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A Good Goal for the New Year

When you get where you are going, where will you be? Every life needs a goal. Much of the boredom and unhappiness in life can be traced to a lack of purpose for living. This New Year is an excellent time for you to stop and examine your own goals in life and perhaps reset some of them.

The only goal worthy of your highest and best is to do the will of God. Many great people have lived and died in pursuit of this high and noble purpose. While a desire for material possessions, fame, and pleasure may try to draw you off course, real joy and happiness will be yours if you steadfastly pursue this one goal. 

Paul expressed this when he said, “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” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Three things are essential to reaching this goal.

1. Dedication. Paul said, “This one thing I do.” Most of us would have to say, “These ten things I dabble at.” Our lives must be drawn to a narrow point of interest like a nail into a board. Life must be focused on a single object. We too often prostitute ourselves on unworthy alms. 

2. Forgetting. Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind.” Blessed is the person who is a good forgetter. Much of the past needs to be forgotten. We need to forget our blunders, our losses, our sorrows, and our failures. We can’t rest on our laurels or live on our regrets. 

3. Determination. Paul said, “I press on.” Like a runner who strains every muscle until the veins in his neck bulge, so we should strive for this goal. Don’t ever be satisfied with yourself. William Allen White said, “In no country in our world is aspiration so definite as a part of life as it is in America. The most precious gift God has given to this land is not its great riches of soil and forest and mines but the divine discontent planted deeply in the hearts of the American people.” We need this divine discontent in our spiritual lives also.

Here is a truth to guide you in pursuit of this goal throughout this coming year: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Our Unchanging God

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “We are living in the period of greatest change ever known in the history of the world.” Amid all the changes and decay of life, it is encouraging to know that God is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). How so?

First, God is unchanging in his demand for meaningful worship.

Cheap sacrifices and empty formalism never have and still don’t satisfy him. Religious observances cannot substitute for right living. We are not to leave off church attendance and prayer, but they are all sheer futility and mockery if they are not accompanied by right moral conduct. God still demands good moral conduct from his people.

Second, God is unchanging in his hatred for sin.

Sin is anything contrary to the will and word of God. God always has and always will oppose sin because of what it does to people. Every law from God has been for our benefit and well-being. Sin is like sand in the ball bearings of the human personality. It creates friction and eventually total ruin wherever it is found. The whole Bible story is a record of God’s actions to remove sin and restore humanity to our original perfect state. 

Third, God is unchanging in his plans for the future.

He plans to return to the earth again to distinguish between good and evil and reward people accordingly. Any view of life that does not take into account the future and final judgment of God and our accountability to him is an inadequate view. 

Amid this changing, uncertain world the Bible reminds us to take courage. All things are not passing away. Some things remain unchanged. God and his Son Jesus Christ are the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

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