* Goals in marriage, the same for man & woman
God forms and equips men and women for various tasks, but all these tasks lead to the same goals—honoring God. Man gives life to a woman; woman gives life to the world. Each role carries exclusive privileges; there is no room for thinking that one sex is superior to the other. (NLT)
Genesis 2:21-23 – So the Lord God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam’s ribs and closed up the place from which he had taken it. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam. “At last!” Adam exclaimed. “She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken out of a man.”
* Achieving worthy goals in wrong way
Satan used a sincere motive to tempt Eve; “You will become just like God,” It wasn’t wrong of Eve to want to be like God, to become more like God is humanity’s highest goal It is what we are supposed to do. But Satan misled Eve concerning the right way to accomplish this goal. He told her that she could become more like God by defying God’s authority, by taking God’s place and deciding for herself what was best for her life. In effect, he told her to become her own God.
But to become like God is not the same as trying to become God. Rather, it is to reflect his characteristics and to recognize his authority over your life. Like Eve, we often have a worthy goal but try to achieve it in the wrong way. We act like a political candidate who pays off an election judge to be “voted” into office. When he does this, serving the people is no longer his highest goal
Self-exaltation leads to rebellion against God. As soon as we begin to leave God out of our plans, we are placing ourselves above him. This is exactly what Satan wants us to do. (NLT)
Genesis 3:5 – “God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.”
* – When Rebekah learned that Isaac was preparing to bless Esau, she quickly devised a plan to trick him into blessing Jacob instead. Although God had already told her that Jacob would become the family leader, Rebekah took matters into her own hands. She resorted to doing something wrong to try to bring about what God had already said would happen. For Rebekah, the end justified the means. No matter how good we think our goals are, we should not attempt to achieve them by doing what is wrong. Would God approve of the methods you are using to accomplish your goals? (NLT)
Genesis 27:5-10 – But Rebekah overhead the conversation. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game, she said to her son Jacob, “I overheard your father asking Esau to prepare him a delicious meal of wild game. He wants to bless Esau in the Lord’s presence before he dies. Now, my son, do exactly as I tell you. Go out to the flocks and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll prepare your father’s favorite dish from them. Take the food to your father; then he can eat it and bless you instead of Esau before he dies.”
* – In seeking revenge against Shechem, Simeon and Levi lied, stole, and murdered. Their desire for justice was right, but their ways of achieving it were wrong. Because of their sin, their father cursed them with his dying breath. Generations later, their descendants lost the part of the Promised Land allotted to them. When tempted to return evil for evil, leave revenge to God and spare yourself the dreadful consequences of sin. (NLT)
Genesis 34:30-31 – Afterward Jacob said to Levi and Simeon, “You have made me stink among all the people of this land—among all the Canaanites and Perizzites. We are so few that they will come and crush us. We will all be killed!” “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?” they retorted angrily.
* – The means we use to accomplish a goal are just as important as the goal we are trying to accomplish. David’s goal was to become king, so his men urged him to kill Saul when he had the chance. David’s refusal was not an example of cowardice but of courage–the courage to stand against the group and do what he knew was right. Don’t compromise your moral standards by giving in to group pressure or taking the easy way out. (NLT)
1 Samuel 24:16-19 – Saul called back, “Is that really you, my son David?” Then he began to cry. And he said to David, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. Yes, you have been wonderfully kind to me today, for when the Lord put me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it. Who else would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today.
* Some goals are worth working and waiting for
People often wonder if working a long time for something they desire is worth it. Jacob worked seven years to marry Rachel. After being tricked, he agreed to work seven more years for her (although he did get to marry Rachel shortly after he married Leah)! The most important goals and desires are worth working and waiting for. Movies and television have created the illusion that people have to wait only about an hour to solve their problems or get what they want. Don’t be trapped into thinking the same is true in real life. Patience is hardest when we need it the most, but it is the key to achieving our goals. (NLT)
Genesis 29:20-28 – So Jacob spent the next seven years working to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days. Finally, the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my contract,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so we can be married.”
So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood to celebrate with Jacob at a wedding feast. That night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and the he slept with her. And Laban gave Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.
But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What sort of trick is this?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel. What do you mean by this trickery?” “It’s not our custom to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. “Wait until the bridal week is over, and you can have Rachel, too—that is, if you promise to work another seven years for me.”
So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too.
* God may not lead you on shortest path to goals
God doesn’t always work in the way that seems best to us. Instead of guiding the Israelites along the direct route from Egypt to the Promised Land, he took them by a longer route to avoid fighting with the Philistines. If God does not lead you along the shortest path to your goal, don’t complain or resist. Follow him willingly and trust him to lead you safely around unseen obstacles. He can see the end of your journey from the beginning, and he knows the safest and best route. (NLT)
Exodus 13:17-18 – When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them on the road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest way from Egypt to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them along a route through the wilderness toward the Red Sea, and the Israelites left Egypt like a marching army.
* Don’t stop trusting God as you near your goals
With great miracles, God had led the Israelites out of slavery, through the desolate wilderness, and up to the very edge of the Promised Land. He had protected them, fed them, and fulfilled every promise. Yet when encouraged to take that last step of faith and enter the land, the people refused. After witnessing so many miracles, why did they stop trusting God? Why did they refuse to enter the Promised Land when that had been their goal since leaving Egypt? They were afraid. Often we do the same thing. We trust God to handle the smaller issues but doubt his ability to take care of the big problems, the tough decisions, the frightening situations. Don’t stop trusting God just as you are ready to reach your goal. He brought you this far and won’t let you down now. We can continue trusting God by remembering all he has done for us. (NLT)
Numbers 14:5-9 – Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the people of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to the community of Israel, “The land we explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey, and he will give it to us! Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
* Make sure goals are worthy of your devotion
Abner repeatedly warned Asahel to turn back or risk losing his life, but Asahel refused to turn from his self-imposed duty. Persistence is a good trait if it is for a worthy cause. But if the goal is only personal honor or gain, persistence may be no more than stubbornness. Asahel’s stubbornness not only cost him his life, but it also spurred unfortunate disunity in David’s army for years to come. Before you decide to pursue a goal, make sure it is worthy of your devotion. (NLT)
2 Samuel 2:21-23 – “Go fight someone else!” Abner warned “Take on one of the younger men and strip him of his weapons.” But Asahel refused and kept right on chasing Abner.
Again Abner shouted to him, “Get away from here! I will never be able to face your brother Joab if I have to kill you!” But Asahel would not give up, so Abner thrust the butt end of his spear through Asahel’s stomach, and the spear came out through his back. He stumbled to the ground and died there. And everyone who came by that spot stopped and stood still when they saw Asahel lying there.
* Aligning your goals with God’s
A sincere desire to please God will result in an alignment of your desires with God’s desires. You will love what God loves and hate what God hates. If you love the Lord, you will hate evil. If you do not despise the actions of people who take advantage of others, if you admire people who only look out for themselves, or if you envy those who get ahead using any means to accomplish their ends, then your primary desire in life is not to please God. Learn to love God’s ways and hate evil in every form—not only the obvious sins but also the socially acceptable ones. (NLT)
Psalm 97:10 – You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.
* Obedience to God our greatest goal
Some of those in the crowd were experts at telling others what to do, but they missed the central point of God’s laws themselves. Jesus made it clear, however, that obeying God’s laws is more important than explaining the.. It’s much easier to study God’s laws and tell others to obey them than to put then into practice. How are you doing at obeying God yourself? (NLT)
Matthew 5:19 – [Jesus said] “So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
* Jesus’ goals contrasted with Satan’s
Mark often highlights the supernatural struggle between Jesus and Satan. The demons’ goal was to control the humans they inhabited; Jesus’ goal was to give people freedom from sin and Satan’s control. The demons knew they had no power over Jesus; so when they saw Jesus, they begged not to be sent to some distant place (“the Bottomless Pit”). Jesus granted their request to enter into the herd of pigs but ended their destructive work in people. Perhaps Jesus let the demons destroy the pigs to demonstrate his own superiority over a very powerful yet destructive force. He could have sent them to hell, but he did not, because the time for judgment had not yet come. In the end, the Devil and all his angels will be sent into eternal fire. (NLT)
Mark 5:10 – Then the spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.
* God’s ultimate goal for us
God’s ultimate goal for us is to make us like Christ. As we become more and more like him, we discover our true selves, the persons we were created to be. How can we become like Christ? By reading and heeding the Word, by studying his life on earth through the Gospels, by spending time in prayer, by being filled with his Spirit, and by doing his work in the world. (NLT)
Romans 8:29 – For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters.
* – Paul said that his goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all Christ had in mind for him. This goal took all of Paul’s energies. This is a helpful example for us. We should not let anything take our eyes off our goal—knowing Christ. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training, we must lay aside everything harmful and forsake anything that may distract us from being effective Christians. What is holding you back? (NLT)
Philippians 3:12-14 – I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
* Believers have individual differences but common goals
The church is composed of many types of people from a variety of backgrounds with a multitude of gifts and abilities. It is easy for these differences to divide people, as was the case in Corinth. But despite the differences, all believers have one thing in common—faith in Christ. On this essential truth the church finds unity. All believers are baptized by one Holy Spirit into one body of believers, the church. We don’t lose our individual identities, but we have an overriding oneness in Christ. When we become a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us, and we are born into God’s family. “We have all received the same Spirit” means that each of us has received the same Holy Spirit. As members of Gods family, we may have different interests and gifts, but we are united by the Spirit into one spiritual body. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 12:13 – Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ’s body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit.
* Don’t leave God out of your goals
It is good to make plans, but they will disappoint us if we leave God out of them. There is no point in making plans as though God does not exist, because the future is in his hands. What would you like to be doing 10 years from now? one year from now? tomorrow? How will you react if God steps in and rearranges your plans? Plan ahead, but ask for God’s guidance. Seek God’s will in your planning, he will never disappoint you. (NLT)
James 4:13-16 – Look here, you people who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.
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