Summary: In this two part series, we cover twelve shared goals for every Christian. In this sermon, we cover the first six of them.
A. One time when Michigan State was playing UCLA in football, the score was tied at 14 with only seconds to play.
1. Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State's coach, sent in place kicker Dave Kaiser who booted a field goal that won the game.
2. When the kicker returned to the bench, Daugherty said, “Nice going, but why didn’t you watch the ball after you kicked it?”
3. “Well, Coach,” the kicker replied, “I was watching the referee to see the signal he gave, because I forgot my contact lenses, and I couldn’t see the goal posts.” (Bits & Pieces, September 15, 1994, pp. 7-8.)
B. How happy do you think Coach Daugherty was that his kicker couldn’t see the goal?
1. Whether we are talking about football or life, it is always best to see and to know the goal we are trying to reach! Amen?
2. As your spiritual shepherds, we believe it is important for us to periodically clarify our goals.
3. How can we please God if we don’t remind ourselves about God’s expectations for us?
4. How can we move forward together and hold each other accountable if we don’t review what we are all about every once in a while?
C. So, in order to clarify our goals and be reminded of God’s expectations for us, we have made the bookmark that you are getting a copy of today.
1. I would encourage each of us to take the bookmark home and keep it in a prominent place – put it on the refrigerator or keep it where you do your daily devotional.
2. Then, when each of us see the bookmark, we can be reminded of our shared goals.
3. Feel free to take as many as you need and to share them with others as well.
D. What I will be doing in today’s sermon and in next week’s sermon is to briefly touch on the twelve shared goals listed on the bookmark.
1. Lord willing, we will cover the first six of them today, and second six next Sunday.
2. These 12 shared goals are not a perfect list, but hopefully they help organize and direct our hearts and lives toward pleasing God and being faithful to Him.
3. There is no specific right order for them, but I did try to start and finish with a more general goal that works in conjunction with the others.
So, Let’s talk about Our Shared Goals
A. The first shared goal is Believe Wholeheartedly
1. A logical and important place for us to begin is with the goal of believing wholeheartedly.
2. The verse I chose to convey this goal is Hebrews 11:1 and 6 which says: 1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see…6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:1, 6)
3. Faith is the primary and foundational response that God is looking for from us.
a. Without faith, we cannot be saved nor can we lead a life that pleases God.
4. The words faith and believe are often used interchangeably and rightly so, but I like to use the word trust, because it expresses an activity that is beyond merely something we think.
a. Ultimately, faith is something we must do and live.
5. I chose the word “wholeheartedly” to modify the word believe, because it expresses the depth and breadth of the faith that God requires.
a. “Wholeheartedly” conveys the “all in” completeness of our commitment and belief.
6. I like to use the illustration of the famous tightrope walker Blondin.
a Five years ago, in 2012, Nik Wallenda walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope to become the first person to walk on a tightrope 1,800 feet across the mist-fogged brink of roaring Niagara Falls.
b. About a dozen other tightrope artists have crossed the Niagara Gorge downstream, including The Great Blondin, in 1859, but no one had walked directly over the falls, and authorities hadn’t allowed any tightrope acts in the area since 1896.
c. Back in 1859, Blondin went to Niagara Falls and put on a three-day show.
d. They stretched a long steel cable across the gorge, and Blondin performed without a safety net, even in the strong winds.
e. He walked across, ran across, even danced across to the amazement and delight of the crowd.
f. Then he took a wheel barrow full of bricks and effortlessly pushed it on the rope across the gorge, from one side to the other.
g. Blondin turned to the crowd and asked, “How many of you believe that I could push this wheelbarrow across with a man in it?”