Please God Or Please Man?

Whose approval do we seek? Are we trying to please God or please man?

When the apostle Paul preached Christ and him crucified, Paul didn’t try to flatter or sweet talk his listeners. He didn’t try to say things he thought would keep the status quo or not ruffle feathers.

Quite the opposite. More times than not, the truth Paul spoke to reach a world desperately in need of a Savior ended up enraging the mobs determined to kill, flog, or imprison him.

But Paul never changed his message to please man, protect himself, or avoid hardship. He was steadfast and resolute in proclaiming God’s truth, no matter what it cost him. Paul knew being a servant of God meant he was to please God not please man.

Paul did not try to make friends with influential people in order to advance his prestige or career. Sure. He wanted an audience with the Roman empire’s highest leaders. Not to see what he could gain from those meetings, but to share the gospel of salvation.

When Paul wrote his letters to the churches scattered throughout Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome, those letters weren’t written to highlight his mastery of the written word or brilliant debate skills. He didn’t write to win acclaim. He wrote to preach about a resurrected Savior, grace, and salvation.

Paul was not afraid to call out false teachers. He warned of the dangers of placing anything or anyone above our devotion to the One True God. He instructed the churches in how they were to live as followers of Christ.

I doubt Paul set out to intentionally irritate people, but that was often the result. Even so, he refused to compromise the message he’d been given in order to save himself from man’s wrath or disfavor. His goal was not to be a charismatic people pleasing preacher. Paul’s goal was to be a faithful servant who pleased God.

As Christ-followers we are called to imitate Christ. We are called to serve others in the name of Christ. We are called to live in such a way others will see Christ living in us and be drawn closer to God.

Nowhere in our job description as disciples of Jesus does it say our focus should shift from pleasing God to pleasing man. Paul never compromised the gospel message by seeking man’s approval over God’s approval.

What about each of us? Who do our actions show we are trying to please?

My prayer for each of us is we will be as convicted as Paul to please God rather than to please man.

How do you keep pleasing God your primary goal?

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You can see that I am not trying to please you by sweet talk and flattery; no, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please men I could not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Thanksgiving, Not Just A Once A Year Thing

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Here in the United States, today is the day set aside as a day of Thanksgiving.  All through the Bible we read of times of praise and thanksgiving. Not just once a year. It was a continual occurrence. I believe the same should hold true for us. I believe we should have thankful hearts every single day of the year.

During the time of King David, the sacred Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines. When it was returned to the Tabernacle, David wrote a song of thanksgiving to the LORD.

On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the LordGive thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord. 1 Chronicles 16:7-10 (NLT)

Many of David’s psalms expressed his gratitude to God for who God was, and what he had done.

 Oh, how grateful and thankful I am to the Lord because he is so good. I will sing praise to the name of the Lord who is above all lords. Psalm 7:17 (TLB)

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul eloquently expressed how grateful we should be for the victory we have over death because of Jesus’ victory over death.

 So when this takes place, and the mortal has been changed into the immortal, then the scripture will come true: “Death is destroyed; victory is complete!”

 “Where, Death, is your victory?
Where, Death, is your power to hurt?”

Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (GNT)

Finally, Paul again tells us to be thankful … all the time. Even when we are going through tough times.

Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (CEV)

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Victory Over Death

Isaiah 40By Sandy Kirby Quandt

It started Easter Sunday with the death of a very dear friend in Maryland who I’d known for forty-four years. Within weeks, another special friend in Florida died. Followed by the death of a new acquaintance here in Texas. In between these three deaths, Uncle Ed died.

June brought the death of the mother of my dearest girlfriend in Florida. In July the mother-in-law of my dearest girlfriend in Texas died. Two weeks ago, the father of another sweet Texas friend was buried.

That same week, three of Pilot’s friends at work had death’s in their families.

But death was not finished … a very precious Saint in the LORD died this past Wednesday. Tomorrow Pilot will sing at her funeral.

Amid all this loss, it would be easy to become discouraged … despondent … distraught. Maybe even a little angry. It would be, if we believed this was all there was to life. If we believed death had the final word. If we believed there was no victory beyond the grave.

But believing all that would be contrary to what the Bible teaches. In 1 Corinthians Chapter 15, the Apostle Paul talks about death and the hope people who belong to Jesus have through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Death does not have the final word. Jesus does. And he has conquered death.

Praise, God.

Leave your comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
 O death, where is your victory?
 O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Taking Thoughts Captive

Honey Cinnamon TeaI read that tea made with 2 Tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon dissolved in boiling water helps arthritis pain. If any of you suffer like I do with osteoarthritis — and I mean suffer — you know we try a lot of different things to find relief from our pain. Rubs. Pills. Remedies.

Among the remedies I have tried are a copper braided bracelet. An apple cider vinegar concoction, which fortunately didn’t work…it tasted dreadful.

I’ve drank white grape juice mixed with liquid Certo. Yep. The same Certo used to make jelly. I’ve never tried the gin-soaked white raisins. Heard they don’t help.

The jury is still out on how effective the honey cinnamon tea is for easing arthritis pain, but it is tasty, unlike the apple cider vinegar mix. And, I discovered a totally different use for the tea…taking gnats captive.

The other afternoon as I sat at my desk, tea cup at hand, I savored my honey tea. Fortunately, before I took my next sip I looked into the tea cup. Floating on the tea was a gnat. Oh, gross.

Seeing the gnat reminded me of a story my junior high English teacher told us. He and his Yellow Jacketgirlfriend were on a picnic where they were attacked by a swarm of Yellow Jackets. Fast-thinking Mr. Moore set his soft drink on the ground, as the two scrambled for his car. Instead of chasing them, the Yellow Jackets dive-bombed into the bottle of soda. Captured in the syrupy liquid, they met their demise.

So, I’m thinking…when the Apostle Paul wrote his second letter to the Corinthian church, and mentioned taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ, it’s like those Yellow Jackets and that gnat in my tea.

As soon as the gnats and Yellow Jackets of incorrect thinking, bad attitudes, selfishness, inconsideration, what-evers, begin to gather, we need to pull out the honey cinnamon tea, and take them captive. See no reason to sit around swatting at the insects, shooing them away, only to have them fly right back again.

We are told to take captive every thought and make it obedient to the way of Christ.

How do you take captive thoughts that aren’t in line with Christ’s teaching?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

It is true that we live in the world, but we do not fight from worldly motives. The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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While the pictures for this video may not seem to go with the song at first glance, being out in the middle of God’s creation, and honoring him through enjoying his gift, can be worshipful. Don’t you think?

Knocking On Doors

One of my devotions will be posted on Christian Devotions November 26, 2013. Please stop by and check out the site.

January 16, 2008, I submitted an article retelling the events of Pie’s seizure when he was 10-months-old, to a magazine I felt was a perfect fit. The article was not something the editor was looking for at the time, so she rejected it. AAGGHH!

All through 2008, I submitted that article to numerous magazines. All rejected it. Discouragement. I sent it out a couple more times, and met with the same fate.

I let the article sit in my files until May of 2012. I never gave up on it. I really believed what I wrote about how God brought me through an overwhelming situation, was something others would benefit from reading. So, at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, I showed it to an editor.

She liked it! She requested I submit it, and submit, I did.

October 21, 2012, I had an offer to publish the article. Yea, God!

July 10, 2013, “Letting Go” posted on Today’s Christian Woman Parent Connect.

If you’ve done the math, you saw this was a five and a half year journey of closed doors. But God…

He knew the people he wanted to read my article. He knew who it would benefit most. He orchestrated it all. Was I happy when the article kept being rejected? No. Was I discouraged? Yes. Did I give up? Not completely. I kept knocking on doors until one opened.

Oh, perhaps you’ll find this interesting…the magazine I submitted “Letting Go” to in January 2008? Today’s Christian Woman –print version before there ever was a digital version of the magazine. God’s perfect timing.

Are you in a place where you’re waiting for doors to open? Perhaps it’s a job. Perhaps it’s a health issue. Perhaps it’s concern for a family member. Release from addiction. Release from pain –however it is manifesting itself. Release from self-doubts.

Just as my article met with closed doors, there was a reason. There’s a reason for your closed doors, too. We don’t need to know that reason, though sometimes we’d sure like an explanation. What we need to do is keep knocking. Keep persisting. Keep trusting. Move through that door when God opens it. And stay put when he keeps it closed.

The Apostle Paul met closed doors, but he kept on knocking. He didn’t give up, and neither should we.

They (Paul and Silas) went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas.

Acts 16:6-8 MSG

I wish you well.

Sandy

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