Summary: As pastors, there are certain tasks to which we must be committed. This message lists three vitally important tasks to which every pastor should commit himself.
My Goals, By God’s Grace
Text: I Cor.9: 16; Eph.6: 18-19
Intro: All of us need goals to which we aspire. Goals in our lives are extremely helpful, in that they endow us with a sense of direction and purpose; give us a mark at which to aim; and a level of accomplishment for which to strive. There’s an old saying that succinctly explains why people need goals for their life: “He who aims at nothing hits it every time.” Very little real satisfaction can be obtained in life through mere happenstance.
Ever since I became your pastor, I have sought to fulfill three basic goals, among others. Though I’ve never formally written them down, these goals have nonetheless guided my teaching and preaching, as well as my actions. I can’t say that I’ve always given equal time to each goal; but I’ve been ever cognizant of the necessity and importance of each one.
I would like to think that I have always fulfilled these three basic goals to the fullest; but I doubt that is true. I would like to say that I’ve always had my goals in sharp focus; but sometimes they’ve been somewhat blurry, for one reason or another. However, having said that, I still maintain the same basic goals with which I started, over thirty years ago. I still strive to fulfill them to the best of my ability.
In a couple of days, we will find ourselves the year 2008; and exactly what the new year holds for us, no one but God knows. But though we can’t foresee the future, that fact should not prevent us from setting some godly goals for our lives that will honor God in the coming year. Whether you do or don’t set goals for 2008 is your business. However, I want to share with you three basic goals, pertaining to my life and ministry, by which I seek to honor God, in the new year.
Theme: By God’s grace, I want to continue to:
I. PREACH THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION
A. My Calling Demands It.
1. My calling is from the Savior.
I Tim.1: 12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”
II Cor.3: 5b “…but our sufficiency is of God;
6a Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament…”
Eph.3: 7 “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.”
2. Jesus expects me to be a faithful steward.
I Cor.4: 2 “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
II Tim.4: 2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
NOTE: Whether one is a preacher of the Gospel, the owner of a business, or the president of the United States, the child of God is expected to serve faithfully where God has placed him.
In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery. “Your Majesty,” said Prior Richard, “do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king.”
“I understand,” said Henry. “The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.”
“Then I will tell you what to do,” said Prior Richard. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.”
When King Henry died, a statement was written: “The King learned to rule by being obedient.” When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or mother or father. Christ expects us to be faithful where he puts us, and when he returns, we’ll rule together with him.
Steve Brown, Key Biscayne, Florida.
3. Jesus expects my life to backup what I say.
I Cor.9: 27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
B. My Convictions Dictate It.
1. The Gospel is foolishness to many people.
I Cor.1: 18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”