living to please God

How to Live in Order to Please God

Additionally then, brothers and sisters, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received instruction from us on how you should live and please God—as you are doing—do this even more. 

For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

For this is God’s will, your sanctification.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-3a

What does God’s Will; Your Sanctification Mean?

God’s desire, His will for us, is more than just forgiveness. It’s more than fire insurance saving you from Hell. He wants to restore us to His image. God created us in His image. And while that was ruined by the fall of man, God still instructed us to “be holy as He is holy“; God still wants to restore His image in each of us and He offers that to all who are saved. (Colossians 3:9-10

Colossians 3:9-10 Living to Please God
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Sanctification is a big, confusing word. It can also be translated as “holiness” or “set apart.” Thus, God’s will for us is to live holy lives to be set apart. When we live holy lives, we are becoming more and more like Him.  

His Holy Spirit Helps us

Upon salvation, His Holy Spirit enables us to “participate in the divine nature” of God. (2 Peter 1:3-4) Peter urges us in the following verses to do our part… “make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.” 2 Peter 1:5-9 NIV and again to “make every effort to confirm your calling and election…” (2 Peter 1:10-11)  If we are “to make every effort”, then certainly there is a part for us to play in becoming like Him.

Through salvation and out of thankfulness and humility toward God, we should want to live holy lives; doing our best to exemplify the character of Christ. His Holy Spirit directs us and gives us all we need to do this. When we participate in His work, we are then READY to enter His Kingdom. 

 “For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.” 

2 Peter 1:11

Defining the Big Words About Salvation

Defining big Christian Words; living to please God
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We receive many graces when we are saved. The first of these is justification – the forgiveness of sins. I like to explain it this way… It is “Just as if I’d never sinned“. Romans 5:9-18 

But grace does not stop there. The next thing God does is give us new life! We call this regeneration. Easton’s Bible Dictionary explains regeneration as a change of heart. (Titus 3:4-8); becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17); a renewal of the mind (Romans 12:1-2). This is nothing man does but rather it is the work of the Holy Spirit within us. 

Thirdly, God adopts us as His child!  (John 1:12-13We are His heirs

Finally, we are given the Holy Spirit, who teaches us to live more and more like Jesus. As we grow in Him, this holiness (sanctification) becomes the doing and living of our salvation. Dr. David Jeremiah, Turning Point, says “it is the proof of our faith… the example of our faith… and the action of our faith.” (Crosswalk) 

Surrendering everything to Him is the best way to live a pleasing life for God. Years ago, I learned that we must give the “Unkown Bundle” to God. That is, we give him our yesterdays and our today, but also our tomorrows. Like signing a contract without getting to read it. We sign an empty page and hand it to God to fill it with His will for us. We say to God, “Whatever You want, is what I want”. Like Jesus said in the garden, “Not my will, but yours”. Luke 22:42

Will you Give Him the Unknown Bundle of Your Life?

~Mandy

*This devotion is excerpted from a study of 1 Thessalonians, written by Mandy for Gracefully Truthful – a Women’s Online Bible study journey. You can read it in it’s entirety on the website.

gracefully truthful
legacy link-ups

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every opportunity

How to Make the Most of Every Opportunity?

Ephesians 5:15 Make the most of every opportunity

15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:15-20, NLT

The summer before I started college at UW Whitewater I came across this verse. As a new student- I was really excited to start this adventure and verse 16 really stuck out to me “make the most of every opportunity… being filled with the Spirit…”

But what does that mean in the midst of dark circumstances?


How do you make the most of a bad situation?

make the best of every opportunity
  • being ill,
  • losing your job,
  • suddenly being homeless,
  • or whatever this bad opportunity is?

Most people see the word opportunity and think of it as something positive- an opportunity to travel, an opportunity to experience something new; but there’s another meaning to opportunity. Often in my working world, I use it as a language to communicate an area of growth. If something isn’t working properly and has the potential to be faster or better in some way, I speak of it as an area of opportunity… an area to grow…

If we look at life in the series of opportunities that are presented to each of us,

  • day to day,
  • week to week,
  • year to year-
  • there are SO many opportunities to grow.

Making the Most Requires the Holy Spirit


Making the most of times of growth- the hard opportunities that are presented to each of us in life- can be done by being filled with the Spirit. The fruits of which are:

love,

joy,

peace,

patience,

kindness,

goodness,

faithfulness,

gentleness,

and self-control.

Knowing that in times of opportunity, we are to fill ourselves up with the Spirit. With these fruits, He will guide us through those opportunities.

And in the moments of anxiety – we can search for peace.

During moments of sadness– we can hold to joy.

In the moments of frustration we can practice patience and self control.

In the moments of anger, we can practice goodness and gentleness.

And in times of uncertainty, we can cling to our faith in SomeOne greater than it all.

Making the Most Requires Action

All of these fruits require intentional action on our part. But when we make those intentional actions, these intentional actions can lead us to make the most…

of every opportunity…

and we will grow…

for the better!

-Jess Bongiorno

legacy link-ups

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Women Leave a LEgacy

How Your Simple Life Can Leave an Eternal Legacy

You had a great life planned out. But here you are changing diapers, running a vacuum cleaner and planning daily meals. Or maybe typing business notes for your boss or scrubbing floors at a restaurant. How did you end up here? And how are you going to make any difference in the world doing this? You only have one life.

You had a great life planned out, but here you are doing menial tasks. #leavingalegacy Click To Tweet

Challenge Accepted

A retreat speaker once said she had chosen “GG” to be her grandmother name. It stands for “Godly Grandmother”. My mind drew a picture of a saintly old woman in her rocker with her Bible on her lap. Yes! I want my children and grandchildren to have a godly grandmother. One whose voice and advice echos in their mind long after I am gone.

I have always looked up to my grandmothers and I want to follow in their footsteps. I decided then and there that “GG” was my desired grandma name also.

What Makes a Godly Godmother?

I returned home from the retreat and God began to talk with me about what does that mean? Are you suddenly a godly grandmother just because you have 3 or 4 grandbabies? A grandmother is loved and treasured. She makes cookies and treats for her grandkids but how do you get that “godly” word to form in front of “grandma”? God began to show me that to be that Godly Grandmother, it had to start now. Now before my children are even raised and having children of their own.

Actually, it doesn’t really have anything to do with being a grandmother. It has to do with living a holy life before God and man. Studying His Word. Spending time in prayer, listening to Him, obeying His commandments and instructions to you, worshiping Him on a regular basis. Living life before your children and grandchildren that exemplifies God. This is the definition of a godly grandparent.

It has to do with living a holy life before God and man. #LeavingaLegacy Click To Tweet

Only One Life

There’s a familiar poem by C.T. Studd. You may only remember these two lines. But really, they say it all.


Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. – C.T. Studd


https://paulhockley.com/2016/05/24/quote-only-one-life-twill-soon-be-past-poem-by-c-t-studd/

I recently picked up a book by Jackie Green and Lauren Green McAfee. You may know them from the largely publicized fight for rights ~ Hobby Lobby vs. Obamacare. Jackie and her husband is the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby. Or more recently they have been largely involved with the creating and opening of the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C.

Only One Life: How a Woman’s Every Day Shapes an Eternal Legacy

Mother and daughter teamed up to write this precious book about legacy. They share about the matriarchs in their own family and how they themselves have been challenged to continue the legacy to new generations of the Green family.

There lives alone would encourage us to live godly legacies but they don’t stop there. They submit that there are many ways to create a legacy in our lives by showing us a dozen different roads to legacy. This alone creates an excitement that, “yes, indeed”, no matter where you are in life, you can create a lasting legacy. Legacy comes from the courage we live out through our struggles. It comes from lives of generosity, wisdom, compassion, and of course, the faith and prayer that we might first think of.

"yes, indeed", no matter where you are in life, you can create a lasting legacy. #bookreview #legacybuilding Click To Tweet

Jackie and Lauren create this excitement by sharing stories of women. Stories of Biblical women, known and little known, that made a difference all the way to the cross.

Legacy Builders of All Times

There are also so many women of history that encourage us that we can make a difference for the next generation. They share about Susie Spurgeon, Elizabeth Elliot, and Corrie Ten Boom, and many more down through history.

And then there are those leaving legacies right now in front of our very eyes, such as Joni Eareckson Tada, Mary Beth Chapman, and Christine Caine to name a few. And the list keeps going and going.

Even if you have no legacy to fall back on. You can lean on these and others to encourage you to build your own legacy for others. Even if you have no children to whom a legacy can be left, others can see your life and be encouraged.

I recommend this book, Only One Life: How a Woman’s Every Day Shapes an Eternal Legacy It would be an excellent place to begin to find leaders that leave you an example for building a beautiful legacy for the next generation.

Concluding With the Authors


“We believe that God will multiply our days and shape an eternal legacy.

So, women of God, together let’s be a generation of legacy-building leaders—of generosity and prayer, through loyalty and witness—wherever God calls us to go. A great adventure lies ahead!

Only One Life: How a Woman’s Every Day Shapes an Eternal Legacy

CHALLENGE: Let’s Make a List

Summer LEgacy Link-up ~ Will you join us?

So, who has built a legacy for you?

We want to know. Michele and I are planning several legacy link-ups this summer. We’ll begin with women who have built your legacy. Start thinking about who that is and write a tribute to her. Post it in your own blog and then come back here and link up with us. Share your post and read about other legacy builders from our readers. Michele and I are excited to learn who has built a legacy in your life and why they encourage you to continue the legacy.

Leaving a Legacy;

Mandy Farmer

Subscribe before you leave to be notified when the link-up is live. We can’t wait. How about you?

I purchased this book after seeing the Greens interview on the Huckabee Show. The above review is my personal and honest review. Following you will find the Huckebee Interview.

Huckabee TV Show

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