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Dan Stillings sang a song in the morning service. The Jubilee Singers sang in the evening. Pastor Bob Sorensen brought a message he called “Is Your Life Pleasing To God?”
God has given us the gift of life. Since God has given us this life, he has a right to judge what we do with it. God sees us in the light of his word. In order for our lives to be pleasing to God our lives must be connected to Jesus, anchored to the Bible, and supported by prayer. We must bear fruit, and be illumined by love.
Jesus described our connection with him as branches to a vine. In John 15:1 and 2, Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” When Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, Christ liveth in me.” There was no place for pride or self promotion. Paul fully agreed with and worked to fulfill God’s purposes in his life.
If we neglect the Bible, we neglect our source of the nutrients needed for a flourishing and pleasing life. It should be read every day. Even though the Bible has been mocked, misquoted, misconstrued, and denied, it still lives on as a lamp to the path, the gate to heaven, and the source of hope. It is old, yet new, forever settled in heaven and it will endure when all other books have faded away.
The pleasing life must be supported by prayer. The promise is that if we abide in faithfulness and agreement with God’s purposes, that he will give us what we ask. We can not ask for too much. God is able. If our hearts are in agreement with God’s purposes, we will not ask amiss. Each day should begin and end with prayer, submitting ourselves to the cleansing and correction of God even as we pray to fulfill God’s purposes.
The life that is pleasing to God is one that bears much fruit. There are two kinds of fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is revealed in our character. The life that is pleasing to God produces truthfulness, honesty, kindness, love, joy, and peace and is not full of envy, bitterness, excess of sin, or an unforgiving spirit. The best fruit will show up in souls that have been won.
The life that is pleasing will be illumined by love. In John 15:9 and 12, Jesus said, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” You can’t be right with God, if you are not right with your brother. Put away any wrath and forgive one another.
Next Sunday, April 3, Brett and Patricia Skillen and their children will be guests at Bethany Baptist Church. They are missionaries to the Armed Forces in Germany. There will be lunch in the fellowship hall after the morning service. There will be an afternoon service starting at 1 p.m. and no evening service.