Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 1 Thessalonians 4:1
Pleasing God! Do any of us really do that? I know most of us try to be good and do the right things, but inevitably, we all fall down sometimes. Is that what really pleases God? Is it all about keeping a set of rules and then feeling condemned when you break one of them?
In today’s passage, Paul lists some of the behaviors that we are supposed to do that will please God. Things such as: being set apart, abstaining from sexual immorality, self-control, don’t be lustful, don’t take advantage of others, don’t be unclean, be holy. While these are all good rules to follow and certainly pleasing God would result in these behaviors, we can see what really pleases God if we look at verse 9 in this chapter. It says that God teaches us to love each other. The best part about that is, if we love others, we won’t be doing the long list of things that were listed in verses 3-7.
You can look at it this way, selfish behavior does not please God. It is the way that we love others and put them first that shows how much we love God. We don’t do this because it is a law or rule of some kind, we love others because we love God and are close to Him. When you spend time with God each day, getting to know Him more, your love for Him will grow. The result will be that you want to do the things that please Him and it won’t be hard. Here’s the thing, it is like other relationships we have here in the world. The more you hang out with someone, the more you become like them. The more you hang out with God, He will begin to rub off on you and you will start loving the way He loves. You will love people because you are becoming more like your Father and the reason is because of the amount of time you spend talking with Him, listening to Him and His Word and following the example He has given in His Word.
Today I want to encourage you to walk out your life with the intent to please God. Not by keeping a list of rules, but by setting time aside each day to get to know and love your Father more. Let the love of God rub off on you and the automatic result will be that you love others the way God your Father loves them.
Today’s scripture reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-9