THE NOBLE AMBITION OF PLEASING GOD WELL – PART ONE
This is your Friend and Minister, Dr. Joshua Uhiara, bringing you healing word
from the Master, a program of the Master’s Vessel Ministry which lets you know
that Jesus loves you as you are, but loves you so much that He will not leave you
as you are.
I bring you greetings, friends, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the place of a New Year resolution which we usually break before the end of the day, I suggest we adopt, what I call: A noble ambition for pleasing God well this year and beyond.
I’m going to speak then on: The Noble Ambition of Pleasing God Well. And our text is taken from St. Luke’s Gospel 3:21-22
21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
A Noble Ambition of Pleasing God Well
Father, we thank You for this opportunity You have given us again; and with the friends in radioland to come to you, we pray that You would make Your Word come alive to us all this hour, as You speak to our hearts, as You meet the needs in our lives…In Jesus Name. Amen!
Let me start with a brief definition of the word ambition. According to the dictionary, Ambition is a strong desire to achieve or accomplish something in the area of learning, wealth or power – the desire to accomplish something. On the other hand, to please means to give one pleasure or satisfaction: to give one pleasure or satisfaction.
And I want to observe that there are two kinds of pleasures: high and low pleasure. Sin belongs to the low pleasure. Sin is pleasurable – as we find in Hebrews 11:25, where it talks about Moses identifying himself with the children of Israel in Egypt, rather than enjoying the passing of fleeting pleasures of sin.
So, people who live in sin do so because of the pleasure. But that’s low pleasure. There is a higher pleasure. Doing the will of God is also pleasurable. But that is the higher kind of pleasure. God says, concerning Jesus, You are my beloveth Son; in whom I am pleased. In other words, Your life gives me pleasure. And I want to submit to you that the one who pleases God receives pleasure also in the process.
We will consider the topic for today in three parts – The Noble Ambition of Pleasing God well:
- Pleasing God positionally
- Pleasing God well practically
- Pleasing God well perfectly
Under the second one: pleasing God practically, we will consider pleasing God well in our private lives; and pleasing God well in our public lives.
Let’s start then with pleasing God positionally. You must be wondering, what does he mean by that? What I mean is that no body outside of Christ can please God. Pleasing God well starts with relationship with God through Christ. In other words, you have to position yourself in Christ or in Jesus Christ in order to talk about pleasing God.
The person who is living in sin cannot talk about pleasing God at all. Psalms 7:11 says that God is angry with the sinner every day. Everyday God is angry with the sinner. He’s not pleased. So to please God, and to please Him well, we have to come into Christ. Romans 8:8 also says that those who are in the flesh cannot please God. In Luke 3, where we read, verses 21 and 22, God said He was well pleased with His Son Jesus Christ. And you can see then that that pleasing or that pleasure God derives from the Son stems from primarily the relationship he had with the Son. It was a Father-Son relationship. It was a spiritual relationship – a healthy relationship. But the question I will ask you now for you to have an ambition of pleasing God well is this: Do you have a spiritual relationship with God? That spiritual relationship starts with what John 1:12-13 says.
12 But as many as received Him [that’s, Jesus Christ], to them He gave the right [the privilege] to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
This is what we call regeneration or the newbirth. Pleasing God well starts with this experience. It starts with your position in Christ. It starts with you receiving Jesus Christ into your life. To please God positionally well is one thing; to please Him well practically is a more serious matter.
Pleasing God Well Practically
Let us start with our private lives. Have you noticed that at a time God said He was well pleased with His Son, Jesus Christ has not started His public ministry. Jesus Christ had never preached a sermon, never worked or performed any miracles. His life at that point was purely His Private Life. And it was that private life of His that God was testifying to when He said You are My beloveth Son in whom I am well pleased.
Does your private life please God well? Permit me to limit your private life to the life you live in the privacy of your home, the life you live in the privacy of your heart, your thought life; and for some, the life you live in the privacy of your clandestine activities. Is God pleased with what He sees – with what He hears in these various areas of your life? The key to the private life of Jesus that was well pleasing to the Father is found, in my judgment, in two scriptures. There are two scriptures that I think is the secret to the life that Jesus lived that pleased the Father. The first one is in St. Luke’s Gospel 2:48-52. So when they saw Him (that’s Jesus) in the temple…
The background is when they went to Jerusalem for their annual sacrifice; and as they were going back…Jesus…they didn’t know His state behind to reason with the Jewish religious authorities in the temple. And for three days they had gone on the journey not knowing that He was not in their company. And when they realized that they came back looking for Him. And so we take it then from verse 48 where it says:
48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
In verse 49, Jesus refutes the statement of the mother by saying:
49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
There are two fathers here. Mary said, your father Joseph and I have sought you. Jesus says here, I am here in the temple about my Father’s business – the Heavenly Father.
50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.
And in verse 51, we read:
1 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
That’s one scripture I regard as one of the secrets behind the kind of life that Jesus lived in His private life that pleased the Father well.
The second scripture is Hebrews 10:5
5 Therefore, when He [that’s Jesus] came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’”
Let me read it differently. And I would avoid the parenthesis. In verse 7 it says: Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God. In the volume of the book it is written of Me is in parentheses. So, Jesus said: I have come to do Your Will. And He did the will of the Father in the body that God the Father prepared for Him in the womb of Mary.
We will continue from here next time.
Let us pray.
Father, we thank You for Your Word, today. How I pray that as many as have heard would depend upon You, upon Your Spirit, to enable them to please You well, in their private lives, in their public lives, in this year and in the years to come. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!