One of the greatest dangers that we often fall into is associating God with our earthly fathers. Whether your earthly father was gracious, laissez-faire, or harsh, you must never associate your earthly father with our heavenly Father.
I wonder how many people spend their life trying to please God but feel they can never please Him enough. I wonder how many are laboring under a sense of failure because they feel that they cannot satisfy God.
Without faith no one can please God.
I think of our religious friends, the Muslims, who bow and prostrate themselves five times a day until they develop a mark on their foreheads, which they wear with pride as a sense of accomplishment. They are trying to please Allah, but they have absolutely no assurance that they can ever please him.
I think of Martin Luther, the great reformer who ignited the Reformation in Europe. As a Dominican monk in the monastery, he was so overburdened with his sin and his unworthiness in trying to please God, he literally would go to the abbot of the monastery every hour on the hour for confession until the abbot got tired of him and said, "Stop coming back."
Luther wanted to please God, but he couldn't until he read the Scripture, opened the Word of God, and realized that salvation is by grace alone. Then his life was transformed, and he ignited the Reformation in Europe.
We spend all this effort and hard work trying to please God yet never feel that God is pleased because we miss the meaning of the Word of God: Without faith no one can please God.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You are not like my earthly dad. You are perfect and full of grace. Thank You for the reminder that there is nothing I can do that can please You apart from Your work in me. I know Your love is undeserved—a gift of grace and mercy from which my salvation comes. Thank You that it is only by Your grace that we can be called Your sons and daughters. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).