Yes, He does. Indeed we are only saved by grace alone, but if you are saved, you will care that He cares what you do. Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 15:19) Chances are you hear a lot more about “legalism” being wrong than you hear “without holiness no man will see the Father.” (Hebrews 12:14)
When Jesus lives in you, His desires become your desires. I am concerned about people who think they are Christians, but are really not. They wear the label but are dead. What do your fruits say about you? You be your own judge, but realize your eternal salvation requires that you be a new creature in Christ Jesus. Old things are passed away and all things become new. (II Cor. 5:17)
Much is said about how much God loves us – that we cannot do anything to make Him love us more. This post is not in disagreement with that. God loves us! But we can do things that please Him, just as we do things that grieve Him. Even Jesus was motivated to “please” the Father. John 8:29 The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
So how can you do that? Colossians 1:10-12 tells four ways.
FOUR WAYS TO PLEASE THE LORD: 1. bear fruit in every good work. 2. grow in the knowledge of God. 3. be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might. 4. joyfully give thanks to the Father.
A CLOSER LOOK. 1. Bearing fruit in good works is not a mamby-pamby “go do my good deed for the day.” Good fruit comes from the life in the vine. Meeting my good deed quota is like going to the dollar tree and buying plastic apples, may be pretty but has no life in it. However, even Jesus cannot give luscious fruit on a branch that doesn’t do something! So we have to start doing “good works.” 2. Grow in the knowledge of God. His word is the best place to start, but even some atheists know the Bible very well. Growing in knowing God often (perhaps even always) involves walking in the “fellowship of his sufferings.” Not a pleasant place to go, but wonderful place to find out more about Jesus. 3. Being strengthened… Obviously if we need strengthened …(in) great endurance and patience, we are going to find ourselves in some hard places. 4. But through it all, we give thanks to the Father – admittedly this is sometimes hard, especially to do it joyfully!
So I recheck the four ways to please Him, and acknowledge that in myself, I can’t do it! I need Him; I need the “power” mentioned in #3; I need the Holy Ghost who points me to Jesus. I need you Jesus! “I need Thee, O I need Thee, every hour I need Thee. Oh, bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.” Hymn by Annie Sherwood Hawks, 1835-1918.
AND THANKFULLY IF I AM IN HIM AND HE IS IN ME, I HAVE HIS HOLY POWER TO DO THINGS THAT PLEASE THE FATHER!