Do you seek to please and honor your Heavenly Father?
Today is Father’s Day in America. Many will seek to please and honor their earthly father by spending time with him today. They may enjoy a special meal together or give him gifts. If they cannot get together with him in person, they may send cards, texts, emails, or talk on with him the phone.
We all have a Father in Heaven as well. He created all of us in His image. He gave each of us life and gives us richly all things to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17). He is merciful and showers good gifts on the unjust as well as the just (Mt. 5:45).
God gives even more to those who believe in Him, repent of their sin, and trust in His Son Jesus as their savior from sin. These enter into a special relationship with Him and are adopted into His spiritual family. They are born again spiritually, receive the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and have eternal life.
Are you a child of God? If you are, do you seek to please and honor your Heavenly Father? You might ask, “How can I do that?” The answer is in God’s Word. Have you read in the Bible today? That is always a great way to start.
The answer is in God’s Word
Today is Sunday, “the Lord’s day.” Did you gather together with a group of God’s other children to worship Him and pray, sing His praise, and hear the preaching of His Word? Have you let Him speak to you through personal Bible study and private prayer? Have you thanked and praised Him for all He has done for you?
You might be thinking, “I thought you were going to teach us how to please God.” In case the above has been an insufficient hint, let’s examine what Proverbs 15: 8-9 says. These two verses contrast the wicked and the upright, and God’s feelings about them.
Prov. 15:8 – The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is His delight.
Prov. 15:9 – The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but He loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
• “An abomination” is something disgusting, detestable, abhorrent, or abominable.
• “The way” refers to one’s routine path, habitual behavior, and lifestyle.
God hates the sinful lifestyles of the wicked, and despises their hypocrisy when they go through the motions of worshiping Him. “The way of the wicked” is so detestable to God that even their sacrifices and offerings are abhorrent to Him.
God loves those who “follow after righteousness”
On the other hand, God loves those who “follow after righteousness.” This can be translated as those who “pursue righteousness.” “Following after” or “pursuing” righteousness describes a habitual behavior. It is a lifestyle that actively seeks to do what is right. It describes the behavior of the upright who seek to please God by doing what is good in His sight. And the prayers of the righteous are “His delight.”
The prayers of the righteous are “His delight”
It should be noted that “pursuing” or “following after” righteousness does not indicate perfection. We are all sinners, so even the upright stumble and occasionally stray off the straight path of righteousness. But the upright quickly confess their sin, repent of their error, and return to the right way.
You might ask, “How do I pursue righteousness? How can I know the way?” When Thomas asked Jesus this question, Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (Jn. 14:6 / KJV). The way of righteousness is the way of Christ. We are to abide in Jesus and His love (Jn. 15:4-12) by keeping His commandments and loving one another.
We should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mt. 6:33). We should be imitators of God and walk in love (Eph. 5:1-2). And for the truly committed, we should deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow after our Lord Jesus Christ (Mt. 16:24; Mk. 8:34; Mk. 10:21, and Lk. 9:23).