Those “Who Please God or
How Does One Please God?
Do you worry about pleasing God?
Does your salvation depend on your ability to please God?
I believe that once you claim Jesus as Lord you are saved.
Not sure if you can lose your salvation.
I guess if you no longer believe or claim Jesus as Lord you might not qualify for the kingdom.
But I believe that if you truly believe and do not live for Him you can be saved when you die.
I also believe that your reward, or status in heaven, will be very different from the person who gave their life for Jesus or others.
The difference, as I have come to believe it, is your life here on earth.
Father God has wonderful blessings that he cannot give you if you are living a life of sin.
There is a story of a person on a tour of heaven and they see a warehouse full of packages and ask what they are.
The answer is that they are blessings that were never given for lack of asking or a life that God was not able to bless.
I do not want Father God to not be able to bless me.
I have a poem that I read on occasion at funerals about living for others.
Lord let me live from day to day in such a self-forgetful way that when I kneel to pray my prayer shall be for others.
Help me in all the work I do to ever be sincere and true and know that all I’d do for you must needs be done for others.
Let “self” be crucified and slain and buried deep, and all in vain my efforts be to rise again, unless to live for others.
And when my work on earth is done and my new work in heaven’s begun, may I forget the crown I’ve won while thinking still of others.
Others, Lord, yes others, let this my motto be, help to live for others that I may life for thee.
That says it pretty well don’t you think?
Jesus stated that there is no greater love than to lay down your life for another.
God is watching to see what sacrifice you are willing to make for others.
That will tell him the amount of love you have and just how much of Jesus is in you.
More of Jesus and less of me that is what I want people to see.
“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said. Do not commit adultery, also said, do not murder. If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker”. James 1:8-11
The Scripture before this passage is speaking of treating the wealthy or famous better than the poor person.
Do not discriminate among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts.
God chooses who is to be poor and who is to be rich but they all have the same value to God.
Why favor the wealthy when they are the ones who drag you into court, and slander the name of him to whom you belong.
Do not insult the poor because they are poor.
And this section ends with the words: speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
Mercy is an act of love, yes?
You can say you love but when you show mercy you are doing love.
The pastor James is not teaching theology he is preaching practical ways to show your faith in God.
He is dealing with the application and expression of the Christian faith.
He is giving a description of the character of faith.
Pleasing God is acting on your faith to love and show mercy to all people.
It is easy and natural to show favoritism to some over others.
But we are not to live in the natural but the Spiritual.
We must be aware of our actions and compare them to the actions of Jesus.
James is exposing a hypocrisy among Christians.
Do not hold to the Christian faith, which sees every believer saved by grace through faith, not of works, and at the same time practice discrimination between different classes of people in the fellowship.
For this is a shameful demonstration of hypocrisy.
We are not to judge, we are to love, all the same.
For God is not a respecter of persons.
Let there be agreement between what you profess has taken place on the inside and what you express on the outside.
This is how you become doers of the word, and not hearers only.
James calls Jesus the Lord of Glory for he should be the glory of all believers at all times.
For every believer has the glory of God in Jesus Christ within them.
It is the same glory for everyone, and before God there is no partiality shown between persons.
James shows our tendency to favor the wealthy by his example of two people coming to church and the one who dresses better getting preferred treatment.
When we do this we make a distinction and a judgment that is not ours to do.
It is wrong to honor the rich at the expense of the poor.
Both stand on the same level before God and should be treated accordingly.
When we show partiality we become judges with evil thoughts.
Not becoming of a Christian for sure.
Why are we not to judge the poor?
Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God has promised to those who love him?
Here are three blessings that God has bestowed on the poor.
They are chosen of God drawn by the Spirit and have responded with love toward God.
God has made the poor rich in faith and their wealth does not consist of gold rings or fine apparel but in faith.
And they are heirs of the kingdom for they possess and are a part of the kingdom of God.
Then James gives reasons to not favor the rich.
Is it not the rich who oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats.
And is it not the rich who most often blasphemed the name of Jesus.
The principle involved is that partiality is a violation of the royal law of God.
What is the royal law, it is the law of love expressed in the command: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Why call it royal?
Perhaps because Christ, the true King, is its disseminator.
He is love, he bought love and he commanded us to love as he loved.
Verse 12 is James’ conclusion of this passage.
“So speak and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.”
James gives both an appeal and a warning here.
The appeal is that obedience to the royal law be expressed both in speech and action.
The warning is that those who show no mercy will find none at God’s judgment.
So how do we please God?
By showing mercy and love to all people regardless of their station in life.
Love and be merciful to everyone, all the time!
As is Father God, Son Jesus and the Spirit.
So let it be known, so let it be lived.
On earth as it is in heaven!