Ye Ought to Please God 1 Thes. 4:1 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
According to Paul, in 1 Thes 4:1, you ought to please God and abound more and more. In other words, you ought to find out what pleases God, do what pleases God and, as you grow, please him more and more. That’s what Jesus did.
When Jesus was here on earth he pleased his Father. And God let him know that he was pleased. At his baptism in Matt 3:17, the Lord said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” In Jesus’ ministry [Matt 12:18, fulfilling Is 42:1], the Lord said, “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.” At his transfiguration in Matt 17:5, God said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” In Jn 8:29, Jesus said, “I do always those things that please him.” To do this, Paul said, “Christ pleased not himself,” Rom 15:3.
Like Jesus, all of us who are saved are the sons of God. And like Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, God is in us to do his will for his pleasure [Phil 2:12-13; Heb 13:20-21]. If we will yield to him, like Jesus did, and work out our salvation with fear and trembling, while he is working in us, he will be well pleased. “The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him,” Ps 147:11.
So, what things please God?
Gospel preaching – 1 Thes 2:4 the Lord entrusted Paul with the gospel and so he preached it. His desire was to please God by preaching the gospel. He was assured that God would be pleased because 1 Cor 1:21 say, “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” That’s what Jesus preached; the gospel of the kingdom of God [Mk 1:14-15]. And that’s what we must do, in here and out there. We cannot quit preaching the gospel here. By the way, how many times have you preached the gospel?
Obedience – Col 3:20 – it is well pleasing for children to obey their parents. We are God’s children and so we should obey him. That’s what Jesus did. Heb 5:8 “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” Children learn to obey God by first learning to obey Mom and Dad. And obey not just out of duty but our of desire. When a child turns away from God in his teens, you can be sure he was obedient because he had to be not because he wanted to be.
Faith – Heb 11:5-6 by faith Enoch pleased God… without faith it is impossible to please him. It’s called the faith of Christ [Gal 2:16]. Jesus rebuked his disciples time and again for having so little faith and for being so slow of heart to believe. They finally got it. Fear obscures faith. Finances obscure faith. Unbelief obscures faith. Our mindset can hinder faith. We must live by faith and walk by faith.
Spiritual sacrifices – Phil 4:18; Heb 13:15-16. That’s what Jesus did; he offered himself as a sacrifice. We offer our gifts. We offer our thanksgiving and praise [Ps 69:30-31]. The Lord is well pleased when we truly praise him and thank him and honor him with our giving.
Conclusion: pleasing God is not rocket science. You please him by believing the gospel, preaching the gospel, obeying Him and your parents, living by faith and offering the spiritual sacrifices of praise, giving and thanksgiving to God.