God loves us so much that He provides every opportunity for us to live the lives that He has planned for us. Wisdom comes when we study His Word, talk with Him every day, listen attentively, and live a life obedient to His instruction. Setting up road signs and guideposts along our way will help us remember where we came from, to whom we belong (God), and where we are going.
While keeping those things in mind, let’s set some guidelines/tasks/goals for this study. I will suggest some general goals, but I recommend that you refine those and make them personal; setting specific goals regarding what you want to gain from these weeks of study will insure that you get the most out of the time you devote to this.
Suggested Goals and/or Tasks:
Confirm that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of your life. On the lines below write a brief summary of your salvation experience. You may have accepted Christ many years ago, you may be a new Christian, or you may not yet know Christ as your personal Savior. If you have any doubts, before you go one step further please make sure that you have given your heart to Jesus. The successful application of the truths in this study depends upon your personal relationship with Christ. (Scriptures to help you make or confirm this essential step may be found on page 124.)
Compare where you were spiritually five years ago with where you are spiritually now. Have you progressed in your understanding of God’s Word? Have your attitudes and behaviors changed for the better? Do you actively seek to know God’s will and be obedient to it?
Set a goal with a timeline. (A timeline helps turn a dream into a goal.) Where do you want to be in six months? Where do you want to be in a year or five years? Include not only your spiritual walk with God but also your finances, job, relationships, whatever goal(s) you already have or desire to set for yourself.
Begin prayerfully practicing those things that will help you reach your goal(s).
a. Do you want to walk closer to God and to be more like Jesus? Study the Bible, pray, talk to the Father; listen when He speaks to you. Decide to be obedient no matter what the cost, and keep a journal (this will encourage you later when you look back, read, and recognize how God has worked in your life.)
b. Do you want to be financially free? Begin with simple things like not spending money on vending machine food or eating out. Carry a sack lunch. Cook! Develop a written financial plan. Say “NO” to something you want but do not need.
c. Do you want to be a photographer? Study the art of photography. Read instruction manuals. Practice! (Watch your pennies. It’s addictive!)
d. Do you want to own your own bakery? Begin developing your own recipes. Try them out on friends. Research the requirements from the health department and tax regulations.
You get the picture. Don’t just dream. Set goals. Set yourself some way marks––road signs to mark your path and guide you along your way, deadline dates to attain certain steps along the path to your goal. Watch for God’s hand in your life. If you are His child, I guarantee that He will give direction, correction, and personal guidance. In other words, watch for the road signs and follow them!
In Acts 26, the Apostle Paul stood before Herod Agrippa and gave a defense for his behavior. This chapter is a beautiful testimony of the ministry of Paul and how his life was changed by his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus. In verse sixteen we read the words Christ spoke to Paul as Paul himself repeated them to Herod Agrippa.
“I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness…”
Because of his encounter with Christ, Paul devoted himself to Christ as a servant, not for what he could attain but in gratitude for what he had already been given! He found a personal relationship with the Messiah. He had received a personal directive which became his life’s purpose from that day forward.
Paul had his guidepost—a personal encounter with Christ! He would put up many road signs for others along the way as he went from town to town, ministering and preaching the gospel of Christ. He would have many opportunities to turn back, relent, or give up. Instead, he held fast to his personal guidepost, his encounter with the Living Lord, and pressed ever forward.
In I Corinthians 2:2, Paul reiterated his life’s goal.
“For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”
What was Paul’s directive from Christ? Be a minister and a witness. What did Paul do? He resolved to know nothing (not to be distracted by anything else going on among them) except what Christ had called him to do, which was to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, Who was crucified as a sacrifice for sin in order to bring salvation and life eternal.
Like Paul, we need to determine to be what God has called us to be and to do what God has called us to do. The Greek word used in this verse for “determined” is krino. It means to decide, consider, as preferring one thing over another or defining the correctness of a matter; by extension: to judge, pass judgment on, condemn in a legal sense. (Goodrick, E. W., & Kohlberger, J. R., III. (2004). Mount. In The Strongest NIV Exhaustive Concordance (pp1566). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.)
Paul knew that the Corinthians needed to hear the truth of Jesus Christ. He determined to carry the message that, in a legal sense, they were condemned to a life of eternal darkness, but that Jesus Christ, the advocate between God and man, came to bring eternal life for all who would believe. As soon as we accept the free gift of eternal salvation through belief in Christ, we have a legal advocate in the person of Jesus Christ to plead for leniency with God, who is always willing to hear the pleadings of His Son on our behalf. Paul eloquently stated his goal in Philippians 3:14.
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” KJV
Do you know your goal? Do you have a goal? Are you drifting through life letting whatever happen to you instead of truly living?
Let us delve deep with God. Let us set up road signs and guideposts not only for ourselves but for the generations who follow. Let us leave road signs that will allow those who come behind to follow us to the Savior and life everlasting. Let us set up guideposts to encourage, direct and leave wisdom for life on planet earth. Let us remember that the world is ever changing but never forget that we serve the one true never-changing God.
As we take life’s journey, let us set up road signs, put up guideposts, and take note of the road that leads directly to the throne room of God.
© Joyce Powell