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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2 Corinthians 5:9

"A Vitally Important Goal"

Message summary: A goal we should all have for the new year is to make it our goal to please the Lord!

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

A new year is a time when many make goals, AKA resolutions. A new year signals the opportunity for a new start. Perhaps we can finally overcome that bad habit, whatever it may be. Perhaps we can consistently practice that good habit that's been so elusive in our lives.

There are a lot of goals we should make in life. The term "goal" is used a lot in sports but we also speak of financial goals, career goals, educational goals and many others. In a new year many Christians make goals regarding personal spiritual enrichment such as Bible reading, prayer, church attendance and so forth.

Ravi ZachariasToday we want to consider a vitally important goal we are to all have as Christians. It's not a specific goal dealing with one area of life but rather a goal that is general but very guiding.

Bible teacher and apologist Ravi Zacharias challenges devoted believers 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 in my mission statement 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". 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!

Philippians 3:13,14The word translated "goal" means "to devote one's self zealously to a cause". It suggests eager, continuing efforts for something that is good. The Amplified Bible expresses this sense well: "We are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him."

A lifelong pursuit in life for the redeemed is finding out what pleases the Lord.
Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:10, "find 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 being set before us. Doing the right thing requires discernment and building a solid foundation so that you know that which He prohibits, and that which He finds pleasing. It is for our own good and for His glory.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I make it my goal to please You in 2019. 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 home. Amen.

Following are a selection of the spiritual resolutions (goals) written by Jonathan Edwards before age 20. Edwards preached "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut which was the start of the Great Awakening:
  • "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without Godís help, I do humbly entreat Him, by His grace, to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will."
  • Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure... To do whatever I think to be my duty... for the good and advantage of mankind in general. "
  • Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body less or more, but what tends to the glory of God...í
  • Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
  • Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
  • Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
  • Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
  • Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether Godís.
  • Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting or uneasiness at my father or mother.
  • Resolved, (That) there be something of benevolence in all I speak.
(Edwards resolved to read these resolutions over once a week!)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"It's What He's Done"  Video  Wilburn & Wilburn

"Masterpiece of Mercy"  Video  The Booth Brothers

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 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."

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