An exhortation to live a life pleasing to God
For a believer in Christ is there is no better life than to live a life pleasing to God. Do not be concerned with pleasing a fallen world which is highly fickle and sinful. They do not have a true to sense of justice and easily fall prey to their lusts and vanities of life. You have been taken out the ways of darkness into the light of Christ in which you are encouraged to live on forever. Do no fall back into the world. Remember this; And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17)
Making the world your backbone is one of the worst choices one can do. Because the world will be judged due to its sinfulness then on what would one lean on? Though the world loves sinners yet it also ends up dishonoring them in the end. For instance, the world likes lustful movies which promote adulterous lifestyles but if a man gets divorced due to his adultery, then the world is the first to condemn him, that’s how hypocritical it has become. Besides, the world will only love you as long as it can extract benefits from you. After that it will keep away from you as if you never existed.
Therefore, put your trust in the Lord God and do not live for the sinful ways of the world. You got out of the grime of wickedness by God’s grace, so now keep yourself clean. This is not about yourself but rather about God. Yes, our God who has willed by Jesus Christ that you be saved from sin and damnation. You are not living for yourself but for Christ Jesus! Live by the Holy Spirit for the glory of God every hour and every day. That is the real best life now (and forever).
Here are a few verses from the Holy Scriptures to reflect upon (a bit long but worth the reading):
- So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)
- Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. You did not so learn Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-24)
- Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, 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: that you abstain from unchastity; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God; that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we solemnly forewarned you. For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. But concerning love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brethren throughout Macedo′nia. But we exhort you, brethren, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you; so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)
Whosoever draws his sword against the prince must throw the scabbard away
“Whosoever draws his sword against the prince must throw the scabbard away.” (English 17th Century Proverb)
A scabbard is a sheath for holding a sword, knife or other large blade or gun, such as a rifle with a bayonet.
There are two princes who are at war. First is Jesus Christ the prince of heaven and the son of God. The other is Satan the prince of the fallen world (John 12:31) and the arch-enemy of God.
There is no scope for being a neutral party. The Bible is very clear about this:
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad (Matthew 12:30).
Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:8).
“The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” (Luke 10:16).
So when you choose the side of the prince of heaven, you’re at odds with the Devil. You must realize that Satan is on one evil mission. Some scriptures about this that tell about the problem by the Devil & the solution:
Violence like a lion:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8)
Pretense by the Devil:
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. (John 10:10)
So know that the Devil is a violent, pretentious thief what must one do?
- Accept God; Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
- Resist the Devil; Resist him and be firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. (1 Peter 5:9).
What do I do if the Devil reminds me of my past failings?
Remind him about his future. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)
Just keep working on doing the right things as mentioned above. You don’t need to much wisdom. You only need God’s grace which is given to those who keep his word.
Thanks for reading. Christ be with you!
(Note: This is a message I had given to a private audience about 4 years ago and had made a record of this. Suddenly during my prayers I felt like God wants me to share this with you, so that you benefit from it.)
Will power, discipline and legalism in doing the works of God
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing (Psalm 100:2)
Do you serve the Lord with gladness? Do you feel that serving God is something that you need to do legalistically or freely?
Never get into a legalistic mode when serving God. Because your will power and disciple will get affected in the course of time. You are not a robot!
The Christian faith goes beyond religion because it concentrates not on rituals but on relation. Not any ordinary relation but a relationship with God through Jesus Christ his Son. So keep ritualistic attitudes outside and far away from your relationship with God.
It may be possible to show your gladness externally like smiling, singing when preaching the Gospel to unbelievers. But sometimes you can’t actually do this in instances of praying for a person who is suffering from cancer and is in pain. The point is that the expression of gladness must always be there in your inner being. You can be happy in your heart that Christ gives you salvation even in the midst of pain and suffering that you encounter either in yourself and others. Even Moses said in Exodus 15:2 that; The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
Getting your mind right can dramatically affect your will power and discipline in doing the works of God. You will need to be very familiar with the word of God for this and put it to action.
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:7-10)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22)
A sure sign of faith that is disciplined is that you do not empower the flesh nature but rather you focus on the desires of the Spirit.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17)
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6)
We must encourage each other to hold on the to word of Christ. Never force anyone but rather do it in freedom and respect. We do not condone sin but we exhort each other to be holy for God.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:1-12)
Accept the discipline of God because he loves you. God loves you as his child. No good parent will like to see his child eat stale food. If a child still tries to eat stale food then the good parent will surely try to correct the child. This is because the parent is aware of what is beneficial to the child and what is not.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:11-12)
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage (Psalm 94:12-14)
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)
Never mistake the correction (or chastisement) of God as punishment. Because if you were to be punished he would have done so already. Correction is so that you improve while punishment comes due to lack of repentance.
Correction may come in form of preaching, teaching and examples in real life. Most of the while the Lord God will speak through your conscience about whether you are making a wrong move or walking on the right path. Sometimes godly people will approach you and try to get you on the right track. Never get confused between false accusers and those who truly are trying to help. Check the facts for yourself with the Bible as your guide. Because skepticism is not a substitute for discernment.
The difference between correction and punishment must be clear to you. Otherwise you might simply be bitter over nothing. Suppose you are speeding in your car and your dad is in your car too and he yells at you to slow down, he is not punishing you. He is only correcting you. However, if he makes you stop because you refused to slow down and then bans you for a month from driving then that is punishment.
You are to remain disciplined even as you commend others to godliness. If you train people to be holy but yourself commit robbery, you are in danger of hell fire.
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27)
You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (Romans 2: 23-24)
Have your will power and discipline for the Lord God not out of compulsion but out a free and thankful heart. This way you will truly give glory to God through Jesus Christ his Son. God be with you!