Monday, June 15, 2015


What, in your daily practices, do you think pleases God? I am applying this to myself in parenting, but go ahead and extrapolate into your own life circumstances. No, really, stop and think about it; I'll wait.


At first blush, I want to ask you if you think clean clothes folded and put into dressers, an empty sink, and bathed kids do ... but that's too easy of a target.

Going  a little deeper, maybe you secretly think that it's well-fed, well-behaved, well-scheduled kids? That surely pleases me.

Or maybe you recognize that what's more important is what's going on in your relationship -- that you didn't snap at the kids today (or apologized when you did), that you gently and patiently corrected them, that you knelt down and looked them in the eyes as you listened to them and spent quality time with them, that they are happy and secure.

What if I told you that it's all of this, and it's none of this?
Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
Jesus talks in Matthew 19 about the kind of life that tries to please God apart from faith. He's specifically talking about the sense of self-sufficiency that money brings; but, really, any sort of self-sufficient, bootstrap mentality is equally guilty: "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." That's the bad news. The good news is this: "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
 Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
Faith in what? Faith that your worst mothering moments are never so bad that God cannot (or will not) forgive and redeem. Faith that your best mothering moments are never good enough to please a God so holy that he only accepts absolute perfection in thought and deed. Faith -- reliance, resting -- in a perfect Christ who died for you at your best and for you at your worst. Faith that Christ pleases God and because you are united to him (by faith), you cannot help but please God.

Now, this leaves us here in our quest to please God: "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." Love like you have been forgiven, love like you have been redeemed -- and believe (have faith) that, indeed, you have.

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