Priority of Pleasing God (rather than others or ourselves)
9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
I. Believers can be deceived about the importance of living in obedience to the God who saved them by grace.
Rewards/Judgment 1Cor 3:12-18 Let no one deceive himself. 6:9...unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived...
Wrath for disobedience Eph 5:6 Let no one deceive... because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Consequences Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
1Jn 3:22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
II. Believers must draw upon God’s grace to live worthy of the future reward of grace by obeying the Truth.
1Pt 1:13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15...be holy
A. The NT instructs believers how to faithfully walk worthy of our hope in abundant love and obedience 1Thess 4:1...we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound (in love and obedience)...just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
God gives us what we need to please Him Phil 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Heb 13:21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ...
B. DON’T set your mind on temporal power (security/significance), pleasure, possessions Rm 8:8 those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
DON’T focus on security 1Cor 10:5 with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
DON’T entangle yourself 2Tim 2:4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him...
DON’T be distracted domestically 1Cor 7:32 He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord----how he may please the Lord.
C. DO believe that God will reward you for believing He is and will do as He said Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
DO choose God over man Gal 1:10...men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
DO evangelize in the fear of God 1Thess 2:4...with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.
DO be Christlike Jn 8:29 He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him
D. DO SACRIFICE Hebrews 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
D1. Sacrifices are worship, responses to revelation, first in showing that God is worthy of obedience, and then worthy of our best.
Sacrificial Giving Phil 4:18...the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.
NT Sacrifices: Ourselves Rm 12:1; Walk in Love Eph 5:2; Enabling others’ service Phil 2:17; Praise Heb 13:15 Fellowship 1Pt 2:5
D2. Things even more pleasing than sacrifice: Obedience 1Sam 15: 22; Deeds Heb 10:5; Hear Ecc 5:1; Loyal love Mt 9:13; Repentance Ps 51:16-17; Righteousness & Justice Pr 21:3; Two loves Mk 12:33 “And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding/mind, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
E. Walk Worthy Col 1:4..heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6...bringing forth fruit... heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 9... pray... be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him,
being fruitful in every good work and
increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;
12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
Questions for Discussion/Reflection/Response:
1. Is there any inconsistency between being saved by grace and living sacrificially to do good works (Eph 2:8-10)?
2. Look at your date book and check book, your dreams and daily activities; how do they reflect your priority of pleasing God?
3. If time is the interval in which we can please God and be blessed or displease Him and reap loss, how should we use our time?
4. Since we ultimately do what we value, how can we change our values so we value pleasing and obeying God? (Rom 12:1-2)
5. Which of the items in Col 1:10-12 could you abound in this week? What wisdom or understanding do you need to please our Lord?