MY AMBITION IS TO PLEASE GOD WELL 1
My ambition is to Please God Well. And that’s what I want to talk on.
My Am ambition is to Please God Well.
We are going to read three short scriptures. The first one is from Saint Luke’s Gospel Chapter 3, verses 21 and 22: Luke 3:21 and 22. And then the second one is 2 Corinthians 5:7-9; and the third one will be Hebrews 11:5-6. They are very short.
21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed…
….While He prayed, the heaven was opened.
22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him [while He prayed], and a voice came from heaven [while He prayed] which said, “You are My beloveth Son; in You I am well pleased.”
“You are My beloveth Son; in You I am well pleased.”
“You are My beloveth Son; in You I am well pleased.”
2 Corinthians 5:7. I’m reading it from a modern translation called Weymouth New Testament.
2 Cor 5:7-10
7 for we are living a life of faith, not one of sight.
8 So we have a cheerful confidence, and we anticipate with greater delight being banished from the body and going home to the Lord.
9 And for this reason also we make it our ambition, whether at home or in exile, to please Him perfectly.
We make it our ambition, whether we are alive or dead, to please God perfectly.
Finally, Hebrews 11:5
5 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. [Before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.]
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
My Am ambition is to Please God Well
Let us pray.
We’re very grateful to You, Father, for this New Year You’ve allowed us to see. Thank You. It’s not that we are better than those who did not see this New Year. It is our prayer, dear Lord, that we will fulfil the purpose for which You have allowed us to see this year; therefore, in all things, we pray, that You would use all things to bring us to that necessary end.
Thank You also for leading us to this point in our service. Now is the time to hear Your Word. May You speak to us, dear Lord…in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
Let me start with a brief definition of ambition. According to the dictionary, ambition is a strong desire to achieve or accomplish something in the area of learning, in the area of wealth or power – a strong desire to achieve, a strong desire to accomplish something in those various areas.
While others have the ambition to accomplish something in the areas of learning, wealth and power, here, our ambition goes beyond that to include, pleasing God well. And I want to submit to you that this ambition has no nobler ambition; there is no other ambition nobler than pleasing God well. And I want to also submit to you that there is no ambition, no other ambition that can draw down the blessings of heaven to a man, a woman, boy or girl, who pleases God well. That is the secret of receiving the blessings of God. Many at time we go to places where we would be prayed for to receive blessings from God. Let me tell you, that no matter where you go, if it is not your desire, if it is not your ambition to please God, you will not experience the blessing of heaven as you should.
In this message, I want to break it into three parts. It is going to be short, I pray. We will consider pleasing God well positionally. Pleasing God well positionally. I will explain what I mean by that. Secondly, pleasing God well practically and then thirdly, pleasing God perfectly.
Pleasing God well positionally, Pleasing God well practically – and under that, we will examine: pleasing God well in our private lives and pleasing God well in our public lives.
What do I mean by pleasing God well positionally? What I mean by that is that, no body can think of pleasing God who is not positioned in Christ. What I mean is that pleasing God well starts with being rightly related to God through Jesus Christ. You cannot talk of pleasing God well without a relationship with Him. It starts with a relationship. And that relationship is through Christ. Because Psalms 7:11 says that God is not pleased with anyone who is not in Christ. God is not pleased with those who are outside of Christ. Psalm 7:11 says that God is angry with the sinner everyday. God is angry with the wicked everyday. God is not pleased with the one who is not in Christ. And in Romans 8:8, the scripture says that those who are in the flesh cannot please God. If you are not in Christ you cannot please God. That’s the starting point. You have to be rightly related to God, by giving your life to Christ before you can think of, talk of, pleasing God.
In the first scripture we read, Luke 3:21 and 22, God said that He was well pleased with His Son. And there you find that there is this spiritual relationship between God the Father and God the Son. There must be a relationship for us to please God. It was a spiritual relationship – a healthy spiritual relationship that existed between the Father and the Son.
So the question we’ll ask before we go any further is: have you a spiritual relationship with God – through Christ? If you are wondering what we mean by that I want you to turn to John 1:12.
Saint John’s Gospel 1:12 and 13. It is a familiar scripture that tells us what it means to have this relationship we are talking about.
12 But as many as received Him [that is, Jesus Christ, in other words as many as have welcomed Him into their lives], to them He gave the right [I know if you are reading from the Old King James it says Power, but the word there is rightly translated right or privilege to be called sons of God – children of God. That’s the relationship, that relationship must exit before you can please God. And it is a spiritual relationship. That’s what verse 13 says ]: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but [those who are born from above] born of God.
This is what we call regeneration – new birth. Pleasing God well starts with this relationship. Do you have that relationship with God yet or are you still riding on the fact that you are a member of a church? Are you still riding on the fact that you were baptized sometime in the past? Those do not count until you invite Jesus Christ into your life. To please God positionally that is what we mean – your position in Christ.
But to please Him positionally is one thing; to please Him practically that is the more serious matter.
Pleasing God practically
Have you noticed that in that Luke 3:22 where God said this is my beloveth Son in whom I am well pleased, have you noticed that at the time God said that Jesus had not started His public ministry – Jesus had not started preaching? He had not started teaching; He had not started working miracles. When God said He was pleased with His Son He was referring to His private life.
His private life.
Does your private life please God? Is God pleased with your private life?
Permit me now to talk about your private life in terms of the privacy of your home, in terms of the privacy of your heart. That is the most private part of any body. It’s private, so private that only God has access to it. Nobody knows what you are thinking. The privacy of your thought…that counts when you talk of pleasing God. Can I also talk about for some the privacy of their clandestine activities – those secret activities that only one or two people know? Clandestine – some of those things you do in the night or in the day when only few eyes would see you or nobody would see you – but God.
This ugly story of what happened in this city (I don’t know whether those kinds of things still happen). Some years ago, there was a woman in this city who made her house available as a rendezvous – as a place where some rich AL hajis would come to have good time with some married women: clandestine activities. And I know one of the women at that time who was building a house for the father from the proceeds from this clandestine activity.
The privacy of your life – that part of your life that only God and very few people know about.
The privacy of your home! What is happening between you and your husband? The privacy of your home. The church does not know about that. What is happening between you and your children? The privacy of your home. Are we pleasing God in our private life? God said, concerning Jesus and His private life, I am well pleased with my Son: His private life. At the time He said it it was about His private life. What does God see in the privacy of your life? Is God pleased.
The Key to the Private Life of Jesus.
We will continue when we come back next time to look at the key to this private life of Jesus. There are two scriptures in my judgement I consider key to this private life of Jesus for which the Father said He was well pleased. And then pleasing God perfectly.
FATHER, we thank You for this time we have spent in Your Word. It’s our prayer that you’d grant us the grace to please You in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Christ…in His Name we pray. Amen!