“…our goal is to please Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9b NLT)
Yesterday we focused on the most important area of our lives, our walk with the Lord Jesus. We looked at setting realistic, attainable goals in the development of the basic disciplines of our journey with Jesus. Today we’ll look at another category of our lives where goals are needed.
Think of a target with concentric circles. Focus on the “Bullseye” (the smallest circle) as being most important. Begin there with your relationship with God (see yesterday’s post for ideas). Then, in the next circle, your family, close friends, school, or work-related relationships, then neighbors and others with whom you have casual contact, would be in the outer circles.
If you are blessed to have a family, honor God by loving them well. Your mom and dad, spouse, children, etc. Do you need to seek healing of a relationship with a member of your family? Is there tension or discord in your relationship with a friend? Let the Lord lead you in determining the steps you need to take to allow Him to love your family and friends more effectively through you, and to receive love from them.
Next, consider relationships you have through work or school. These are often areas that Satan works the hardest to disrupt. Inappropriate relationships with co-workers or classmates can lead to disruption and/or ineffectiveness in your walk with the Lord. Pray and listen carefully to how the Lord would have you to nurture or back away from relationships you have at work or school that aren’t healthy. Your goal it to please the Lord, not bring delight to the devil.
Christ has commissioned us to reach the lost in our spheres of influence. Be the kind of example that will draw people to Jesus, not push them further away. That includes family, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and others with whom you have contact from day to day.
Establish goals that will be Christ-honoring and promote purity of speech and conduct. What do you “hear” when you read the word purity? I’m prompted to clarify a few things before we continue. Purity of speech isn’t just using four letter words. Gossip, lying, saying anything that is slanderous or hurtful to or about another person, that could hurt them and/or damage their reputation are the kinds of things that corrupt us and kill our witness for the Lord.
Also, virginity and purity are not one and the same. You can be a virgin and still not be living pure before the Lord. True purity ONLY comes from the Lord. Does that mean virginity until marriage isn’t God’s plan and desire for you? Yes, of course it is. But there are circumstances in life where someone may have been “robbed” of their virginity, but they can still be pure before the Lord. Purity is a heart issue, not strictly a physical reality. Think of the “woman caught in the very act of adultery” in John 8:3. She was a prostitute, certainly not a virgin, but after her encounter with Jesus, she was pure of heart. It’s Jesus living in and through us that defines our purity, not our history.
So, as you walk in forgiveness and new life in Jesus, could you begin a prayer group or Bible study with co-workers or classmates? Perhaps you could organize a community service project that would help those in your community, while at the same time give you an avenue of drawing closer to your co-workers or with those you know from school. I hope this is helpful to you.
Blessings, Ed 😊
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