Devotional Thought of the Day:
9 For this reason we have always prayed for you, ever since we heard about you. We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will, with all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. 10 Then you will be able to live as the Lord wants and will always do what pleases him. Your lives will produce all kinds of good deeds, and you will grow in your knowledge of God. 11 May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light. 13 He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear Son, 14 by whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.
Colossians 1:9-14 (TEV)
780 Deo Omnis Gloria—“All glory to God.” It is an emphatic confession of our nothingness. He, Jesus, is everything. We, without him, are worth nothing: Nothing. Our vainglory would be just that: vain glory; it would be sacrilegious theft; the “I” should not appear anywhere.
A question arose as I came across these readings this morning.
Do we please God?
The question began to transform a little, first int this,
DO we care about pleasing God?
and then it hit home,
Have I taught my people about what pleases God? Have we, as pastors and leaders int he church equipped our people, not just the the knowledge, but the ability and the desire to please God?
Do we, as Paul did for the church in Colossae and others, pray for this for them?
Or has God’s pleasure, what pleases Him, fallen off of the church’s radar?
Have our words praised and glorified God, but our actions and thoughts forgotten what pleases Him, what He desires?
From my Lutheran perspective, we fight so hard against the teaching of works meriting salvation that we shy away from teaching that we should please God after our baptism. We are afraid our people can’t understand the difference, that they will deliberately misunderstand. It sounds like a good justification at first, but it is a poor excuse.
We know what pleases God, all you have to do is read the last 6 chapters of Isaiah and see it over and over. Or hear the parable of the prodigal son or the Good Samaritan. We know about God finding the treasure in the field, and giving His Son to purchase it, and the joy in heaven over one sinner transformed. There we find His will, that none should perish, that all should come home.
Yet we don’t do this work alone, it is His will, His desire, and we receive the strength from His glorious power.
That is why He gets all the glory, as we live as He wants, as He revealed. We live reconciled to Him, and we grow in desire to do what pleases Him, lifting high His cross, seeing people drawn to His mercy, into His grace! And as we do, we come to know Him better, to rely on Him more.
Lord, help us, those you have tasked with shepherding your people, to reveal your love and mercy to them. Help us to pray for them, that they too would understand your will, and as they grow to respond to Your love, to do that which brings You great pleasure. AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1802-1804). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.