Biblegateway Verse of the Day

Living a Pleasing, Faithful Life

By Benjamin H. Liles

          I've thought over how I want to phrase this over the past many hours since yesterday when it was put on my heart to write this. Consequently, I know it's been almost a month since my last post. How then can we be faithful and pleasing when consistency is the key? There is this preface: we are called and chosen by Christ Jesus to obey His commands as well as to love each other. Without that faith, and even love, means absolutely nothing (see 1 Cor. 13:1-2).

          So, how do I mean we can even live a pleasing and faithful life? By now, if you have ever read any one of the posts that get put on my heart, I end up talking about something I either find interesting and that matters to the Christ-following heart, and how we are to live in that light. Not long ago my wife and I watched American Gospel: Christ Alone. In one of the segments they were talking about how we are to be more like Christ than anything else.

          So, today we are looking at three verses that mention the life of Enoch. What can we learn from Enoch? Most importantly, what does this have to do with living a pleasing and faithful life? What we will find at the end of this is that Enoch not only walked with God, but he did so in such a way that God allowed him to not taste death, but transported Enoch to Heaven. And yes, I could have easily titled this "Dare to be an Enoch," but that wouldn't honor or give any glory to God, let alone Christ Jesus.

   The birth of Methuselah

             One of the things my wife, Tanya, and I  
   watched last night was Nabeel Qureshi       
   talking about how to witness to someone in    
   Islam, that video can be found here off to 
   the left-side. At a point in the video he talks 
   about what the name Methuselah means. 
   Come to find out it can mean either "Man of 
   the dart" or even "Man of defense" or rather 
   "Man with   a defense." The reason I say that 
   is that when we look at what Jude says of 
   Enoch, he writes, "Behold, the Lord comes 
   with ten thousands of His saints, to execute 
   judgment on all, to convict all who are 
   ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him" (Jude 14b-15). 

          One could assuredly say of Enoch is that he was one the very first men who effectively stood with God, testifying of the things He revealed to him of both His nature to mankind. After all, what is the point of a Christ-following witness, in terms of the gospel message? "Christ came to take God's wrath that was upon mankind, in the hopes of pardoning him of his great sin against God; in the hopes of being made right with God as well as having eternal life. This is why Jesus died in our place on the cross at Calvary." It's almost exactly the same message Enoch gave!

Slight edit: I'm not at odds with what Nabeel says about the name of Methuselah, as he had a doctorate, whereas I'm a simple layman breaking things down to show how we are to live a rightly and faithfully with God.




Enoch Walks with God

          So, when we look a couple of verses after Genesis 5:21, we read, "And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him" (Genesis 5:24). Why would God take a man up as he is still very much alive, and not dead? The writer of Hebrews states it this way: "By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, 'and was not found, because God had taken him'; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5). How else can we please God if we don't actively have communication with Him? It means we not only talk to Him about our lives, but we also actively listen to Him and follow His will for us and our lives.  

          If we go back to Jude and read those two verses once more we find something more: it seems Enoch feared God. He says to those ungodly men of the time, "the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him" (Bold for emphasis). If we walk with Jesus, according to our measure of faith and in the right way, we also need to know and understand God is the same as He's always been.

Being Faith-filled (or Faithful)

          When it comes to talking about having faith and being faithful, sometimes I draw a huge blank on. I liken it to a man who ends up with multiple question marks appearing over his head. On one hand Hebrews is the best book in talking about the authoritative nature of God, in other words His sovereignty; as one summary of the book says, "The theme of Hebrews is the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ as Revealer and Mediator of God's grace." What we can take away from this, especially where it concerns the great chapter on faith, Hebrews 11, is that "faith...to obtain a good testimony...is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (rephrasing of Hebrews 11:1).

          What does it mean to have faith, to begin with? We can surmise a number of things quickly: one is that it is a set of beliefs; two, it's a posture indicating the submission to Someone in authority, such as God; three, we can trust a certain source as being honest, as being truthful, unwavering and filled with wisdom. So, if I say I have faith in Jesus Christ, not only am I saying I submit to Him and His lordship in my life, I'm saying the way He lived, the things He spoke, and His authority matters more than my own. It means I want to live a life pleasing to Him. And that's the intent the writer of Hebrews is getting at. He lists those, who before the Flood who listened and walked with God, according to their faith. Not only does he list Abel or Noah, but between them he mentions Enoch.

          What does the writer of Hebrews say of Enoch? "He was taken [as] he had this testimony, that he pleased God." And the writer continues by saying, "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). Knowing this when we look to another familiar verse about faith and seeking God we read, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8).



          To this end I liken the whole of this article the way the Psalmist declares: "Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4). If we seek, by putting off our own ways, our own selfishness, our ideals to acknowledge that maybe even perhaps God is real and exists, He will keep His word concerning what He will do on His return. On this note I plan on ending things and using a piece, which Jesus Christ used himself.

Conclusion

           At the outset of this I asked the question, "How then can we be faithful and pleasing when consistency is the key?" As I said I was going to use a parable of Jesus to drive home this point. Within the pages of Matthew's gospel of Jesus we see Jesus giving a parable of talents to the audience. He says this, "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them...So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents" (Matthew 25:14-28). 

          To that I pose one last question and will reveal the answer to it: How can a parable of talents and the topic of faith be put in the same article? God grants each and every single person a measure of faith to believe in Him and His Son who shed Himself on the cross of Calvary so we may be made right. To each of us we have our own part of stewardship. Some are given much responsibility and they take the task on straightaway, and with such vigor that they get the product of their faith. Likewise the same with those who have a little bit less responsibility, but yet they have the same amount of ambition and drive to see things through. Then there are those who are like the man with one talent, thinking, "Oh, he's delaying returning, why should I bother?" You need to rethink that.

          I may not know the day nor the hour of His return, but if there's any truth to what God has said in His word regarding Himself, His character, and His nature I would not want to test the theory of His coming to gather up those He's called to be faithful. When we're told, specifically by Peter, "The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9), we can take heed from other portions of Scripture that have happened and have come to pass. 

          I know it seems I'm not always faithful, but truthfully, when it comes to the matter of the gospel narrative, I have been utmost in not only my conviction but also in consistency in those regards. In that end I am faithful, just as He's been faithful to me. I can say without hesitation I have run the race He's called me to. In that I say Jesus came to offer life, eternally, to worship Him as well as the Father, to give thanks and glory and honor. It's not that I'm afraid of God for who He is, but I am afraid for those who believe they are right in their sins and in being apart from God.So, I pray this helps and shows how we can live a life pleasing and faithfully to God. In the matchless name of Jesus the Messiah, Amen.

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