Summary: 1. Seek to communicate your love (vs. 1-4). 2. Seek to be a contagious Christian (vs. 5). 3. Seek to build courage in other believers (vs. 6-7). 4. Seek to carry-out God's call in your life (vs. 8-12).
God's Goals for Our Lives
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - May 4, 2014
*We talk to our daughter, Katie, almost every day, and I had to laugh a couple of weeks ago, when she called to whine a little bit. With graduation coming up, it suddenly dawned on Katie that she's been out of high school for ten years. Yes, at the age of 27, she's worried about getting old.
*Many of you know that Katie and her husband, Wes, live up in West Monroe, and she has a boutique over in Ruston. But when Katie left home to go to LSU, her goal was to go to New York City, and run one of those glitzy fashion magazines. That was her big goal. And she told us many times that she would never come back to our little country town
*We are so thankful that God had other plans for her life, and she is too. The truth is that we never really know where life is going to take us. As Proverbs 16:9 says: "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."
*Even so, it is a good thing to set goals in life, especially spiritual goals. And today's Scripture shows us four goals God wants all of us to make.
1. The first goal is: Seek to communicate your love.
*God wants us to communicate our love for other people. Make the effort to express your love. This is one of the main things Paul did in vs. 1-4.
*In vs. 2, Paul made it clear that Timothy was dear to him. And he did this when he addressed his letter to "To Timothy, my beloved son." The KJV says: "To Timothy, my dearly beloved son." Paul wanted Timothy to know, and God wants us to let people know that we care for them dearly.
*Also let people know that you are dedicated to them. Paul did this in vs. 3, when he told Timothy: "Without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day." That's the kind of dedication we need too. Let people know that you are dedicated to them.
*And let them know you desire to be with them. In vs. 4, Paul let his young friend know that he was "greatly desiring to see" Timothy. In all of these ways, Paul was communicating his love for Timothy. And God wants us to do the same.
*There are all kinds of ways to show your love. Paul wrote at least a couple of letters to young Timothy. Cards and calls are good today. You could also send emails or even texts. A short note can go a long way to express your love.
*On the day before Christmas in 1980, over in Anderson, South Carolina, Richard Ballenger's mother was busy wrapping presents. Mom was so busy wrapping that she asked 7-year-old Richard to shine her shoes. Soon Richard came back with a big smile on his face, and he presented the shoes to his mom for inspection. She was so pleased that she gave him a quarter.
*Christmas morning, Richard's mom put on her shoes to go to church, but she noticed a lump in one of her shoes. Mom took her shoe off, and inside she found the quarter all wrapped up in paper. Richard had written a note on that crumpled up piece of paper, and it said, "I done it for love." (1)
*"I done it for love." It was just 5 words written in a little boy's scrawl, but it was one of the best presents Mrs. Ballinger got that Christmas, or any other Christmas. Your little expressions of love can have a big impact on someone else. And God wants us to communicate our love for other people, so seek to communicate your love.
2. And seek to be a contagious Christian.
*Set a goal in your life to be a contagious Christian. That's the kind of Christian who spreads their faith to other people. Bill Hybels wrote a book about being contagious Christians, and that's what had happened in vs. 5. There Paul told Timothy that he remembered "the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also."
*Timothy's grandmother and mother were contagious Christians. And if anybody ever catches anything from me, I want it to be my faith! But how can we be contagious Christians?
 First: faith has to dwell in us.
*Again in vs. 5, Paul said that "genuine faith . . . dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also."
*In order for us to be contagious Christians, real, transparent, sincere faith has to live in our hearts: faith in God's Word, faith in God's love, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and what He did on the cross for us, faith that Jesus rose again from the dead, and that He will give eternal life to all who put their trust in Him.