A Life Pleasing to God

Sometimes, as Christians, we tend to quote scriptures, say encouraging words, pray loudly, and lift our arms in worship, which are all beautiful things. However, how do we genuinely live our lives as followers of Christ in this noisy world?

Most of us get up, say a prayer, read a verse, rush to work, and return home late, only to rest on Sundays and live a typical adult life. We try to learn new skills, save money for the future, hope and pray for prosperity, and invest in worldly possessions. Although these are good things, they are not the end-all-be-all.

I have been reading Paul's letters for the past few months, and I now have time to sit in silence and dive deeper into his words, thank God for a holiday. I admire Paul's bravery, passion, and love for Christ, which burned within him from Saul to Paul. He went from being a zealous persecutor to a preacher, someone who walked what he preached. He became the foremost preacher and writer of the New Testament. Later, Paul said that everything he had achieved was as filthy rags compared to knowing Christ. He dedicated his life to serving our risen Lord.

I am currently reading the chapter of Thessalonians, which speaks to me and urges me to write at this moment. Have you ever realized that most of us desire a life that pleases ourselves, our parents, families, friends, and others? We want to live a life that is desirable in the eyes of others. We call it a normal life, and everyone wants it, including me. When we reach adulthood, we desire a family, a spouse, children, house, car, promotions, and many other things. These are good things, and everyone likes them. However, we sometimes forget the giver of these things and much more important things. In this world, if you don't have these things, others might think you're lifeless, lazy, or that you don't have much to offer.

So, how should we live our lives to please God?

According to 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, Paul describes that the most satisfying life that leads to contentment and joy is living to please God.

A Life Pleasing to God

Finally, then, brothers,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification:[b] that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body[c] in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-9, BibleGateway

1 Thessalonians 4 begins and ends with a call to live in a way that pleases God, not people. This message is as relevant today as it was when it was written, as it stands the test of time as a powerful message from God. Often, when we say we want to do God's will, we are really asking Him to listen to our own desires. However, as verse 4 makes clear, God's will for us is our sanctification and holiness. This means we should strive to be holy, seek His grace, and walk towards sanctification.

Ann Voskamp once wrote, "And the good things in life are not so much health but holiness; not so much riches in the world, but relationship with God; not so much our plans but His presence- and He withhold no good things from us because the greatest things aren't even things. He doesn't withhold Jesus from you."

And the world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things. 

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14

Holiness is a big word in Christian life and is difficult to truly live by. It is only through Christ that we can find holiness. If you think that you can achieve holiness without having a constant fellowship with Christ, you are mistaken. To be holy, you must live closely to Jesus, as Charles Spurgeon once said.

Paul made it clear that God's will for Christians is to be sanctified, which means to be set apart from a godless culture and its sexual immorality. If our sexual behavior is no different from the behavior of those who do not know God, we are not sanctified in the way God wants us to be. In our current generation, everything is deemed acceptable as long as it pleases oneself and fulfills one's desires. People are becoming more reckless due to the fear of missing out and the YOLO effect.

There is a trend where people are proud of their inability to control their anger issues in social media. People are also encouraged to love anyone regardless of their preference, and to be control their feelings. These new philosophies and ideologies that are not written in the Bible have become the norm. Paul intended to encourage Christians to possess their own bodies in a way that honors God, and not to succumb to lustful passions like those who do not know God. Sadly, some who label themselves as Christians believe in these things, and they abuse the grace of God. It is clearly written that the Lord is the avenger of all such, and those who reject holiness reject God himself.

Young people are becoming more accepting of these values, believing that it is okay to do such things as long as it brings happiness, and it has become the norm in this time.

Paul also reminded the Thessalonians to love one another, and he commended them on their love for one another on the first chapter. However, he urged them to increase their love even more. He also commanded them to aspire to lead a quiet life, which contradicts the successful modern attraction to entertainment and excitement. In our age, everyone has something to say, and everyone is an expert on many things. It is hard to find quiet moments now as entertainment is just one tap away. The Bible is teaching us to live a quiet life so that we can listen to God better and get to know Him more.

Lastly, Paul encourages us to work with our own hands. He does not mean that every individual should mind their own business in such a way that they live apart from one another and have no concern for others. He simply wants to correct the idle triviality that makes men open disturbers of peace when they ought to lead a quiet life at home. In the previous chapter, Paul talked about his ministry to the Thessalonians, and it is evident that he worked hard while preaching the gospel.

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers.  For you know how, like a father with his children,  we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory."

1 Thessalonians 3: 9-11

EYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! Di ba parang marerealize mong "I have shallow faith, shallow love for the Lord, lukewarm."

And lastly a life that is pleasing to God becomes a testament to other people.

May we aspire to live a life that pleases God, not by our strength but through His grace, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Published by Merrel Ya

A lady who has been pondering her hope into Christ, inhaling His grace, and enjoying the beauty of life. Writing about life, asking God about "kuliglig sa kanyang dibdib."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Writings

man holding lighted gas lantern

Jesus You’re my Light

I want to stay in Your side Just a moment try to hide Ignite the flame inside Let me be behind Your side Lord reminds me of Your love Your grace sustains me Direct me in Your path Cause You're my Light You are my Light Don't let me be Out of Your sight Cause […]
green tree on green grass field during daytime

Testing of your faith

Do you want to be a mushroom or to be a giant oak?
woman raising her hands

How Precious is His Steadfast Love

When you realized that God loves you unconditionally, it's hard not to worship Him and to testify about His great love. Oh Lord, how precious your steadfast love.

Stepping out in Faith

Inhaling His grace and savoring the beauty of life. And I pray that my journals will transcend into the spaces that need them the most.

Meryl Villaruel

© Copyright 2017 / Merrel Ya / Website Design by Titus Jr Laxa

Let's connect!