Monday, April 22, 2013

Pleasing God

IF you could only ask God ONE question- and have it answered instantly… and that was all you could ask… What question would it be?

We had a lesson in class about this not too long ago and I asked the question. My take on it, at least for me, comes down to one question. With the truthful answer—which I’m sure God would give me—I’d know all I needed to know. This morning… Oliver comes in the bedroom while donna and I are getting ready and he’s going on about something. He had been, moments ago, in his chair in the kitchen eating his golden grahams… and we were both under the impression that he was still there. But here he was, holding up his arm and saying something about how “It didn’t work.” We go in the kitchen and – it looks as though he’s used his right forearm as a worn-out windshield wiper on the table. He looks at me as I’m trying to tell him that what he did was not only wrong, but wasteful and he looks at me and I know he’s aware that I’m not happy. --------- kids don’t know. I watch them and I think “It is my job to tell them what is expected out of them. It is my job to teach them how they should act. It is my job- my responsibility. Nobody else’s…ultimately… it’s up to me. If I don’t do it right—there might be major consequences in the future. And I have willingly taken on that role but only in those moments when I look at them and take a moment to think about it and what it means—do I really understand how big a job it is. Remember when Obi-Wan Kenobi was killed by Vader in the first star wars movie. After he was killed he came back at least once a movie and Gave Luke a crucial piece of information that pretty much directed his path afterwards? Remember? Vader strikes Ben down and Luke starts shooting and you hear Ben say, “Run, Luke, Run.” And Luke runs. In Empire, Ben says, “Go see Yoda. On Dagobah. Yoda…. Just go.” Luke goes to Dagobah and Yoda teaches him. In Jedi Ben says: You have to kill your father… oh and Leia’s your sister. Realize what an advantage that is… Imagine snapping your fingers and God shows up and tells you some crucial piece of information… What question would you ask God if you only had One question? And you were guaranteed a truthful answer. This question is going to determine the direction of your life. For me… there is only one question. And I’ve thought about the alternate forms of this question and it all comes down to this question: Is my life—pleasing to you? Now the answer is either Yes or No. IF YES—keep doing what you are doing. That’s pretty simple. Course you can always try to do more, and Paul tells us to do that in his New Testament epistles… but we know that if we are pleasing God now with our lives… if we are living the same way in 30 years we are going to be pleasing then too. If the answer is no… we have a problem. It doesn’t tell us specifically what we have to do to please God… but now we know where we stand with Him. It’s like when you are lost and driving and you think , “I just wish I knew if this was the right way… I have no idea where I’m at… but is this the right way to get to where I need to be to get back on the interstate…”????? Is my life—pleasing to you? It’s a question that lets you know where you stand at the present time. The Baptism of Jesus Matt 3: 13 Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him. 16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Is there any other thing we could want to hear more than God say, ‘I am well-pleased in you’? I cannot think of anything I’d rather hear! In fact-- is it not a variation of what we want to hear in the end: ‘Well done thou Good and faithful servant’? Ephesians 5:6-10 it’s our job to know what is pleasing to God. That’s why we have the bible… we have no excuses 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. If you think about it… not reading your bible to find out what God expects out of you is like not listening to your parents to find out what they deem acceptable behavior. Pleasing behavior. They won’t know what is right. They’ll decide for themselves. I Tim 2:1-4 God just comes right out and gives us things we can do that are pleasing to him… there is no discernment we have to make… God takes the guess work out of it. Verse1… First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ***To be acceptable in the Greek carries the meaning of being gladly welcomed because pleasing*** In Colossians we find Paul telling us the importance of pleasing god and telling us how to do so… Colossians 1: 9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. And I Thess. chapter 4 speaks of a life that is pleasing to God… and the first verse speaks of what is expected out of us once we achieve a life pleasing to God… Beginning in verse 1… Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. 9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you I wanted to share these thoughts with you. Oliver does things that do not please me. But when I ask his teacher if he was good and they say ‘YES’… I can’t describe how that makes me feel. I’m pleased. I’m filled with hope and encouragement at the possibility that God might feel that way about me…

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