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Summary: This lesson draws our attention to the focus and passion with which we strive to please God. 2nd in "Pleasing God" series.

Ambitiously Pleasing Him

Text:

2 Cor. 5:9 “…have as our ambition…”

Theme:

To emulate Jesus and Paul in pleasing God.

Introduction:

What do you think of an “ambitious man”?

1) one with an agenda to promote himself?

2) one who is eager to get on with it?

3) one who undertakes monumental tasks?

Two men, one goal:

· Jesus—

“I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (John 8:29 (quickview) )

· Paul—

“We have as our ambition…to be pleasing to Him” (2 Cor. 5:9)

Four translations:

· NASV: “Have as our ambition”

· ASV: “Make it our aim”

· NIV: “Make it our goal”

· KJV: “We labour”

Proposition:

Ambition is good when it is focused on lofty accomplishments—especially, on pleasing God.

Define: “Ambition”

Louw & Nida “to earnestly aspire to something, implying strong ambition for some goal”

W.E. Vine “to be fond of honour, and so, actuated by this motive, to strive to bring some-thing to pass”

Jesus Always Pleased God: John 8:21 (quickview) –30

Some attitudes that “sour” ambition:

· (John 8:21 (quickview) )—“You shall seek Me…”

“…and shall die in your sin”

· (John 8:23 (quickview) –24)—“You are of this world”

“I said therefore…you shall die in your sin”

Point:

Impassioned Seeking Is Required In Order To Accomplish Anything

Man needs stability:

· (John 8:26 (quickview) )—Man’s waywardness brings judgment:

“I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you”

· (John 8:26 (quickview) )—God is steadfast:

“He who sent Me is true”

Point:

Man Needs Strong Desire In Order To Stay On Course

How to choose what to do:

· (John 8:28 (quickview) )—Not self-determining…

“I do nothing on My own initiative”

· (John 8:28 (quickview) )—But what God wants!

“I speak…as the Father taught Me”

Point:

Focusing On God’s Will Keeps Us In His Embrace

Paul Was Eager To Please God

2 Cor. 5:1–10

Pleasing God brings challenges:

· “We groan”

Pressures from making the God-pleasing choices

· Two options:

1. Bail out, or

2. Bear it

Point:

Staying With The Focus To Please God Is Like Jesus On The Cross!

How to “judge” the propriety of your responses:

· (2 Cor. 5:7) “Walk by faith…”

Trust God’s judgment and follow His direction

· (2 Cor. 5:7) “Not by sight”

Do not follow your own interests and do what seems best to you

Point:

“Walking By Faith”—Means Trusting God Especially When It’s Hard

Motivated by the promised outcome:

· (2 Cor. 5:2) “Clothed with…dwelling from heaven”

Incentive to please God with our lives

· (2 Cor. 5:10) “Judgment seat”

Incentive to avoid displeasing Him

Point:

Look To The Results: Let The Outcome Give You Focus And Motivation

Review and Remember:

· Ambitiously Seek God’s Approval To Find Stability

· Pleasing God Is Not Our Easiest Option

· Walking By Faith Pleases Him & Leads To Heaven

Two Men; One Result:

· (John 8:29 (quickview) )—Jesus:

“He who sent Me is with Me… has not left me alone”

· (2 Cor. 5:9)—Paul:

“We walk by faith, not by sight”

Three Men; Same Result?

· (John 829 (quickview) )—Jesus:

“…pleasing to Him”

· (2 Cor. 59)—Paul:

“…pleasing to Him”

· (2 Cor. 59)—You:

“…pleasing to Him”


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