Pleasing God (John 8:29)

By | Aug 14, 2016

There are many metaphors and images that define what it means to be a Christian. However there are none more descriptive and all-inclusive than my text. A Christian is one who seeks always to be a pleasure to his Lord. Jesus honored His Father by His faithful obedience in both word and deed while here on earth. In speaking of His Father He says, “I do always those things that please Him.” This is the example we are called upon to follow.

Following His baptism at the hands of John the Baptist we read, “Jesus went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Later in Matthew’s Gospel we read where He along with Peter, James and John went up on the mountain and He was transfigured before their very eyes and “a voice out of the cloud said, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased; hear ye Him.”

Immediately following His baptism, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Having received the Spirit of God at His baptism as the descending dove, we now have a picture of sanctified humanity facing temptation. After forty days of fasting the devil tempted Him but He defeated the devil at every turn and finally said, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” The devil then left Him and angels came and ministered unto Him.” He overcame all the solicitations that the devil presented to Him not only because He believed the Word of God but also because He obeyed the will of God. Pleasing His Father was uppermost in His mind.

Jesus is not only our example but our file-leader, one who has gone ahead and made a way for us. In His faithful obedience to the Father along with the pronouncement of His Father’s pleasure in Him, we realize He is not only our example but our enabler. He never requires anything of us that He does not enable us to live up to. As our example we are told that “we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” His grace is sufficient for every encounter we have with the evil one.

Paul tells us in I Corinthians 10:13; “There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.” When a child of God stands in the center of God’s will, and the enemy attacks, he need not despair for he is standing in a place that is impregnable.

When the Christian walks in the light and is cleansed from all unrighteousness by the blood of Jesus Christ, fellowship is sweet. Our hearts being filled with God’s love and grace it is our joy is to praise Him and be pleasing to Him. Faith is the essential element necessary to be a pleasure to the one to whom we owe our pardon and our purity. Faith is the necessary pre-requisite to be pleasing to God, for Hebrews 11: 6 reminds is that “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” It is also impossible to procure from Him. Remember it is the measure of our faith in God that is the measure of God’s pleasure in us.

The text tells us that Jesus was sent by the Father and that the Father was ever present with Him. He said “the Father has not left me alone.” Even when He was facing the cross and all forsook Him Jesus said, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” (John 16:32) Jesus tells us in John 20:21 that “as my Father has sent me, even so send I you.” He commissions us to go with the same promise the Father gave to Him, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5).

As one reads Genesis 5 it is like walking through a cemetery. It tells of the old patriarchs that lived, and begat sons and daughters, and died. But that scene changes in verse 24 when it spoke of “Enoch who walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” He escaped the undertaker and went home with the upper-taker and entered the glory world without dying. “Before his translation he had this testimony that he pleased God, and he was not for God took him.” (Hebrews 11: 5)

Hence, let us live to be a pleasure to our Lord. Always knowing in order to be pleasing to Him it will require a walk of faith. We walk with Him in perfect agreement. “How can two walk together except they be agreed.” Faith is not blind credulity but rather it is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” If we continue in the faith the day will soon come when, like Enoch, the things of this world will greatly diminish and fade away but the eternal kingdom will appear before our eyes with great clarity. Seek to live a life pleasing to our Savior until one day our faith turns to sight and we will see Jesus face to face. We shall then hear Him say, “well done thou good and faithful servant.”

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