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Summary: Paul spells out the specific goal in this text and some problems we might encounter. 1- The goal - God’s command 2- The problem - men’s controversies 3- The truth - God’s law

INTRO.- Goals in life. Do you have any? Did you have any when you were young? I wanted to be Superman but that didn’t work out and the role of King of the Cowboys was already taken!

More than likely you were like most of us; you just wanted to be able to make a living and raise your kids to be responsible Christian citizens. And you can’t ask for much more than those things!

Do you realize, however, that some have no goal or goals in life? They just exist and nothing more!

ILL.- In Alice in Wonderland, at one point Alice says to the Cheshire Cat, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where,” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. Some people are like that. They don’t care where they go, as long as they can do.

ILL.- When he was 88 years old, the late Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once found himself on a train. When the conductor came by, Justice Holmes couldn’t find his ticket, and he seemed terribly upset. He searched all his pockets and fumbled through his wallet without success. The conductor was sympathetic. He said, “Don’t worry, Mr. Holmes, the Pennsylvania Railroad will be happy to trust you. After you reach your destination you’ll probably find the ticket and you can just mail it to us.”

But the conductor’s kindness failed to put Mr. Holmes at ease. Still very much upset, he said, “My dear man, my problem is not ‘Where is my ticket?’ The problem is, ‘Where am I going?’ ”

And I think a great many people ask this question within their heart and mind, “Where am I going?” They may wonder what is going to happen to me some day when I reach the end of life’s road? And they should wonder and ask that question. Perhaps it will make them think about their relationship to God and Christ.

ILL.- Charlton Heston, who played Moses in The Ten Commandments and performed in other works, may have won accolades galore, but he was not a man to rest on his laurels. He was ever the perfectionist.

“One of the things about acting or painting or writing or composing music, is you never get it right,” he said. “You can spend a lifetime and, if you’re honest with yourself, never once was your work perfect. People say to me, ‘You’ve got the awards and the parts and the money. What are your goals now?’ I say, ‘To get it right one time.’ ”

That’s an interesting thought. I’d like to get it right and do it more than one time. However, I discovered in life that no matter how much I do for the Lord or how good I serve, preach or teach, I’m still in a deficit, so to speak. I can never reach perfection. I WILL NEVER reach perfection. No human being will. But our perfection is in Christ! Whether we do well or not, our hope is in Christ. He is our goal in life, that is, to please Him and to walk with Him in life.

PROP.- Paul spells out the specific goal in this text and some problems we might encounter.

1- The goal - God’s command

2- The problem - men’s controversies

3- The truth - God’s law

I. THE GOAL - GOD’S COMMAND

5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Wow! What a goal to live up to! Love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

Love we can do, at least, in part. But the pure heart? The good conscience? The sincere faith? Whew? What lofty goals!

ILL.- Jack’s mother ran into the bedroom when she heard him scream and found his two-year old sister pulling his hair. She gently released the little girl’s grip and said comfortingly to Jack, "There, there. She didn’t mean it. She doesn’t know that hurts."

She was barely out of the room when the little girl screamed. Rushing back in, she asked, "What happened?"

"She knows now," Jack replied.

ILL.- A little boy’s new baby brother was screaming up a storm. "Where’d we get him?" he asked his mom. "He came from heaven," his mother replied

"WOW!" said the little boy. "I can see why they threw him out!"

There are times when it’s hard for brothers and sisters to love one another...when they’re little and even when they’re adults! Some people never learn to get along or demonstrate love.

It seems like often our love for others is based on their good behavior, more than our good behavior. That is, if they are good, do well, behave well, then we will exhibit our love to them. If they don’t, we won’t.

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