Summary: Emphasises the importance of being God-pleasers insteadof people pleasers.

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{PLEASE NOTE - This sermon includes some ideas and quotes from the book "The Life You’ve Always Wanted" by John Ortberg, pages 157 - 172}

- Turn to 1 Corinthians 4

This coming week, we start a new year. 2005 is less than a week away and with the new year comes new opportunities. The calendar stretches before us without a day marked off. This coming year we have 52 weeks, 365 days, 8760 hours, to grow as men and women of God, to help others, and to make a lasting difference. Sadly, I am afraid that many of us will look back on 2005 with much of the same regret with which we look back on 2004. Why? The same reason revival is delayed in so many lives and so many churches.

I don’t know about you, but I believe there were more opinion polls this past November than I’ve seen in any previous election. It seemed that every other day another public opinion poll would come out, and often, the politicians’ messages would change according to what the polls said.

Sadly, politicians aren’t the only ones who live according to other peoples’ opinions. Often you and I do the same thing. I am afraid that many today live for the approval of others. I am afraid that far too many of us are more concerned with pleasing people than we are with pleasing God.

Now let me say right now, that there is nothing wrong with pleasing people. I want to please my wife. I want to make her happy and I want her to think that I’m a good husband. I like it when she tells me I am. I want to please the people in this church, and I enjoyed getting the Christmas cards many of you gave, saying that you appreciate the job I do. But, the problem comes when I begin doing what I do in order to please you, in order impress you, instead of pleasing God.

That, my friend, will stop revival. That will remove God’s hand of blessing. That will cause this coming year to be wasted, when you and I become people pleasers instead of God pleasers. When you and I begin to do what we do to get “attaboys” from people instead of God.

My friend, you could suffer from the same problem I do if you often get hurt by what people say. If you often compare yourself to other people; if you often feel that you aren’t appreciated enough, or what you do and contribute isn’t recognized enough, or if you get envious of other people’s success; you probably suffer from the same sin I do. If you go to great lengths to try to impress people, then you are probably stuck in the same quagmire I often find myself in. We have become people pleasers.

My friend, that is not the attitude Christians are to have. Listen to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4.

- Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Did you hear that? Paul said, “I am not worried about what you think about me. My goal is not to impress you. When you criticize me, that’s a little thing. I don’t even judge myself. There is only One I am living to impress, and that is Jesus.”

Can you imagine how free we would be if our goal in life were to please God instead of worrying about what others thought of us and said about us all the time?

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