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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

Prayer and Work

A minister who was conducting worship services in the White House quoted a maxim of Augustine: “I will work as if everything depended on me; I shall pray as if everything depended on God.”

Prayer and work naturally go together. Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). Prayer is important but prayer is not a substitute for work; it is a desperate effort to work further and to be efficient beyond the range of one’s powers. It is not the lazy who are most inclined to prayer; those who pray most care most, and who, having worked hard, find it intolerable to be defeated.

While the Bible repeatedly urges us to pray, it also urges us to work. For example, it says, “Let us abound in the work of the Lord” and “Let us not be weary in well doing.” Work and prayer are an unbeatable combination. To live life at its best give both of them a prominent place in your life.

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