Devotional

So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.” – 2 Corinthians 5:9-10.

The Bible tells us that our main goal should be to please God. There are many Christians out there that try their hardest to do just tha. They have a quiet time every morning. They pray often. They memorize Scripture. And they lead a small group each week. But they never feel like they are doing enough and inevitably they ask the question that Christians have asked themselves for millennia: “Am I doing enough to please God?”

The answer can be found in Ephesians 2:8-9 that says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” The bottom line is that God’s acceptance of us is not based on our ability to do the right things. Because even on our best day, when we seem to be doing everything right, we’re still sinners. We can’t keep God’s commands perfectly. That’s why we need God’s grace in the first place.

God is pleased with us, not because of what we do but because of who we are—His child. Through his grace, we are “hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3). That means when God looks at us, He doesn’t see our sin, He sees the perfection of His Son. In Genesis, we read about Abraham’s “friendship” with God.  His relationship with God shows us what it takes to please God and to be accepted by God.  Abraham’s relationship pleased God not because of what he did, but what he believed. He believed God.  “Now you see how Abraham’s faith and deeds worked together. He proved that his faith was real by what he did. This is what the Scriptures mean by saying, “Abraham had faith in God, and God was pleased with him.” That’s how Abraham became God’s friend. You can now see that we please God by what we do and not only by what we believe.” (James 2:22-24 CEV)  

In the gospel, God reveals the depth of our need for Him. He shows us that there is absolutely nothing we can do to come to Him. We can’t manufacture salvation. We can’t program it. We can’t produce it. We can’t even initiate it. God has to open our eyes, set us free, overcome our evil, and appease His wrath. We are radically dependent on God to do something in our life that you could never do.

As followers of Jesus we must learn to accept His acceptance.  Receive, by faith, His forgiveness made possible by what He did for us, not by what you can do for Him. Thank Him for loving us.  Rejoice in the fact that God accepts each of us by faith.  Through Christ, we are pleasing to God!

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is more important, trying to get to God or acknowledging our desperate need for Christ?
  2. How can we change our way of thinking so we will focus on winning God’s approval, not other people’s approval?