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Monday, March 5, 2018

Goals Help Me Do What Matters the Most

In review of Ephesians 3:20 it say, “God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (The Message).

Bottom line:
God is able to do far more than we could ever imagine was possible

What does this mean to me:
With God, I can do so much more that I could ever thought was possible.

In the last part of Ephesians 3, Paul gives me a prayer for my Spiritual Growth. He tells me that I can be extremely grateful to my Father the creator of heaven and earth. I can pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower me with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in my heart as I trust in him. Then my roots can grow down into God's love and keep me strong. It provides me the power to understand, as all God's people should know, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. I can experience the love of Christ, even though it is difficult to full understand. I can be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Therefore, all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within me, to accomplish infinitely more that I might ever ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and and ever! Amen

In summary, God is the source of all creation, the rightful owner of everything. God promises his love and power to his family, the church. To receive God's blessings, it is important that we stay in contact with other believers in the body of Christ as well. If I isolate myself from God's family and try to go it alone, I'll only cut myself off from God's power.

Paul tells me that God's love is total. It reaches every corner of my experience. It is wide, it covers the breadth of my experience, and it reaches out to the whole world. God's love is long, it continues the length of my life. It is high, it rises to the heights of my celebration and elation. His love is deep, it reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair, and even death. When I feel shut out or isolated, I need to remember that I can never be lost to God's love.

This "fullness" is expressed only in Christ. In union with Christ and through his empowering Spirit, I am complete and have all the fullness of God available to me  But I must appropriate this fullness through faith and through prayer as I live for him daily. I can ask the Holy Spirit to fill every aspect of my life to the fullest.

As I think about goals in my life, I find that the Bible tells me that Jesus set goals. In fact he often announced publicly what his goal was for the next phase of his ministry. So why should I set goals?

Listed below are three initial reasons:

First, I need to set goals because it is a spiritual responsibility. If I don’t have goals for my life, I have already decided to let others run my life. When I don’t decide in advance what’s important, you’re letting other people decide. I’ll end up wasting my life, because I haven’t clarified how I want to grow as a follower of Christ. The Bible says that to be spiritually mature, I have to set my goal and move toward it as I keep my eyes focused on it. “I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. . . . I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. All of us who are mature should think in this same way” (Philippians 3:12, 14-15 CEV).

Second, I need to set goals because they are statements of faith.
If I’m a believer in Jesus Christ and I’ve set a goal, I’m saying, “I believe that God wants me to accomplish this by this time. This is what I believe God is going to do in my life.” Goals aren’t just a statement of faith; they also stretch my faith. The bigger my goal, the more my faith will be stretched. And that pleases God. Ephesians 3:20 says, “God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (The Message).

Third, I need to set goals because they focus my energy. Focus is the key to an effective life. If I spread my energy out and diffuse it over a whole bunch of things, I’ll never make an impact. But if I focus my life, it’s going to be powerful, and it will change the world. I don’t have time to do everything. Here’s the good news: God doesn’t expect me to do everything! The key to being effective in life as a woman or man of God is to do what matters most and forget everything else. Goals help me maintain that kind of focus. As Paul said, “I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something — not just the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26 NCV).

Today, I should consider what things I do and spend my time and energy on that don’t really matter. I pray, “Father that you help me focus on what is really important and set the right goals of what you want me to accomplish. I trust you to help guide me and my actions as I choose to follow Christ as my example. Give me the strength I need to today to be effective and make a difference for your kingdom in the environment that surrounds me. In Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.”