“If you judge yourself rightly, in the day of judgment when you stand before the Lord, He will say to you – ‘I have nothing to judge you in. You’re perfect. Well done!’ Do you want to hear that? I’m so desperate to hear that.
I was meditating on the words of the Father to Jesus at His baptism – ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased.’ I said, ‘Father, can you say that about me?’”
Zac Poonen at NCCF Church 3-24-2019 (Link)
I have never seen someone with such a desperate desire to please the Father, and it challenged me to take this more seriously in my life.
I want to share the practical lessons from three people who pleased God.
Jesus pleased the Father by fulfilling all righteousness in His life
“But Jesus answering said to him (John the Baptist), ‘Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’” Matthew 3:15
The context of this verse is during Jesus’ baptism. Jesus wanted to “fulfill ALL righteousness”. I believe Jesus had this attitude all throughout His life, and this pleased the Father. Here are three examples of how Jesus fulfilled all righteousness during His baptism.
Jesus fulfilled all righteousness even if it meant misunderstanding
Mark 1:5 says that people were coming to John the Baptist to be baptized, confessing their sins. If you stand in line to be baptized, that means you had sinned. But Jesus did not sin, yet He was willing to stand in line with everyone else, even if it meant misunderstanding.
Jesus fulfilled all righteousness even if it meant humbling Himself
We would all like to be baptized by someone much more mature than us. Yet Jesus humbled himself by being baptized by John, who describes himself as not being worthy to even untie Jesus’ sandals.
Jesus fulfilled all righteousness even if it was not logical
Imagine the scene: A dove lands on Jesus’ head and a voice from heaven speaks. Everyone has seen this great miracle. What should Jesus do next? Wouldn’t this be a great time for Jesus to preach the gospel to the crowd? Yet, it says in Mark 1:12 that the Spirit immediately compelled Jesus to go to the wilderness. It seemed like a missed opportunity, but Jesus obeyed the Father even if it did not seem logical.
I am so encouraged that Jesus obtained the Father’s approval before He started His ministry. It encourages me that I do not need to be a famous preacher or write books to please God. I can please the Father if I follow in Jesus’ steps to fulfill ALL righteousness in my ordinary life. I have complete faith that He will teach me to walk this way.
Enoch pleased the Father even after becoming a dad
Enoch is described in Hebrews 11:5 as a man who, “obtained the witness that before being taken up, he was pleasing to God.” How wonderful it would be if we could receive this “certificate” from the Father and have Him say that He was pleased with us before we leave this earth. It would be worth more than any degree or honor we could get from the world.
It is interesting to note when Enoch started walking with God.
“Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters.” Genesis 5:21-22
As a first time father, I have learned that life becomes very busy after having a child. It is an encouragement to me that Enoch started walking with God after his first child. In fact, Enoch had at least 4 children and walked with God for 300 years!
I never want to say that, “I was more serious about my Christian life back when I was single,” or “I was more serious about my Christian life when we were married before children.” I want to say that I am most serious about my Christian life today. If God gives us 10 kids, then I want to be even more serious than when we only had 1. If Enoch can do this, then God will certainly help me to walk closer with Him despite being a busy parent.
Paul pleased the Father by always thinking of Judgment Day
“Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-10
Paul had a deep desire to please God. One reason for this is that he constantly reminded himself that one day he would stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
The practical application of this can be found in this passage of Brother Zac’s book, “Hear! O My Sons” (P41).
“I want to encourage you to have frequent ‘full-dress rehearsals’ of the Judgment-seat of Christ. In other words, present yourself before the Lord frequently and ask Him to judge you now. The promise is that ‘If we judge ourselves rightly, we will not be judged’ (1 Corinthians 11:31). So ask yourself the type of questions that you think Jesus will ask you on judgment-day. He certainly won’t be checking your doctrinal accuracy on that day! He will however ask you whether you fought against pride and selfishness and the love of money and dirty thoughts and whether you sought to love others. So concentrate on the subjects that are in the syllabus for the final examination, and don’t waste your time on other subjects!”
A Word of Hope
Most people, even Christians, think of judgment day with fear and dread. But the promise in the Bible says that we can look forward to judgment day with joy.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.” Jude 24
This is one of my favorite promises. My job is to run this race as hard as I can. I have faith that Jesus will keep me from stumbling and help me to live a life on earth that is pleasing to Him. I believe in this promise that one day, I will stand before the judgment seat with great joy.