“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.
“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll–I have come to do your will, my God.'” Hebrews 10:5-7
When Jesus made this statement, He was talking to God the Father and was quoting from Psalm 40:6-8. He states that God does not really want burnt and sin offerings. Under the Old Testament Law this was what was required of God…burnt offerings and sin offerings for all the sins of the people.
Why did God not desire these offerings that He put in place? God wanted fellowship with all men. In order to have that fellowship, all the sin in the lives of men had to be destroyed forever. These offerings could not completely get rid of sin out of a person’s heart and life.They were only a symbol of what was to come.
God saw this problem from the beginning and had a solution in mind. Jesus also understood the mindset of God. Jesus went before God the Father and stated that He was available to do whatever was needed to accomplish God’s desires. Jesus was ready to do God’s will. This was not an easy task. He knew that He would have to die for the sins of the people in order to please God. The death and resurrection of Jesus provided for the removal of all sins in our lives. We no longer have to sacrifice ourselves to get rid of sin, Jesus had done the work.
Often people feel like they must spend hours in prayer or Bible reading, or go to church every Sunday just to please God. This is not the case, although God desires those things also. What God wants from each person is to be willing to do His will in every area of their life. What is God asking you to do today? It may be a sacrifice in an area of your life. Or it may be to go speak to someone, or help someone. Or it may be to witness to a group. Or may be something crazy, like jumping up and down in the street. Only God can reveal His desires to you. He knows the big picture and what needs to happen and when. Ask God what He has for you each and every day. His will may not be the same each day for you.
Today I pray that God will reveal His will for your life to you; that God will open your ears to hear from Him; that God will open your eyes to see Him; that God will give you the strength to do His will; and that God will help you to say “Here I am, I have come to do your will, my God”.