Page Three: “A Life That Pleases God” 09/16/2012
“In my pastoral ministry, I have met people who have become intoxicated with "studying the deeper truths of the Bible." Usually they have been given a book or introduced to some teacher's tapes. Before long, they get so smart they become dumb!
The "deeper truths" they discover only detour them from practical Christian living. Instead of getting burning hearts of devotion to Christ (Luke 24:32), they get big heads and start creating problems in their homes and churches.”
When we read Paul’s words “increasing the knowledge of God,” we need to see that it’s not information about the LORD that pleases Him. We need to move on from information to “getting to know Him better and better each day and each year.”
Come to know what He is like.
Come to know what He can do.
Come to know how He works in your heart.
Come to know how He works in the hearts of others.
Come to know His power and love.
Come to know His fatherly care and compassion.
Come to know a perfectly Holy Person.
Come to know a wonderfully wise LORD.
Come to know a very happy God.
Come to know the God of the Bible.
Now did you notice that the LORD placed this “knowing Him” immediately after “being fruitful in every good work”?
Here’s at least one reason why. We human beings are so prone to focus on ourselves and our abilities or our weaknesses, our fullness or our lack, on our problems or our own pleasure. God wants us to learn the daily joy of finding Him to be all we need when we have or don’t have, when we can or when we can’t, when things go well and when things go wrong.
So, what pleases Him is our increasing in the knowledge of Him; when we put forth the effort to find Him and learn Him and enjoy Him and serve Him and let Him be the wonderful, holy, perfect Father He truly is to us.
What’s a life that pleases Him?
1. A life of fruitfulness – v. 10
2. A life of increased knowledge of Him – v. 10
3. Third, a life of spiritual power – v. 11
Here’s what Paul prayed; verse three.
[“…by being] strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;…”
If there is one thing we all want and need daily, it’s to be strengthened with spiritual enablement. You see, a fruitful Christian, a knowledgeable Christian enjoys the wonder of being a strong Christian; strong in the inner man. A strong man or woman of God is one who is strong in good character.
And look with me at the things that are affected by your spiritual power; verse eleven. [3. “… by being] strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience [endurance] and longsuffering with joyfulness;…”
Spiritual strength produces and develops at least these two things: patience and longsuffering.
There seems to be no greater need among Christians than these two qualities today. And as one man put it; these are two keys to true spiritual success. First, patience and second, longsuffering.
When you are in a trial; when you are under a time of pressure and stress; when you know you have little or no strength of your own to deal with life, and when it’s not possible to avoid the difficulty, God provides this wonderful power called patience. He, as you can see here enables you to endure; to be patient. And this patient spirit in you in the ordeals of life is what pleases the LORD.
So, first, when you suffer the challenges and painful things of life, God’s grace enables you to endure.
The second thing that comes your way is something very similar to patience. And that is longsuffering.