With Whom He is Pleased

Luke 2:8-12 ESV

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’”

Jesus Christ is God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He was with God in the beginning and all things that were made were made through him. He is our creator God. He is the one who formed us in the wombs of our mothers. He is life, he is the creator of life, and he is the giver of life – both physical life and spiritual life which is by faith in him.

Although he was God he left his throne in heaven, he humbled himself, he came to the earth, and he was born as a baby to a human mother, conceived of the Holy Spirit. When he lived on this earth he was fully human and fully God. He was God incarnate (in human form) (John 1; Php 2:5-11).

During his years of ministry on the earth he healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, delivered people from demons, fed the hungry, and he comforted the sorrowful. He also preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God. He confronted sin in sinful humans, he called them to repentance, to faith in him, and to obedience to him, as well.

He was loved by some but hated by many. Although he had large followings, at times, the crowds didn’t all follow him in truth. They were mainly looking to have their sicknesses healed and their bellies filled or else they wanted to see miracles performed. But they were not interested in taking up their crosses daily (daily dying to sin and to self) and following Jesus in walks of obedience to his commands. The majority deserted him when they realized the cost of following him, because it was too hard.

The religious rulers in the Temple of God were mostly all opposed to him. They did not like him at all. They were jealous of him, too, and they were threatened by him, worried that they might lose their own positions of power if he gained popularity among the people. So, they were all the time harassing him, looking for ways to trip him up with his words so that they would have cause to accuse him of wrongdoing.

Eventually they plotted his death and they arranged for him to be crucified on a cross (a tree) as though he were a common criminal, even though he had done no wrong but only good, but because they hated him and so they wanted him dead. They didn’t like it that he claimed to be God, and that he confronted them in their own hypocrisies, and that he didn’t do things like they did. He didn’t conform to their traditions.

But this was always in God’s plan for Jesus. For, it was announced to the shepherds that the baby who was born was their Savior, Christ the Lord. It is why Jesus came to the earth. It is the reason he was born as a baby and that he grew up to be a man and to have the ministry that he did on the earth up until the time that they crucified him on that cross. He was born to die for our sins so that we would be delivered from our slavery to sin.

Luke 2:13-14 ESV

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“’Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’”

And God’s plan for our salvation from sin from the very beginning was that we would be set free from our bondage to sin and that we would walk in holiness and righteousness, living lives which are pleasing to our Lord. And it does not please Jesus if all we do is give lip service to him, i.e. if all we do is profess faith in him but we never honor him as Lord (owner-master) of our lives, and if we never forsake our sins and we never obey his commands.

We are to find out what pleases the Lord and we are to make it our goal to please him. We are to live lives worthy of the Lord, pleasing him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work. We are not to try to please people but God. We are to live in ways that are pleasing to the Lord. We are to keep his commands, do good to others, and not get entangled in civilian affairs – all of these are pleasing to Him. But without faith it is impossible to please him.

And faith in Jesus is not some mere acknowledgment of who he is and of what he did for us in dying on that cross for our sins, nor is it just words we repeat after someone else or some one-time decision we make in our lives to “receive Jesus into our hearts.” It is not just accepting his grace and forgiveness upon ourselves or only some verbal confession of him as Lord.

True faith in Jesus Christ is of God, it is gifted to us by God, it is authored and perfected by Jesus Christ, and it is God persuading us as to his holiness and righteousness, of our sinfulness, of our need to be saved from our bondage to sin, and of our need to repent of our sins, to be changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and to walk in obedience to his commands. And it results in us doing exactly that, too, or it isn’t true faith.

The peace of God (peace with God) comes only to those with whom God is pleased. And the Scriptures teach that if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. And they teach that those who are in the flesh cannot please God for the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

So, please understand what this is teaching here, for this isn’t just a story of the historical record of Jesus’ birth, but this is the message of our Savior and of his salvation which he gives to those with whom the Lord is pleased. And the Scriptures teach that if we conduct our lives in sin, deliberately and habitually doing what we know is sinful, that we will not have forgiveness of sins, and we will not inherit eternal life with God.

So, read the Scriptures for yourself, but read them in context, prayerfully, seeking the Lord and his truth in all honesty and purity of heart. And inquire of him with regard to what pleases him and to what doesn’t please him, but not by some standard you may have learned from another human or from an author of best selling Christian books. Learn from the Scriptures how to live in order to please God.

[Rom 8:8; 2 Co 5:9; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:10; Col 1:9-11; 1 Thes 2:4; 1 Thes 4:1; 2 Tim 2:4; Heb 11:6; Heb 13:6; 1 Jn 3:22; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1]

Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful

Keith Green

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me just to live it Lord.
And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, please light the fire,
That once burned bright and clear.
Replace the lamp of my first love,
That burns with Holy fear.

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3 thoughts on “With Whom He is Pleased

  1. Sue, it’s taken me a while to accept the fact that many people hated Jesus, and if we are faithful to Him, they’ll hate us, too, and we have to be OK with that. The fact is, everyone is hated by somebody. I don’t want to be despised because I am a despicable person, doing despicable things, or even just an obnoxious person. But if I am despised and rejected by those who despise and reject Him – I will wear that rejection as a badge if honor, because it identifies me as His. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annie. I hear people say they are admirers of Jesus but they reject his gospel. I think Jesus is often pictured as a do gooder who just went around making friends everywhere he went. And so we don’t often get the picture of Jesus being hated except maybe at Easter time when people are reading or hearing about his crucifixion.

      Yes, if we are faithful to Him, they should hate us, too.

      Liked by 1 person

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