pleasing GodDecember 5, 2007 at 8:15 am | Posted in Christianity, Faith, Love | 1 Comment
Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. 1 Thessalonians 4:1
Am I living in a way that pleases God? Paul tells the Thessalonian church that they are living in a way that pleases God. Certainly that is the way I want to live.
But then I wonder, what are they doing that so pleases God? When I turn back a chapter, I think I discover the answer:
But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. 1 Thessalonians 3:6
Their faith and love…a winning combination. It is not enough to just have faith.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
Faith without love does not draw people to Christ. Some people get so caught up in their great faith in God that they become intolerant of those who do not believe. They can be very judgemental and lack compassion and mercy. The message then becomes twisted and turns people off. God wants us to have faith but it must be balanced with love for people.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6
And love itself without faith doesn’t produce anything lasting. Yes, there are people who love without having faith in God. But what good does love really do if it doesn’t draw people to Christ? What matters is eternity, and if love is just for the sake of love (being kind, compassionate, showing mercy) in the end, it really doesn’t do any good. I could go through life loving everyone I meet, but if I don’t have a faith that points them to Christ, then although I may improve their earthly time, what about their eternity?
Paul was always commending this whenever he saw it in any of the churches.
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:15-16
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. Colossians 1:3-6
When we have faith and love, then we are reflecting God’s character. The Psalms are full of songs of God’s love and faithfulness towards us. We need to have the faith in God and the love for others that will point others to Him and then we are living a life that pleases God.