Aiming To Please.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. – 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 ESV

Why do you do the things you do? Most likely, it is either to please yourself or to please someone else. We are either motivated by self-satisfaction or some form of people-pleasing. We are out to make ourselves feel good or to ensure that others feel good about us. But Paul introduces another motivating factor for the believer: Pleasing God. More than anything else, we should desire to do what pleases Him. And Paul knew that a life of holiness, living set apart and consecrated to God and His purposes, was what pleased God. He wrote to the Thessalonicans: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification…” (1 Thessalonians 4:3a ESV). God desires His people to be holy and distinctively different in their behavior. He wants to them live according to His will and in keeping with the godly guidance of His indwelling Holy Spirit.

The apostle Peter described as life of holiness as “doing good”. He wrote, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people” (1 Peter 2:15 ESV). He went on to say that we must abstain from certain ungodly behaviors such as sexual immorality and lustful passions. But while we “put off” unrighteousness, we must “put on” godliness. Peter went on to say, “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you” (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 ESV). To refuse to live a holy life is to disregard the very will of God for you. It is to willingly disobey and displease Him. But Paul insists that he makes it his aim to please God. That was how he was able to maintain his motivation to do the right thing even when he got the wrong reaction. He was able to endure injustice and abuse even when he was doing exactly what God had called him to do. Because his real goal was to please God, not man. Peter claimed that suffering was to be an expected part of living a godly life. “But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:20-21 ESV). Just as Christ suffered for doing what was right and godly, so shall we. We should not be surprised when living godly in an ungodly world brings godless reactions from ungodly people.

But Paul was of good courage. Even though he found life on earth to be difficult at times, he was encouraged by the knowledge that this life was not all there was. He believed in a life to come. He lived by faith, not sight. Like the writer of Hebrews, he knew that faith was “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 ESV). And he knew that faith was essential if anyone wanted to live a life that pleased God, because “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 ESV).

Paul received courage from the fact that God had promised Him eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. He received courage from the promise of Jesus that He would one day return. He received courage from the promise of a redeemed and resurrected body. And he longed for the day when he would be able to vacate his earthly “tent” and move into his new body, a “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (1 Corinthians 5:1b ESV). But in the meantime, while he waited for the return of Christ or his own death, he made it his aim to live his life in such a way that it pleased God. That meant he had to stop trying to please others or doing what brought pleasure to himself alone. And Paul knew that there was a day coming when his actions or deeds would be judged by God. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (1 Corinthians 5:10 ESV). On that day, every believer’s conduct in this life will be judged – every thought, action, attitude, and word will be exposed. Everything we have done since the day we accepted Christ as Savior will be assessed and evaluated as to whether is was good or evil. This has nothing to do with judgment for sin, because all our sins have been paid for by Christ. It is about whether what we have done in this life since coming to faith in Christ was godly or ungodly, righteous or unrighteous, pleasing or displeasing to God. Did we live our lives in keeping with His will? His will is our holiness. So was that our motivating factor? Was pleasing Him our aim? Our actions and attitudes will reveal whether it was or not. How we lived our life will expose whether we were trying to please Him or whether we were living to please ourselves or others. Paul’s aim was to please God – even in this life. He made it his life-long objective to do the will of God, to live holy, set apart – doing good even when it produced less-than-good outcomes. He lived by faith, not by sight; trusting in the reality of what he hoped for, yet couldn’t see: Heaven and his resurrected body. Paul actually looked forward to the judgment seat of Christ, because he was confident that his aim in life was to please God. He was attempting to do the will of God, not men. He was striving to please God, not himself. And while that kind of lifestyle might result in troubles and tribulations in this life, it promised rewards in the life to come and the promise of hearing the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 ESV).

 

We Don’t Grow Alone.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. – Galatians 6:1-5 ESV

The two extremes of legalism and license both tend to encourage lifestyles of self-centeredness and selfishness. Law-keeping becomes a competition, where we compare our “spirituality” with others. The measure of our worthiness becomes a somewhat subjective determination based on our spiritual success compared to that of others. A lifestyle of license is inherently self-absorbed, where the individual’s wants and desires come first and others become tools or pawns to get what you want. Legalism and license are both flesh-based and produce harmful and hateful outcomes.

Yet Paul wants his readers to know that a life based on the power of the indwelling Spirit of God is something different altogether. It produces fruit that is beneficial to all those around us. It is anything but self-centered and self-absorbed. An apple tree does not produce fruit for itself, but for the benefit of others. And in the same way, the Christian’s life is to be lived selflessly, focused on meeting the needs of those around them, including other believers, as well as the lost. And Paul provides a practical, everyday life example. He describes a situation where a fellow believer is overcome by some sin. The word Paul used to describe this individual’s situation refers to someone being overtaken or surprised by sin. It would be like a slower runner suddenly being overtaken or caught by a much faster runner. The idea is of a believer’s sin suddenly catching up with him. He didn’t see it coming. Rather than being premeditated and planned, it caught him completely by surprise. This is not describing someone dealing with an ongoing, unrepentant sin issue, but an individual who suddenly and unexpectedly sins. In a case like that, we are to “restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” There is a humility and tenderness that must accompany our confrontation. Pride has no place in a situation like this. Exposing the other believer’s failure should produce no joy or create any sense of self-satisfaction in us. We are not to see ourselves as the holier Christian confronting the less-spiritual brother in Christ. When Paul says, “you who are spiritual,” he is talking about someone who has the Spirit living within them. The Greek word he uses is πνευματικός (pneumatikos) and it refers to “one who is filled with and governed by the Spirit of God” (“G4152 – pneumatikos – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible).

Those who are living according to the Holy Spirit within them will naturally care about those around them. They will have a supernatural sensitivity to the spiritual condition of their fellow believers and a Spirit-led desire to get involved in their lives. If we see a fellow believer suddenly caught up in sin, we are to lovingly lead them back on to the right path. The confrontation is to be done lovingly and constructively. The goal is repentance and restoration. But Paul warns us to be cautious and careful, “lest you too be tempted.” This is a reminder to not forget our own sin natures and our susceptibility to falling into the same trap. It was John Bradford who said, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” That needs to be our approach when coming alongside a struggling brother or sister in Christ.

Paul tells us that if we share one another’s burdens, we are fulfilling the law of Christ. Most likely, he is referring to the words of Jesus when He described the greatest commandment:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 22:37-40 ESV

Christianity is not about a lengthy list of dos and dont’s. It is also not about a lifestyle of self-absorbed freedom to do what you want. It is about loving God and loving others. It is about living in the grace of God and extending that same grace to all those around you. We are fools if we think we are somehow better than someone else. Our right standing before God is due to His Son’s work on our behalf, not our own self-effort. We have no right to think ourselves better than another human being. If we do, we are self-deceived. Christianity is not about comparison or competition. It is not about the level of my spirituality as compared with another believer. And I am not to compare my sins with anyone else either. As a believer, I am called to examine my own life, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to show me my sin. If I do so, I will find I have no reason to boast or be prideful. But if I compare myself with others, I will always find someone who appears to be a worse sinner than I am and, ultimately, that results in pride. Each of us is responsible for our own sin. It is not a competition. But we have a God-given responsibility to come alongside one another and encourage godliness. Christianity is a community activity. It is a team sport. We don’t grow alone. Which is why Paul told the believers in Thessalonica, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT).

Paul ends this section of thought with the admonition to, “Bear one another’s burdens” and then follows that with, “each will have to bear his own load.” It might appear that Paul is contradicting himself. But his point is a simple one. We are to be willing to bear or carry the burden of another. He is speaking of the burden or weight of sin. If we examine ourselves rightly, we will see that we are no better than the other person. We have the same propensity for sin, and we could just as easily find ourselves in the same situation. We are not to all the sin of another to make us feel better about ourselves. Instead, we are to allow the Holy Spirit to examine us and reveal the true nature of our hearts. If we have any ground for “boasting,” it will be because of what Christ is doing in us, not because we are comparatively better than someone else. When Paul tells us that “each will have to bear his own load,” he is reminding us that we are ultimately responsible for how we live our lives. When we stand one day before the Judgment Seat of Christ, our works will be judged based on their merit alone, not in comparison to those around us. We have a responsibility to live in obedience to the will of God and in submission to the Holy Spirit. We will each answer one day for the manner in which we have lived our lives. But in the meantime, we are to come alongside the struggling brother or sister in Christ and lovingly restore them to a right relationship with God, so that they too might walk in obedience and loving submission to His Spirit.

Fearfully Faithful.

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. – 1 Peter 1:17-21 ESV

Peter challenged his readers to live as who they are – those who have been called and set apart by God. They were to live as obedient children, refusing to conform to their old way of living before coming to Christ. As believers, there was no going back. But to keep from doing so, they would have to be sober-minded, keeping their focus on the hope of their future glorification. He wrote, “set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13 ESV). But Peter also reminded them that the coming revelation of Jesus Christ would also bring judgment. While they call on God as Father, they were to never forget that He also “ judges impartially according to each one’s deeds” (1 Peter 1:17 ESV). God watches His children, and because He is all-knowing, He sees all that they do. Nothing escapes His attention. But what God is looking for are the deeds we do while in the flesh, specifically those deeds done since coming to faith in Christ. Those deeds will one day be judged. Paul tells us about that day: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV). The word translated “evil” in this verse is probably better understood as “worthless.” This judgment has nothing to do with our sin, because our sins have already been paid for by Christ. Romans 8:1 tells us there is no longer any condemnation for those of us who are in Christ. So the judgment that we face has to do with those works we have done since coming to faith. Paul explained it in detail to the believers in Corinth.

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. – 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 ESV

Our works will be judged. Jesus Christ is the foundation upon which all of us build. It is our faith in Him that should be the basis for all that we do. But if we attempt to perform good works based on anything other than our faith in Him, those deeds will prove worthless. If we try to rely on self-effort to live the Christian life, on the day of judgment we will discover that anything we did was in vain. If we serve in order to get noticed or recognized by men, we will receive no commendation from Christ. In fact, Jesus told His disciples, “When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do–blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get” (Matthew 6:2 NLT).

Peter reminds his readers that they had been “ransomed from the futile ways” that had been passed down to them from their forefathers. Jesus Christ had shed His blood for them, paying the price for their sins and redeeming them from sin and death. They were to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). They were to view themselves as exiles on this earth, strangers who were waiting for their opportunity to return to where they belonged.In the meantime, they were to live their lives in dependence upon Christ and with their faith and hope placed firmly in God. Jesus was to be the foundation of their lives and all that they did in this life was to built on that foundation.

Peter calls his readers to live with hope and reverential fear of God. Their focus was to be on their future glorification by God and the inevitable judgment of all that they had done in life since coming to faith in Christ. God will want to see what they had accomplished with what He had given them. Jesus told His disciples, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (Luke 14:12 ESV). In that same passage, Jesus goes on to tell His disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit. With His departure, the Comforter would come, the Spirit of truth. And it is the Spirit who would empower the disciples to do greater works. In the power of the Spirit, they would take the gospel to places Jesus had never been. They would impact the world in ways Jesus never did.

Each of us as believers have been given the same Spirit of God to live within us and empower us. And Jesus would have us remember, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48 ESV). We have not been left helpless or hopeless on this earth. We have the power of God resident within us. We have been placed in the body of Christ, the church. We have the Word of God available to us. But we must avail ourselves of all that we have been given and live with a desire to build upon the foundation of our faith in Christ. We have been ransomed by the blood of Christ. God paid a high price for our freedom, so we should live our lives in constant gratitude by making holiness our highest priority.

1 Kings 13-14, 2 Corinthians 5

Pleasing God.

1 Kings 13-14, 2 Corinthians 5

So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. – 2 Corinthians 5:9 ESV

Solomon failed to please God. He lived in disobedience to the will of God, worshiping false gods and making the pursuit of his own personal pleasure and satisfaction his highest priority. His son, Rehoboam, would follow his example, reigning over Judah for 17 years, and failing to please God the entire time. “And Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins that they committed, more than all that their fathers had done” (1 Kings 14:22 ESV). Jeroboam, God’s hand-picked king of the northern tribes of Israel, also failed to please God. He developed his own gods, temples, and priesthood. He led the people of Israel into apostasy and encouraged them to disobey God’s commands. God said of Jeroboam, “…but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back” (1 Kings 14:9 ESV). These men all looked like kings. From the outside, their kingdoms may have looked successful and their reigns may have had all the appearances of power, prestige and earthly success. But they had failed to please God, and as a result, God was forced to deal harshly with them. He split Solomon’s vast kingdom in half. He predicted the future fall and eventual deportation of the northern kingdom of Israel. He allowed the Egyptians to attack the city of Jerusalem and ransack the Temple, taking as plunder all the treasures of the house of the Lord that David and Solomon had so painstakingly collected. The history of Israel and Judah will be marked by kings who, for the most part, failed to live lives that were pleasing to God, instead, doing “what was evil in the sight of the Lord” (1 Kings 14:22 ESV).

What does this passage reveal about God?

God requires obedience. His commands were just that – commands, and not suggestions. He expected His laws to be obeyed. When He told the young prophet to go to Jeroboam and speak a word against the king and his false gods, He also told him “You shall neither eat bread nor drink water nor return by the way that you came” (1 Kings 13:9 ESV). But the young man disobeyed. Yes, he was tricked and deceived, but the bottom line is that he failed to obey the word of the Lord and as a result, his actions failed to please the Lord. His own untimely and violent death was the outcome. God takes His word seriously and He expects His people to do the same. God had given Jeroboam the kingdom of Israel to rule over. But He had also told Jeroboam, “And if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you” (1 Kings 11:38 ESV). But Jeroboam, like Solomon and Rehoboam, would fail to live up to God’s expectations. He would not walk in God’s ways. He would end up doing what was right in his own eyes. His kingdom would last 22 years, but it would be marked by sin and rebellion against God. From all appearances, Jeroboam’s reign would have looked successful. Twenty two years would have been quite a long reign for any king during that period of time. But his kingdom would lack God’s blessing. His rule would fail to please God. Any success he experienced would have been short-lived and just as short-sighted. Having failed to please God, he would learn first hand what it was like to reign without the pleasure of God.

What does this passage reveal about man?

The apostle Paul made it his aim to live a life that was pleasing to God. He lived with an eternal perspective that focused on something other than the temporal pleasures of this life. He knew that there was life beyond this one. He understood that eternity was real and that, as believers, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV). There will be an accounting one day for every Christian. We will have to own up for every word spoken and action committed while we lived on this earth. Paul tried to live his life in such a way that he would not have to be ashamed of anything he said or did while “at home in the body” (2 Corinthians 5:6 ESV). He made it his goal to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV). In other words, he lived his life motivated by the as-yet-unseen promises of God. He didn’t let the temptations of earthly pleasures or temporary trappings of this world lure him into doing anything that would be displeasing to God. “We make it our aim to please him” (2 Corinthians 5:9 ESV). For Paul, the issue was heart change. He knew that external actions or outward appearances mattered little to God. He looked at the heart. There were those who were influencing the Corinthian believers “who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart” (2 Corinthians 5:12 ESV). These people wanted to appear spiritual, but there hearts were not pleasing to God. They were focused on how they were perceived by men, and failed to worry about whether the condition of their hearts were pleasing to God. They lived for themselves. They focused on the flesh. But Paul reminded them, “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV). We have been made right with God. We don’t belong to this world anymore. We are eternal creatures with a future reserved for us in God’s kingdom. We are to live like citizens of that new kingdom, not this earthly, temporal one.

How would I apply what I’ve read to my own life?

I am to live a life that is pleasing to God. He has given me the Holy Spirit as a down-payment, a sort of guarantee of what is to come in the future. He has placed His Spirit within me and provided me with a source of power that I could never have manufactured on my own. I have the capacity to live in such a way that my life pleases God. The Holy Spirit, using the Word of God, shows me just what that life should look like, and also provides me with the power to pull it off. Paul put it this way: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 ESV). I want to make it my aim to please God. I want to live my life on this earth in such a way that my words and actions will be pleasing to Him when I stand at the judgment seat of Christ one day. But I must keep an eternal focus. I must realize that this life is temporary. I must live, not for myself, but for Him who died and was raised for my sake (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Father, I want my life to please You. And I know that when I live in submission to Your Spirit and in obedience to Your Word, my life DOES please You. I am grateful that my obedience is not mandatory for remaining in a right relationship with You. I don’t have to obey to be made righteous. That was taken care of by Christ on my behalf. My obedience should be in response to what He has done for me. It should be an outward expression of the Spirit’s presence within me. As I submit to His will and obey Your Word, my life will be pleasing to You. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org

2 Corinthians 5:1-10

Dead or Alive – Please God.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10

So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. – 2 Corinthians 5:9 NLT

What’s your goal in life? To be successful? Make a million dollars? Reach retirement? Graduate from college? Get married? Own a big home? Drive a fancy car? Have kids? See the world? Change the world?

As believers, we’re to have a different perspective about life on this planet and what we expect to get out of it. We are eternal creatures living in a temporary environment that is nowhere near what God intended it to be when He created it. This place can be beautiful, even breathtaking at times, but it is fallen and marred by the effects of sin. Human beings have the capacity for good, but are more prone to sin and selfishness, perpetrating all kinds of evil on one another. And yet, we find ourselves, like everyone else, living as if life on this planet is all there is. We fear death and so we try to cram as much living as we can in the days we have. We try to prolong life and extend our time here on earth, hoping to buy ourselves a bit more time to enjoy what we’ve got or get our hands on what we’ve missed out on.

But Paul had a different perspective. He longed to be with God, because he knew that what God had in store for him in eternity was far better than anything he could ever experience here on earth. Paul didn’t have a death wish. He wasn’t in a hurry to die, but he knew that his life here was temporary and a poor substitute for what was to come. And that eternal perspective led Paul to have a different goal in life. As long as he lived on this earth, he was going to seek to please God. His temporary, earthly life was an opportunity to contribute to the advancement of God’s mission and glory in the world. Rather than live for himself, Paul chose to live for God. Rather than trying to build his own kingdom on earth, Paul chose to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Because Paul knew that all that he accomplished on this earth was going to one day be judged by Christ at the Bema Seat. He understood that his life as a believer was going to be held to a different set of standards. The Bema or Judgment Seat of Christ is a real event that will take place after Christ returns for his bride, the Church. Every believer will stand before Christ and will have his works judged by Christ – all those things he or she has done in their life since becoming a believer. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB). The judgment spoken of here has nothing to do with salvation. This will not be a judgment to determine who gets into heaven, because as believers, we will all spend eternity with Christ. But He will judge our works. He will determine the relative value of what we have done since becoming believers. The criteria for judgment will be the worth or worthlessness of our works. This is not about punishment, but rewards. There will be rewards for those things we did in this life that helped extend God’s Kingdom and accomplish His will on earth. Those things that we have done that were selfish, self-centered, and ended up building our own little kingdom will not be rewarded. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul had told them about this coming day of judgment. “Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15 NLT).

The realization of rewards should motivate us to live differently in this life. It should cause us to recognize that all those things we invest so much time and energy in that are for our own pleasure or personal satisfaction, will be worth nothing when we stand before the Lord. They will be wood, hay and stubble. That is why Paul lived to please God. He wanted his entire life to be comprised of gold, silver and jewels – those things that would be judged by Christ as worthwhile and worthy or reward. But it all begins with an eternal perspective. We have to understand that this life is temporary and only a fleeting moment when compared to the eternity we will spend with Christ. Even these bodies are temporary, growing older with every passing moment, which is why God is going to provide us with new bodies, heavenly bodies, designed to last an eternity. None of us know how long we have to live. But as believers, we should know that as long as we do live, we should make it our goal to please God in all that we do. We should live in such a way that our lives are “a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable” (Romans 12:1 NLT).

Father, I focus way too much on this life. I worry far too much about getting out of this life all that I can – and mostly just for me. But I am to set my sights on eternity. I am to focus on Your Kingdom, not mine. I am to live here, but with my attention focused THERE. Show me how to live to please You. I want to make it my goal to please You in all that I do in the time that I have left here. Amen.

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org