For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4
What good does it do to try to please God? I mean, if I live a good life, do the best I can, am kind to people (even love people), and do what I can to hurt as few people as possible on my journey through life, doesn’t that please God?
Oh, my friend, that thought is flirting with damnation. Me, I’ll pass on that option. I’m not one like Paul, entrusted with the Gospel, approved by God to preach the good news…or am I? Or are you?
Fact is, if you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord, or if you say “yes, I believe” when someone asks if you believe in Him, then you ARE being entrusted with the gospel. God has given to you the privilege of sharing the news about Him that says, “I want all people to know about me.” He wants to use you to tell people that anything other than Him is the way to ruin, and that the way to Him is through following His son, Jesus.
God tests us like this every single day. Sometimes it’s testing by virtue of trusting Him to put the words in your mouth when opportunities present themselves. Sometimes it’s by resisting temptations. Sometimes it’s knowing when to NOT say something, when to listen and be a friend. God tests us by giving us a gut check, not to accuse us, but to purify us, to clarify us.
Our reaction? We make that exasperating. God doesn’t do it to us: we do it to ourselves. God’s motives are pure and they’re up-front, not deceitful. He wants us to love Him from the heart, without reservation or evasion. It’s exasperating when we complicate it, when we add to it. When we do that, we seem to act like we need to try to please God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is pleased with us because of His grace, not because of what we do. Because of this, we get to do the things we do to line up with who He already is instead of trying to do for ourselves something we can’t do. There is no limit to God’s grace.
Just like there’s no limit to sharing His gospel. Sure, there are places in our society where you formally aren’t allowed to proclaim Christ. In those places, do so in your actions. Be a caring friend. Listen and love. Share Jesus in words and deeds. When we do that, God is pleased.
For further reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:5.
Lord, I’m blessed by Your grace. Thank You for Your Gospel, your tests, and Your Son.