Galatians 1:10 (KJV) “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
Last week, we discussed…
“Steadfastness” is manifest in “Faithfulness, Fellowship, and Foundation.” It is a conscious decision to make the choice of “Living to Please God” in ALL circumstances.
“I certainly don’t think that the death required that ‘ye be born again,’ is the death of reason. … One of the effects of modern liberal Protestantism has been gradually to turn religion into poetry and therapy, to make truth vaguer and vaguer and more and more relative, to banish intellectual distinctions, to depend on feeling instead of thought, and gradually to come to believe that God has no power, that he cannot communicate with us, cannot reveal himself to us, indeed has not done so, and that religion is our own sweet invention.” — Flannery O’Connor in Habit of Being
Paul knew that the only way to overcome the obstacles of the enemy and environment is by “Living to Please God.” He sent Timothy to encourage the believers in Thessalonica to “Live to Please God” by their…
“Selflessness” pleases God by …
Many of you have heard me say, “I’m not satisfied with just being saved.” I know that potentially prompts a critical thought without understanding the intent of my statement. Let me clarify my statement with this, “I’m grateful for the Gift of Salvation through faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ; however, I will not be satisfied until I get to know Him more fully, live an abundant life now, AND hear Him welcome me home with, ‘Well done! You are a faithful servant of Mine, allow me to present you to My Father!”
Let’s face it, growing up is painful at times. Sometimes it is physically painful, but most often it is emotionally and spiritually painful. “Why?”, you might ask. It is because becoming more mature requires that we become increasingly less self-focused. The world recognizes the Church as powerless because it is populated by petulant, pompous, pity-seeking, and pitiful believers who praise the Lord for Salvation but refuse to grow-up and manifest the Sanctifying Power of God’s Grace!
Apostle Paul stated the need for “growing up,” …
1 Corinthians 13:11-12 (KJV) “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (Emphasis Added).
We often ask children what they want to be when they grow up. Paul stated that when he grew up, he wanted to be just like Jesus. This should be the desire of all who are truly saved! Unfortunately, many are content with “just being saved!” God is more interested in our maturity than He is our success!
Apostle Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to exhort…
2 Peter 3:17-18 (KJV) “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (Emphasis Added).
I cannot recount the conversations I had, nor the people with whom I’ve spoken or counseled, concerning how to overcome what happened to them when they were children that was painful or traumatic. What became very evident was the fact that what happened TO them mattered more to them than what happened IN them. You see, the events and experiences of life truly happen TO us, BUT what we do with them happens IN us!
God sent His Son to counter everything that happens IN us; therefore, we must be “born again” so that the Spirit of God may take residence within us and manifest His transformational power within us so that we will be conformed into the image of His Son.
Romans 8:29 (KJV) “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Emphasis Added).
Because so many of us are “bound” by the experiences that happened to us, we deem it practically impossible to be set free from such. We have defined our identities by that which we experienced rather than what God has desired or decreed for us. As certainly as it requires faith to receive the revelation from the Holy Spirit that we need to be saved, it also requires faith to believe that we can be transformed.
Now, let’s consider this last statement. Once the Holy Spirit convinces us of our need of salvation and Christ’s readiness to save us, we must exercise faith to receive such salvation. We could be enlightened to the reality of our lostness and the Remedy of Jesus Christ; however, if we do not exercise the faith that God gives us in the revelation, we will remain lost – BUT, willfully so!
As I just stated, “God gives the faith to respond, receive, recover, renew, and restore WITH His Revelation!” Thus, we have…
Romans 10:17 (KJV) “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Emphasis Added).
Once again, we are talking about “Living to Please God” by being “Selfless.” Since ALL of us were conceived and born in sin, we were born to be selfish. All sin is a result of placing ourselves and our desires above God and His desires. Very few sins, if any, are committed without the desire to bring pleasure to ourselves!
Once our spiritual “eyes” are opened, we have the ability to make a “choice” between pleasing God or ourselves. BUT, since we practiced pleasing ourselves so long, it seems practically impossible to believe that we can live a life that is pleasing to God on a continual basis. Truly, it is more difficult to believe this since so many pastors and teachers emphasize the inability to live a “perfect” life in this world.
BUT – God…
We’ll talk more next week!