ONE GOAL - December 31, 2022
Saturday, December 31st
Advent Devotional #35 written by Pastor Shawn Thornton
To read today: Philippians 3:12-14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Happy New Year!
Tomorrow starts a brand-new year. You have a fresh start. Do you feel excitement with the anticipation of new opportunities? Perhaps you feel the opposite – anxiety, and stress regarding the uncertainty of what is coming.
The last few years have been filled with clouds of uncertainty in our world. We look for answers. We “doom scroll.” We hedge our bets. We postulate, surmise, and analyze. When there is uncertainty, we need clarity. We do not need everything to be resolved with a neat little bow. But we do need clarity. Having goals helps. A goal or two will bring clarity for this coming year.
A core goal for all of us who say we follow Jesus as our Savior and Lord comes from the words of the Apostle Peter. He said that God wants us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). What does that look like in your spiritual life, your career, your personal life, your ministry at church, and in your relationships? Without making goals and plans, we will get the same results as the previous year. Life rarely tends toward order and progress. Instead, life grows more complex and drifts without cultivation and direction.
With intentionality around growing in Jesus, this year could be the year you go from praying for blessings in your life to becoming a blessing in the life of someone else. You can go from wishing and dreaming to working and developing.
At the heart of our 2023 goals should be our passion to know to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. But ultimately, it should be all about the goal of pursuing Christlikeness. Paul described his passionate pursuit of being like Jesus this way…
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:13-14.
As you look forward to the coming year, God will do more than you could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20). There are many goals you could make for this year, but let’s start with one. The difference between this week and a year from now is a goal. So, all it takes is a goal to make a difference this year.
Make it your goal in 2023 to grow in Jesus and become more like Him as you do!
Today Pray: “God use the good, the bad, and the ugly of my life in 2023 to grow me and make me more like Jesus so others can see Jesus in me! In Jesus’ name, Amen.”