THE NOBLE AMBITION OF PLEASING GOD WELL – PART TWO
Friends, I bring you greetings, again. We want to continue from where we stopped last time: The Noble Ambition of Pleasing God well. And I trust that the Lord would bless you as you listen today.
Father, open up our understanding that we may grasp what You have for us today, from Your Word…in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
The Noble Ambition of Pleasing God well
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.’”
That’s one of the observations from that scripture. So you see then that Jesus saw the body that God the Father prepared for Him in the womb of Mary as an instrument of pleasing God perfectly.
Do you see your body as an instrument of pleasing God well? What do you do with your body – the various parts of your body: your hands, your feet, your eyes, your mouth, your thoughts?
Secondly, Jesus Christ, in His humanity, was irrevocably and uncompromisingly committed to His Father and His Will. Before His public ministry, before His teaching – before His miracles; in His private life He was committed irrevocably and uncompromisingly to pleasing the Father well.
And thirdly, Jesus Christ pleased God the Father well by being subject or obedient to Mary and Joseph His surrogate parents – if you please.
Pleasing God well, by obeying those who were perceived as His parents – earthly parents.
And fourthly, Jesus Christ, in His humanity, was a well-balanced Man: the prerequisite for pleasing God well. That is from Luke 2:52, where it said that He grew up: He grew up physically – He increased in size physically. He increased also in His intellect: in wisdom. He increased also in His relationship with men – with people – socially, and in His relationship spiritually with the Father, in four dimensions.
How is your private life, friend: that part of your life that only the eyes of God sees? Is it well pleasing to Him; and do you see your body (Let me repeat) as an instrument for this purpose?
1 Corinthians 6:20 says, to all who have received Jesus Christ, who have been purchased by His precious blood: that scripture says, that we must glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits which belongs to God. God was well pleased not only with the private lives of Jesus, but also with His public life, both of which were marked by dependence and obedience: dependence upon the Father; obedience to the Father.
Pleasing God practically! Practically! Pleasing God well practically in our public life. The public life of Jesus was indeed public, so public – that today we can read about that life in four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And at the end of His public life, just before He died on the cross, the Father showed up again and testified of Him. In Matthew 17:5, at the Mount of Transfiguration…Listen to what the Father said concerning Jesus His Son:
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
Listen to Him. He was well pleased with His private life; well pleased with His public life. Friend, does your public life please God well? That is the part of your life that is before the eyes of men and women. You may say, but I’m not Jesus. Let me tell you that your argument is only a lame excuse if you bear the name: Christian – because to say that you are a Christian is to say that you are little Christ. That’s what it means. And those to whom that name was given long ago was not for the sake of fashion; it was because those who called the early believers in Jesus Christ Christians did so because they were fascinated seeing ordinary men and women: sinners; a number of them with questionable character, transformed into living lives that resembled that of Jesus Christ. That was why they called them Christians – little Christ.
How is your life in the eyes of God? How is your life in the eyes of your neighbors? Does your life please God well in these two dimensions?
Thirdly and finally – Pleasing God well perfectly.
In 2 Corinthians 5:9, we read…I’m reading it from Weymouth New Testament -
a modern translation.
2 Corinthians 5:9 (WNT)
We make it our ambition, whether at home or in exile’ please Him perfectly.
Whether we are at home means whether we are alive here on earth or we die and we have gone to be with Him. We make it our ambition to please Him perfectly. The King James Version says, to please Him well. The ‘we’ there is a reference to Christians; and the word perfect means fully or well. Is it any wonder then that Gypsy Smith, an Irish Evangelist of Long ago, made this observation? He said, “There are five Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Christian. And some people will never read the first four.” Which one do they read? The fifth gospel – Christian.
Dear Christian, what do people read from your public life? What does God see from your private life? How well do you please God in private or in public?
Let me conclude with this: If you think that pleasing God well is a tall order – if you think that pleasing God well is an impossible demand, I will ask you to try pleasing men. Because you would find out that it is much easier to please God than to please men; and it is much better to please God than to please men. God is the One Person that you need to please. But there are a thousand and one persons with their different idiosyncrasies – with their different demand. You want to please those? It is impossible. And God’s demands are very clear; they are not idiosyncratic – they are not irrational. They are very rational. If you think of pleasing men, think again – because God understands you perfectly well, men and women do not. So, God knows your limitations, but people do not know. They will be expecting you to give them money – lots of money when your account is reading almost zero. But God knows that you don’t have that money, but men do not. And so they have this unrealistic expectation. That’s the people you want to please. But most importantly, God is willing and able to help you please Him well, because He has the power to do so; men and women don’t. In fact they will suck out the little oxygen that is left in you.
Pleasing God well is possible only by faith; for Hebrews 11:6 says, without faith it is impossible to please God. All you need to do is to trust God to trust God to enable you to please Him well. By depending upon Him, by relying upon Him, that was how Jesus pleased Him well. He lived a life of dependence upon the Father. You cannot do any less, friend.
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!