Pleasing God; December 15, 2019

Matthew 3:17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Everything about Jesus pleased the Father. The more I think about that, the more remarkable it becomes. As human parents we have moments when we are really pleased with our children, but if pressed, even then we will concede that they have their “rough spots.” Jesus, however, though fully human, was perfectly in line with His Father, and that’s something no one else can claim. The more we grow spiritually the more we become like Jesus, which of course puts us more in harmony with Father God, but even Paul was very clear that he wasn’t perfectly there yet. (Philippians 3:12-14) At times we are tempted to give up on ourselves, but we have God’s assurance that in the end, we will indeed be like Jesus. (Romans 8:29) When we have that promise we need to extend grace and patience, not only to ourselves but to those around us. That can frankly be difficult at times, and it involves the big F word: forgiveness. One of the scariest things Jesus said deals with that. “If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15) We must never forget that we are not yet perfect, and stop demanding that others be perfect. We need to encourage each other in spiritual growth, but rejoice in progress rather than demand perfection. The better we do that, the more pleased our heavenly Father will be with us, because we will be more and more like His beloved Son.

As a physical and spiritual father I am often pleased with and proud of my children, but I am also often aware of their imperfections in various ways. I must never let that awareness get in the way of my love for them, but rather let it make me more aware of God’s grace, toward me and toward my children. I must not treat mistakes or ignorance as sins, even when they negatively impact me. I am also not to excuse sins, but rather forgive them. The difference there can seem paper thin at times, but it is vital. God didn’t excuse our sins, He forgave them through the atoning death of Jesus Christ. I do personally desire to please my Father, and nothing takes me out of that category faster than refusing to forgive.

Father, thank You for this timely reminder. Help me indeed be pleasing to You, especially in my interactions with my own children, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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