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Easily Pleased Stars, Apples, and Frownies

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Colossians 1:10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way… NIV

I recently started teaching ESL to Chinese kids online. When the students do a good job, I give them five stars. When I do a good job, the parents give me five apples. It sounds silly, but often the first thing I do when I wake up is check to see if I got any apples. For some reason, getting apples, even if they are digital, is a meaningful thing for me. I would like to think that I’m the sort of person who is above that, but obviously I’m not.

One of my favorite parables in the Bible is when the master gave his servants various amounts of money. He then went away on a trip. When he returned, they gave him back his money with varying amounts of interest. To a couple of them the master said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!” That resonates with me. The idea of having a mansion in heaven doesn’t motivate me. Being rewarded with crowns doesn’t do much either. (I’d rather have a baseball cap that I can wear backward.) However, if I show up in heaven and Jesus says, “Well done,” that would mean the world to me!

I think some people are uncomfortable with the idea of pleasing God. I can appreciate that they don’t want a relationship where they must strive to earn God’s favor. The good news is: God is easily pleased. We can rest in his love, forgiveness, and relationship as we live to please him. Just as getting apples is fun, living to please God is even more exciting and even more rewarding!

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