Saturday, July 12, 2008

Matthew 5:6 "Blessed" Part 4

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." NIV
Did you know there are about sixty references to the words, "please God" or "pleasing to God" in the Bible? I love the definition of the Greek word for "righteousness" in this verse. It says, "state of him who is as he ought to be, the condition acceptable to God...." Living a life of righteousness is living just as I should be -- pleasing God. When I am going my own path, following my own depraved sinful nature, I am not living a life pleasing to God. I am actually walking the exact opposite direction. But when I am living the life I was supposed to have lived before the Fall, walking blamelessly before God, then I am living a pleasing life to Him. And isn't that every child's desire, to please their father?

As I looked back through some of the verses in the Old Testament, all the "pleasing" statements were regarding a sacrifice being a "pleasing aroma to God." Animal sacrifices were how God had established for the people to atone for their sins before Jesus became the final sacrifice. Sin brings death, so someone had to die to atone for the sin or to make them right again before God. And when God's people truly sought forgiveness through sacrifice, a desire to put their life back into line with God's plan, that was pleasing to Him.

Because of Jesus, we don't have to offer animal sacrifices any more, so my life is my sacrifice. If I am living as I "ought to be," then my life is pleasing to my Father. I can't be living for myself anymore. I sacrificed that part of me on the altar of salvation. I must live a pleasing life for Him. Oh, the enemy often tempts me to resurrect that old self and follow my own path, but the Holy Spirit always reminds me of the way that is "acceptable to God." My true path, my true desire is to please my Lord. Earthly pleasures will fade, but the Lord's pleasure is eternal.

Lord, let my life be righteous in Your eyes; my walk a sweet aroma pleasing to You.

Further Thoughts:
  1. David was one who pleased God. His life wasn't perfect; he made some dire mistakes. So what about His life pleased God? Study David and list some reasons.
  2. Look up several verses with "please God" or "pleasing to God" in them. What is the behavior or attitude that each verse is referencing? How are you doing with those personally? What about your life needs to change to be "as it ought to be?"
  3. Does the Christian life seem hard? Well, it is. We serve a God that sets high standards and battle an enemy that is very strong and persuasive. We live through spiritual warfare every day, but you don't have to do it alone. Seek out other believers that will fight alongside you. Let's "please" Him together.

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