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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, December 12, 2011

How to Please God

From the book of Luke we read the words of Elizabeth, spoken to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ:

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"(Luke 1:45)

That's a message for each one of us today. We are indeed blessed when we believe what God says.
Before Mary was visited by the angel, Gabriel, this same great messenger was sent to announce some good news to Zechariah (Elizabeth's husband.)

How to Displease God
Unlike Mary, this man of God, a priest, did not believe. He had obviously been praying for a son for a long time. His wife, Elizabeth was barren. Nevertheless, when Gabriel said, "Zechariah, your prayer
has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. . . "
Zechariah doubted. He wanted a sign, some sort of proof that the angel, and God, weren't  just messing with him.

As often as I've read this passage, I've said to myself, I'd probably be just like Zechariah. I'm skeptical of all good news.

On the contrary, Mary's response always amazes me. When the angel Gabriel announces that she will be the mother of God, she understandably asks, "How will this be. . . since I am a virgin?"

She does not challenge the angel. She does not ask for proof of his words. She simply responds with,
"I am the Lord's servant. . . May it be to me as you have said."

Humble trust
"Wow! What faith? What trust!

About fifteen hundred years earlier another man of God responded in a similar way:
"Abram believed the Lord, and He (God) credited it to him as righteousness." (Gen. 15:6)

How to please God
So, Believer of Unbeliever, the first step to pleasing God is to listen to His Word and believe it.
  • God doesn't lie.
  • God doesn't kid around.
  • He doesn't tell His prophets something and then mumble "not" with His hand over His mouth.
  • He always keeps His promises.
  • He is completely holy; He cannot sin.

If you put your trust in him, He will be eternally faithful to you.

And so, by believing Him, you are saying in essence:
  • I believe that You are God
  • I trust You
  • I recognize your holy character
  • I choose to go Your way, not mine.

That's the way to please God.
Like Mary, we should all say:

"I am Your servant; may it be to me as You say."

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." (Heb 11:6 NIV Bible)

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