Five Things That Bring God Pleasure
Day 1: Obedience
“Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.’” (John 14:23-24, ESV)
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.” (Deuteronomy 28:1-6, ESV)
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1, ESV)
This week we’re going to study the theme of things that bring God pleasure. There are, no doubt, countless ways to bring Him pleasure, many of which are outlined in Scripture, but we are going to focus on five main ways this week: obedience, worship, baptism, humility, and prayer. It would be my prayer that each one of us would strive to do what is right and please God.
Obedience is one of the most basic ways that we can please God, and yet it is antithetical to our character. Why do I say that? Well, think about your own children, if you have them, or consider even your own childhood. What is one of the first things, as parents, that we try to teach our children? To obey! Speaking in my own experience, I have a daughter who is about to turn three years old, and we are still trying to teach her to obey in all ways. That is not to say that she is a “bad kid,” but kids find creative ways to test the boundaries every day. We teach children to obey when they are young so they have a good set of guidelines to follow when they are older (Proverbs 22:6). I can say from personal experience that it brings a parent great joy when their child willingly obeys.
In a similar manner, God delights in our obedience. You might be wondering how you can obey God. Well, this is certainly not an exhaustive list, but God gets pleasure from our obedience in salvation, in baptism, in working hard, in caring for fellow Christians, in giving generously, in honoring our parents, in sharing the gospel, in reading our Bibles, in prayer, and in so many other ways.
To know how God wants you to obey, I would suggest a daily dose of reading your Bible and spending time in prayer. You can use other resources as well: advice from older Christians, Bible study materials, support groups at church; even websites like the one you’re reading right now can help. Obedience will not occur by accident, though. Obedience is a choice, and it’s a choice we must make every day. As Christians, it should be our desire to serve and obey our Creator and Savior. My prayer is that we would seek to please God—and that starts with our obedience.