Paraklesis. Pleasing God

Dear friends, God is pleased with you, if you live and do ministry to please him!

If we do what pleases God, then God is pleased with us. If we do what is pleasing to him, then God is pleased with us.

Peter Adam | August 2020 | stjudes.org.au/peteradam


We should live to please God.

  • ‘We make it our goal to please him’ 2 Cor 5:9
  • Those who are not married should live to ‘please the Lord’ Those who are married should both please the Lord and also please husband or wife 1 Cor 7:32-34
  • We are called to ‘offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God’ Rom 12:1

We can please God: 

  • Songs and thanksgivings please God: 

 ‘I will praise God’s name in song 

   and glorify him with thanksgiving. 

This will please the LORD more than an ox, 

   more than a bull with its horns and hooves’ Ps 69: 30,31

  •  Prayers please God: ‘the prayer of the upright pleases him’ Prov 15:8.  
  •  God blesses those who please him, through human agents: ‘In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him’ Prov 21:1
  •  The Thessalonians know ‘how to live to please God, as in fact you are doing … do so more and more’ 1 Thess 4:1
  •  Enoch ‘was commended as one who pleased God’ Heb 13:5
  •  The money the Philippians sent to Paul was ‘a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God’ Phil 4:18
  •  If children obey their parents in everything, ‘this pleases the Lord’ Col 3:20
  •  When children care for their mother ‘this is pleasing to God’ 1 Tim 5:4
  •  If we live according to the light, we then find out ‘what pleases the Lord’ Ephes 5:10
  •  When we pray for all people, and for rulers and those in authority, this ‘pleases God our Saviour’ 1 Tim 2:3
  •  We can keep God’s commands, ‘and do what pleases him’ 1 Jn 3:22
  •  Praise and generosity please God: ‘Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased’ Heb 13:15,16 

Paul prays for the Colossians:

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.

Colossians 1.9,10

And the author of Hebrews prays: 

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Heb 13:20,21

Hebrews 13.20,21

God is pleased with you, if you live and do ministry to please him!

However, make sure you receive this message in the right way

The doctor may prescribe some ointment, but may damage you if you swallow the tube! Or if the doctor prescribes some medicine to take, rubbing on your head will not help! Please read these three paras carefully.

  •  This is a dangerous message for some. If you automatically assume that God is pleased with you, and as pleased with you as much as you are pleased with yourself, then you might need to repent of this rash assumption, examine your life, repent of your sins, learn to die to sin every day, and live to righteousness every day, and follow Christ’s example of humility.
  •  This is a challenging message for some. If you think of yourself as a sinner, and not also a saint [which is how the New Testament describes you!], if all you see inside yourself is sin, and do not recognise God gracious work of transforming you by his Spirit into the image of his Son, then you might have given up any thought of trying to please God, and settled into a spiritual status quo, having given up the idea of pleasing God. Start offering your body to God as a living sacrifice every day, an offering pleasing to God.
  •  This is an encouraging message for some. If you are repenting of your sins each day, praying that God would make you holy, pursuing holiness, putting sin to death each day, and living to righteousness each day, and doing the good works that God gives you to do, and loving God and presenting yourself each day to him as a living sacrifice …. Then you are pleasing God, and God is pleased with you!

God is please with you because he is pleased with his own Son, and you are in Christ, clothed in his righteousness. John Calvin wrote in his commentary on Psalm 20: 3-5, ‘our prayers are acceptable to God only in so far as Christ sprinkled and sanctified them with the perfume of his own sacrifice’.

And actually not just our prayers, but also we ourselves, our lives, our deeds, our actions, smell good to God because Christ has sprinkled us with his atoning and cleansing blood.  We have been:

 chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood 1 Peter 1:2.

We can please God, because we are forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Christ, and because God’s grace in Christ constantly covers our sinfulness, our sins, our mixed motives, our weaknesses, and our human frailty. 

When we please God now, that is just a foretaste of the Lord’s verdict on the last day, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant … come and share your master’s happiness’ Matt 25:21,23. 

If you live to please God, God is pleased with you! And so, if you do your ministry to please God, God is pleased with you. Don’t do ministry to please yourself, or to please others, instead of doing your ministry to please God.

God is pleased with you, if you live and do ministry to please him!

One of the great joys of my life is sharing God’s pleasure and enjoyment in the godly lives and godly ministries of good friends and fellow-workers! Thank you so much for this privilege and joy; thank you for enriching my life.

Two resources for ministry:

https://www.encounteringislam.org/

https://www.thepastorsheart.net/podcast/calmpresentleadership

Thank you for your fellowship in ministry.

With warmest good wishes,

Yours,

Peter Adam