THE AMBASSADOR’S AIM
2 CORINTHIANS 5:1-10 PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH 21 MAY 2023
What do you think about when you hear someone called an Ambitious Person?
Maybe, you think of a person with an agenda to promote himself.
Or you think of one who is eager to get on with whatever is his/her goal.
Or you may think of someone who undertakes monumental endeavors.
Well, as Christians we should be ambitious ambassadors for Christ. First, we need to define what an ambassador is. An ambassador is an “authorized representative of the highest rank.”
The Apostle John, in the writing of his Gospel, said in John 8:29: “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
The Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:9 said, “We have as our ambition to be pleasing to Him.” (NASV)
Other versions say: “Make it our aim to be pleasing to Him…” ASV; “Make it our goal to be pleasing to Him…” NIV; “We labor to please Him…” KJV.
Ambition can be detrimental in certain circumstances and in certain people when they are totally looking out for NUMBER 1 and ignoring the needs of others.
However, Ambition is a positive attitude when it is focused on noble accomplishments – especially the accomplishment of pleasing God.
Mr. Webster defines ambition this way:
“an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power; or a desire to achieve a particular end.”
Jesus had an ambition as He was on this earth. His ambition was to always please His Father, God. And He always did. Hear what Jesus says to the Pharisees in John 8:21-30. READ.
Jesus sought His Father’s approval. He was passionate about pleasing His Father. And in our lives and our serving God, we must have a passionate desire to please God. It takes a passionate desire for something to accomplish anything. And especially as we seek to please God.
We need stability. Often mankind becomes wayward – he gets off track. And when we become wayward – meaning that we lose our way – we find that our waywardness takes us to judgment.
Look at John 8:26 again: “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you (Pharisees – us), but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.”
What can we learn from Jesus’ words? We need a strong desire in order to stay on course, to not be easily led astray.
Now, we know that we have to be passionate about accomplishing our goal to please God. And we know that we need a strong desire to stay on the course of pleasing Him.
So, how do we choose what we are to do?
See again, John 8, verse 28: “So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.”
How do we choose what we are to do? We don’t determine it for ourselves. Do what Jesus said there: Do what the Father teaches you to do. If Jesus did nothing on His own initiative, how can we presume that we can? We need to do as Jesus says He does: “I speak these things that the Father has taught Me.”
Life is full of challenges. We all know that. What a blessing it would be if we only had one day which did not bring us any challenges. That one day when everything worked as it was supposed to. No one said or did anything to agitate you. That kind of day is rare if we ever do have one of those days. We are not able to please everyone. And if we are honest, no one can please us all the time either.
So, as we go through our day with every intention and purpose to make it a day of pleasing God, we will find that pleasing God can bring challenges as well.
Paul speaks in 2 Corinthians 5:1-2 of our earthly tent (that is, our earthly body). He says that “we groan”. We have two options: groan and bail out, or groan and bear it.
Jesus bore the sins of the world as He hung on the cross. His focus was on us! He was pleasing the will of His Father. He was carrying out His purpose – the purpose for which He came to this earth. To please and glorify His Father.
What can we learn from the challenges of life? Staying with the focus to please God is like Jesus on the cross.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5, verse 7 that we walk by faith, not by sight. What does it mean to “walk by faith”? If we believe that God is in control, we must learn to trust His judgment and follow as He directs us.
What does it mean that we should not walk by sight? It means that if we are in Christ, we do not follow our own interests, or our own whims, or our own desire. We don’t just do what we think is best for ourselves. Instead, we seek the wisdom of God. We seek out His desire for our lives. We understand that He knows what is best for each person. We consult Him on how we must deal with others.
Walking by faith – and not by sight means trusting God even when it is very difficult to do.
We should be motivated by the fact that we know that when we trust God the outcome will always be what is best for us – even if we don’t see it right away. We are promised some incentives as we trust in God for our well-being.
And what is best for us is what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:2-3: “For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.”
And what can we learn by walking by faith, motivated by the fact that God will always do what is best for us? We can learn that the outcome gives us focus and motivation. We can understand that we have reserved for us a dwelling from heaven that covers us.
Here are some points we should remember as Paul speaks in this passage:
1. If we are to gain any stability in our lives, we must ambitiously seek God’s approval.
2. Pleasing God is not our easiest option. We have difficult days. It isn’t easy. Think about this: The things you have gained – what are they worth? If they are of any great worth, were they easy to gain or obtain? In most cases, the things that are of any great value take effort, often hard work, to gain.
Walking by faith pleases God and leads us to eternity with Him and with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
In closing, look at John 8:28-29 where Jesus says this: “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
And as we look at 2 Corinthians 5:9 again where Paul says much the same thing Jesus says: “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
This morning, what is your ambition? Do you have a passionate desire to please God in your daily walk? Do you consciously intend each day to please God?