“No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” 2 Timothy 2:4
There is no record of Paul ever being in the military during his life, yet he had a very good understanding on how the military works. He knew that a good soldier strives to please his commander. The bad soldier tries to do things outside of the military, in the civilian community.
In the Army, there are soldiers who get involved in things outside of their job. Some of those things get them in trouble. Watch the news and you will constantly hear of people getting in trouble for doing something outside of their command or position.
A soldier’s focus should be upon his job and what his commander desires. Any thing less than this is slacking on the job. He does not have his affairs set in correct order. These soldiers want both worlds, they want the freedom of being a civilian, while having the benefits of being a soldier.
As a believer, you are a soldier for Jesus. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible talks about a battle. It is the battle for the souls of men and women. Satan with this world is trying to get you to follow their ways. God is trying to have you follow His path for you.
Just like in the Army, there are many believers who have affairs of both sides. They want the best of both worlds. They want what the world has for them, while having the blessings of Jesus. These are not proper affairs.
A good soldier will choose which side he is on. Being a soldier, his focus will be on his commander. The commanding officer for every believer is Jesus. He is the one in control.
Who are you trying to please?
What affairs are you dealing with? The world’s? Or God’s?
God wants to reach the world for Jesus. Are you striving to tell the world about Jesus?
Are you trying to live for and like Jesus? Or are you trying to be a civilian, like the world?
I pray today that you will have a fresh vision of Jesus as your commanding officer; that you will allow Jesus full control of your life; that you will not seek to have an affair with the world; and that you will live to please Jesus.
“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:3-4
Paul is stating that something is good. What is this good thing? It is the praying for everyone and giving thanks for everyone for the purpose of leading peaceful and godly lives. This type of living pleases God.
Why does this please God? It pleases Him because He wants everyone to be saved. He wants people to know the truth. Knowing the truth will set a person free. Remember that Jesus is the truth. If a person knows Jesus, he can be set free.
In order for a person to be saved, he must know the truth–Jesus. He must know that he is lost and dying, on a path of destruction. He must know that Jesus can change all of that.
The only way a person can know about Jesus is seeing Jesus in someone else and another person telling him about Jesus. Someone has to be a witness to who Jesus is and what He can do.
This is where living a godly, holy life comes into the picture. Living a godly life is living your life-like God. Acting, thinking, and speaking just like God would.
As Jesus walked on this earth, He walked the perfect godly, holy life. People would come to Him because they could see that He was somebody different. Jesus was somebody who portrayed who God is. He was willing to tell the people the truth. His truth was given to set people free from their bondage to sin and death.
Jesus did not live this way for a popularity contest. It was not to just look and sound good. It was to love God with all of His heart, soul, mind, and body, and to do what God wants Him to do. His whole purpose was to bring salvation to the people.
How are you living your life today? Are you loving God with all that is in you? Are you striving to fulfill His purpose, to bring many to salvation?
Every person around you needs to know Jesus. Live your life-like Jesus as an example and tell them about Jesus today.
I pray today that God will strengthen you to live a godly, holy life; that you will change your ways to live for God; that you will live to please God; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.
“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1
Paul commended the people of the Thessalonian church that they were living in a way to please God. He then encourages them to do this more and more. They were not to stop striving to please God.
There are people out there that when they look at all of the ways that God wants a person to live and the perfection He is looking for, they don’t want to even try to live for God. Many will start out living for God and striving to please Him, only to give up later.
People often give up, because it is, in reality, impossible to become perfect for God…on their own. They look at all of their faults and say they cannot do it, which is true, on their own. It is only when they rest in Jesus, trust in the power of Jesus, that they can become more like Jesus.
It is in the aiming for, striving to please God, that God finds pleasure. If you are aiming for perfection, just to be perfect, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Your goal in life should be to please God.
Are you being a witness for Jesus?
Are you loving others? Including your enemies?
Are you serving others? Including your enemies?
Are you forgiving everyone?
Are you spending time with God?
Are you turning away from sin?
These and many other things are ways to please God. You may already be doing many or all of these things. That is great! Now Paul is saying do it more and more.
Keep working at pleasing God. Do everything as though you are doing it to and for God. Seek His Holy Spirit to give yo the strength and wisdom in what to do and how to do it. Living like this in the end will get you the “well done good and faithful servant”.
I pray today that God will reveal what He wants you to do; that your actions will please God; that your thoughts will be pleasing to God; that your heart will strive to please God; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.
“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” Colossians 1:9-10
Paul had heard that the Colossians were believing in Jesus and were working at spreading the gospel message. Their belief in Jesus was not just with words, but came with action. He tells them that he and others are praying for them to know the will of God.
Knowing God’s will can only come by the wisdom and understanding that the Holy Spirit gives. Only the Holy Spirit can fully understand God. Man’s finite mind cannot fully understand the infinite God. His Holy Spirit can break that down for man to understand.
The purpose for knowing the will of God is not to be puffed up and think that one is special, but to live a life worthy of the Lord Jesus and to please Him. People who have great knowledge often try to be in control of others with that knowledge.
You are to use the knowledge of God’s will to spread the gospel message. Every believer is supposed to bear fruit in this world. The fruit is showing love and compassion to others, and to draw others to Jesus and into a close relationship with God. The more knowledge that you have about God the more you will know what He desires. God’s whole focus is to love people and help them be the best that they can be by knowing and loving Him. He wants every person to have the abundant life that Jesus provides.
Why do you want to know God’s will? Is it only to look out for yourself? Or to use it against others?
Or is it so that you can show others who God is and bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus? Is it so that you can live your life the way God wants you to live it?
I pray today that you will know God more and more; that you will know His plan for your life; that you will live your life according to God’s will; that you will bear fruit for God; and that your life will please God.
“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” 2 Corinthians 5:9
People who are successful always state that they set goals for themselves to accomplish. They will also tell others to set goals in order to gain success. The various steps in a goal are what will keep a person on track to accomplishing that goal.
Paul now talks about what his, and all believers, goal is. That goal is to please God both in this physical life and in death. It will be easy for every believer to please God after death since they will be in heaven. The challenge is here on this earth in this life.
Some will ask how they can please God when they are just a little nobody here in this life. Think about the best way a person can please you. The best way is in loving you. When you are loved by someone, they will do the right thing with you and for you every time. You can trust them.
The greatest commandment of God is to love God with everything in you. Jesus later stated that to love God means you will obey Him. You will do what He wants–you will please Him. If you do not obey God, you do not love Him. If you do not love God, you are not pleasing Him.
Now the question comes up as to what does God want of me? He wants you to be like Jesus in every way possible. This is living in His perfect righteousness and telling the world about the salvation He provides. It is building others up in the God, not tearing them down. It is turning away from sin. It is trusting God in everything.
Life here on this earth is just the learning stage for life in heaven. If you do not love and obey God here in this life, how will you love and obey Him in heaven? If you do not please God here on earth, how will you please Him in heaven?
Start today to love and obey God. This will please Him. Make that your goal each and everyday.
I pray today that you will know what pleases God; that you will seek God to guide your life, actions and thoughts; that you will love God with all that is in you; and that you will become more like Jesus everyday.
“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” Romans 15:2
In the previous chapter Paul had talked about not offending someone who believes something that does not go against God’s Word. Now he states that you must please your neighbor for their good and to build them up. This creates a challenge for most people, because at the same time believers are to focus on pleasing God, and not other people.
The “pleasing” here is the lifting up and meeting the needs of the other person. When Jesus walked on the earth, He went around meeting the needs of the people. He would build them up. The only people He would tear down, were those who claimed to serve God but were going against His Word and doing sinful acts. Those who did not claim to serve God, He would meet their needs and build them up. His focus was to please God by reaching out to the lost and showing them who God is. This is their ultimate need.
Some people try to please others by bending to their wishes and changing their views. Often this goes to the point of going against God’s Word. They will do things that Jesus would not do.
In various parts of the Bible it is stated that a believer must be a servant to others. Being a servant to your neighbor is pleasing to them and building them up. It is humbling yourself to meet the needs of others first.
Doing these things will show them the love of Jesus. It will show them how Jesus had given without having received first. It shows how He gives forgiveness and eternal life out of mercy and love.
Pleasing your neighbor is something that can be as simple as just helping clean the yard or bringing them a fresh baked cake. Seek God in how to please them.
Do not be isolated from your neighbor. If you do not ever please them, how will they ever know who Jesus is or what He is like?
Go and please someone today, not to look good or for your benefit, but to show them Jesus. In this process do not compromise your stand with Jesus.
I pray today that God will show you how to please your neighbor; that you be willing to please someone; that you will stay true to Jesus; and that God will draw many to a saving knowledge of Jesus through you.