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Friday, August 31, 2007

Ocean scene
A scene off the coast of South Africa.
Photo taken by Mike Stillman

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"Our Ultimate Goal"

"So we make it our goal to please Him" (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Generally my competitive athletic days are over but I still have the competitive spirit at times. The other evening I played a makeshift round of Frisbee golf in our front lawn and alongside our country road with Jim Losey, a friend of mine.  We determined the goal one "hole" at a time. As it got dark we were tied and agreed that whoever won the next hole would be the winner and, lo and behold, Jim hit the designated goal and won the round. I was devastated (only for a brief moment, of course.)

There are a lot of goals in life. The term is used a lot in sports but we also speak of financial goals, career goals, and so forth.  Today I want to consider the ultimate goal we are to have as Christians.

Ravi Zacharias challenges followers of Christ to follow the model of many corporations and local churches and develop a personal mission statement.  Many years ago I formulated my own.  The difficulty for me in this matter is staying succinct.  There are so many Scripture verses that I want to incorporate that I tend to lose the brevity and focus that characterizes a mission statement.  Here's the one I have used for many years.

"I am created by God to bring Him glory.  Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord.  My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

The daily verse is a goal that the Apostle Paul had for both himself and his readers. Notice the first person plural pronoun "we".  I believe as part of the Holy Scriptures this includes us.  It is one of the first verses of Scripture I memorized as a young man.  "So we make it our goal to please Him."  That's a great single phrase mission statement!

The word translated "goal" means "to devote one's self zealously to a cause."  It suggests eager, continuing efforts for something that is good.  I believe the Amplified Bible expresses this sense well: "we are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him."

A great pursuit in life for the redeemed is finding out what pleases the Lord. By God's grace it remains a simple expression of my outlook on life. The quest to find out what pleases the Lord is ongoing.  Although God's written revelation in the Bible regarding what pleases Him is unchangeable, new challenges in different contexts are always set before us. Doing the right thing  requires discernment and building a solid foundation so that you know that which God prohibits and that which pleases Him.  Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:10, "find out what pleases the Lord."  That remains a very worthy goal!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, I make it my goal to please You.  So many goals I make only last for a season, but when I set goals for righteous living the rewards will last not only for this life, but for all of eternity.  In setting my goals help me to be willing to lay aside that which hinders and the sin that so easily entangles so that I can reap a future harvest of righteousness and peace.  I want my primary goal to be that of perseverance so that no circumstances in this life will deter me from my eternal destiny.  Amen.

Newborn heifer calf
Yesterday we stopped by and visited with Jesse and Anna and their children for a few minutes on their farm near Strasburg PA. They were rejoicing at the birth of a heifer earlier in the day. The mom cow was a bit wary of my presence!  Jesse and Anna are our Amish friends and former neighbors who recently started up a dairy farm about 25 miles from where we live. They now have about 35 cows and are milking for market. They expect to add about 15 more cows to fill their dairy barn.

Rick Steudler at 60
Yesterday one of our friends had his 60th birthday and the employees had quite a time teasing him. They made this makeshift rest area between buildings.

Today's suggested music:
"Take My Life" (Audio)
"Holiness" (Audio)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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