31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble,whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.—1 Cor. 10:31-33 NIV
Every word that we say and every action we take has an effect on everyone in our circle of influence, whether that circle is small or large is not the question. Every thing we do and/or say should be seasoned with love, kindness and mercy. Otherwise, how can our words and actions glorify God? If we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, we will not be a stumbling block to those around us. Notice that Paul says he “tries” to please everyone in every way. We are not to violate our conscience simply to please someone, that would be a sin for us and a stumbling block for them. We are not to seek glory or earthly rewards for ourselves. Instead, we live a lifestyle that glorifies God and builds up our rewards in heaven. But when there is a conflict of conscience, every choice we make must please God and not man.
3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others,–1 Thess. 2:3-6a ESV
28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will realize that I am he and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak what the Father taught me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me — he has not deserted me. For I always do those things that are pleasing to him.” 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him. 31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone on earth. What do you mean, ‘set free’?” 34 Jesus replied, “I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave of sin.—John 8:28-34 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
No matter how many times Jesus was rejected, He continued to try to get the people to believe Him. Jesus kept on saying what His Father had taught Him to say and some who heard believed Him. To those who believed, Jesus said “You are truly my disciples if you obey my teachings and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The people replied that they had never been slaves, so how could they be set free? Jesus assured them that everyone who has a lifestyle of sin is a slave of sin. So it was with us, we were slaves to sin before we accepted Jesus as our Savior. He has set us free by making us a new creation in Christ Jesus. As soon as we accept Jesus, we become citizens of heaven and new creations. But living a holy lifestyle is a continuous process that we must work at everyday.
2 Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.–Romans 12:2 (NCV)
24 Then the Pharisees who had been sent 25 asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?” 26 John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. 27 Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.” 28 This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing. 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”—John 1:24-31 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
While Elizabeth was pregnant with John and Mary was pregnant with Jesus, Mary visited Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s voice, Elizabeth’s baby leaped within her womb. Even before John was born, He already knew his purpose and recognized his Lord. John stayed faithful to that mission. He is a great example of humility and faithfulness for us. We should be aware that God had a plan for us before we were born. It is our responsibility to determine that plan and follow it faithfully and humbly. We should never presume to do anything for God that He has not called us to do. God does not see success as the world sees success. What God wants from us is obedience and faithfulness.
22 But Samuel replied,
“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams—1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT)