The Truth Internet Church
A church of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
We are a Christian church, serving all who know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and those who would like to know Him. We meet only on the Internet. We have no walls; we have no pews; we have no restrictions, except to always tell
THIS WEEK'S MESSAGE
5-15-22 What Pleases God? | Find Out & Supercharge Your Walk with Him, Part 1
Summary: Without certain things it is impossible to please God. One of those things is faith (Hebrews 11:6), and without it we cannot please the LORD. Personally, I don’t want to displease God! So let’s take a look at His Word the Bible to find out what pleases the LORD.
Key Text: Ephesians 5:10 FIND OUT what pleases the Lord.
God wants us to “find out” — to make an effort to discover for ourselves — what pleases Him. Thankfully, we don’t have to guess. The Scriptures of the Bible tell us very plainly what pleases God. Let’s go see and change our lives accordingly.
1 Samuel 12:22 For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject His people [Israel], because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.
Right at the outset, be assured of a great truth from God’s Word: He is “pleased to make you His own,” to make you His son or daughter. God happily, not reluctantly, includes the faithful in His family.
We have a fuller revelation of this blessing in the New Testament. John 1:12 tells us that “to all who did receive [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, [God] gave the right to become children of God.” By repentance from sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are born again (John 3:3,7) and become God’s sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18).
Jesus Christ, the Savior who died for our sins and rose again, “is not ashamed to call [us] brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 2:11). Imagine that! The divine Son of God, the co-creator of the universe (Ephesians 3:9), the one to whom God the Father has given “all authority in heaven and earth” (Matthew 28:18), is pleased to call born-again believers his brothers and sisters.
Numbers 24:1 ...Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel...
God doesn’t dole out His goodness grudgingly to His people. No! It pleased Him to bless His people Israel under the Old Covenant. And it still pleases God to bless His New Covenant people today—“I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6, KJV).
Many years ago, a true prophet of God, Ernest Gentile, was conducting a seminar on the gift of prophecy in our church in Anchorage, Alaska. In the middle of one of his messages, he paused. Then he spoke a short, clear word, and he spoke it with conviction and anointing: God said, “I have purposed to bless you.” It spoke deeply to my heart. God our Father loves us, he cares for us, and His intent is to bless His children, just as we mortal parents love to bless our kids.
Don’t think of our heavenly Father as some stern, distant, uninvolved God. Not at all! Quite to the contrary, God loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins, so that repentant believers could be forgiven and adopted spiritually into the family of God. And His ongoing care for His born-again children is warm, loving, and freely given. It pleases the Lord to bless His people!
Luke 12:32, NKJV Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
As noted earlier, by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, we are born again into the kingdom of God (John 3:3,7). And Jesus has told us that our Father is pleased to give us the kingdom. Where God the Father and His Son Jesus reign, there is life, health, healing, deliverance, spiritual power and authority, the presence and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, and so much more.
And it is God’s good pleasure to give us these things. We don’t need to go about life on this earth downcast, fearful, and hopeless. To the contrary, Jesus brought the kingdom of God to earth (Mark 1:15), and He is pleased to send His followers forth into kingdom ministry (Matthew 10:7-8) with His blessing and empowerment.
1 Chronicles 29:17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.
Integrity! That’s what God looks for in people, and He finds it by “test[ing] the “heart.” He is pleased not so much with their “charisma” as He is with their integrity. Dictionary.com’s good definition of integrity is: “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” Some synonyms of integrity are: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, and fairness.
My practical, working definition of integrity is simply this: “You know what’s right to do, and that’s what you do.”
Notice where God looks to evaluate our integrity. He “tests the heart.” It’s not our outward actions or what we say that is the primary test of integrity, but God’s direct inspection of our hearts. Remember Jesus’ words in Mark 7:21-23, KJV: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
Jesus also told us that good things (in our current discussion, integrity) come from our hearts: “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good” (Luke 6:45). And this is where we can please the Lord in the matter of integrity. That is, as the apostle Paul said it, “striv[ing] always to keep [our] conscience clear before God and man” (Acts 24:16). God will be continually pleased with our efforts, by His grace, to keep our consciences clean and our hearts full of integrity.
Psalm 69:30-31 I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.  This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs.
God is pleased with our praise, our heartfelt songs of worship to Him, our thanksgiving to Him for His goodness and His many blessings to us. And remember, God doesn’t care one bit how well or how poorly you sing! Remember that people typically “look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). God sees the joy in your heart as you praise and worship Him in song and in thanksgiving.
This verse should remind us that the church worship service is not an afterthought! In fact, worship in song will continue throughout all eternity, as we see in various heavenly scenes in the Book of Revelation. Preaching ceases in heaven. And we will have no need of the spiritual gifts. But worship of the Lord will joyfully continue forever!
Proverbs 15:8 The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
Prayer pleases God! At home and in church. The early church went to the temple for the “hour of prayer” (Acts 3:1, KJV). In the churches that I pastored (and now in the church I attend in these my senior years), we had regular preservice prayer. It gives us an excellent opportunity to get in touch with the Lord, to honor Him, and to ask His blessing upon the upcoming service. It provides us regular times, via corporate prayer, to please God. And the same obviously holds true for our individual times of prayer.
“The prayer of the upright pleases [the Lord].” Psa. 66:18 (KJV) says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” This offers a possible clue to why some prayer is not answered — that is, there may be unrepented sin in the life of the person offering the prayer. Remember, it is not just prayer in general, but “the prayer of the upright,” that pleases the Lord.
Ezekiel 18:23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
God is pleased with a changed life, turning from wicked ways to God and to His ways. Jesus said that “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:7).
Sad to say, in this 21st century, at least in American Christianity that I am able to observe firsthand, there seems to have developed a very shallow understanding of what salvation is. In the minds of many, salvation seems to be little more than a get-out-of-jail-free ticket, without the necessity of a repentant, changed life. But what pleases the Lord is when we come to Jesus in faith, repent of our sins, and pursue a life of holiness (Titus 2:11-14). This pursuit of a changed life, not an erroneous concept of “loose” grace, pleases God and is consistent with the angel’s words to Joseph: “…she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21, KJV). The apostle Peter spoke a similar message at Pentecost: “…Be saved from this crooked (perverse, wicked, unjust generation” (Acts 2:40, AMPC).
CONTINUED NEXT WEEK WITH PART 2
I pray this message and the music this week have touched your heart. If it has and you're ready to take Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you need to do the following four things:
1. Admit you're a sinner.
2. Repent of your sins and ask God to forgive you.
3. Believe in Jesus as your only hope of salvation.
4. Confess that Jesus is your Lord.
Repeat the following prayer, which includes numbers 1-4 above. It's got to be from your heart and not just your head. You don't have to be in a church to say this prayer. You can say it right now, right where you are. But after you've said it I strongly urge you to find a local church and go to the very next service. Tell the pastor what great and wonderful thing has happened to you.
Lord God, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I come to you with all the sins I've committed. I admit I'm a sinner and I ask for your forgiveness. Please cleanse my body, soul and spirit from these sins with the precious blood of your Son, Jesus Christ. I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins and for the sins of all those who believe in His name. I also believe that He rose from the dead so that I, too, may have victory over the works of the devil. I confess and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and ask Him to come into my heart and give me a new life that seeks after Your will and purposes. I want to serve You and obey all Your ways. I want to live for You every day of my life. Please lead and guide me into righteousness by Your Holy Spirit.
Thank you Lord, for the work of Your Son, Jesus, who shed His blood for me, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Thank you that I am now considered Your child through the work of Jesus. Thank you that I have a new life. Thank you that I've been born anew, and by faith I believe it. In the name of Jesus, Amen.