We Make it our Goal to Please Him

2 Corinthians 5:1-10, 17

How can we thank Jesus for what He did for us on the Cross and through His resurrection?  How can we say thank you with our lives?  I think Paul shows us how.  He dedicated His life to spreading the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ.  He lived to please the Lord with his life, and to thank Him for what He had done – for him and for all of us!  How can we do the same?

We need to live our lives to please Him, like Paul did.  Here are 3 ways to say thank you to Jesus with our lives.

1: Look to the future with KEEN ANTICIPATION.

  • C.S. Lewis said, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”  We need to keep our eyes on the prize.  We need to live with an eye towards Heaven.  Keeping our focus on Heaven will build our faith and focus our life.
  • The central teaching of the first disciples is, because Jesus rose from the dead, I too can rise. Paul and the disciples taught this over and over (1 Cor. 15:14, 17; Rom 8:11). Paul is saying in 2 Cor. 5:1-10, 17 that because Jesus died on the cross and rose again, we too will one day rise. The disciples banked their lives on these truths and lived their lives with joy knowing what was ahead.
    • While this present life is imperfect and temporary, the life to come is perfect and eternal (v. 1-3).
    • Resurrection life is both already and not yet. Our mortality is being swallowed up by life (v. 4).
    • Jesus sent His Spirit as a guarantee of what is to come (v. 5).
    • We live life with complete confidence and assurance that we are on a track that is leading to ETERNAL healing, health, wholeness, and victory (v. 6-8).

2: Look to the past with HEARTFELT GRATITUDE.

  • What Jesus did through the Cross and Resurrection is an absolute game changer.
    • Without His death, I would need to die for my sins.
    • Without His resurrection, I could not rise from the dead.
  • My past is covered and my debt has been paid – IN FULL!  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17)
    • We are a new creation!  What sin corrupted Christ has restored through His death and resurrection!
    • The old is gone so we need to forget it and flee from it.  We have been forgiven and we are free.
      • Remember Rom. 8:1: “There is no condemnation…”
      • Remember Samson: He didn’t flee so he wasn’t free.
      • Remember Lot’s wife: She did flee, but she didn’t want to forget.

3: Live in the present with PASSION and CONVICTION.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:9 says, “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
    • Our present is clear and focused on pleasing Him.
  • The first disciples were men of deep conviction and passion.  They believed and lived out their faith with all that was in them.  They were willing to die for their faith, and most of them did.  Foxe’s Book of Martyrs records the following:
    • Andrew: Crucified
    • Bartholomew: Beaten, then crucified
    • James, son of Alphaeus: Stoned to death
    • James, son of Zebedee: Beheaded
    • John: Exiled for his faith; died of old age
    • Judas (not Iscariot): Stoned to death
    • Matthew: Speared to death
    • Peter: Crucified upside down
    • Philip: Crucified
    • Simon: Crucified
    • Thomas: Speared to death
    • Matthias: Stoned to death
  • We may not be asked to die for our faith, but Jesus wants us to live out our faith – with passion and conviction.  How can we do this?
    • Serve others
    • Love God
    • Show compassion
    • Study scripture and pray
    • Give of our time, talent, and treasure
    • Share our faith
    • Honor the Lord
    • Build His Church
    • Care for our family

How about you?  Will you join with me and make it your goal to please Him?