So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
These verses present a simple truth of the Christian faith: we can please God. Because of His love for us, God has given us the power, by our choices, actions and attitude, to bring a smile to His divine face. What a precious truth! After all that God has done for us by sending His Son, how wonderful it is to know that through faithful service and sincere worship we can be a blessing to Him. We can please Him! How effectively this motivates me to serve Him.
To many believers this sounds too much like legalism; but these verses don't speak of trying to earn God's favor, or His love, or our salvation. We are helpless sinners. There is no way that we could ever be good enough to deserve God's love or favor or anything else from Him. And yet, miracle of miracles, in Jesus He has given us the ability to be a blessing to Him and to please Him. This does not earn us anything before the Lord, for we know that "it is God who works in us to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose," (Philippians 2:13).
The flip side of this is also true, however. You also have the ability to cause God displeasure. Scripture tells us that God is a jealous God and it makes it very clear that He is unhappy when His children go astray (Exodus 34:14). It also makes clear that although we cannot harm the all-powerful God in any way, we can certainly grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30). So remember, the choices you make today matter to God. Choose wisely.
For further reading...
- Hebrews 11- Check out the "Hall of Faith," especially verse six which discusses how vital faith is to pleasing God. If a person is not in Christ, his actions do not please the Lord.