You Can Bring God Pleasure

Here is an amazing notion when you pause to consider it: you are able to bring God pleasure.

It is a mind-blowing thought: that our Creator would be pleased by our actions. Yet Scripture encourages us to see that this is a reality. As Christians, we strive to live under the smile of our heavenly Father. One of the great biblical motivators for obeying God is that the way we live can “please God … more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:1)—and one of the ways we can do this is through our generous giving, which is “a sacrifice pleasing to God.”

Paul described the giving of the Philippian church in terminology that reflected the Old Testament practice of animal sacrifice. When God’s people in the Old Testament brought their burnt offerings, the burning of incense accompanied these sacrifices. Therefore, the sacrifice produced an attractive smell. In some sense, this represented the acceptability and sweetness of the offering in God’s sight. In the same way, God says to His people in the first century and in the twenty-first, When your giving comes from a heart that is in tune with Mine, it produces a beautiful aroma, and your sacrifice brings Me pleasure.

When considering this kind of giving, we should not pass over the word “sacrifice” too quickly. Sacrificial giving is not necessarily the same as generous giving. It is quite possible for us to be generous—as, in fact, many believers are—without feeling an impact on our lives or circumstances.

In making this same point for His disciples, Jesus drew their attention to a poor widow as she was putting her tithe into the offering box in the temple. As He watched this woman deposit two copper coins, which were worth next to nothing, and compared them with the gifts of the rich people near her, He said, “This poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on” (Luke 21:2-4). The wealthy were generous; the widow was sacrificial. She gave up in order to give away. And her Lord noticed and was pleased by what He saw.

We are not by nature sacrificial givers. But the whole Christian journey—in receiving and in giving, in caring and in sharing—is filled with grace from start to finish. When we give sacrificially from a heart that desires to please God, He promises to “supply every need … according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). It is reflecting on all that God has given, and all that God is giving, and all that God will give, that unlocks our hearts and enables us to give both sacrificially and joyfully. And when we do so, we bring God pleasure.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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