Who are you trying to please today?
Many people go through life trying to please others. Maybe it’s our parents or, our neighbors, or our boss… And, there are times when we need to please our boss in order to keep a job. But I’m not talking about that kind of people pleasing.
What are you wearing today? Are you dressing a certain way to try to fit in… trying to please someone? What about your work conversation. Are you telling filthy jokes or listening to filthy jokes because you are trying to fit in? Is there someone for whom you really want their approval?
The apostle Paul reminded us of who we are supposed to please. Paul said, “Our purpose is to please God, not people” (Col. 2:4). Today, put the Lord first. Make your decisions based on Christian principles. Let’s put it like this; if you dress a certain way to please someone or… if you have to do certain things to please someone… they aren’t worth it. A real friend accepts you like you are. Be yourself! Please God and God will take care of the rest!
Have you ever been talking with someone and another person’s name comes up? When it does, the individual may say, “Well, let me tell what you what I heard.” They then, proceed to say some things that are not good about the other person.
When that happens, that individual says, “Really… I did not know that,” and they walk away from that conversation thinking a person they know is a scumbag or something close to it. The only problem is, they aren’t sure the information they received is factual. But, they never stop to think, “Is this true?’
Let’s imagine it was your name that came up. Would you want someone saying something about you that is false? No you wouldn’t! It would make you mad if people were saying things about you that are lies.
The next time someone says something like this, you should stop them and say, “Ok, how do you know this is true? Give me an example.”
When you do this, the person may say, “Well, I can’t give you an example but I’ve heard…” If they can’t give you an example, dismiss what they are saying.
But let’s go a step farther… maybe they can give you an example. Is it someone else’s business to talk about mistakes someone else has made? No, it’s not.
None of us are perfect. If you are gossiping about a mistake someone else has made, has it occured to you that your gossip is a sin as well?
Folks, don’t repeat stuff… Don’t make up stuff. The devil can use our tongue for evil. Let’s ask the Lord to help us guard our tongue.
Do you ever have a bad thought and you think to yourself, “Where did THAT come from?” Most of us have. And, you may have, at some time in your life done something and later you think, “How stupid can I be?” Again… been there.
The reason we think bad things and do bad things is because of our old nature. Human beings are sinners. We come into the world that way. And as humans, we occaionally have bad thoughts or do stupid things and, it doesn’t stop when we become Christians.
So, you may ask, “Ok, what do I do about the bad thoughts?” “How to keep myself from doing bad things?” In the book of Colossians, Paul challenged us to “put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you” (Col. 3:5). Notice that Paul said “put to death….” The way to handle bad thoughts and doing bad things is, everyday, we have to ask the Lord to help us put to death our old self. This has to be done DAILY. One size does NOT fit all here.
So, if you are struggling with your thoughts… Struggling with an old habit… Today and tomorrow and for the rest of your life, put to death your old thoughts.
Do you owe some money? Ok, you may be thinking, “How many places do I owe money?” Let’s imagine that all your accounts were paid. You get a letter in the mail saying your account is paid. You are ecstatic! You call the person who paid it off & express your sincere gratitude! You tell them if there is anything you can do for them to please let you know.
The scenario I just described may be far-fetched but, that’s exactly what Jesus did for us! He paid our sin debt! The Bible says “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Col.2:14).
Jesus paid our sin debt! That’s why we worship & serve Him! Our sin charges have been paid in full! Today, worship the Savior who paid your charges!
Respect for authority.
Reverence for God.
Both of these are sorely missing in our society. I see it all the time. We see it in children, teenagers and adults. I see it in how children and teenagers related to their parents. I see it in how teenagers relate to their teachers or coaches. I see it in how parents relate to coaches or their supervisor.
There is also a lack of reverence for God. People may refer to God as “the man upstairs.” In doing so, they are demonstrating a lack of reverence for God. Or, we see lots of moving around in a worship service. Again, in some cases, it’s demonstrating a lack of reverence for God.
In Jeremiah 5:22, the Lord asks the people of Israel, “Have you no respect for me? Why don’t you tremble in my presence?” Israel was not displaying reverence for God.
In order for any society or school or business or government to function properly, there has to be people in charge… people in positions of authority. If there isn’t, there is chaos. And, people must respect those in positions of authority in order for their to be a good environment for everyone to enjoy.
We badly need to recover a reverence for God. God is holy. God is merciful. God is worthy of our worship. When we are in the presence of God, we should humble ourselves and worship Him.
Today… have respect for those in positions of authority. Demonstrate reverence for God. God is Holy and powerful. He is not “the man upstairs;” He is a Holy, Omnipotent God.
This morning, in churches all over the country, people will show up who have volunteered to serve in certain positions. Some of them are nursery workers. Some teach Sunday School. Some are on the hospitality team. Some are musicians. In most cases, these people aren’t being paid; they serve because they love the Lord and His church. Week after week, they are faithful. You can count on them… they will be present… unless they are sick are out of town They are referreed to as “faithful workers.”
In the book of Colossians, the apostle Paul referred to a man named Epaphras. Paul said of Epaphras, “He is Christ’s faithful servant” (Col. 1:7). Epaphras was reliable. Paul could count on him which is why Paul referred to him as a “faithful servant.”
What about you? Are you faithful? Are you reliable? I’m certainly not in Paul’s category but, like him, I like faithful servants as well. I like people you can count on. If you have a responsibility in your church, be faithful. Understand this; if you don’t show up… you are making life tougher on someone else. Someone may have to work two jobs. Or, some task goes undone if you aren’t present. Be faithful.
There was a time in my ministry when I wanted to replace someone. I didn’t feel they were qualified to serve. Another person said to me, “they may not be the most qualified, but they are present every Sunday.” They were right. This individual was faithful and that is important. Today, if you have a position of service, like Epaphras, please be faithful.