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Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus…I pursue as my goal the prize…” (Philippians 3:12, 14 – HCSB)

Last time we talked about three reasons you need to set goals. This time we’re going to talk about three more reasons why goal setting is so important that even Jesus set goals for Himself.

Set goals because they give you hope to remain strong and moving forward. 

Job said, “What strength do I have left that I can go on hoping? What goal do I have that I would want to prolong my life?” (Job 6:11 GW).

You need a godly goal to keep you going.

A goal doesn’t have to be big to keep you motivated. For instance, if you needed surgery, your first goal in recovery could be to sit up in bed. Then you might work toward standing up and later walking down the hallway. Those are small goals, but they’re all important.

It doesn’t have to be one big leap to get from where you are to where you want to be. It’s many small steps…baby steps sometimes.  A goal doesn’t have to be big to be important. Even small goals encourage you to carry on.

Set goals because they build your character. 

The greatest benefit to your life will not be your accomplishments but rather what happens inside you while you’re moving toward your goal.

The Lord is more interested in your character than your achievements. While you’re working on your goal, God is working on and in you. He is building your character because that’s what will last for eternity.

That’s why Paul said in Philippians 3:12, “I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize” (CEV). It takes energy, effort, and purpose to reach your goal, and the result is that you become more like Christ.

Set goals because achieving good goals will be rewarded. 

Proverbs 11:27 says, “If your goals are good, you will be respected” (GNT). When you give your life to a good goal, it brings honor and builds a legacy on earth. But the real reward in setting good goals is going to come in eternity.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 9:25-26, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step” (NLT). Paul was a determined goal setter. The Lord wants you to be one, too, so that you can win the prize He has prepared for you in heaven.

Ask yourself these questions then have a conversation with someone

  • If this is a new year, new month, new week, or even a new day in your life, set some new goals. What is something you can do that will motivate and encourage you as you move toward your goal?
  • If you’re discouraged today, set some fresh goals. What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself as you’ve worked toward a goal? What’s one thing you’ve learned about the Lord in the process?
  • How do your goals reflect what you hope and expect the Lord will do in and through you?

Have you trusted God’s promise of salvation?

If you’re ready to trust in Jesus Christ to be your Savior, then pray this prayer:“Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven and you will accept me into your forever family now and give me an eternal home in heaven one day. I thank you that I don’t have to earn or work for my salvation, because I know that is impossible. Jesus, I am grateful for your love and for your sacrifice that makes it possible for me to join you in heaven. I know I don’t deserve it. I confess that you are my Savior, and I am putting my faith in you alone for my salvation. Now, I want to learn the purpose of my life. And I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

Written by Stan Ponz
Dr. Stan Ponz is founder and president of Make It Clear Ministries (a national ministry that began in 1973 to help people take the Gospel and the Word of God into every person's world!). Stan also serves as President of Clarity Christian College. and is married to his high school sweetheart Carol, who led him to the Lord in 1966.