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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

Applied Christianity

I once talked with a man who was convinced that Christianity was a failure. His conclusion was based on the fact that while our cities are full of churches and preachers, our world is getting worse and worse.

If you think about this criticism, you must agree that there is much religion in America that has little effect on the daily lives of people. While the number of church members may grow each year, so does lawlessness and immorality. But does this mean that Christianity is a failure? No. At the close of World War I a soap manufacturer, walking down the street with his pastor, was bemoaning the “failure” of Christianity. He said to his pastor, “After 19 centuries of preaching and teaching Christ, there is still so much evil in the world. I don’t see how you can go on preaching the Gospel.” 

“I don’t see how you can go on manufacturing soap,” retorted the pastor. “Look at the little urchin playing in the gutter. Neck and ears filthy. There’s still so much dirt in the world. Soap is such a failure.”

“But,” countered the soap manufacturer, “If people will just apply the soap, they’ll be clean.”

“Yes,” concluded the pastor, “and if men will but apply Christ to their daily living, they will also be clean.” 

The evil of today’s world is not due to Christianity’s failure, but to our failure to apply our Christianity. As writer G.K. Chesterton said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and not tried."

Attend church Sunday, listen to God’s word, then apply it to your daily life and you and the world will both be better because of it.

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