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The Mind Of Jesus by John Ross Macduff

Fifteenth Day. PLEASING GOD.

|I do always those things that please Him.| -- John, viii.29.

What a glorious motto for a man -- |I live for God!| It is religion's truest definition. It is the essence of angelic bliss -- the motive-principle of angelic action; |Ye ministers of His, that do His pleasure.| The Lord of angels knew no higher, no other motive. It was, during His incarnation, the regulator and directory of His daily being. It supported Him amid the depressing sorrows of His woe-worn path. It upheld him in their awful termination in the garden and on the cross. For a moment, sinking human nature faltered under the load His Godhead sustained; but the thought of |pleasing God| nerved and revived Him. |Not my will, but Thine be done.|

It is only when the love of God is shed abroad in the heart, that this animating desire to |please Him| can exist. In the holy bosom of Jesus, that love reigned paramount, admitting no rival -- no competing affection. Though infinitely inferior in degree, it is the same impelling principle which leads His people still to link enjoyment with His service, and which makes consecration to Him of heart and life its own best recompense and reward. |There is a gravitation,| says one whose life was the holy echo of his words, |in the moral as in the physical world. When love to God is habitually in the ascendant, or occupying the place of will, it gathers round it all the other desires of the soul as satellites, and whirls them along with it in its orbit round the center of attraction.| (Hewitson's Life.) Till the heart, then, be changed, the believer can not have |this testimony that he pleases God.| The world, self, sin -- these be the gods of the unregenerate soul. And even when changed, alas that there should be so many ebbings and flowings in our tide of devotedness! Jesus could say, |I do always those things that please the Father.| Glory to God burned within His bosom like a living fire. |Many waters could not quench it.| His were no fitful and inconsistent frames and feelings, but the persistent habit of a holy life, which had the one end in view, from which it never diverged or deviated.

Let it be so, in some lowly measure with us. Let God's service not be the mere livery of high days, -- of set times and seasons; but, like the alabaster box of ointment, let us ever be giving forth the fragrant perfume of holiness. Even when the shadows of trial are falling around us, let us |pass through the cloud| with the sustaining motive -- |All my wish, O God, is to please and glorify Thee! By giving or taking -- by smiting or healing -- by the sweet cup or the bitter -- 'Father, glorify thy name!'| |I don't want to be weary of God's dealing with me,| said Bickersteth, on his death-bed; |I want to glorify Jesus in them, and to find Him more precious.| Do I shrink from
trials -- duties -- crosses -- because involving hardships and self-denial, or because frowned on by the world? Let the thought of God's approving countenance be enough. Let me dread no censure, if conscious of acting in accordance with His will. Let the Apostle's monitory word determine many a perplexing path -- |If I please men, I am not the servant of Christ.|


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