When reviewing the life of Jesus, it is easy to identify the beginning of His ministry with His baptism by John in the Jordan River. In the short record of Jesus’ baptism is a message that is often overlooked by the casual reader. Matthew closes his record of the event with the words of God saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (3:17). What greater commendation can anyone receive! Can any of us hope to receive to have God look upon us with pleasure? The fact of the matter is that in His parable of the talents, Jesus tells us that the faithful will hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21, 23).
Anyone desiring to be found pleasing to God must first make that decision. We must choose between ourselves, other men or God. The apostles made it clear that pleasing God was their decision, considering it even a joy to be punished for preaching Jesus as the Christ (Acts 5:40 ff.)
After deciding that you want to be found pleasing to God (and I hope that you will), you need to know what it is that pleases Him. How do you find out? The scriptures, the recorded word of God gives us ample guidance on those things God is pleased with. The first and foremost is faith (Hebrews 11:6). Another is praising Him in songs of thankfulness (Psalm 69:30-31). And let us not forget obedience (Colossians 3:20) or a spiritual mindset (Romans 8:6-8) or doing good and sharing (Hebrews 13:16, Philippians 4:18).
What is your decision? Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:9. “Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” Because we walk by faith and not by sight and have a preference to be away from the body to at home with the Lord we will strive to please Him. Paul follows that passage with the solemn admonition that all will stand before the judgment seat of Christ one day. It would be better for us if we are considered as “pleasing to God” on that day. How would God speak to your condition today? Time is slipping by!
Copyright © 2003, Nolan P. Rutter