For all of us this life of flesh-and-blood that we're living right now will soon be over. Our lives will be measured not by how much money we made,

   or how many people we influenced,
   or how many books we wrote,

   or how many countries we visited.


It will be quite clear to us then, as something we've always known, that the measure of our lives is whether or not they are pleasing to God.


What men think of us isn't worth a hill of beans.


What does God see when he looks into our hearts?


When your life is pleasing to God, the Spirit of God bears witness to this and you have peace.


You're not smug.

You're not self-satisfied.
You're not holier than thou.
You're not self-righteous.


But you have God's peace,


- you are able to call God "Father" without shame,

- you're able to get on about your Father's business and do the things that He wants you to do.


And when your life is not pleasing to God - you know it!

You may tell yourself all kinds of lies to try to justify the life you're living. But you know. You know that God is not pleased.


In that place within you where the Spirit of God should be there is a void. You walk around fishing for compliments and signs of approval from your fellow men.   But the sign of God's approval you do not have. You do not have God's peace.


"Oh, but I'm in Christ", we say. "God doesn't see me when he looks at me,


- He sees Jesus.

- He sees the blood of his Son on me.

- He sees the supernatural food that I eat and drink at the altar.

- He sees that my sins are forgiven."


The theory is all very nice, but the proof is so often missing. The peace of God isn't there.


We tell ourselves that our lives must be pleasing to God because we are partaking ofChrist.


"After all, I'm a believer. I've come here today to partake ofChrist."


Scripture warns us that it takes more than this to be pleasing to God. The Corinthians thought they were safe because they were partaking of Christ. Paul warned them their security was false.


I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank of that super natural rock which followed them, and that Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.


"Every branch in me", says Jesus "that bears no fruit the Father takes away."


"Every branch in me."


The branch is in Christ, yet something is wrong. The branch is partaking of Christ yet nothing is happening.


- On the surface that branch is part of the vine but inside there is no flow of sap.


- On the surface the believer is taking communion but inwardly there is no real flow of life.


- On the surface there seems to be faith - but inwardly it's unbelief.


- On the surface there appears to be commitment but inwardly there is a double eye, an impure heart.


So there is no fruit and eventually the Vinedresser comes along and cuts off the branch and throws it into the fire.


There are three common mistakes that are made in this matter of pleasing God.


The first is to think that God is soft.


"God understands."

"God won't mind if I take a few short cuts."


Like the man who came into the banquet hall without wearing the wedding garment the host had supplied.


"The Host is a gracious man, he won't mind if I come casual to his feast."


But the Host had the man bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness.


God is not your sentimental uncle.

God is not your gullible grandmother.


God is pure holiness.


Nobody draws near to God until he learns to stand in awe of that holiness, take off his shoes, and fall on his face.


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.


God is not pleased with half-baked, sloppy, shoddy lives that think they're safe because they take communion.


The second mistake is to think that God is hard.


That He's a tyrant with an ugly face who is never satisfied who beats his children for things they can't help.


"What's the use! You can't win with God!" "No matter how hard I try He just keeps pouring more trouble on me. So I'll take this talent He's given me and bury it, and when he calls me to account I'll give it back to Him."


Satan loves to get people thinking of God this way. To fill them with despair - get them feeling sorry for themselves. But it's a lie for God is not hard. God is sheer love. What was it but love that sent His only-begotten into this world to lay down his life for our sins? And that same love is now closer to you than your body.


And the third mistake we make is to trust in ourselves that we are righteous.


"God must be pleased with me 'cause I'm cool." "God I thank thee that I am not as other men are." "I know I'm not perfect but I'm sure better than
 average. I'm a darn sight better than most of them goody goodies."


We can talk to ourselves like that, but we know that there's no righteousness in us. So long as we pretend there is, we have no peace.


God is not soft or hard or blind. He looks into our hearts and He is pleased or displeased with us on the basis of what we do in our hearts with Jesus Christ. Not the motions we go through on the outside, but what's going on inside as we say those prayers, and eat that bread, and…


What's your heart doing with Jesus at this moment?


The change that makes your life pleasing to God takes place in the heart. Even if your whole life up to this moment has been nothing but filth - nothing but a big act.


Even if your spirit has been dry as a desert for the past five years - or for two days. The change that will bring God's peace into your soul - the change that will bring the witness of God's Spirit to your spirit can happen this hour. You can make that change inside you that will make you pleasing to God.


God is pleased with a heart that is truly given to Jesus.


"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, 0 God, thou wilt not despise."


A broken contrite heart is a heart that has broken its pride. A heart that has stopped being hard against the Spirit of God. A heart that has opened its door.


God sends his son into this place today, where ever we are, with power to forgive all sin. To wash away all guilt. Jesus knocks on every single heart right now,


- the heart that opens,

- that gives up its resistance,
- that says, "yes" to Jesus,


          is a heart

                          that pleases God.


And if you've never been reborn, this is all you have to do. You can do it now. Open your heart.


Jesus come in, be my Lord! From now on, I'm yours.


God is pleased with a heart that trusts Jesus.


It's all very well to call yourself a believer and claim to be a follower, but God knows whether you, in fact, in your inmost heart are living a life of trust in His Son.


"I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me."


"I promised you that I would never leave you nor forsake you - trust me."


"I have told you what I want you to do. Trust me and do it."


             "But Lord, I can't forgive that man. And if I go out there and boldly speak your word in this world I'll be branded as a fool."


"If you trust me you are going to do what I tell you."


"You're going to stake your life on my promises to you.   If you want to be my disciple then you must take your trust away from everything else on this earth and fix it utterly on me."


God is pleased with a heart that is pure toward Jesus.




Not Jesus and my secret ambition.
Not Jesus and my dear ones.

Not Jesus and my career.


Just Jesus. I turn all my loves over to him, and love now only what can be loved through him.


The heart that is not pure toward Jesus knows that it has nowhere else to go apart from Him …what is there?


As the double-minded disciples were leaving, Jesus turned to the twelve and said, "Do you want to go away too?" Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life and we believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."


Our lives now and at the end are measured by whether or not they are pleasing to God.


Going through the motions of partaking of Jesus is not enough to make them pleasing to God. It's what's happening in your heart.


God help us all right now to open our hearts wide to His Son. To break our confounded pride and give ourselves afresh to Jesus, burning every bridge behind us to walk with Him forever.