I. Thessalonians 4:1
There are those who are not pleasing God. They that live only for themselves are not pleasing God, “We ought not to please ourselves, for even Christ pleased not Himself” according to (Rom.15:l,3).
Self is all the god that many people worship.
Human nature is, please yourself, even if it causes others to suffer. The Christian spirit is, Suffer, if necessary, for the sake of others, in good things.
We must not make it our business to gratify all the little appetites and desires of our own heart; it is good for us to cross ourselves sometimes, and then we shall the better bear others crossing of us.
Thus Christ, from love to sinners, renounced his own ease, comfort, and reputation; exposed himself to the reproach and revilings of the enemies of God, and lived in this polluted miserable world exposed to contempt, calumnies, and persecutions, till he finished his sufferings by the disgraceful death of the cross, amidst the insults of his imbittered murderers.
They that only seek to please people are not pleasing God. “Do I seek to please men ? “If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ ” (Gal.1:10).
A Christian is not to expect to please men. We must not be disappointed, therefore, if we do not.
Our Master did not please the world; and it is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master.
There are those who mean to make us betray our faith and become conformed to them.
It is a great point gained for the people of the world, when they can, by their foolness get a Christian to forsake a prayer-meeting for a party, or surrender his deep spirituality to engage in some worldly project.“Woe unto you,” said the Redeemer, “when all men speak well of you,” Let us please God and do well, ”But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit” (Rom.8:8,9).
They that have no faith cannot please God. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.”(Heb.11:6).
A man might have faith in the minister, in the Church, and the Bible, and yet have no faith in God.
A man who professes that it is his duty to worship God, must, if he act rationally, do it on the conviction that there is such a Being, infinite, eternal, and self-existent; the cause of all other being; on whom all being depends; and by whose energy, bounty, and providence, all other exist, live, and are supplied with the means of continued existence and life.
Those who are pleasing God are those who ask right things from God.
Solomon asked for an understanding heart to discern between good and bad, and the speech pleased the Lord. (I. Kings 3.9,10),
Those who are separated unto God are the people who are his “No man that warreth entangleth himself that he may please Him who hath chosen him” (II.Tim. 2:4).
Neither the minister nor the soldier is to be have-laden with the affairs of this life, and the one should not be more than the other. This is always a condition in becoming a soldier. He gives up his own business during the time for which he is enlisted, and devotes himself to the service of his country.
The farmer leaves his plough, the mechanic his shop, the merchant his store, the student his books, and the lawyer his brief; and neither of them expect to pursue these things while engaged in the service of their country
How numerous are the entanglements in this life.
Those who are wholly yielded to God. It is God “working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight” according to (Heb.13:20,21).
There are people who walk with God.“Enoch walked with God” (Gen.5: 24) “and he pleased God” (Heb.11:5) .
Our heavenly country is better than any upon earth; it is better situated, better stored with every thing that is good, better secured from every thing that is evil; the employments, the enjoyments, the society, and every thing in it, are better than the best in this world.
Those who praise God, “I will praise the Name of God. This also shall please the Lord” (Psa. 69:30)
God calls upon all the creatures to praise him, the heaven, andearth, and sea, and the inhabitants of each, (Ps69:34.” Heaven and earth, and the hosts of both, were made by him, and therefore let heaven and earth praise him.”
Angels in heaven, and saints on earth, may each of them in their respective habitations furnish themselves with matter enough for constantpraise.
Let the fishes of the sea, though mute to a proverb, praise the Lord, for the sea is his, and he made it.
The praises of the world must be offered for God’s favours to his church, (Psa. 69:35-36). For God will save Zion, the holy mountain, where his service was kept up. He will save all that aresanctified and set apart to him, all that employ themselves in his worship, and all those over whom Christ reigns; for he was King upon the holy hill of Zion.
He has mercy in store for the cities of Judah, of which tribe Christ was. (6) God will do great things for the gospel church, in which let all that wish well to it rejoice (Mk.16:17) “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Promises to those who please God. “Their enemies shall be at peace with them” (Prov.16:7). This is a different thing from being at peace with our enemies. They surrender.
The good man’s enemies are entirely in God’s power. We have only to do our duty, and God will either turn their hatred into love, or overrule it for his good.
God can turn foes into friends when he pleases him. He that has all hearts in his hand has access to men’s spirits and power over them, working insensibly, but irresistibly upon them, can make a man’s enemies to be at peace with him, can change their minds, or force them into submission.
He can slay all enemies, and bring those together that were at the greatest distance from each other.
Our prayers shall be answered according to (I.Jh.3:22). If we are always doing what pleases Him we may always expect what we ask of him.
What soever we ask, we receive of him; that is, whatsoever we ask according to his will, we are sure to receive, either in kind or in equivalency.
It shall either be given in mercy, or denied in love; for God is as kind in denying some of our requests, as in answering others; we often cry for that which it would be cruelty for God to give; we know not what is best to pray, but an infinitely wise God knoweth what is best to give