• Elpidio Pezzella

To Please God

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) We all want to please someone, have their esteem or friendship, be in their graces. Every believer has in his heart the desire to please his own God. Here then we are ready to do who knows what endeavor, to climb mountains, to follow impervious paths, in order to receive his approval. Scripture, on the other hand, minimizes and makes everything tremendously simple, at least in appearance. In order to please God it is necessary to have faith, because without "it is impossible to please him". As a provident and benign father, God made us the gift of faith, the most important gift, which allows us to believe and grasp His promises, but also to honor his requests. The seed of faith can be nourished and cultivated through the Word and preaching of it, the only tool for growing from faith to faith. Yet many continue to say that they do not have faith, or that they do not have enough faith. I dare to ask them if they have a little hope then, because "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Dear friend, faith finds valid support on hope, because if "those who wait on the Lord ... shall mount up with wings like eagles", those who believe pass from hope to certainty first, and then certainty is transformed into a demonstration of fidelity of God. During this period I had the opportunity to re-read excerpts from the diary of a man who left a lasting mark for his small faith in an immense God: Georg Müller, who fell asleep in Christ on the evening of March 9, 1898, after spending a long life at favor of the weakest, founding orphanages and schools and traveling the world announcing the gospel. He was born on September 27, 1805 in Prussia. For thousands of children, his work was the only chance of survival. His life is a continuous experience that God truly keeps what he promises. To experience the punctual intervention of God, a tiring experience of putting faith entirely in Him only, after having understood that "those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:8), and then never turn back in front of the need of the next one. In the same way, each of us, "as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts" (1 Thessalonians 2:4). He is the global remunerator, his eye loses nothing and in these days will be addressed to the thousands of refugees along the border between Turkey and Greece, which in the indifference of those who fear a virus has become much more than a humanitarian crisis: the humanity is losing the divine breath. We all come out of it perpetually defeated, as in the case of the teenager from the Spanish Quarters who was killed in an attempted robbery and all that followed afterwards. How is it different to believe in Syria or other war lands? How difficult it is to believe if you are born in a disadvantaged neighborhood and nobody around can talk to you about love and redemption. As a parent who tries to give all of himself for his children, I wonder what I can do. I want to go beyond the cold and distant expression of a spectator's judgment. Just as trees must have good roots to be strong, so to give a future to the generations to come, they must be planted in a better society. Yet I remain convinced that we can do a lot to change things starting from small daily gestures. My faith feeds hope and commitment, because beyond what others say or do, I continue to believe that God does remain still.

Devotional 11/2020 Weekly Bible reading plan March 09, Deuteronomy 10-12; Mark 12: 1-27 March 10, Deuteronomy 13-15; Mark 12: 28-44 March 11, Deuteronomy 16-18; Mark 13: 1-20 March 12, Deuteronomy 19-21; Mark 13: 21-37 March 13, Deuteronomy 22-24; Mark 14: 1-26 March 14, Deuteronomy 25-27; Mark 14: 27-53 March 15, Deuteronomy 28-29; Mark 14: 54-72

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