*What does God require of us? Upgraded lessons by this title have been added to the Old Paths Archive.
Wat vraagt God van ons?
This lesson is from Micah 6:8 – “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
On our final grade 12 examination in English composition in Saskatchewan the question was asked: “What is your goal in life?” I used this passage as a theme and explained that to obey this passage was my goal in life.
Everyone in Saskatchewan wrote the same official final examinations. I failed composition, which meant that I would also fail the year! Fortunately, one could have papers re-graded by a different person, so such was requested. When the paper was regraded, the grade was 50% higher, and I passed! Continue reading
Human beings need goals. Without goals, people have no direction, no destination.
Of course, God is keenly aware of this and has included this necessity for us in the Bible. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV).
The context of the passage tells us Paul was not a man who believed that once he was saved he would be ultimately saved, but instead continued working toward that goal.
Involved in that is forgetting the past. Many people like to dwell in the past. People agonized over their missteps. They think about “what might have been.”
But one cannot change the past. One, however, may chart a course ahead and work towards it. If one constantly lives in the past, they’ll never have a goal and nothing to look forward to achieving.
Paul said, “reaching forth unto those things which are before.” This is the way Christians should live. If there are past sins, ask forgiveness and then keep trying.
When Olympic runners near the finish line, they lunge forward to break the tape. The winner is the only one who can do this, but others who run can set goals for the day when they will break the tape themselves. That’s the way to run a Christian race!
I was awakened early this morning by somebody’s sunrise Easter service. It must have started around 4 or 4:30 a.m. It was a long way away, but loudspeakers were blaring and distorting the sound. Maybe they thought that since the resurrection of Christ was a disturbing event, they’d disturb others as well.
The day holds great promise, not because it’s Easter on somebody’s calender, but because it is the Lord’s day.
I whispered this prayer this morning already. It was early, and I misspelled Sunday in the link. But the Lord heard it anyway. Pray it with me.
I celebrated a small goal this morning, as I sent out the 21st Portuguese devotional for the month, that I’d prepared last night. I’m not clockwork like Don R. That guy just doesn’t miss a lick.
Why do normal people wish a merry Christmas, but a happy Easter? One of those inexplicable language mysteries, I guess. I say normal to exclude politically correct people who are abnormal.
We had a good day yesterday on TFR in number of hits, if not number of posts. The Fellows abandoned me for dyed eggs, I guess.
Here, we do better than hard-boiled, colored chicken eggs. It’s eggs made of chocolate. Eat you heart out, John.
The sunrise service has faded, the sun has risen, though hidden behind clouds. The forecast calls for rain most of the week. Time for a bath and meeting with the saints, before long.
Make your day for the Lord.
What goal important to you (aren’t they all important to us, if they’re goals?) did you accomplish in 2010? Richard posed the question yesterday, so let’s make it a nudge today. Again, it can be in any area, spiritual, family, physical, professional, anywhere is good.
Finishing a goal gives one such a good feeling. “The end of a thing is better than the beginning thereof,” says the Preacher. Besides the actual step of progress that its accomplishment represents.
Note I didn’t put “and news” in the post title, since no one has been sharing news of the saints. Should I omit it from now on?
My goals for 2011 are simple:
1. Increase the preaching of the gospel for an increased harvest.
2. Increase the time spent on my knees in prayer.
3. Increase the number of quality books by brethren in my library.
4. Pray for increased opportunities to study God’s word.
If it’s any help, on my personal blog today is my definition of a goal. Working, tentative definition, I should say. But it might spur some thought. Look for it at the bottom, after the main topic of “The Use of Double Names Across Cultures,” where Saul/Paul gets mentioned, among others.
I have modest goals; they are the same every year. I don’t read as much as Richard (others) perhaps, but my reading is important to me like it is to them. As Richard does, I read the NT every month and read the OT at least 4 times each year. My goal in this is only 2 Peter 3:18. Another goal I have, similar to yours, is to be a better husband, father, grandfather, and servant. I don’t make resolutions, but if I did I suppose it would be to lose 20-25 pounds. I could definitely stand to do that – as I pop another tootsie roll!
Though I’m still putting it all together, working on goals and means for next year, one of my work goals is to finish and publish, in Portuguese, a dictionary of biblical words/concepts. This idea started over 20 years ago, but disappearing editors, delinquent writers, and crashed hard drives (no comments, please, Laura) have delayed efforts. I think it can be completed in 2011, Lord willing, and the Lord not coming yet.
Eventually, I’d like to take the Portuguese-language work as the basis for one in English, since I have some good people both here and in the US who’ve written for it. But that’s a goal for another year.
Larry Crabb wrote the book, Shattered Dreams, which I bought on sale, but can’t seem to get into, after a couple of attempts. Anyway, the Nudge for today is, name a dream of yours that was shattered or destroyed or that you gave up on. Why did you lose it? What happened to that dream?
That reminds me of lady who opened the coffee shop around the corner from my office. It was in the front of her house, a specially built corner of the lot, done up very nicely, with air conditioning and wifi. I enjoyed going there and got to know the lady and her family. One day shortly after I left there, two armed men entered, held the lady and her daughter at gunpoint, threatened to kill them, and robbed them of money, laptop, cellphones and a wedding band. She told me later than the greatest loss wasn’t material, but, in her words, “They destroyed my dream.” I thought that phrase one of the saddest I’d heard.
That’s not my shattered dream, I’ll think of one to share in another post.
When I was 15 years old I wanted an Elba Tiger jacket like some of my friends at school. We were poor, but mother figured out a way I could earn the $8.00 needed to buy my jacket. Our neighbor had a small cotton field that he needed help picking the cotton. Mother took me down there one afternoon and approached our neighbor about letting us help pick his cotton. He was glad to have us.
The thick, long sack hung over my shoulder and the opening rested on my right side. It must have been at least 8 feet long. I drug that sack down the row and with ungloved hands picked cotton every afternoon after school. Each day they weighed my bag and cotton. Little by little I continued to make money until I got the amount needed for my jacket.
That was my first paying job. Today cotton fields are so pretty to me. Enjoy the picture I have made of a cotton field near Elba, Alabama.
All of us aspire to something. The Apostle Paul, in Phil. 3:7-14 had “holy aspirations.” Let’s aspire with him. In Phil 3:1-6 he recounts his life outside of Christ. If anyone had a “high class” pedigree, it was Saul of Tarsus. In Phil. 3:7 he tells us what his assessment is: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”
From Phil 3:8-14 Paul tells us what his goals are in Christ. In Phil. 3:8 he wants to “gain Christ.” He wanted to find Him as a daily prize, one to treasure beyond degree. In I Cor. 2:2 he writes this: “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Continue reading
Time management is my greatest challenge. Being blessed with certain abilities means that I need to be utilizing them for the glory of the Lord. Yet, life intrudes and complicates the tasks ahead of me. I try to do better, but lately, it has not been working. I have two writing projects that are languishing in my mind. They need to be put on paper. Maybe a new day will move me closer to theses goals.