleases God. Be holy, as He is holy, Peter wrote. Being able to say “no,” to the things of the world is essential in our walk with God. One can say that they love God, but if their footprints lead to the world, something is not right. Sanctified or set apart, different, are the concepts of holiness.
You can be approved to God. You can please the Lord. It’s not doing the impossible. That’s not possible. It’s doing what you can where you are. Use your talents to honor the Lord. Use your time for the Lord. Do things God’s way.
Well done, what rich, powerful and hopeful words they are.