What Pleases God (John 8:29) PART 1
John 8:29, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”
As believers, our aim in service to the Lord is to please Him in all that we do. May we be faithful to please Him rather than bringing pleasure to ourselves or any other. The most miserable type of person is the one whose life is lived to please self. If we want to please God, we must find out what pleases Him. The Bible has much to say, here are a few:
1. Giving to Missions. (Philippians 4:18).
Philippians 4:18, “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”
Paul tells the Philippians that their giving was an act of worship to God and He was well pleased with their worship. The Philippians gave out of their poverty. Their gift was an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. It was received and honored by the Lord Jesus Christ. Our giving and supporting the work of the Lord is indeed an act of worship to the Lord. Paul describes their giving as being “well pleasing to God.” It amazes me that we can bless God by our obedience, faithfulness, and sacrifice. The Lord Jesus is pleased with our sacrifice that is motivated by our love for Him, our obedience to Him, and our concern for His people and His work.
In Philippians 4:15, the words "giving and receiving" are business terms referring to the credit and debit side of a ledger. It was as if Paul was saying to them, "No other church opened an account with me except you." The fruit of his ministry would bring reward to the church at Philippi in the present and at the Judgment Seat of Christ. In Philippians 4:17, the term "abound to your account" is a money market term. It means "interest which may be accumulated in your account." Paul's motive was not to seek a gift, but fruit on the spiritual account of the Philippian believers. He "desired" this fruit for them which means "he craved" for it. In Philippians 4:16, Paul indicated that they sent support to Paul not just once, but twice. The gift they sent was intended to be a benefit for the receiver but was an even greater benefit to the giver. Spiritual fruit and blessings were credited to the account of the Philippian church. They gave to Paul and received blessings for doing so. Notice the words, "I am full." Paul was saying, "I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied. I have been filled and at present, I'm well supplied." Their offering was a sacrifice that was well-pleasing to God. Gifts to the Lord's work are considered as an offering to God Himself. In God's economy, what we withhold withers; what we scatter, gathers; what's laid aside, spoils; what we release, returns. When we fill another's need, God fills our needs.
The Philippians were known for their fruitful sacrifice. They sent a full supply, a faithful servant, and they sent a fruitful sacrifice that was well pleasing to God. God was well pleased with the giving of the Philippians. Paul compared it to an Old Testament sacrifice which a person offered up to God. The person's sacrificial commitment to God was just like the pleasant smell of the animal sacrifice: it was acceptable. The sacrificial commitment was a sweet or pleasant smell to God. So it was and is with sacrificial giving. The commitment of the gift is acceptable to God just like the pleasant smell of an animal sacrifice. There is nothing you can do to make God more pleased with you than to be generous. Whenever we help others, especially those who minister to others, we are presenting a sweet-smelling offering to God. God is pleased with a giving church and God’s power is on a giving church. Giving churches are made up of giving Christians. We need to have faith in the Lord to take care of us as we seek to take care of others.
When David Livingstone went to Africa, a Scotch woman who saved thirty pounds came and presented to him this gift. She said, "I want you to save yourself needless toil and exposure by hiring a servant who will go with you wherever you go and share your sacrifices and dangers." With this offering, David Livingstone hired, Sebantino, a faithful servant and friend. Later in Livingstone's journeys, when he was in the heart of Africa, a lion attacked Livingstone, threw him down, and crushed the bones in his left arm, but Sebantino, at the risk of his own life, saved the missionary. Just think, what would have happened if the Scottish woman had never given the love offering to Livingstone? Many would not have heard the Gospel. How many will not hear the Gospel today because of the neglect of giving to missionaries? We are to give faithfully to the Lord’s work of furthering the Gospel, out of a heart of worship to our Lord who gave Himself for our sins.
PRAYER: Lord, I want to live a life that brings pleasure to You. May it be well pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus name, AMEN.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.