How To Please God
Lord of light, in company with all who turn towards You, I worship and honor You now.
Read Hebrews 13:1-25
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Laying aside the fear of death, let us think on the eternal life to come. Through this knowledge, let us demonstrate that we are what we believe” (Cyprian, martyr, 200-258 A.D.).
Faith has a daily shape that should please God. It is not passive but active in its devotion to God and in its good deeds. This practical chapter touches on everyday matters such as the avoidance of sin and the pursuit of good. The believer must consciously and resolutely move away from sexual immorality (4), greed (5), empty ritualism (9), insubordination (17), and worldliness (14). Living by faith is not just avoiding sin, but also actively seeking to do good (Eph. 2:10). Believers must be hospitable (2) and prayerful (18), and should imitate the faith of mature Christians in showing that they are waiting for the heavenly city (14). They should share what they have with others and thereby please God (16).
All the above is bracketed by two instructions: (1) “Continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise” (15), and (2) “Keep on loving each other” (1). One is directed vertically while the other is horizontal, and both are to be continually present in our lives. They are lifetime directives. If we continue in them, we bring delight and pleasure to God. All this happens not by self-effort but by faith, faith in the great Shepherd of the sheep. It is through him that the Father enables us to do God’s will, and through his work in us that the Father is pleased (21). It is because he is working in us that we are able to do good works that please God (16).
Therefore, what pleases God is Christ’s work in us and, consequently, his work through us (shown in our good works). Such a life of faith pleases our heavenly Father (John 5:30). From the beginning to the end, it is lived by faith in the grace of God who will perfectly complete what he has begun (Phil. 1:6).
Reflect on what it means for you to continue in the two things mentioned above. How will you do so today?
Loving Lord Jesus, in light of all You have done for me, I want to praise You and to show Your love to others. Use me for Your glory.
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