|June 17, 2020
“Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9)
Paul’s great ambition was to please his Lord and Savior. In our text, the Greek for “accepted” often also is translated “well pleasing,” and this is the real meaning of the word. Since this also is the great desire of every sincere Christian, let us look at a few of those passages where the Lord tells us specifically how we can please Him.
Consider, for example: “But to do good and to communicate [i.e., to ‘share what you have with others’] forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16; see also Philippians 4:18).
There is a special admonition to children: “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:20). For adults: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please [same root word] him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3-4).
The same word appears in Romans 12:1-2, translated twice as “acceptable.” Paul urges us to present our bodies as living sacrifices, “holy, acceptable unto God,” being “not conformed to this world” but transformed by a renewed mind, thereby to prove “that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
The common thread in these and other such passages is that in order to be pleasing to the Lord, we must be good stewards of all our possessions and all our days, serving Him totally. “For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable [i.e., ‘well pleasing’] to God” (Romans 14:18). This is our reasonable service, and it will be abundantly repaid if we hear Him say in that day: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). HMM
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