Charles Stanley –Why We Should Set Goals

 

Philippians 3:7-16

Scripture repeatedly encourages believers to trust God for needs and guidance. But how does dependence on the Lord fit with setting goals for our life? Some Christians interpret these biblical admonitions to mean we should not make plans at all because doing so hinders trust. However, this perspective turns trust into apathy instead of acknowledging it as an important discipline.

Setting goals helps us determine where to focus our energy so we can accomplish the work God has for us to do (Eph. 2:10). When the evangelist and preacher Jonathan Edwards was 19 years old, he made 70 resolutions, which guided his life—and he had an amazingly productive ministry.

The apostle Paul also set some goals for himself: “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings” (Phil. 3:10). At the end of his life, he was able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).

Wouldn’t you like to be able to say that on your deathbed? So many things in the world distract us. We’re good at setting career, business, financial, or personal goals and may even faithfully follow a to-do list, all of which are good things. However, we must be careful not to let our earthly pursuits keep us from thinking seriously about setting spiritual goals.

Making plans is an essential step toward achieving anything worthwhile. So let’s be intentional about identifying what our hopes are for our spiritual life and set objectives to head in that direction. These goals are unlike any others because they have both temporal and eternal value.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 31-33

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Free from Frostbite

 

Bible in a Year:Exodus 14–15; Matthew 17

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

Psalm 119:35

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 119:33-48

On a winter day, my children begged to go sledding. The temperature hovered near zero degrees Fahrenheit. Snowflakes raced by our windows. I thought it over and said yes, but asked them to bundle up, stay together, and come inside after fifteen minutes.

Out of love, I created those rules so my children could play freely without suffering frostbite. I think the author of Psalm 119 recognized the same good intent in God as he penned two consecutive verses that might seem contradictory: “I will always obey your law” and “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts” (vv. 44–45). How is it that the psalmist associated freedom with a spiritually law-abiding life?

Following God’s wise instruction allows us to escape the consequences that come from choices we later wish we could undo. Without the weight of guilt or pain we are freer to enjoy our lives. God doesn’t want to control us with dos and don’ts; rather, His guidelines show that He loves us.

While my kids were sledding, I watched them blast down the hill. I smiled at the sound of their laughter and the sight of their pink cheeks. They were free within the boundaries I’d given them. This compelling paradox is present in our relationship with God—it leads us to say with the psalmist, “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” (v. 35).

By Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Today’s Reflection

Dear God, give me a love for Your ways like the psalmist had. I want to worship You with the choices I make every day.

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – The Scarlet Cord

 

By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. — Hebrews 11:31

Adapted from the resource Ending Your Day Right Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Rahab hid the spies whom Joshua had sent in to spy out the land. Because of her they were kept safe from the king who would have killed them.

Before their departure she asked them to protect her just as she had protected them.

These men told her, “Stay under the scarlet cord, and you will be safe. Not only you, but all those of your family whom you bring in with you. But if anyone gets out from under the protection of the scarlet cord, he will be destroyed” (see Joshua 2 AMPC).

Rahab obeyed their instructions and was saved from destruction (see Joshua 6:25).

The scarlet cord represents the blood of Jesus—which runs throughout the Bible. Use the blood of Jesus as a marker over you and your family. When God sees it, He will pass over you.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for the blood of Jesus that washes me clean from sin and protects me from harm today and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Sound Mind Principle

 

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV).

Some years ago, a young college graduate came to me for counsel concerning God’s will for his life. “How can I know what God wants me to do?” he asked.

Briefly, I explained a helpful approach to knowing the will of God: following what I call the “sound mind principle” of Scripture.

In less than an hour, by following the suggestions contained in this principle, this young man discovered what he had been seeking for years. He discovered not only the work which God wanted him to do but also the organization and manner in which he was to serve our Lord. Today he is serving Christ as a missionary in Africa, where he and his wife are touching the lives of thousands throughout the entire continent.

What is this “sound mind principle”? This verse refers to a well-balanced mind – a mind that is under the control of the Holy Spirit. It involves the practice of determining God’s wisdom and direction through use of your mind saturated with God’s Word, instead of relying only on emotional impressions. Though God often leads us through impressions, He generally expects us to use our “sound minds.”

For example, when you have an important decision to make, take a sheet of paper, list all the positive and negative factors. Then consider what God’s Word has to say about the matter – directly or indirectly. Be sure you are controlled by the Holy Spirit, then make your decision on the basis of what seems obvious, unless God specifically leads you to the contrary.

“Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2, KJV).

Bible Reading:2 Timothy 1:8-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: In every major decision I face today, I will apply the sound mind principle to determine God’s will in the matter, unless God specifically and supernaturally leads me to do something else which is also consistent with Scripture.

TODAY’S ACTION LINK: Dr. Bright has developed a helpful 5-step study on discovering God’s will through the sound mind principle. Click to learn more about 5 Steps to Knowing God’s Will.

 

http://www.cru.org