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Archive for May, 2009

What is Your Purpose Statement?

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 26, 2009


One of the goal setting techniques “self-improvement” instructors tell their students is to set goals. When setting goals, don’t set them too high, too far out or too unrealistic. Set your goals in phases – short-term and long-term. Set limits (very important), and establish general timeframes.

I’m not a huge fan of “self-improvement” thinking, but I will say that setting a “Purpose Statement” for your life is a good one because… well, God established it first.

Today’s Biblegateway scripture is John 3:17

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

This scripture is very important for us now because it is the current goal God set for Jesus. We know that there are other tasks and goals that have been achieved and will be achieved by Jesus, but for now, this is His purpose statement.

Look at some of Jesus’ past and current goals

  • Creation of the universe and specifically, the earth and man
  • Establishment of a tabernacle that pre-figured his coming ministry on earth
  • Fulfillment of hundreds of prophetic statements while on earth
  • His successful journey to the cross
  • His establishment as the savior
  • Obtaining a name above all names with power and dominion

These are all important, but are in no way the end. He has some long-term goals that are yet to come to pass.

  • He will return with a sword in judgment of the world. In other words, he will one day come to condemn the world; He didn’t do it the first time He came because He had to first come as savior king.
  • He will rule with an iron scepter.
  • He will destroy and rebuild heaven and earth.
  • He will establish a kingdom that will never end from the New Jerusalem.

These goals are yet to be accomplished, but if His track record is any indication, there is no doubt that He will be successful.

So what about you? What goals have you set – both long and short term?

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Being a Neighbor by Leaving a Legacy

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 23, 2009


I once heard that the greatest hindrance to knowing your neighbor is the electric garage door opener.  Think about it… you can get in your car, leave your house, and return to your house without ever stepping outside.  You don’t have to ever see your neighbors.

The Biblegateway scripture today is

“Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”- Romans 15:2

It’s one thing to be a good neighbor – like the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).  Remember him, he was the last person you’d think would be there to help an injured Jew on the side of the road.  Even the coldest heart can feel the pain of others when that person is in great pain.

It is quite another thing, however, to go out of your way to please someone with no strings attached.  That is what Paul is suggesting in this passage.  Jesus taught us that everyone is you neighbor and that you should reach out to your neighbor in their time of need.  Paul takes that and builds on it.

We are expected not to just help them out, but to please them.  The pleasure you are to bring is not measured in their happiness level, though that may be a side effect.  It is measured in how they benefit from it.  Does it build them up? Does it grow them closer to God? Does it have an eternal, physical or spiritual benefit? 

When you invest in people, you invest in the only thing you get to take with you after you die.  People are the only thing that matters. There is a word for that which you leave in people – your legacy.

A legacy is the imprint of your life on the lives of others.  It is how you make your mark, and what you leave behind when you die.  It is your influence, your blessing, your song and your calling. 

The song below sung by Nichole Nordeman reflects this message of leaving a legacy.  I hope you enjoy it, and I encourage you to be a legacy leaver.

Posted in Bible Study, Living | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Have a Powerful Life

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 20, 2009


You know, Christianity is easy in theory, but very difficult in practice.  But like most things, the more you practice, the better you get. 

There is a secret that every Christian should know about their faith.  It’s a secret that many may have heard about, but few understand.  If we can just get this one nugget of knowledge, we can and will become a most powerful people. 

Like the U.S. Constitution for our country, the Bible lays out a great framework for the believer’s life.  Application is the key.  When the Constitution is rightly applied, the country benefits and the original intent is met. When it is misinterpreted, you get all sorts of strange concoctions.

The Bible delivers an outstanding framework in one particular chapter that if followed, will guarantee success.  Now remember that success is not measured by the content of your garage, but the character of your being; because God is more interested in your character than your comfort – Rick Warren

Romans chapter eight is the believer’s constitution.  So many have preached on it. So many more have said amen to its content, but so few really follow its instruction. Its instructions are plain, but its practice is difficult, especially if you try to practice it on your own.

Jesus left earth with a promise, the Holy Spirit.  He would come and dwell in us and empower us to live out this difficult Christian walk.  He is more than a conscience, He is the power you need.  He brings with Him, power, comfort, correction, gifts, character building tools, insight into your appointed path, help in dealing with your faults, enhanced prayer, conviction when your stray from the course and a tireless attention to detail.

The Holy Spirit is more than a tag-along in your Christian journey; He is your strength.  The secret to the victorious Christian walk is not to rely on your own strength to do it.  You have to let go of the reigns and and let God get in the driver seat.  He wants you to succeed, and more important, He knows how to get you there. 

So fellow believers, have a powerful life!  You aren’t alone, the Holy Spirit is there just waiting for you to let go.  When you do though, be ready.  He will not operate in ways that always make sense to you, but the more you release to Him, the more you trust in Him, the greater your victories and the more powerful your life shall be.

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What is it with men and tears?

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 18, 2009


Last night I was watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  This is never a good idea for me because I usually start tearing up 5 minutes into the show and don’t stop until it’s over. Unfortunately for me, it was a 2-hour special.

To be honest, I am a very emotional person.  I trend in my emotions toward an empathetic style of emotion because I feel people’s pains and joys.  This stems from a mindset that is very “visually” oriented.  I can look at a single photo and draw out a thousand emotions; on the flip-side, I can read a book and only get a couple. This might explain why I got more out of comics than books growing up and why I can watch silent movies and enjoy them.

Usually when I start my tearfest during a show, my kids start making their typical comments that begin with the question, “Dad, are you crying again?”

I have come to accept my emotional side as a fact of my life, and after two hours flowing tears last night, and with the burning sensation on my cheeks from the salt, I got to thinking, “Why do men have such a problem with crying?  And why is it that so many people can’t place ‘manliness’ and’crying’ in the same person?”

Don’t get me wrong; there are a handful of times that men are allowed to cry without diminishing their “manhood”… the birth of child, the death of family member and the championship victory of their favorite sports team, so why are other male displays of tearful emotion taboo?

I am at a point in my life where I am no longer ashamed of my tears and instead find myself defending my empathetic emotion.  I know that in the “old days” it wasn’t “manly” to cry at all, but I can show you that in even older days, empathetic tears were honorable.

Take King David for example.  This man of God… a man God called a person “after God’s own heart” cried constantly.  His songs we call psalms, dug deep into his emotional side and revealed a heart that is full of passion, joy, anger, love, despair and humility.  In fact, when you look at his life, the more humble he was, the more tears he shed. 

Humility is a dimension of the human psyche where the barriers to protect one’s own self are broken down and there is open access to the innermost being.  God wants this from his people because it allows him access to who we are, not the false facade we throw up in front of mankind.

Jesus wept several times.  If Jesus can weep, it is obviously a manly expression.  He wept for a city that rejected him; he wept for a family that lost their son (Lazarus); he wept in the garden for his own life and the ordeal he was about to go through on the Cross for our very salvation. Weeping is a connection to the soul of man.

So men, next time you feel that swelling of emotion that can bring forth a tear, don’t hold it back.  Use it as a teaching moment. Your children may laugh now, but one day they will look back and see that you, sir, are an emotional being that can be humble and exposed and still be a man.

Posted in Quick Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Toughest Scripture in the Bible

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 11, 2009


My title may be somewhat relative, but even if it is not your toughest scripture, it certainly has to rank in the top five.

Here is the scripture of the day from Biblegateway,

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32

It is easy for most to receive forgiveness from God even though many struggle with forgiving their own selves.  However, this scripture takes the forgiveness to a who new level of maturity.

I heard once that your maturity is not determined by your actions but be your reactions.  This is really the heart of the scripture.  God is not so concerned with just forgiving you, though he wants that most.  His goal is to change you into the likeness of his Son. 

Did you know that Jesus plants two most difficult doctrines on his disciples?  One, I hear quite a bit about, the other I have never in my life heard anyone really preach on it because, I suppose, it doesn’t fit in today’s adaptation of Christianity.  Both, however, have the same result if you fail to observe them- God will not forgive you.

Right away I have your dander up, but there is a reason for the doctrine that transends an arbitrary rule.  Let’s look at both through a couple of scriptures spoken by Jesus himself:

And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.  – Matthew 12:31,32

I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this one here, but Jesus is so emphatic about it, He says it twice in a row.  It is specifically designed to, hopefully, stir the fear of God in the believer, and it shows the unique relationship of the Father, son and Holy Spirit. 

The Father and Son have roles that actually allow you to blaspheme and still be forgiven.  The Holy Spirit’s role does not allow that for the believer.  His work in the believer’s life is very selfless.  God is very protective of the Spirit who can be grieved. In our “graceology”, we can’t seem find a place for this to fit, but Jesus wasn’t just speaking to hear his own voice; he meant what he said and meant to say it.

As tough as that one is, the next is more difficult because it affects most of us everyday. 

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins – Matthew 6:14,15

Again, either Jesus is lying, or you have your doctrine wrong if you think that you can go through your Christian journey with unforgiveness in your heart.  Jesus says that God will not forgive your sins.

Sure, you can make the argument that that is sin you commit after you are saved and not “original sin” that keeps you from God, but really; do you really want to have unforgiven sin at any level in your life when you stand before God?

To see how important this is, Jesus included it in the example prayer he gave to his disciples that is repeated millions of times per day by believers all over the world.

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those that sin against us. – Luke 11:4

When you pray this prayer, you say to God, forgive me on the same level as I forgive others.  Are you sure you want that if you aren’t forgiving others?

Here’s the bulleted summary:

  • You have no right in God’s eyes to have unforgiveness in your heart toward anyone no matter what they did or are doing to you.
  • God will not forgive your sins if you have unforgiveness toward others.
  • Jesus showed you how to do it. On the Cross, he said, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.”  You do it when it costs you the most to do it. Don’t wait 20 years.

Paul tells you what the heart of forgiveness is; it shows kindness and compassion.  These are the very things that Jesus showed you on the Cross.  If you can’t give away to others what Jesus freely gave you, you took it for the wrong reason, and you are a long way from imitating Christ.

Posted in Bible Study, Doctrine, Living | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Mother’s Sacrifice

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 10, 2009


There are many great examples of mothers throughout the Bible.  I wanted to highlight perhaps one of the most pivotal decisions a mother made and the results of that decision.

The days were nothing special and the power of God seemed to be far off.  The people went through the motions, and the religious community was corrupt.  The nation of Israel contained both righteous and wicked people, and the nation had experienced great ups and downs through the years.  But something was stirring in the mind of God, and a chosen couple would soon arise with pure hearts and come to a point of decision that would alter the course of history.

The woman struggled day in and day out with her inability to have children.  She would cry out before God and ask him to remember her.  One day, while praying at the temple, she prayed a prayer that would alter her life forever:

O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.

God heard, and 9 months later, she bore a son.  She aptly named him, “God hears”.

She weaned the boy and took him back to the temple to the high priest and, because of her promise to God, left him to be raised in the temple.

What faith this woman had; what struggle she must have felt in her soul when she walked away that day, but her trust in the Lord gave her the ability to write a song.  That song is recorded in 1 Samuel 2 and reflects the triumph of that day.  For she saw that God had answered her prayer and removed her disgrace.  That alone was worth the great sacrifice she would make.  The very thing she prayed to receive, she was willing to give back to God so that He could do something with her Son that she could never imagine.

For the boy grew up in the presence of God and was there the day God rejected the current religious leadership of Israel.  He stepped in to fill a gap in history between the time of the judges and the time of the kings. He fulfilled his own name when he alone heard God when even the high priest, Eli could not.  And when the time had reached its pinnacle, God used this man to anoint a shepherd boy named David.

For a God-fearing and loving mother, Hannah had set into motion by faith a spiritual revival beginning with the selfless act of her giving her one and only son, Samuel that he might be a light and hope to usher in a new dynasty for Israel.  Her sacrifice, dedication and love for God and her son proved invaluable to the course of human history.  It was that selfless act that kept the lineage of the Messiah alive. 

Her faith started a snowball effect for Israel’s renewal of faith. It’s amazing what one selfless act can do.  It reminds me of another mother that made a selfless choice to be the mother to the son of God.  Selfless acts never go unnoticed by God.

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Your Role in Life

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 4, 2009


There are really two attitudes you take in this life  – what can I get out of it and what can I do to make a difference. A shortened way of saying this is that you are either selfish or selfless.

You’re probably thinking, “that’s pretty narrow minded”, but the fact of the matter is that everything you do in life can be put in one of these two categories.  

The answer to the title of this blog starts with your attitude.  If you are the selfish type, you will look at life for what you can get out of it.  Many of the people that live life in this category honestly don’t want to be here, and they get into a endless cycle that keeps them returning to an attitude of selfishness. 

By nature, mankind is bent toward the selfish approach to life.  It was the very thing that got Adam and Eve into trouble.

 “[Eve] saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it and gave somet to her husband who was with her and he ate it too.” Genesis 3:6

The selfsish person is one that feeds off the system… whatever that system may be. For example, these are the people that attend church and do nothing about being active in the church.  These are the people that live for themselves and spend all their untaxed money on themselves.  These are the people that, though they may hurt for those in need, really do little to nothing about it. Everything tends to be about them.  

The other attitude is quite different because though they may have their moments of selfishness, for the most part they act selfless.  They take on a ministry in a church, they feed the hungry, give money like it grows on trees, they invest in other people and like the selfless person, they hurt for the hurting and do something about it. And when things happen to them, they don’t take it personal instead seeing the bigger picture.

The best part of all this is that you determine your attitude.  Yes, you can change your role in life.  Our pastor mentioned this week that Charles Stanley once said that the one thing in your life you have complete control over is your attitude. You can’t blame anybody but yourself for your attitude in life. Read the story of Joseph in the Bible.  Very few people were hurt by others like he was, yet his attitude was always one of selflessness.

I have been in both arenas in my life.  At times, I fluctuate back and forth between them.  But on the whole, I strive to live a selfless life.

A motto I repeat to myself every so often to remind myself of my purpose is, “What can I do to make you better off than you were a minute ago.”  When I think like this, it tends to take the focus off of me and changes my attitude.  

The result is that when I please myself, my feeling of satisfaction is usually brief and unfulilling. When I meet others needs and bring a little light into their lives, I get a deeper, richer and more profound feeling of satisfaction that lasts much longer and really makes a difference in my role in life.

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Different Styles of Worship

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 3, 2009


I have posted several videos below to show different forms of worship.  I personally love worship when it extends beyond just music and singing.  I challenge you all to express your worship to God beyond the box of music and singing.  Use the gift God gave you to return worship to him.  It’s a beautiful thing.

This video show using sand art in worship.

The following one shows white on black painting with a single guitar and singer.  Very tender.

This post has well over 3 million hits on Youtube. He is known as the Jesus Painter. Very cool use of the characteristics of Christ.

You can even use art as an evangelistic tool.

How ’bout some worship via blacklights and white gloves.  This one is very good.

These are but samples.  There are other expressions of corporate worship that have touched not only my heart, but the hearts of many people around the world.

I think in pictures. Art reaches deep inside of me whether it is music, drama or paintings.

I see people walking into churches after song services to just hear the preaching and I wonder, “why would they miss the best part of the corporate worship experience?”  Maybe we need to make sure that we expand our worship experience to touch people in new ways.

Don’t be afraid to introduce – art, dance, drama, mime, etc. into the worship experience.  Allow the prophetic touch of the Holy Spirit to minister through people to God.  You might just see the power of God.

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A Fair and Balanced Gospel – We preach, You decide

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 2, 2009


I’m stealing this title from Fox News, and I think we the church need to take our cues from this philosophy.

The purpose of the Bible is to present a true and accurate depiction of God’s interaction with humanity.  In it we see his love, holiness, kindness and justice.  Someone reading it might even think they are seeing mixed messages – how can a loving God let evil reign or send down judgments on the human race, or my favorite, how can a loving God send people to Hell?

Part of the confusion is found in how the church understands the balanced nature of God. God does not change, he is the same yesterday, today and forever.  The God of the Old Testament is alive and well today.  The question is how do we reconcile this in our hearts.

I have listened to many sermons in my life and watched the evolution of teaching in the church throughout the years.  Two hundred years ago in the holiness movement, the messages were more about repentance and righteousness than the love of God. 

A hundred years ago, the messages evolved into the movement of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Fifty years ago, they translated into a global outreach with crusades, evangelism and building the church body through salvation of the world. 

Thirty years ago, a movement known as the “Jesus movement” began a transition the church into seeing God as a loving savior and deserving of our worship – accepting of anyone and everyone. 

Twenty years ago the church began to be marred in the eyes of the world through pride, and in some ways sort of lost its identity.  It began concentrating on building big churches, programs and other off message works.  

Each era of the church tended to concentrate on one side of God with an emphasis toward one characteristic or another. Today, I would say that as a whole, the church is floating.  There is a movement within it to move, but complacency runs amok and it’s going to take a change of heart to get it going.  A sign of the times is that many in the church feel that we are ok and that there is nothing really wrong, but  we have lost our relevance. Just lookat society around us.  We used to set the tone for society, now our voices are ridiculed as intolerant when the opposite is true. 

The question is where will the church go?  What will the church of the next decade look like?

For all my criticism of the current situation within the church, I am exceedingly optimistic and excited for its future.  The church is the tool Jesus is going to use to change the world, and it is going to go through a dramatic transformation to get there.

I have spent some time studying the rising movement within the church, I want to give a glimpse of where I feel the church will transition.

First, the church will balance its teaching.  The most prevalent teaching in the church today is about the goodness of God, the love of God and the mercy of God.  These are all good and true, but like the generations of the past, they look at God rather one sided.  The next transformation will be in the balance of teaching.  It will be a culmination of the last 200 years of church history with a flavor of first century methodology.  It will be strong in every area by balancing the love of God and the fear of God, balancing the mercy of God with the justice of God. 

Second, it will see salvations like never before that really impact those being saved through real repentance, change and power.  No longer will we just pray a prayer from the stage and leave it at that.  You will see people broken before God in their salvation experience.  They will not be getting saved on Sunday mornings only, but throughout the week.  Believers will be sharing the good news of Jesus with those in their workplace, grocery stores and restaurants and witnessing transformations that turn people from their sin and empower them to chase after God – an element lacking in many being saved today.

Third, you will see a fear of God arise that will drive believers to powerful prayer.  The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Fear is not the kind of fear you experience going to a horror  movie, it is the understanding that God is everything and you are nothing.  It is knowing that this God who loves you cannot let sin abide in his presence.  The believer will no longer live two lives – one of sin and one of Sunday morning facades. Holiness will be a sign of the believer’s life.

Fourth, you will see the gifts of God explode in the church.  Gifts that far too many in church believe are extinct will rise to a prominent state.  Miracle, signs and wonders will happen in fulfillment of Jesus’ own words in ways that have never occurred in common man.  The power of the Holy Spirit will empower the believer with all boldness, fruits and gifts necessary to usher in day of the Lord.

Fifth, Sunday is not going to be enough.  Like the first century church, the place to be will be with fellow believers.  You will begin meeting daily together because you will find that Jesus is showing up every time you get together.  Home churches, fellowships and just get togethers for prayer, teaching and worship will be in every neighborhood.  The church will blend into the lives of people and not be relegated to a building.

Finally, (and I’m sure there are more) the church will make an impact once again. Make no mistake, the world will hate the church more and more as we stand in righteousness, but the mercy of Jesus will shine through us as we reach out to meet the needs of the downtrodden.  We won’t be just about ourselves; we will have most of our ministries focused on those outside of our local churches where it should be. 

Ever notice that Jesus ministry was mostly to those that weren’t following him? He simply taught those following him, but to those that weren’t he healed, fed and brought the good news. 

Our preamble will be something like this… 

We the church, in order to form a more perfect union in Christ, will establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense of the Gospel, promote general welfare of the downtrodden, and secure the blessing of liberty in Christ  for ourselves and those living around us, to ordain and establish this Gospel of Jesus Christ for the people of the world.

Posted in Bible Study, End Times, Living | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

How to Please God

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 1, 2009


Today’s Biblegateway verse of the day,

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him – Hebrews 11:6

As you may have gathered by now if you have read any of my other posts, you must have a sense that I rarely go in the front door when studying Scriptures.  For example, this passage tells us pretty plainly that you can’t please God without faith.  The front door tells us to spend time talking about faith; after all, Hebrews 11 is the “faith” chapter.  But what fun would that be?

Let’s check out the back door.  Why is this verse here… in this spot.  Look at the prior verse, it’s about a man named Enoch who walked with God to the point of “pleasing” God.

Faith is just the starting point to pleasing God.  Yes, faith is important, but it doesn’t end at just faith.  Faith must develop into something else, something that pleases God.  If it was just the faith alone, there would be more than just Enoch being taken away off this earth because they pleased God, but Enoch’s faith was the path, not the destination. 

Enoch lived faith – Hebrews 1:1, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  Most of us treat faith like a “belief”, something that is personal and separate from this life. We might not intend this to be the case, but we certainly live like it. Let me give you a pretty blunt example.  How many of you have debt?  How many churches have debt? Why? If you take your faith in God to action, you would trust God not a banker.

Faith that pleases is faith the governs.  Look at the list of the people in Hebrews 11.  None of them ever received what they had faith in, but they were “certain” and “sure” it would come – and it did.  Faith is not mere belief;  it is life.

There are other scriptures that talk about how many things brings pleasure to God, all of them start in faith, but have something more to them.

Faith to Integrity

In 1 Chronicles 29:17, we find out that God is please with “integrity”.  This is faith personified.  What is integrity?  It is doing the right thing when nobody is looking.  There are few people you meet truly operating in faith driven integrity.  It’s a tough lifestyle because it is going to cost you your pride and ego.

Saving Faith

God is also pleased when people come to him.  This is a basic act of faith; again, just a starting point.  As pleased as I am with my children, only my children through their actions can “bring” me pleasure.

The Faith of Jesus

He was very pleased with Jesus (Colossians 1:19). Look at the life He led, every thought of faith was expressed through every action he ever performed.  (God was so pleased, that after Jesus rose from the dead, God took him like he took Enoch.)

Worship, Deeds and Ministry

Don’t forget that our praise and worship, good works and sharing with others in need are more expressions faith that pleases God.  You can’t just sit on your hands, you have to be the hands of Jesus if you want to please God. (Hebrews 13:15,16).

Pleasure through Fear

The fear of God is another way we please God (Psalm 147:10-11).  This is not something taught very much, but we must learn to tremble before God.  Yes, we can come boldly to God, but we cannot forget the balance that he is a holy King deserving of every bit of respect that comes from a devoted subject.

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.  But the fear of God comes after the faith in God.  So in a way, fear is the next level of faith. 

This is a healthy fear, not that God loves to make you afraid; on the contrary, God is a peacemaker, but He is also a warrior.  I know it sounds confusing, but the more you pursue God with boldness and trembling, the more you will understand the perfect balance, and you will give more pleasure to God in the process.

Pleasure of the Gospel

Ironically enough, God has pleasure in the way He delievers his good news.  Jesus told us that God was pleased by not giving the gospel to the “wise and learned”, but to the “children” (Matthew 11:25).  Paul says it this way, “he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ” (Ephesians 1:9).

Summary

So let me summarize it this way. The way to please God starts with faith.  When you have faith in God, He is pleased with you.  You then begin bringing pleasure to God when your faith is carried out in actions.  As you walk out your faith and increase the level of faith to fear and from fear to trust, you bring more pleasure to God. 

Bringing pleasure to God should be the ultimate goal of the believer in this life.

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