'Top Priority - Pleasing God'
by Travis Wiginton
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"He that sent me is with me. The Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." (John 8:29)
The question is: When you do what you please, does what you do, please God?
Apostle Paul said:
"God entrusts us with the gospel and we speak not to please men, but to please God."
(I Thess. 2:4)
In Romans 8:8, "They that are in the flesh can not please God."
The writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 11:6, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God; for he that comes to God must believe that He is and is the rewarder to those who diligently seek Him."
I believe the reason that the Spirit impressed me with these thoughts, is that a good subject for this study, passed away this week. A close friend, John Endriss and his wife Ruby were flying from Hilo, Hawaii to California last week, for their annual trek across the western USA, with plans to visit us here as they did each year.
In flight from Honolulu, John had a heart attack and died within a few minutes. This was such a shocking experience, but Ruby is 'bearing up' in the arms of God. Ruby said that even as two doctors who were onboard that flight, tried for 2 hours to revive John, passengers were praying for John and her and that it was quite a witness to the entire plane, for the Lord. Ruby went on to say in her e-mail to us, "I know that this is all part of God's plan." John was buried in California earlier this week....please pray for Ruby as she adjusts to life without her 'soulmate'.
These two saints have served God in and through the Kaumana Dr. Baptist Church in Hilo for many years. It was our privilege to serve as Interim Pastor there for a year. John served as Deacon, Bible Teacher, Pastor Search Committee member and was always available for ANY job in or around the church. He will be missed!! The theme of his life could be "I sought to please God in everything I said and did" and we feel sure that the response in Heaven was, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!"
The best place in the Scriptures to study this subject is Hebrews 11.
We please...or displease God by:
1) OUR WORSHIP (vs. 4)
Abel put his heart into his worship and it was a more excellent sacrifice.
The poet said, "What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I'd give a lamb...if I were a rich man, I'd do my part. I know, I'll give my heart."
William Temple of England described Worship:
a) To quicken the conscious by the Holiness of God!
b) To feed the mind with the truth of God!
c) To purge the imagination by the beauty of God!
d) To open the heart to the Love of God...and
e) To devote the will to the purpose of God!
Please note that Abel, though dead, continues to speak. Here is the 'immortality of influence' for good in Abel's life, but note the bad in Cain's life.
Our good friend, John Endriss, will be missed, but he will live on in the hearts and lives of ALL who knew him, especially his family, as well as his church family.
2) OUR WALK WITH GOD (vs. 5) "Enoch walked with God and the testimony of his life was, that it pleased God". Notice, it was by Faith that he pleased God and the object of his Faith was God. The Director of your walk is the Holy Spirit; the direction of your walk is the Word of God and the determination for your walk is Faith! Please notice that 'walking faith' comes after 'worshipping faith'. No way can your walk please God if your worship (private and public) does not please Him.
The adequacies of God are available to you if your intimate times with Him are genuine and adequate.
3) OUR WORK FOR GOD (vs. 7) Noah was warned of God, moved with fear, prepared an ark, saved his family and became an heir of righteousness by faith. Some say, "Well, Noah's life was a failure because only his family was saved." Your family is your major responsibility! However, Noah did not give up for he had 'persevering faith'. So must we, 'keep on keeping on' until Jesus calls through death, or comes in the air! "It will be worth it all when we see Jesus"! Please do not neglect to emphasize to people that 'to delay' is dangerous. Genesis 7:16 says: "The door of the ark was shut" It was too late....
4) WORSHIP, WALK AND WORK MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY WILLING FAITH (vs. 8-19) Abraham and Sarah are good examples of 'willing faith'. In fact, all thirteen named in Hebrews 13 are good examples. Notice also that there are many who had 'willing faith' who are un-named. Much of the work of Bible days (and today) is done by 'nameless followers' who have willing faith! Romans 4:20,21 says: "Abraham and Sarah staggered not at the promises of God through unbelief, but were strong in faith, giving Glory to God and fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was able also to perform!"
Hallelujah and may this be our theme in life....and on our memorial- 'He (she) believed God!'
In Hebrews 3, it records that the Israelites lacked 'willing faith' and missed God's blessings because of 'heart trouble'. (vs. 8)
They had hard hearts and God could not bless them for they were rebellious.
Verse 10 says: "They had erring hearts and fell short of the will of God."
Verse 19 closes the sad details by saying, "Their unbelieving hearts abandoned God and they could not enter in to all that God wanted to give them, because of their unbelief."
Don't ever abandon God, for He will NEVER abandon YOU!
Remember this question:
"When you do what you please, does what you do, please God?"
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Thank you Travis for another well written and thought provoking article! May we pray that our top priority will always be to please God. Blessings, Sharon