What Lies Ahead: Take Aim

What Lies Ahead

Take Aim – 2 Cor 5:9-10

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Dec. 29th, 2019

Intro:

  • Today is the last Sunday before we start a new year and a new decade.  I want to challenge you to think about what lies ahead and to set goals for yourself as you move ahead in your journey before you reach the ultimate goal of heaven.
  • Each one of us has been given a very precious gift, and that is time.  This gift does come in a limited quantity while we are yet on earth.  And what we do with it matters.  You can choose what you will do with your time and the life that has been given.  And I want you to know, that you will give an account for it to the one who has given it to you. 

2 Cor 5:9-10 ESV
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 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.

  • Paul made it his aim to please Christ.  This was his main goal and focus.  Keep this at the center of who you are and the focus of what you do.  He said this knowing that each one of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ – every person will appear before Him and at that judgment seat. From the hand of Christ we will receive what is due for what we have done while in the body, whether good or evil. 
  • Everyone who is wise begins with the end in mind, whether a project or a journey, we all start with the end in mind.  I want you to keep this end in mind:  that you will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and then live your life with this knowledge and aim.  
  • With the goal of pleasing Christ and the knowledge that we will appear before His judgment seat, we live our lives, one day and one moment at a time and we continue to move forward to our eventual end. 
  • So, if your aim is to please Christ, you must ask, “what pleases Him”? And then choose those things.  Here is a list of seven things that you can be assured are in His will and perfect plan.

Have faith

Heb 11:6-7 ESV
And 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.

  • This is having and keeping the faith.  No one can please God without having faith in Him!  And having faith in God means that you believe that He exists, and that you will be rewarded in seeking Him. Do you believe that He exists?  Do you believe that you will be rewarded by seeking Him?  How are you seeking Him?  What reward are you looking for?  This is what Paul was seeking:

Phil 3:10-11 ESV
that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Love God

Mark 12:29-30 ESV
“The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

  • To please Christ, we are to love the Father.  The Love of God is to be our first and highest love over everything and everyone else.  And we demonstrate our love for Him by keeping His commandments.

1 John 2:4-5 ESV
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.

  • If you, or anyone says “they know God” or they “love God” but they don’t keep His commandments – they lie.  The only way that you or anyone else can know if someone loves God is in the fruit of how they live – that they keep the commandments of God.

Love your neighbor

Mark 12:31 ESV
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

  • So, another evidence that we love God is that we are loving our neighbors.  We show love to them by doing as we would want them to do to us.  This means we do them good in every way possible.  Christian neighbors are to be the best neighbors on the block and in the building. 

Do good

1 Thess 5:15 ESV
See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

  • We are to be people who do good.  To everyone everywhere.  And especially to those who are evil. 

Rom 12:21 ESV
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  • Never be a person who participates in what is evil, and never return evil done to you on other people.  Do what is good and trust that God will take care of the evil that is done.

Rejoice always

1 Thess 5:16 ESV
Rejoice always,

  • Here is what this word “rejoice” means: to be “cheerful”, i.e. calmly happy or well-off; especially as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well.  We are people who are to be cheerful – and we need to ask God to make us this way always.  This does not mean we are to “fake it” but ask God to make us people who are cheerful all the time. 

Pray without ceasing

1 Thess 5:17 ESV
pray without ceasing,

  • To please the Lord, we are to pray uninterruptedly and without omission.  Turning to prayer should be our first and continual response to people and situations. Why?  Because if we really care, we will do something, and often the best thing we can do is ask God to help the person and then do what we can for them and the situation.

Give thanks

1 Thess 5:18 ESV
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

  • In everything, give thanks (not necessary for everything but in everything).  Look to the bright side and look for something to be thankful for.  You will find what you are looking for and God wants us to give thanks in all circumstances.

Rom 8:28-29 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Conclusion

  • For this upcoming new year and new decade, make it your aim to please the Lord.  Put what we have talked about today on your goal list.  Make living the word of God the first priority in your life.  Live your life with the end in mind.  Make Goals for this next year, and next decade.