Formations lesson for May 16: Deciding What Is Important : Friday, April 30, 2004
April 30 2004 by Linda Jones

Formations lesson for May 16: Deciding What Is Important : Friday, April 30, 2004
Friday, April 30, 2004

Formations lesson for May 16: Deciding What Is Important

By Linda Jones
Philippians 3

We are encouraged each new year to make new goals. A Gallup Poll once showed that our top four resolutions were to improve personal finances, stop smoking, lose weight and get more exercise.

What goals do we choose? To be more loving? To love God with all our heart, mind and soul? To love our neighbor as ourselves? We could set a goal of being more compassionate, having more courage. What kind of a life does God want for us?

These are depressing times with stress, illness, crime, war and divorce. Often hope is destroyed.

In Lamentations 3:17-26, Jeremiah says: "Peace has been stripped away and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out ... Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this; the unfailing love of the Lord never ends. By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness. His mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself the Lord is my inheritance Therefore I will hope in Him."

First things first

The first step in deciding what is a worthy goal for our lives is to remember what is true about God.

1. God knows us by name. Scripture tells us He knows every hair on our head, and knew us in our mother's womb.

2. God truly loves us with grace. We don't deserve His love and can't earn it. He loves us so much that He sent His son Jesus to us.

3. He has a purpose for each of our lives.

God gave Abraham the first great commission: "I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous and I will make you a blessing to others ... All the families of the earth will be blessed through you."

Paul, in writing to the Galatians, quotes Genesis: "God promised this good news to Abraham long ago when He said: 'All nations will be blessed through you.' And so it is all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessings Abraham received because of his faith."

You are to be a blessing

Like Abraham, God's purpose is for us to be a blessing to all people. In John 14:12 we read: "The truth is, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father."

Ephesians 3:20 says: "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power at work within us."

What does God want to do through you? Jesus ministered to the people around Him. He sent His disciples to teach, to heal the sick and to share the good news.

We live in a culture that teaches selfishness rather than self-sacrifice. We are constantly bombarded with books, television programs, magazine and newspaper articles that urge us to focus on ourselves, meet our own needs, and to accumulate more. However, true fulfillment will never come from self-gratification. True fulfillment will come when we give ourselves to God and His mission, by sharing His love with the entire world.

The world doesn't understand sacrificial love to one another. But God is love and He pours His love into us, enabling us to truly love one another. Christ calls us to be on mission with Him.

Why did God create you? What are you supposed to give away? Whose life will you influence by giving your time and talents? Whose life will you change?

"I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be" (Philippians 3:12).

4/30/2004 12:00:00 AM by Linda Jones | with 0 comments

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