By: Bro. Festus Etuwewe
As each year rolled out, We are one year closer to leaving this earthly realm. Before we start thinking about the future, let us ask ourselves two very important questions.
- Have I drawn closer to God through His Word and prayer? (James 4:8)
- Have I set a good example to the world? (Matthew 5:13-16)
As we look ahead the rest of 2020 and make out plans, let us be like the emu and the kangaroo. Neither can move backward. The emu has three toes on the front of its foot. If it tries to go backward, it falls down. The kangaroo’s long heavy tail prevents it from going backward. Let the church roll out her plans and set goals as we learnt last week and individual look at it and also plan along with it. Goals help to give us direction and purpose. Proverbs 2:5 tells us, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance. . .” Keep this saying in mind as we move through this lesson, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.
- Jesus Had Goals While on Earth
- Fulfil the Law of Moses. Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
- Save the lost. Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
- Do the will of the Father. John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
- “It is finishes.” John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Since we are to follow Christ’s example, we need to be about the Father’s business and work to accomplish the will of the Father in our own lives.
- How to Set Goals and Keep Them
Philippians 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’.
- It requires work and patience.
Paul had been a Christian for some time, but was not perfect. He knew he had much work left to do.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- It requires dedication. “One thing I do.” We must have single-mindedness and not allow the things of the world to distract us.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
- We must not dwell on the past accomplishments or failures.
Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
- It requires enthusiasm, “straining forward.” Look forward to the future.
Psalms 16:6-8 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
- It requires determination, “press on.” “Strive”
Luke. 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
- It requires setting priorities, heavenly goals.
Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
III. Heavenly Goals
Ask ourselves some personal questions first.
- What would I truly like to become?
- What character quality if developed would make me a better parent, sibling, spouse, child. . .?
- I will recognize the value of time. I will do all I can not to waste it.
Psalm 39:4 “Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am.
Ephesians 5:15-16 15 See then that you walk [a]circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
- I will develop holiness. I Peter 1:15-16 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” This means being dedicated to God; set apart for His service. We must be different from the crowds due to God’s qualities in our lives. His priorities are our priorities.
- I will try to be like Daniel in my prayer life. Daniel 6:10 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Spend regular periods each day talking with God.
- I will set aside quality time to become a better Bible student. II Timothy 2:15 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
- I will visit a neighbor, co-worker. . . once a month and try to develop a meaningful relationship. “Become all things to all men. . .” Galatians 6:10 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
- I will try to persuade others to become a Christian. (Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go [a]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [b]Amen.) Use several methods: invitations, tracts, CD’s, Spiritual Sword. . .
- I will give God my best, in everything! If possible, increase my giving. (Malachi 1:6:14 “A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts, To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’ 7 “You offer defiled food on My altar, But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ‘The table of the Lord is [a]contemptible.’ 8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice,
Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil?
Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept[b] you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts. 9 “But now entreat God’s favor, That He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts. 10 “Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you,” Says the Lord of hosts, “Nor will I accept an offering from your hands. 11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the entiles;
In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering;
For My name shall be great among the nations,” Says the Lord of hosts.
12 “But you profane it, In that you say, ‘The table of the [c]Lord is defiled; And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’ 13 You also say, ‘Oh, what a weariness!’ And you sneer at it,” Says the Lord of hosts. “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?” Says the Lord. 14 “But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow, But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished—For I am a great King,” Says the Lord of hosts, “And My name is to be feared among the nations.)
These are all worthwhile goals. Write them down and keep them handy