Summary: This message talks about the most important goal each human-being should strive to attain.
Text: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
What is a goal?
A goal is something we work toward or an objective we have in our mind. For example, the objective in any type of race is to be the first to cross the finish line and thus be the winner. The drivers who participate in the big race at the Daytona Speedway have one goal in mind and that goal is to be the first to cross the finish line. The first one to cross the finish line will be honored in victory lane by his team members, fans, and the media.
The members of a football team are concerned about moving the football across the last white line before the “H” shaped poles. Their goal is to cross that last white line and score points. All sports are competitive and each player or each team’s goal or objective is to be the winner.
Many times young people graduating from high school are asked the question: “What is your goal in life?” In other words, what do you intend to do with your life, or what type work do you plan on doing? Some may say, “My goal is to be a doctor, or lawyer, or nurse, etc.”
Another might say, “My goal is to go to college so that I can be a teacher.” Whatever a person strives to do, but has not yet attained that point in life is that individual’s goal.
My first goal after high school graduation was to get an education that would provide stable employment and a reasonable income. Once I attained that goal, my next goal was to marry the love of my life.
After I reached that goal, the next goal was to start a family, provide for the family, and live happily ever after. I reached each one of those goals. I was a winner.
All of us have set goal during our life time. Sometimes people don’t think about goals. There are people who take life for granted and waste seconds, minutes, and hours in that God-given day. They give no thought to what they might be able to accomplish because they have no desire to do anything. In other words, they have no goal or goals.
People should be able to set goals regardless of their status in life. It should make no difference if one is very rich or very poor. A person should be able to set goals regardless if their mother or father completed elementary or high school.
Someone with a disability has the opportunity to set goals just like someone who has no disability. The goals may be different, but nevertheless they are goals or objectives to be attained.
People have different likes so therefore their goals will differ. Children in the same family often aspire to accomplish different goals in life. Just because a child’s mother or father is an accountant doesn’t necessarily mean that child will choose that field of work.
By the same token, there are young people who do follow in the footsteps of their parents. I know a number of young men who became doctors because their father was a doctor. Perhaps they were influenced, but ultimately each studied to reach that goal.
The apostle Paul was the son of a Pharisee. He was born a Jew and he was raised in the Jewish faith. Paul said, “I have more; circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless” (Philippians 3:5,6).
This Scripture gives the impression that Paul was really bragging and impressed with his accomplishments, but that was not really the case. Paul is really saying that a person can have the best of the best, achieve the most of the most, and live an impressive life in the eyes of other people, but in the end, none of this will really count because it is all in the flesh.
Paul had all that the flesh could offer. His credentials were the best that anyone of his day could possible desire. Paul was proud of his heritage. He said, “I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my father” (Galatians 1:14).
In Paul’s day, if people were not Jewish, they were Gentiles and considered pagans, heathens and were non-religious people. The Jewish people did not associate with the Gentiles because they believed that contact with them would corrupt them spiritually.
The goal of some Gentiles was to convert to Judaism by going through customs of the Jew’s; however, they were only converted Jews and were never fully accepted as if they were born a Jew.