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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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Today's Devotional

The Trustworthiness of Christ

Some startling claims have been made for Jesus Christ. He is acclaimed as the Son of God and the universal Savior of all men. But how do we know that these claims are true and not fairytales or nursery rhymes? How can we be sure Jesus is trustworthy? There are at least three reasons:

1. His universal appeal and magnetism. Jesus is the most fascinating person who ever lived. He has had a unique appeal to people of all classes, cultures, and ages. By common consent, the character of Jesus surpasses that found in any other person. No other character has caught and held the attention of people like he has. Such an unusual and magnetic appeal merits an unusual explanation. The claims must be true.

2. His effects on history. He has energized history as no other person. The test of pragmatism says of the Christian faith: “It works.” Wherever his message has gone, great changes have occurred. Marriages have become more sacred, women have been elevated, education has been stressed, children have been loved more, slaves have been freed, and hospitals have been built. There is more than a chance that reality is behind any person who can hold such positive qualities or religious character that bless our world.

3. Reliable historical records. What we have in the New Testament is a reliable historical witness on par with other historical events. The apostle Paul, who wrote so much about Christ, was an outstanding intellect and intensely educated. His mind could not have been easily captured by hallucination.

The combined evidence is weighty indeed. Jesus is trustworthy. You can believe in him.

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