Thursday, May 14
Live to please God
Scripture: 1 Chronicles 25-27, 1 Thessalonians 4
Paul tells the Thessalonians to live to please God. He affirms that they are already doing that, and encourages them to do so even more. Then he reminds them of how he taught them to live to please God. Here are the big ideas:
- Be holy: stay away from all sexual sin. V. 3-8. “Live in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion…God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.”
- Love one another. V. 9-10. “You already do this…Even so, we urge you to love them even more.”
- Be industrious and responsible and pay your own way. V. 11-12. “Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.”
While this is not an exhaustive list of how to please God, here are three good things to do. Each is very practical. Each of these pleases the Lord.
We don’t do these things or attempt to please God so that we can be saved; we do them because we are saved. The good news is that Jesus has saved us by His grace and made us pleasing to God. We are saved by what He has done, not what we do.
Because Jesus has saved us, we want to live to please God. So we do—not to earn salvation or God’s favor, but as a response to having received it.
Some people are so concerned about reducing the gospel to moralism that they get nervous when we talk about the moral implications of the gospel. It’s a valid concern, but one that can be taken too far. You cannot eliminate the moral implications of the gospel, and you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about them. Jesus wasn’t; nor was Paul or Peter or John. The early Christians understood that following Jesus was a way of life; in fact, they called the Christian movement “the Way” (Acts 9:2, 19:9, 23, 24:14, 22), referring to the Christian way of life that was so different from everything around them.
Paul gives us three clear behaviors that please God and encourages us to do them. He wasn’t being a moralist. He was being a Christian. “God has saved you. Now live for Him. Here’s how.”
Which of these three things speaks most to you today?
Prayer: Lord, help me live to please you today! I’d like my thoughts, words and deeds to put a smile on your face.