Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 4:1-8
“Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.” (I Thessalonians 4:1)
The most important concern for every believer in Jesus Christ is that he or she learn how to please God. How we live our everyday lives matters greatly to God. We are dealing with sanctification, the process of growing and maturing in our faith. God has told us how He wants us to live. His instructions are found in His Word. So, we must be diligent students of the Bible in order for us to know God and to know how to please God.
It is true that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. We cannot be saved by works. However, we were created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10). Good works are proof of our faith. Good works, done in obedience to God’s commands, are the fruit and evidence of a true and living faith.
We are controlled by the love of Christ (II Corinthians 5:14). Christ’s love for us is so great that it influences, motivates, and controls our actions and choices. It causes us to live for One greater than ourselves.
Our love for the Lord results in a desire within us to please the Lord. Because we love Christ, we desire to please Him by the way we live. When we fail Him, we should be filled with grief. Sanctification involves a dying to self and a desire to live for Christ, that is glorifying Christ in everything we do — “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31).
How do we please God? At the highest level, we please God by loving and obeying Him. When we love Him, we will desire to obey Him, and when we do so, God is pleased. In the verses that follow, we are given specific instructions as to how we can please God (vs. 2-8).
Loving Father, my desire is to please You in everything that I do. I confess (and You already know) that I do not always honor You as I should. Forgive me when I fail to please You. I love You and want to obey You. I cannot do this in my own strength, but I know that You can and will strengthen me to do Your will. May I seek to please You more and more by my actions, attitudes, and choices.