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The Scriptorium

Take Aim

Aim to please the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5.9-11

2 Corinthians 5 (3)

Pray Psalm 84.8-12.
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!
O God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Sing Psalm 84.8-12.
Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
LORD of hosts, my prayer receiving, hear me, help me by Your grace!
In Your courts I stand believing; turn to me Your glorious face!
LORD, our sun, our shield, our glory, no good thing will You deny
to those who proclaim Your story, and who on Your grace rely.

Read 2 Corinthians 5.1-11; meditate on verses 9-11.

1. What was Paul’s aim in life?

2. What did he do in view of the coming judgment?

Lexicographers Louw and Nida explain the deeper sense of the NKJV’s “make it our aim”: “to earnestly aspire to something, implying strong ambition for some goal - to aspire to, to make something ones ambition to.” Today we might use a term like “driving force” or “consuming passion”. What was Paul’s aim? Simply, “to be well pleasing to Him” (v. 9).

This is the work of the Holy Spirit (Phil. 2.13). We must apply ourselves with all diligence, of course, to learning God’s will, bringing our desires into line with His, and walking by faith rather than by sight. But ultimately, we need the Spirit to fill and transform us day by day.

We want our works to be received by Jesus with “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We know there will always be some lingering sinfulness that must be purged (v. 10), but that will be in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. When we come before Jesus, we will not fear His wrath (v. 11), but we will long to be clothed with Him and with glory, to be like Him because we will see Him as He is.

Those who have not repented and surrendered to Jesus face a terrible destiny. Knowing the terror they will one day face, we must do all we can to persuade those to whom the Lord sends us to repent and believe the Gospel (v. 11). This is well-pleasing to God and thus ought to be what we aim at day by day.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“We make it our aim”, in every circumstance, “to be well pleasing to Him” (2 Cor. 5.9).

“My heart is set on keeping Your decrees to the very end” (Ps. 119.112 NIV).
“I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart” (Ps. 119.32).
“I will love You, O LORD, my strength” (Ps. 18.1).

“Observe and obey all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God” (Deut. 12.28).
“Set your hearts…on all the words of this law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life…” (Deut. 32.46, 47).

“Now therefore, put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD God of Israel” (Josh. 24.23).
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51.10).

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3.14).
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4.7).

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed…” (Rom. 1.16, 17).

Our hearts are set. We observe and obey the commandments of God. We put out of our lives anything that is displeasing to God. We repent of our sins, turn away from them, and walk on a new path. We press on in faithfulness to serve Him to the end. We know the terror of a displeased, righteous God, so we wholly strive to persuade others to fully follow Him. Nothing is more important, nothing supersedes it.

“This is well-pleasing to God and thus ought to be what we aim at day by day.”

For reflection
1. How do you “take aim” on pleasing the Lord each day?

2. “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” How does this apply to your walk with and work for the Lord?

3. How can you encourage your fellow believers to make it their aim to be always pleasing to the Lord?

We should not make ourselves, but Christ, the end of our living and actions. A Christian’s life should be devoted to Christ. Alas, how many show the worthlessness of their professed faith and love, by living to themselves and to the world!. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5.9-11

Pray Psalm 84.1-7.
Ask the Lord to renew and enlarge your vision of Jesus, exalted in glory. Call on Him to keep that vision before you throughout the day, that all your journey may be defined by the end you seek—to see Jesus face to face.

Sing Psalm 84.1-7.
Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
LORD of hosts, how sweet Your dwelling; how my soul longs for Your courts!
Let my soul with joy keep telling of Your grace forevermore.
Like a bird upon the altar, let my life to You belong.
Blessed are they who never falter as they praise Your grace with song!

Blessed are they whose strength is founded in Your strength, O LORD above.
All whose hearts in You are grounded journey in Your strength and love.
Though they weep with tears of sadness, grace shall all their way sustain.
In Your Presence, filled with gladness, they shall conquer all their pain.

T. M. and Susie Moore

The Church in Corinth was in need of revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today is in need of revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us to discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable
by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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