Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Delighting the Heart of God

MATTHEW 8:5-10 – When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.”

Ponder today’s nugget theme for a moment before reading on. Okay, now we move on.

Is there anything more thrilling in life than to know we have the privilege of bringing delight to the heart of God? The God who is sufficient in Himself; needs nothing or anyone; and has always been and will always be completely contented and satisfied grants us mere mortals, creatures of His own making to bring pleasure to Him. Really, what could be of greater purpose and pleasure in this life and eternity than for us to be able to do this very thing towards our Creator? I would even go farther and say, “This defines our chief goal and pursuit in the Christian life–pleasing God” (2 Corinthians 5:9; Colossians 1:10; 1Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:1).

So, how do we bring delight and pleasure to our God? Two ways and the first one comes from a passage in the New Testament book of Hebrews and the second appears in today’s scripture.

First, we please God by exercising faith. Sounds simple, but faith is more than just saying, “I believe there is a God.” A lot of people claim to have faith but do not possess true faith. Biblical faith, saving faith, does two things. It believes God exists as He has revealed Himself in creation and the Scripture. And true faith believes God is quick to reward those individuals who diligently seek Him to know Him. Both are found in the Hebrews passage – And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Be careful not to just profess a generic and vague faith. Biblical faith comes from the Bible, not some feeling or experience. Our faith is rooted in objective truth in the scripture outside of ourselves. And that leads to the second way we may delight the heart of God.

In today’s scripture, Jesus marvels, even delights, over the faith of the centurion and as promised in the Hebrew text, God rewards such faith. The centurion’s request of Jesus, the healing of his servant was granted. Now the reason why the Lord was pleased with the centurion is because he exercised truth faith in Jesus’ Person and His Word – Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. God is most pleased with us when we trust His Person and His Word when situations look bleak, circumstances impossible, and we throw ourselves upon Him with confidence and child-like faith.

Pleasing God is our great privilege and it all centers on us taking us at His Word and relying upon His Person to be true to His Word. May we daily learn to delight His heart by the exercise of child-like faith in His Person and Word.

PRAYER: “Father, thank You for the privilege of pleasing You by exercising the faith You gave me.”

QUOTE: “Let the privilege of bringing delight to the heart of God by trusting Him motivate your walk with Him.”

Because of Him,

Pastor Jim