Our most important goal
The pastor I work with in Kenya recently gave a good sermon on a topic I wish to also cover in a future sermon. Please be looking for it in the coming weeks. I WILL have more new sermons in the coming weeks, God willing. But this blog today is a very, very important topic.
What would you say is your most important goal in life?
Another question: what would make you feel like you’re “really living”?
Many of us have daily, weekly, yearly and lifetime goals. Hopefully we’re submitting those goals to “the will of God” and try to submit to his will. That’s another topic I’m working on: coming to know God’s will.
But what’s your biggest, most important goal? How would you put it into words? How did Yeshua (Jesus) put it into words? He actually tells us! Some of what follows comes from the notes of my pastor friend in Kenya – and more importantly, from our Master—Yeshua our Savior.
Click on “Continue reading” – to the right side of this blog, to find out.
Yeshua tells us what true living is, what real “LIFE” is. Are you ready? Surely this is our most important goal…
John 17:1-3 “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life that they may KNOW You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
Jesus defines eternal life as knowing God the Father and Jesus whom the Father sent to us. I believe this is our most important goal. There is no eternal life without knowing God or Christ – “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
You won’t come to know God simply by trying to use human reason to figure it out. 1 Corinthians 1:21 says we can’t figure out godly issues by using worldly wisdom. In 1 Corinthians 2:9-14, God says He gives us His spirit so we can grasp spiritual matters. I think of God’s spirit as the interface that allows us mortals to commune with our Abba dear Father and Yeshua our Master.
So – are you on track with this most important goal of all: to know God the Father and Yeshua?
To come to know our Maker … He first has to call us and invite us into the relationship. And he does not want any to perish and so over time everyone will be given that invitation. But some won't accept it. Some are “too busy” to accept – as in the parable of the wedding supper in Matthew 22. Some don’t value the calling. Please understand: the calling begins with HIM. No one can come to our Father until and unless He first calls us (John 6:44-45, 65). He has to reveal spiritual matters first – even if we think we are seeking Him and found him, realize that even the desire to seek God in the first place came to us from our Father! The whole thing comes from our Father through Yeshua. Certainly Yeshua made it clear what his desire was/is: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to myself” (John 12:32).
So the calling is a very high calling. Don’t despise your high calling to be called directly by El Shaddai, our Almighty God. Or to be among His firstfruits. Or to perhaps be included in the Bride of Christ. What a HIGH, high calling!
And sometimes, those “some” who aren’t valuing our high calling – are you and me. Sometimes we act like we’re too busy. After all, we have to spend hours and hours every week on Facebook, right, -- and don’t have time for our Maker. Or some of us are so engrossed in the “to do” items of life that we just don’t have time to hear him speak to us through His Bible. Or we just don’t understand it enough to care enough to seek him with all our hearts. Some are workaholics. Some are play-aholics. And the cares, worries and distractions of life begin to choke out God’s word in us, as the weeds do to the seeds in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.
Can you admit that we all sometimes fall into what I’ve just described?
Be sure to hear my sermons on “How well do you receive?”, as well as the sermon on “Diligently Seeking God”.
So God calls us – and we have to value that call and respond. And even after we’ve repented and been baptized, all relationships have to be nurtured and kept up, or the closeness suffers.
To KNOW God, means much more than just knowing His name. To “know God" means to be intimate with God. It’s becoming totally one with Him. It means knowing what He’s like, what He is what He stands for. What His purpose is. Where He lives and what His goals and purposes are.
When we receive God’s spirit, He and Yeshua come live inside us (John 14:23) – and we in them, as ONE.
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.”
We become one with God and Christ – and one with one another as a consequence of that. God’s love begins to fill us and by this all people come to know we are His true disciples, by the incredible bonding, forgiveness of one another and the intense love and acceptance we have for all who are in Christ -- and NOT just those who attend our church fellowship!
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Here’s a thought: You really, really get to know someone when you live with them for a while. God is living in you. You become His holy temple. God sees everything we see, with our own eyes, hears everything we hear, and everything we say – he hears.
And if we are truly in HIM, we should also be living in GOD! We are seeing more and hearing more of the things of God! (Hear my sermons on “Being IN HIM”).
“For YOU died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Because we have been baptized into the spirit and by the spirit of God, our Father and Christ now live in us – and we live in God. So now we get an inside look into God’s way of life, and God has that inside look inside our lives, by His Spirit. There are many scriptures that show we are IN God and thereby we come to really KNOW Him – our greatest goal.
1 Thessalonians 1:1
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians IN God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
1 John 4:12-16
“No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
So understand that God not only lives in us but we live in God.
We cannot claim to “know Him” – and live a life that is opposite to his way. When we repent, we not only ask forgiveness, we ask for help in walking a new walk, a new way. But our old nature is still inside us as well, so we have a battle of two natures going on (Galatians 5:16-17). And if we walk in the spirit, we will not do the things of the flesh (v. 16). Whose spirit and whose nature are we listening to – our old human carnal nature or God’s nature in us?
1 John 2:3-6
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Obedience to God’s law is the evidence of having received grace. We’ve been called to holiness and righteousness in Christ.
If someone continues to live a sinful, reckless life as their way of life, they are not God’s children. Obedience to God’s law does not save us for eternal life – but is part of the evidence of having received grace and salvation. We’re saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9) as God’s free gift, not OF works (v.9) -- but we are created FOR good works (Ephesians 2:10). Obedience is the way we live after we’ve been offered, and have accepted, salvation. First we repent because we failed to keep God’s laws, then we’re offered grace and – as Paul says, the righteousness of Christ is offered to us, and Paul even says he did not want his own righteousness which was from the law. Remember Phil. 3:9?
When someone seeks God and finds him, there comes an indescribable joy and peace at the end of the experience, when each of us has our own encounter with the Great and Awesome God. You can come to know God better than you do presently. Yes, you can. It’s a lifelong process of diligently seeking Him until the fullness of the full measure of Christ is seen in our lives (Ephesians 4:13) and Christ is formed in us (Galatians 4:19).
I hope all of us can relentlessly be on a mission to find God, to seek Him earnestly, and then to come to deeply know God and His Son Jesus. It should be our LIFELONG goal and mission.
And I thank my Kenyan pastor friend who gave basically a message very similar to this just recently to his congregation. My Kenyan brethren are blessed to have a man of God as their pastor, a man who understands God’s word.