LIVING LIFE TO PLEASE GOD

If you have read physiology books you have learned that what we believe affect our actions. What we think of ourselves and what we think about we become. What we become determines our behavior and the acts that we commit. Our life will be shaped by what we believe, who we listen to and who is our role model. Our final destiny will be determined by how we live our life while on this earth. The Bible tells us how we must live to please God:

I Thessalonians 4:1 – 12 – “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”

Do you think you can please God if you are not living up to your potential? What we believe about ourselves is how we will live and most feel their lives do not have value, great potential or they are worthy. Having been a high school coach, a production foreman and a store manager I have worked with hundreds of people. When coaching there was a need to instill a positive belief system and help improve one’s self-esteem. Sometimes a transformation from who they were to who they could be was necessary. Sometimes because of a lack of initiative and lack of discipline, the best athletes were not always the best players. I learned through effort one could change oneself. As an athlete and coach I learned that I needed to aspire to excellence in everything I did. My goal was to work harder than anyone else. As a Christian I have adopted the same attitude. If I am told by Christ to love God with all of my strength and others as myself, I needed to learn how to love. Love changed who I was and how I acted. God did not want me to be a boss but a leader and a mentor to others.

As a manager, I learned that what we believed about ourselves is how we live. I read a number of books, especially the Bible and attended a number of leadership seminars to develop leadership skills. I did not believe God wanted a Christian leader that could not connect with people. I remember a quotation from John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach who said: “How you run the race is more important than winning the race.” As important as performance is, it is all about getting results but doing it morally and in a Godly way is the only way? The Bible told the importance of people able to believe in a leader and one they could trust. They needed to see a person with a moral belief system. I wanted to have defined principles, have a purpose in life with certain boundaries I lived by and as a Christian example to others.

I was surprised how many I coached and people who worked for me were unwilling to take risks and accept leadership roles. To best describe it can be an illustration in history. Those who have studied the Civil War know that it was fought over whether to maintain or free the slaves. Once the war was over congress adopted the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. On December 18, 1865 slavery was officially abolished. All slaves were released from slavery. What was unexpected, most slaves continued to work as if nothing had happened. Their lives remained unchanged. Why had freed slaves stayed as slaves to cruel owners? In most cases they had no place to go. There were few alternatives. How would they have supported themselves? Or, was it because of having a poor self-imagine and afraid of taking risks? A poor self-worth can be developed at an early age and then most difficult to change as one grows older.

Paul’s letter to the Romans tells us that all were born into bondage and are slaves to sin. (Romans 6:6 – “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”) Some Christians, once saved, continue to allow past sins to be their master. There could be a number of reasons. They feel unworthy, they continue to be negative, pessimistic and they live with little hope. They have allowed Satan to steal their independence and remain as slaves to sin and negative self-imagines.

The majority of the world’s older population suffers from guilt and unhappiness. The way we were raised, the teachers who taught us and the people we associated with had a tendency to develop who we are. The things we heard, the way we were treated and the things we did all became a part of us. How much baggage do we carry? Did we feel accepted, were we praised and encouraged? Words are powerful! What we did, the things we said or what is said to us can make an impression and may affect who we are and how we react as adults.

Some of us will say, it’s not my fault, if you knew what I went through you would understand why I am this way. If you think you cannot change you are only fooling yourself. As a child we may have felt rejected, unloved or even inadequate. If not one or more of these occurred in your life, you may be one of a very few. If we suffer from a sense of not belonging or we have a problem with feeling unworthy; we may suffer from a negative attitude or are hesitant to take risks. We may need to start life all over again. And that is a major reason God sent His Son that we might begin again as a new person. Have we accepted His promises and have we gotten rid of the baggage that as Christians are holding us back from becoming a new person free from guilt? We need to teach young people what we have learned and the importance of developing Christian principles at an early age.

II Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” How many Christians do you know who have failed to become totally new? Most believers have read Scripture, John 8:32 – “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” To me this means if you believe in God’s promises, you can be set free from all of the baggage that anyone has been carrying around. We must continually strive for Christian excellence in everything we do and God will not only be pleased but will have rewards for us in Heaven as told in Scripture.

Hebrews 11:6 – “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

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