Posts Tagged ‘God’s good pleasure’

Serving at the King’s good pleasure

August 9, 2017

Psalm 149--4

Instead of the traditional Verse of the Day, we are going to examine the Phrase of the Day for August 9, 2017: “At the pleasure of the King.” The phrase is sometimes expressed as “at His Majesty’s pleasure” or “the King’s pleasure.” This legal term refers to the indeterminate length of service of certain appointed officials or the indeterminate sentences of some prisoners. The expression is used to say that something is done or can be done because someone wants it to be done.

In the Book of Psalms we not only notice what God takes pleasure in, but we also find an expression of “God’s good pleasure”:

Psalm 149:4 (AMP) makes known that the people of God are a source of pleasure or delight for the Lord.

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.

Psalm 51:18 (NKJV) offers this request to God:

Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.

The expression of God’s “good pleasure” is also found in the Gospels in Luke 12:32:

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The phrase is twice used in Ephesians and once in 2 Thessalonians:

Ephesians 1:5

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Ephesians 1:9

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

2 Thessalonians 1:11:

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

Bible teacher John Piper discusses the phrase “good pleasure” and notes that it is a verb in Greek, meaning “to be a pleasure” or “to be pleased by.” You could translate it: “it pleased God,” or, “God chose it gladly.” One of the best places to see how the expression is used occurs in Philippians 2:13

The Amplified Bible renders the verse this way:

[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

God is both the energy and the energizer—even beyond the Energizer Bunny that keeps on going and going. The verse also expresses God’s desire:  “Both the willing and the working (the energizing).” God does it all, then. Yes, but he puts us to work also, and our part is essential.

Often when we encounter situations whereby we must make a choice, the individual presenting the options will ask: “What’s your pleasure?” What would you like? What would bring you pleasure or what would delight you? Delight can be used as a synonym for pleasure.  As a verb, it means –to take pleasure in, to enjoy, to appreciate, to savor;

As believers we ask, “What delights God? What brings Him pleasure? What is His good pleasure?” Our good pleasure is to do the good pleasure of His will, as the following lyrics ask:

What Is Your Pleasure?

 

What is your pleasure?  What shall we bring?

What do you desire as an offering?

What shall we give you? What will suffice?

What shall we offer as a perfect sacrifice?

 

Tell us your desires: what do you say?

Your only desire is that we learn to obey.

You desire truth in the inward parts:

Our broken spirits with broken and contrite hearts.

Our broken spirits with broken and contrite hearts.

 

 

Teach us to follow you; teach us your way.

Teach us to listen and quickly obey.

Open our ears, Lord, may we know your voice.

May we walk with you by faith and ever rejoice.

May we walk with you by faith and ever rejoice.

 

This is your pleasure. This will we bring.

We give you our lives as an offering.

You have purchased us: You have paid the price.

We are your offering: a living sacrifice.

We are your offering: a living sacrifice.

Esther Mui offers this Christian Scripture Worship Song with lyrics from Psalm 149 which includes a reference to the people of God as source of pleasure for God.

 

What is God’s good pleasure?

November 6, 2016

Ephesians 1-9

Today, November 6, 2016, we return to the Verse of the Day which is found in Ephesians 1:9-10 in the New Living Translation:

God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.

The New King James Version renders the passage this way:

having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

Here we learn that God has made known unto us, as believers, “his mysterious will” or “the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure.” In a previous blog post, we examined the intriguing phrase “His good pleasure” and asked “What is God’s good pleasure? What brings God delight?

In Psalm 149:4 (AMP) we find this declaration:

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.

In the New Testament we find additional references to God’s good pleasure in Philippians 2:13 (NKJV)

13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Our discussion also brings to mind the lyrics to a song regarding the pleasures of God, in terms of an inquiry as to what pleases Him:

 

What Is Your Pleasure?

What is your pleasure?  What shall we bring?

What do you desire as an offering?

What shall we give you? What will suffice?

What shall we offer as a perfect sacrifice?

 

Tell us your desires: what do you say?

Your only desire is that we learn to obey.

You desire truth in the inward parts:

Our broken spirits, our broken and contrite hearts.

 

This is your pleasure.  This will we bring.

We give you our lives as an offering.

You have purchased us: You have paid the price.

We are your offering: a living sacrifice.

We are your offering: a living sacrifice.

 

Teach us to follow you; teach us your way.

Teach us to listen and quickly obey.

We long to please you and see you smile.

May a heart of worship be our lifestyle.

May a heart of worship be our lifestyle.

 

We conclude with 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (KJV):

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

 

Sovereign Grace Music reminds us that “God Delights in You”

What is your pleasure?

August 8, 2016

Psalm 149--4

Revised and re-posted below is the Verse of Day for August 8, 2016:

In Psalm 149:4 (AMP) we find something that God delights in:

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.

The Psalmist makes known that the people of God are a source of pleasure or delight for the Lord. Just as a father rejoices and celebrates his children, as they grow and mature, so does God, our Father.  Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us:

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

How comforting to know that our Father takes pleasure in our company, just as His Word makes known.

Often when we encounter situations whereby we must make a choice, the individual presenting the options will ask: “What’s your pleasure?” What would you like? What would bring you pleasure or what would delight you? Delight can be used as a synonym for pleasure.  As a verb, it means –to take pleasure in, to enjoy, to appreciate, to savor; as a noun it is means–joy, a high degree of pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction.

I recall that the first poem that I wrote was a rather providential occurrence taking place during my first year in college in my freshman composition class when I was asked to write a response to this prompt:”May I Tell You What Delights Me?”  I made a list of items that brought me pleasure, and when I read what I had written to the class, my professor described it as poetry. Years later I realized that I had written a free-verse, catalogue poem, in the style of Walt Whitman. Near the top of the list of sources of delight for me was the Book of Psalms, which not only speaks of what God takes pleasure in but where the expression “good pleasure” is also used.

Psalm 51:18 offers this request to God:

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

The expression of God’s “good pleasure” is found in the Gospels in Luke 12:32:

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The phrase is twice used in Ephesians and once in 2 Thessalonians:

Ephesians 1:5

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will

Ephesians 1:9

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

2 Thessalonians 1:11

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

Bible teacher John Piper discusses the phrase “good pleasure” and notes that it is a verb in Greek, meaning “to be a pleasure” or “to be pleased by.” You could translate it: “it pleased God,” or, “God chose it gladly.” One of the best places to see how the expression is used occurs in Philippians 2:13 9 (AMP):

[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

God is both the energy and the energizer—even beyond the Energizer Bunny that keeps on going and going. The verse also expresses God’s desire:  “Both the willing and the working (the energizing).” God does it all, then. Yes, but he puts us to work also, and our part is essential.

As believers we ask, “What delights God? What brings Him pleasure? What is His good pleasure?” Our good pleasure is to do the good pleasure of His will, as the following lyrics ask:

What Is Your Pleasure?

What is your pleasure?  What shall we bring?

What do you desire as an offering?

What shall we give you? What will suffice?

What shall we offer as a perfect sacrifice?

What shall we offer as a perfect sacrifice?

 

Tell us your desires: what do you say?

Your only desire is that we learn to obey.

You desire truth in the inward parts:

Our broken spirit with broken and contrite hearts.

Our broken spirit with broken and contrite hearts.

 

Teach us to follow you; teach us your way.

Teach us to listen and quickly obey.

Open our ears, Lord, may we know your voice.

May we walk with you by faith and ever rejoice.

May we walk with you by faith and ever rejoice.

 

This is your pleasure. This will we bring.

We give you our lives as an offering.

You have purchased us: You have paid the price.

We are your offering: a living sacrifice.

We are your offering: a living sacrifice.

Esther Mui offers this Christian Scripture Worship Song with lyrics from Psalm 149 in its entirety, from which the Verse of the Day is taken.

Good pleasure of His will, revisited

August 9, 2015

Psalm 149--4The Verse of the Day for yesterday, August 8, 2015, came from Psalm 149:4. In discussing the verse, I used the Amplified Bible:

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.

As I was reflecting on the topic “God’s good pleasure,” I thought of a journal entry that I made in 2004, but I could not locate it. While looking for another entry on another topic this morning, I discovered what I was seeking yesterday. Here is a journal entry written in response to one of the questions asked as part of the follow-up discussions based on Rick Warren’s The Purpose-driven Life which I was reading at that time. Here are lyrics of two songs composed in response to the following:

When you live in the light of eternity, the question changes from “How much pleasure am I getting out of life?” to “How much pleasure is God getting out of my life?” God is looking for people like Noah in the 21st century—people willing to live for the pleasure of God. This lifestyle of worship is the only wise, sensible way to live.

The Days of Noah and Now

When God searched the earth during the days of Noah,

What did He see?

His creation lay in violence: Every thought of the heart of man

was only evil continually.

But there was a just man, perfect in his generations,

A man who walked with God, and God was pleased with him.

Violent men lived in sin and defiled the Word of God,

But Noah found grace,

But Noah found grace,

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

The eyes of the Lord still search the earth;

God seeks that He might find.

He looks for those willing to pray the price,

Those who put off the works of the flesh

And who are renewed in the spirit of their mind.

As in the days of Noah God is still seeking.

As He was seeking then, I am seeking now that I might also find.

May I find grace in Your eyes, O Lord.

May I find grace in Your eyes, O Lord.

May I find favor according to Your Word.

In all I say, in all I do,

may I learn to be meek.

In Your eyes may I find all that I seek.

Here is another song regarding the pleasures of God, in terms of an inquiry as to what pleases Him:

What Is Your Pleasure?

What is your pleasure? What shall I bring?

What do you desire as an offering?

What shall I give you? What will suffice?

What shall I offer as a perfect sacrifice?

Tell me your desires: what do you say?

Your only desire is that I learn to obey.

You desire truth in the inward parts:

A broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart.

This is your pleasure. This will I bring.

I give you my life as an offering.

You have purchased me: You have paid the price.

I am your offering: a living sacrifice.

I am your offering: a living sacrifice.

Teach me to follow you; teach me your way.

Teach me to listen and quickly obey.

I long to please you and see you smile.

May a heart of worship be my lifestyle.

May a heart of worship be my lifestyle.

This journal entry written more than 11 years ago, still has personal application for me today.

What’s your pleasure? God’s good pleasure

August 8, 2014

Psalm 149--4

In Psalm 149:4 (KJV) we find the Verse of the Day for August 8, 2014:

For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

The Psalmist makes known that the people of God are a source of pleasure or delight for the Lord. Just as a father rejoices and celebrates his children, as they grow and mature, so does God, our Father. Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us:

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

How comforting to know that God takes pleasure in our company.

Often when we encounter situations whereby we must make a choice, the individual presenting the options will ask: “What’s your pleasure?” What would you like? What would bring you pleasure or what would delight you? Delight can be used as a synonym for pleasure. As a verb, it means –to take pleasure in, to enjoy, to appreciate, to savor; as a noun it is means–joy, a high degree of pleasure, happiness, satisfaction, etc.

I recall that the first poem that I wrote was a rather accidental (providential) occurrence taking place during my first year in college in my freshman composition class when I was asked to write a response to this prompt:”May I Tell You What Delights Me?” I made a list of things that brought me pleasure, and when I read what I had written to the class, my professor described it as poetry. Years later I realized that I had written a free-verse, catalog poem, in the style of Walt Whitman. Near the top of the list of sources of delight for me was the Book of Psalms, which not only speaks of what God takes pleasure in, but the expression “good pleasure” is also used.

Psalm 51:18 offers this request to God:

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

The expression of God’s “good pleasure” is found in the Gospels in Luke 12:32:

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The phrase is twice used in Ephesians and once in 2 Thessalonians:

Ephesians 1:5

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Ephesians 1:9

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

2 Thessalonians 1:11

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

Bible teacher John Piper discusses the phrase “good pleasure” and notes that it is a verb in Greek, meaning “to be a pleasure” or “to be pleased by.” You could translate it: “it pleased God,” or, “God chose it gladly.” One of the best places to see how the expression is used occurs in Philippians 2:13

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The Amplified Bible renders the verse this way:

Amplified: [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

God is both the energy and the energizer—even beyond the Energizer Bunny that keeps on going and going. The verse also expresses God’s desire: “Both the willing and the working (the energizing).” God does it all, then. Yes, but he puts us to work also, and our part is essential.

As believers we ask, “What delights God? What brings Him pleasure? What is His good pleasure?” Our good pleasure is to do His good pleasure. The New Living Translation renders Philippians 2:13 in this way:

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Esther Mui offers this Christian Scripture Worship Song with lyrics from Psalm 149 in its entirety, from which the Verse of the Day is taken.