Dear friends, I bless you this day and pray for God’s presence to envelop you throughout this day.
Yesterday we started talking about our goals. Everyone has them. We discussed that there are worthy and less worthy goals. We also saw that after meeting Christ, Paul devoted his life to Him; earnest expectation of Christ to be glorified in his body and through his life became his main goal in life. It is very important to ascertain for ourselves what our goals are.
You and I have been justified by faith in Jesus Christ and we have peace with God. But it is just the beginning. Having been reconciled with God is just the beginning of the Christian walk. What awaits us afterwards? Through faith we gain Access to God’s grace and we expect the glory of God to be progressively revealed in us and through us.
Paul says that he boasts in his hope for the glory of God. Hope is expectation. Hope does not disappoint. Paul was expecting the glory of God. Because of this expectation, he was ready to suffer, to pay any price, and even die. “…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance”. The one who believes in Jesus is not afraid of tribulations, because he expects God’s glory. The Bible is very clear about the fact that we must suffer with Christ so that we also could be glorified with Him:
«...if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us» (Romans, 8: 17-18).
We suffer when we deny our will. When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, he said, „Not my will, but Yours be done”. If a person does not have a worthy goal in his life, he as a believer is superficial and shallow. Superficial believers live by emotions: if they feel good, they believe God; if they don’t feel good, they don’t believe God.
A man with a worthy cause never gives up at the time of tribulations. We stand by grace, not by our own power. But grace is only poured on a worthy cause. We are moved by our goals and these goals must be connected to Christ. We see that in the life of Paul.
What motivates you? Test and see whether your goal is worthy or not. Many people work, but it is important what the fruit of this work is. A worthy goal undoubtedly leads us to do worthy works, and these works bring forth worthy fruit.
We must learn this from Apostle Paul. He enjoyed life, but death did not frighten him. He did not fear death because he was confident that he had lived a worthy life on earth. Right after Christ had saved Paul, he started to pursue one goal: to get to know Christ, the power of His resurrection, to suffer with Him so that He could be glorified together with Him.
«For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain» (Philippians, 1: 21)
Paul did not live for himself, but for the others; he did not just pursue good works; he desired Christ to be glorified. His earthly life brought forth good fruit for people and glorified God. That was his only goal: to seek Christ and His anointing. Paul worked hard to help others find enjoyment in God and success in this world, so that their reward would be multiplied at the appearance of Christ.
«And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again» (Philippians, 1:25-26)
What is your choice today: to imitate the world or to affect and change it from the place you are at right now? A worthy goal always brings forth fruit in God. An unworthy goal focuses us on ourselves. What is your life devoted to? How do you spend your time? This is the question we all must answer.
God bless you!
Pastor Rufus Ajiboye
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