How do we know if our lives are doing a good job? It’s not how people behave when they are in the midst of others . . . it’s whether or not they are different in the day to day world. The life that pleases God is the one that glorifies God in our daily life:The way we handle our mistakes; the way we treat our families.
Therefore,what does it mean to live a life that pleases God? If you grew up in Church you might have heard it preached.That simple question may leave your head spinning.In fact, if we listen or prayerfully read our bible, we might have a better understanding.I believe the reason this is so is because we want to live lives that please God. So, we seek to focus on why pleasing God can be by our experience and beliefs.
Let’s take a look at the four characteristics of a life pleasing to the Lord.They are:”growing in knowledge”; “bearing fruit”; “being strengthened”; and “giving thanks”. Now, let’s dive more closely into them.
The Life That Pleases God is One that Craves to Know God Better
The life that pleases God is the one that is vulnerable to know more about God so that they can know God better.Who are these people
- They look for direction not just information.Read the Bible not personal information but to discern the heart of God. They read for direction and not for mere information.
- Their prayer life is not totally consumed with request from God.They want to have a relationship with God.
- They are always about learning of God. They want to read or to be taught anything that might help them know God better. They enjoys studying biblical histories and hearing stories of the past life of people in the Bible that pleases God. They want to learn anything they can that will help them know his love toward them.
- They are very careful to make sure they are seeking biblical truth and not just seeking information to defend their own perceptions of God.They aren’t reading the Bible for primarily for sermon ideas, or for arguments to defend their theological convictions of God.They study and read the Bible because the want to know God better.
The Life That Pleases God Bears Fruit
What we forget too quite that fruit bearing is process that varies from person to person.It is important that we remember that fruitfulness takes time.Nobody who plants a fruit tree in the first year get a fruit that very year.It takes time for the tree to mature. The same is true for us who believes in Christ. The change might not be immediately but the changing is progressive. However, over time we should be seeing a difference in the way they live.The person who is living to please God will begin to see a change in their values and we will see a change in their behavior.
The people who living to please God will begin put their live in order.
- They will relished tearing down others and eek to build up others
- Those who are using their invest for themselves will begin to invest into work of the Lord.
- Thise who have been abusive with their words will begin to be kind in their speech.
- Those living outside wedlock with being start living together in a marriage home.
- Those that are cheating on others will begin start dealing honestly with others.
Listen to prescription of Jesus is: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” Did you hear what He was saying? We don’t go out to bear more fruit . . . we seek to draw closer to Him and the fruit will come naturally. It’s not a matter of trying harder but drawing closer.
The Life That Pleases God Endures Troubled Times and is Patient with Difficult People
Let’s learn a lesson from Paul.Paul tells the Colossians that a life that pleases God is one that is “being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might . . . “. But let’s notice his purpose of his power given so we might be able to “greatly endure and be patience.”
The definition endurance can literally means to “stay under or calm”. I can say “it means to stay in there.” It is a strength that helps us endure the troubled times of life. The word for patience has reference to our dealing with difficult people. God gives us the strength to be patient with those people who annoy us, disturb us, and make us want to scream, according to union church.
In my experience I have gotten to believe that God enables us to endure by giving us the power of His Holy Spirit, the promises of His Word and by reminding us,
- He is in control (Circumstances and people cannot overthrow His plan)
- He only does what is good (I may not understand what is happening but I know it is purposeful)
- He never makes a mistake. (Never).
- This world is not our home. (Don’t let the happenings in the world get you down)
So in hard times we don’t complain . . . we trust. We don’t walk away . . we listen and try to learn. We don’t despair . . . we hang on tighter.
Being strong in the times of trouble is difficult. But it may not be as difficult as the concept of patience with difficult people. There is nothing that tries my patience like someone annoying. But do you see? That’s the point. People naturally react to difficult people negatively. When we are in Christ He begins to give us a different perspective. God teaches me patience with others by reminding me,
- that I was (and sometimes am) a difficult person
- that every one needs the benefit of the doubt (they may just be having a bad day)
- that most difficult people are people who are hurting.
- judging a person’s heart and motives is something that God’s job, not mine.
- God has a history of transforming people I would have written off.
The Life That Pleases God is The Life Lived Gratefully
Have you ever noticed how much we complain?
- We complain about the weather (when we should be grateful to be alive)
- We complain about our income (or our taxes which take away our income) when we should be grateful that we have an income.
- We complain about the government (though we should be grateful we don’t live in anarchy)
- We complain about how our food is cooked (or how long the waitress takes) when we should be grateful we have food.
- We complain about other believers (they aren’t as spiritual as we! We’re the only ones doing it right) When we should be thanking God that all members do not have the same function.
- We complain about traffic when we should be glad we can travel with such ease.
- We complain about crowds in the store (when we should be glad we are able to shop).
You get the idea. We thank God for what He’s given while at the same time feeling he should have given more. We seem to think that if God really loved us we would have: less problems, more money, more stuff, more influence, less illness, more good times, less difficult times. But we tell God we’re grateful. If you were God, would you believe us?
Gratitude begins when we realize we do not deserve the inheritance that has been reserved for us. We should spend every waking moment being grateful that God by His Spirit has pulled us from the jaws of Hell. The Lord has taken our dead end life and set it on the course for eternity. We must think often of where we would be if He had not drawn us to Him.
An attitude of gratitude grows as we learn to open our eyes to the blessings we take for granted. When was the last time you thanked God for the breath you were able to take, or the blue sky, or the song of a robin? When did you last thank Him for the Bible, for fellow believers, for the music that lifts your soul? When did you last thank Him for a warm home and conveniences we consider “rights”. When did you last thank Him for your family? When did you last thank Him for the diversity that exists that keeps us honest? Or the trials that give us perspective?
We also grow in our gratefulness as we see how wonderful our Savior is.This is even more true of Christ. We have so little idea of His greatness. As we study His words, His actions, and as we become more attuned to His character, we will naturally grow in our gratitude that we are united with one who is so magnificent.
It’s a summons to a relationship with Christ that will transform us. It’s an invitation to a life that will invigorate us. It’s the doorway to a lifestyle that will make the world stop and wonder. If you will step out of the pretend and dreary world of superficial faith and into a genuine, humble relationship with the Lord who calls us to Himself . . . wouldn’t it be nice if someone could point at us and say, “Now, that’s what it’s like to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord? May God lead us to that end. Amen.