Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 10 October 2015
Page 4

Press on to the Goal

Mark N. PoseyChristian’s must live in the future tense—dwelling in a constant state of readiness. We must daily strive for heaven!

First, we need to press on to the goal, living Christ-like lives (Colossians 3:1-4). Each child of God must consider the price that was paid for our redemption (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19), the steps that were left to follow Christ (1 Peter 2:21; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Ruth 1:16) and the mind that is available by following Jesus (Philippians 2:5; cf. Proverbs 23:7; Philippians 4:8).

Secondly, we need to press on to the goal, living by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Bible speaks of weak, little, much, great and strong faith. Saving faith is a living faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:20). Living faith is personal, purposeful and profitable (Philippians 1:21). “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Active faith is “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

In the third place, press on to the goal as a doer of the word and not just a hearer (James 1:17-25). God’s Word is a precious gift (v.17; 1 Samuel 3:1, rare or precious; John 1:41; Luke 15:8-10; Matthew 13:45-46). God’s Word must be received (v.21; Acts 17:11), and it will save and bless (vs.21, 25; Acts 20:32).

Fourthly, press on to the goal by being supremely committed to the church for which Christ died (1 Corinthians 15:24-25). She’s unique—being the one, true church (Ephesians 4:4). Further, she is loved because Christ is her Head (Ephesians 5:23). She’s right in organization (Philippians 1:1), purpose (Ephesians 1:10-12), worship (Acts 20:7) and doctrine (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Fifthly, press on to the goal by striving to save your family (Psalm 127:3-5). John said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (2 John 4). Each family must study God’s Word in the home (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers also have the responsibility of teaching in word and deed. Each family must be engaged in the Lord’s work (Philippians 2:19-22). The Lord’s church needs families saying, “Here am I Lord; send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Each family must be partners in obtaining the “grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7). Christian families must band themselves together with love, serving the same Lord, striving for the same goal and obeying the same standard.

[Editor’s Note: Individual Christians, Christian families and local congregations that have no goals indirectly plan for their own demise. Worse yet, even the children of God often strive for merely earthly goals while sacrificing spiritual and eternal goals along the way. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16-21 NKJV)

Activity or Accomplishment?

Robert Johnson

Robert JohnsonJohn Henry Fabre was a French entomologist and author who lived from 1823 to 1915. He is probably best known for his study of insects and is considered by many to be the father of modern entomology. Much of his enduring popularity is due to his unique teaching ability and his manner of writing about the lives of insects in biographical form, which he preferred to a clinically detached, journalistic mode of recording. In doing so he combined what he called “my passion for scientific truth” with keen observations and an engaging, colloquial style of writing.

Fabre studied the habit of processionary caterpillars, so named because they move in columns, resembling a procession, in search of food. He conducted an unusual experiment with them, carefully arranging them in a circle around the rim of a flower pot, so that the lead caterpillar actually touched the last one, making a complete circle. In the center of the pot he put pine needles, their natural food source. The caterpillars started around the circular flower pot. Around and around they went, hour after hour, day after day, for seven full days. Finally, they dropped dead. With an abundance of food less than six inches away, they literally starved to death. They were engaged in constant activity, but were unable to accomplish the most essential of goals necessary for their existence.

In many ways, these processionary caterpillars mimic many people’s lives. It’s so easy to get caught up in a routine, going around and around in life, engaged in constant activity. The question is, where are we really going and what is it we’re really doing? Too many confuse activity with accomplishment, with being busy to fulfilling our purpose. We must be concerned, not only with what it is we do in life, but where it takes us. Like those caterpillars, some people go around and around, but they miss what is important and die without understanding the goal. For the Christian, life is Christ (Philippians 1:21), and our goal in living is to live for eternity (Philippians 3:20). Whatever we do in life, if we don’t live for the spiritual, if God doesn’t come first, then all of our activity is for nothing. We will have found ourselves busy, but missing out on what life is all about.

We need to learn a lesson from these caterpillars. We can have full schedules, be busy in all kinds of activities, run here and there and never have a minute to rest, but yet find out it only took up precious time and got us nowhere. Perhaps Solomon best expressed it when he wrote, “I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11). We want to live for what offers promise beyond today, for that which leads to eternal life, to take hold of “that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:19).

Those caterpillars were only doing what they knew to do by instinct; they thought trudging along would ultimately lead them to their goal, but it didn’t. Are we not more capable of discernment than they? Don’t confuse activity with accomplishment, with doing something for doing what’s right. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

[Editor’s Note: Even church work if we are not careful can amount to no more than busy work with no real fruitful outcome that benefits our souls, the souls of others or actually serves our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:21-23). Each of us must give an account of ourselves “before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10-12). Therefore, let’s count for something (Matthew 25:21).

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