What impression do you make upon others? Much of it is based on what you believe of yourself. Are you encouraging or discouraging? Friendly or unfriendly? This is critical not only to who we are, but to our identity as a family in Christ. I Peter 3:15 tells us to, “regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience” Who do we want to be? What kind of person do we want others to see?
In building our spiritual character, Ephesians 4:14 calls us to abandon childish frivolity and uncertainty, so we can be certain of our place with God. Salvation is not random. We have to work toward it as certainly as we must work toward any other goal we have. Have we made planning for our next home a mission in our lives?
Goals in God’s Word
Joshua 24:15 records Joshua firmly stating, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua’s mission was to lead his family and his people in the ways of our Lord, and verse 31 shows how influential that decision was – both his generation and the next followed his example in staying faithful to God. Joshua’s goals and his character centered around one focus, and his impact on the world around him was significant.
Psalm 16:7-8 records David praising God, saying, “bless the LORD who gives me council; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Chapter 18:22-23 then records David speaking of God’s word as always before him, determined to stay innocent in God’s eyes. Even when he failed to do so, we see the humility and eagerness he returned to God.
II Kings 22:1-2 describe king Josiah as one who walked in the ways of his forefather David, never turning to the left or the right. This was possible both because of Josiah’s resolute goal and because of the example he had to build upon because of David. Our character influences our own spiritual lives as well as others.
Our Own Goals
Jeremiah 6:16 calls on us to seek God’s paths and God’s ways, and II Peter 1:3-4 tells us we have all we need for our souls in His word and that we should strive to partake of His divine nature. We need specific goals in following Him. We need to be relying on Him and helping others grow closer to Him. We should be reviewing our goals and our mission daily so we never lose sight of that for which we are working.
Remember Jesus praying in the garden, declaring that it not be His own will that is done, but the will of the Father. Our goal should be the same. II Corinthians 13:5-6 challenges us to test ourselves, to examine ourselves, to see if we are truly living by faith and to assure ourselves that Christ lives in us. Our mission statements should be focused on and centered around God. We must determine to be the person we know we should be, knowing our own challenges and obstacles so we can face them in the confidence of God’s word. Through this confidence, we can resolutely press after God, keeping that Heavenly home forever in our sight.
lesson by Mike Mahoney