Dearly beloved in Christ,
I greet you in the pleasant name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Usually, people do enthusiastically what they desire. One interested in playing spends much time in it. Those who would like to earn good name from their superiors, do things that please them and thereby get into their good books and may gain some concessions in return. King David was a good king. He pleads with the Lord to teach him to do things pleasing to Him. He always strove to please the Lord in all circumstances. Thereby he was blessed and exalted to the position of a king and was protected from situations when his own children whom he loved came against him, from his own father-in-law and from beasts. If we are to be protected and exalted in our lives in the midst of struggles in the family, physical weaknesses and from the enmity of children, spouse, parents, siblings, , and colleagues, superiors and subordinates, we should strive to please the Lord Jesus Christ and live as His disciples. We should worship the Lord who created us. Let us here meditate what pleases the Lord.
THINGS PLEASING TO GOD
1. Repentance of the Wicked
“Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23).
Today we find people turning away from the Lord, Who created everything and worshipping certain objects and man-made idols. Such people do things to please themselves and think and say that they are righteous and praise themeselves. But the Lord our Creator desires that the man living in sin should repent and come back to Him. He is ready to forgive all our sins and accept us as His children and give us a new blessed life. For that He took the form of man and lived on earth as Jesus Christ and died for us sacrificing Himself on the cross as an atonement for our sins and to redeem us from our sinful nature. We are given to anger, pride, vengeance, boastfulness, lust, insubordination, lying, stealing, evil desires, adultery, fornication, talebearing, talking ill of others, drugs and intoxicants, and sorcery and witchcraft. It pleases the Lord when a sinner turns away from sins and commits to live a holy life. Those living in sin will be put in a sea of burning sulphur on the day of judgement. Jesus Christ came to transform man living in sin into a new being in Christ. He was sacrificed as a propitiation for our sins. Paul says in 1 Tim. 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1 John 2:2 says: “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”
We should believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ was whipped and He died for our sake to redeem us from our sins, nailed on the cross of Calvary with a crown of thorns. By the blood He shed our sins are cleansed. We should accept and believe that and strive to live a sinless life in Christ. We should decide and commit to live not yielding to sin. This decision takes us to a new life. It is the way of Jesus Christ who said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” This turning to the way of Jesus Christ is pleasing to Him.
If this transformation has not taken place in your life, you cannot please the Lord. Jesus Christ condemned the Pharisees, who were zealous in following the traditional rituals and keeping the Sabbath: “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.” (Matt. 23:26). If there is no repentance, you cannot escape from the trials and tribulations of life. Your enemies will have sway over you because of your wickedness. Hence, right now submit your evil heart to be cleansed with the blood of Jesus Christ by believing in His work of atonement on the cross. This is pleasing to the Lord. Never forget it.
2. Obedience to the Word of God
“... Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?...” (1 Samuel 15:22).
Obedience to the Word of the Lord pleases God. The Bible is the Word of God. When you read it, God speaks to you. Allow God to speak to you through His Word. 2 Tim. 3:16 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” We should obey His Word. This is pleasing to the Lord.
Adam disobeyed the word of God that he should eat of the Tree of Knowledge. But he ate it at the instigation of the devil in the form of a serpent. Then curse came upon mankind. As a result, his relationship with the Lord was broken. On them came the wrath of the Lord. We should obey the Lord and that would please Him.
Dear Brother/ Sister, so far you may have lived according to the dictates of your heart, pleasing yourself. This would have led you to experience bitterness and difficulties. For you to live in happiness and peace, desire the Word of God and obey it. This would please the Lord and you would also be blessed.
Then we would be worthy of the blessings of the Lord as was Abraham: “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Gen. 22:18). Nahaman the head of the Syrian army obeyed the instruction of the servant of the Lord and was healed of leprosy, a dreaded disease. Let us not forget it.
Because Achan disregarded and disobeyed the word of God that came through Joshua by his act of desiring the abominable things of which God had spoken, and taking them, not only he but all his dear ones and possessions and animals perished. Never forget that.
I had borrowed in thousands of rupees from my colleagues when I was a teacher. But when I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Shepherd and Guide, I accepted the counsel of the Lord and decided not to borrow. The Bible says: “For the Lord your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow . . .” (Deut. 15:6). For this, I changed my style of life of luxury. I tried to manage within my income. I stopped eating at hotels and travelling to places for enjoyment. With the cooperation of my wife, I began to settle the money borrowed. As I obeyed the counsel of the Lord, the loans were settled. No more was I a debtor to any of my colleagues. Praise be to the Lord. The Lord who did this in my life is capable of doing it in your life also.
So, today take a decision to obey the voice of the Lord which is the Bible. Let us be blessed. This is pleasing to the Lord.
3. Praising the Lord with Songs
“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bull, which has horns and hooves.” (Psalm 69:30,31)
To praise and thank God is pleasing to the Lord. When a man helps another, that man speaks high of him in the midst of others. But if you fail to praise God who has given breath in your nostrils and is protecting you, it is great injustice. For the benefits you have from God, you should praise and thank Him. That is pleasing to the Lord.
Those who are haughty, those who are bound by the devil and those who are dead will not praise the Lord God. The Bible says so.
In the life of the king Nebuchadnezzar, the Lord spoke to him by a dream. The man of God explained the dream to him. He knew about the plan of God. Yet he said: “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” (Dan. 4:30). He did not attribute the glory to the Lord. He took upon himself all the glory. Then the hand of the Lord came upon him and pulled him down. His state was worse than that of an animal. The same king when he looked upon the mighty creation of God, the sense returned to him. He confesses in Daniel 4:34: “And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.” Then his face turned and became human again.
Dear Brother/ Sister, you may be forsaken and lying in a pit in the valley of death. There is a hand to comfort and rescue you from this pit. Look to this nailed pierced hand of the Lord Jesus Christ and open your mouth wide and praise Him for His love and tender mercies. His loving hands would wipe away all sorrows and anguish in life and deliver you.
When you praise the Lord, miracles will happen. Once as I was returning home from Tanjavur with my family on my scooter, at 11 pm, the headlight of the scooter all of a sudden stopped functioning. All my efforts proved futile. Darkness enveloped us. At a distance, we could notice small lamps. We started to praise the Lord together, and continued the journey. Before we could travel a few metres, the light began to flash and give light.
You may be engulfed in darkness with fear, disease, anguish, lack of peace, burden of debt, the reproach of the enemy, and suffering. Do not be dismayed. Right now, start praising and thanking the Lord who created you. He will deliver and bless you. The Lord says: “This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.” (Isaiah 43:21). Let us praise the Lord and be transformed into His people and be blessed. Let us please the Lord.
4. Supplication for Others
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Tim. 2:1-3)
Praying for the ministers and officials pleases the Lord. Many a person redeemed by the Lord pray for their own welfare. But the Bible insists on “for all men.” My father, who is no more, used to pray in the family prayer for all Christian institutions, for the officials and those working there. I used to question it in those days. But after I had the experience of salvation, I am moved to pray for other in difficulties and those in power and authority. Once, a law was enacted in Tamilnadu against Christian institutions. But as people prayed, that law could not be implemented. Even the government fell through. The Lord answered the prayer and helped us to carry on the ministry peacefully without any threat.
We should pray for the place where we live for the Lord to annihilate all suffering, to put an end to draught and famine. The Israelites repudiated the rule of the prophet Samuel and asked for a king to rule over them as in other kingdoms. The request was made to the Lord through the prophet himself. The Lord heard their prayer and made Saul to rule over them. But Samuel the prophet was not bothered that the people repudiated him, but came forward to pray for the very people who made the claim. He says, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.” (1 Sam. 12:23). We should pray not only for people who stand with us but also for those who stand against us.
A teacher had problems at home because of her son. At the place of work, she had problems through another teacher. She prayed for the teacher who gave problems for her that the Lord should change her heart. She also requested others to pray for her problems. The Lord Jesus Christ looked on her. That particular teacher was transferred to another nearby school. Her problems came to an end because of the Lord’s intervention.
Job prayed for his friends as desired by the Lord and the Lord not only granted his request but also settled all his problems and he was blessed two-fold. Let us also pray for those in trouble, for deliverance from their tribulations and trials, for officials, for those who do the Lord’s ministry, for the Christian institutions, for preachers and church workers, for Bishops and their families. This is pleasing to the Lord. So let us do it daily.
5. Offering To God
“Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to the Lord, as in the days of old, as in former years.” (Malachi 3:4)
To make offerings to the Lord is pleasing to the Lord. Then the Lord also would bless you abundantly. The ministry of the Lord is deterred for lack of money in several places. The Lord says concerning the Levites: “For all the firstborn among the children of Israel are Mine, both man and beast; on the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them to Myself” (Num. 8:17). They are chosen by the Lord and hence their needs must be met for the name of the Lord must be glorified. This is pleasing to the Lord.
Not to pay tithes is robbing God according to Malachi 3:8. Some do not give but keep speaking ill of the servants of God. Let us be careful in this matter. It is a command from the Lord. It is the duty of the priests to utilize it properly. If they are irresponsible in the matter, they would be greatly harmed. It is not our responsibility to pass judgement.
In the case of the sons of Eli, they forcefully took the best portion by force from the bowls. As a result, the whole family was destroyed. This we should never forget.
A family was running their family on poultry farming. They sold eggs and met their needs. Once it so happened that the hens stopped laying eggs. This brought the family business to a grinding halt. They did not know what to do. A minister of the Lord went to their house and prayed for them. That day only one egg was laid and so the family handed over that one egg to him as offering. That minister was hesitant to take that egg. But the head of that family insisted that he must give way for the family to be blessed by the Lord. The following Sunday they brought a basket full of eggs to the church as offering as the Lord had abundantly blessed the hens.
Once a minister from Tanjavur returned home from the ministry. In his heart he was impelled to give the suitcase he had bought so desirously to another minister. First, he was reluctant and then he yielded to the word of the Lord and gave it to the servant of God. That very week a family living in a foreign land came to him and offered a sovereign of gold for all his help. When we give something to the Lord, he blesses it and returns it according to our needs.
As said in Malachi 3:10, let us make our offering and be blessed: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” This is pleasing to the Lord.
Hence, let us do things pleasing to the Lord by repentance, obedience, praising the name of the Lord, praying for others, and making offerings. The Lord will bless us in this world and in the world to come.
May the Lord bless us!
In the service of Christ Jesus,
Bro. C. Ebenezer Paul.