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by LaBreeska Hemphill
When I was a child we played a game called pleased or displeased. Whoever got to be the leader could make the others do some pretty bazaar things in order to please him. Some of those tasks were very difficult. But that was child’s play. If we aren’t careful, the things we experienced during our childhood games can sometimes be carried over into adulthood without even realizing it. We may grow up thinking that it’s hard to please God, but it’s really very simple. God doesn’t expect us to do the impossible. All he wants from us is love, dedication, obedience and worship.
Jesus, our champion and hero led the way in pleasing the Father. He was a man tempted in all points as we are, but he passed the test and proved that we too can live on this planet and still please God (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus said: “...I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me. The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:28-29).
There are two different occasions recorded in the New Testament where God was so pleased with Jesus that He spoke audibly from heaven and said so. One was when Jesus was baptized in the river of Jordan by John and the other time was on the Mount of Transfiguration. There God spoke to Peter, James and John and said: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” What did God command those disciples to do? Hear the words of Jesus!
How do we please God today? The message hasn’t changed. We must hear the words of Jesus. Jesus said: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” According to Jesus his words were not his own, they were the words of God the Father. Jesus said: “I speak that which I have seen with my Father...” (John 8:38). God the Father taught Jesus and Jesus has taught us through his words. The four gospels are filled with the words of Jesus, which are actually passed through him from the Father. They are the words of eternal life, instruction, reproof, and direction on how to please God.
In the natural if we want to please someone, we not only need to find out what they like but also learn what they dislike. It is interesting to note that our actions either please or displease the Lord God. Many accounts in the Bible tell of God’s people displeasing Him at one time or another: “and when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled...” (Numbers 11:1).
King David, the man “after God’s own heart” did a terrible thing when he took Bathsheba and had Uriah her husband killed in battle. The Bible states: “David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife...But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord” (II Sam. 11:27).
In trying to please our employers, our spouses or most importantly God we must try to love the things they love and be aware of the things that they hate. Did you know that there are things that God hates? And I want to stay as far from them as possible. Here are seven things that God absolutely hate.
1. God hates a proud look.
2. God hates a lying tongue.
3. God hates hands that shed innocent blood.
4. God hates a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations.
5. God hates feet that are swift in running to mischief.
6. God hates a false witness that speaketh lies.
7. God hates he that soweth discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:16-19).
As God’s children, we should also hate evil, arrogance, and a foul, perverse mouth.
Finally, there is one more thing that we need in order to please God. More than anything else we must have faith because: “...without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Jesus handed us the key to God’s heart and his favor when he pointed us to the greatest commandment. He said: “...Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37).
When we obey this commandment we will truly be followers of Jesus and will have no trouble in pleasing God the Father.