Summary: We are tempted to define eternal life in light of a duration - it goes on forever. Jesus defines eternal life differently - He describes it in terms of a relationship with Himself. And that's important for us to consider because it is one thing to know

This Is Eternal Life - John 17:3 - August 19, 2012

As a young boy I had one of those plastic bow and arrow sets where the arrows have the little red rubber suction cups on the end. How many of you had something similar as a kid? I enjoyed playing with them a lot and I think I probably terrorized the neighborhood a bit, certainly my sister, as I launched my arrows at anything that moved. Eventually though I out- grew that bow and I got busy with other things and some 30 years would pass before I held another bow in my hands. In fact it was just about three years ago now that my interest in archery was rekindled.

The bow I have now is considerably different than my first one; gone is the plastic and gone are the suction cups. It’s no longer a recurve but rather a compound bow that I hold in my hands. I enjoy getting out and practicing with it and when I do I have a couple of goals in mind – things that I’m striving to accomplish. And those goals go beyond simply hoping to miss hitting a tree, or burying an arrow in the grass, or losing one in the river. My goals are not things I want to avoid doing but rather they are the things that I’m trying to do. Archery is about precise repetition – bringing the bow up the same way, anchoring it in the same position, holding the same sight picture, every time. So my first goal each time I take up the bow is to seek after that precision. And that helps me with my second goal, which is to have my arrows hit the target in the very spot I’m aiming at.

Now, we have many different goals in our lives and what I want you to do is to take a moment and consider what your goals are. If you have the sermon notes in front of you you’ll see that there is space for you to write down 3-4 of the goals you have for your life, for your family and I want to invite you to go ahead and do that right now. What goals are driving your life? What goals are shaping the choices you make? What goals are defining the life you’re living and the person you are becoming? What’s your mission in life? Go ahead and write down a couple of those things that come to mind. And maybe you’ve never thought of them as goals so much as dreams, or things you are reaching after or hoping to accomplish – go ahead and write those down. These are the things that you are aiming for in life. …

Now you might have any number of goals on your list, and we don’t have time for everyone to share this morning, however I don’t think I would be too far off of some of your lists if I suggested that those of you who are married may have goals that will help you to build into your marriages, to become more loving husbands or more supportive wives, that those of you who are parents have a goal of raising your kids well and building into their lives. Maybe your goals revolve around the work you do with your hands – there are any number of possibilities. If I were to fill out that list I might say that some of my goals would be to become a more loving husband, a more present father to my children, and to be a better pastor. Those are some of my goals and you are sure to have some of your own. And as goals these are the things that will drive our lives, influence our decisions, and impact our choices on a daily basis.

It’s just about a week ago now that the Olympic Games ended. Hundreds of athletes from around the world competed against one another to achieve their own goals and to bring glory to their country. This has been the primary focus of their lives for many, many years. This is what they have been reaching for and striving after. And it’s good to have something in your life that you’re reaching after, but we need to understand that not all of our goals are necessarily worth reaching for. Think of all the things that people seek after in our world and then consider the words of the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, where he writes these words …

“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, 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.

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