Beacon Deacon Home
The Beacon Deacon Web Site

Online since 1996.





 
 
Jamie Johnson
7 April 2013

What Are You Aiming For?

NOTE: This is a written version of the message I delivered to a group of residents at Kings Daughters Community Health & Rehabilitation Center on April 7, 2013.

On the last day of winter, I was at a downtown mall with my youngest child. He and I went in and out of shops. I bought him candy. We went to a bookstore. We went to an art exhibit. We went to a children's museum. He rode a carousel. We had a good time. That night, he was reading books in his bed when I went to tuck him in. I asked him what his favorite part of the day was. He said, "Reading books in my bed." I then asked what he did today. He said, "I read books in my bed." I then reminded him of all the fun things we did that day. His eyes lit up and he excitedly recalled them. This interchange caused me to consider some things. My son was focused on the moment and he was thankful for the moment. There is good in that. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NASB) says, "in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

I also thought about how I had to remind him of the good things of the day. We need reminders, too, about our blessings. Recently, I was exploring job options and I think my reasons were good. During that time, a friend of mine was laid off from his job and he shared that if one has a job, be thankful and hang onto it. Then, my wife shared with me that 80 percent of the world lives on less than $10 a day. That is $280 to $310 a month, a total of $3,360 to $3,720 a year! How dare I complain! This doesn't mean that looking for a job is wrong, but what am I aiming for and what is my motive?

I thought about what people aim for. My son was in the moment, not the past. There is wisdom in not being enslaved by events of the past. However, there is folly in ignoring the past and where we come from. The Scripture itself is testimony to that. A song about God's Word says, "Ancient words, ever true." In our smugness and arrogance, we sometimes discount the truth of the Bible, thinking we are smarter than God. 1 Corinthians 3:18-20 (NASB) states the following:

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, "He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness"; and again, "The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless."

So, some aspects of the past are quite important. The ancient words of the Bible are of utmost importance and are ever true.

My son was not in the future. We should not be anxious about tomorrow as Matthew 6:34 (NASB) says, "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." However, Scripture points us to the future in Christ. Those in Christ look forward to being with Him in eternity.

I think about the Apostle Paul. What did he aim for? In Philippians 3:13-14 (NASB), Paul wrote the following: "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." He pressed towards the call of God in Jesus! We are to hold the words of the past in the Bible with utmost importance as the absolute truth, be thankful always, including today as Philippians 4:11 inspires us to be content in all circumstances, and we are to press forward towards the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.

What are you aiming for? What are we aiming for? A better situation? Better health? Better roommate? For me, a better paycheck? These are not necessarily bad, but are we aiming for Christ above all else? Are we trusting what the Bible says, being thankful for this day and setting our sights on Him? Or are we squandering our efforts on worldly things. What do worldly strivings result in? Waste. 1 John 2:17 (NASB) says, "The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." Psalm 46:6 mentions God speaking: "His voice resounds; the earth melts." Are you storing up perishable or imperishable treasures? Jesus says in Matthew 6:20 (NASB): "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."

We must put Jesus first! I recall an object lesson from a minister years ago. He had a jar, a large rock and a bunch of small rocks. He mentioned the worries of this world and started putting small rocks into the jar. When he went to put the large rock in, it would not fit. He then emptied the jar. He put the large rock in and said it represented Jesus. Then the little rocks fit in around the large rock and they all fit in the jar. This is an illustration of Jesus as our Rock and how we must aim for Him. After all, 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

We have seen from the Scripture I mention that the upward call of God is in Jesus. We see how we should store up treasures in Heaven. We also see how the one who does the will of God lives forever. Jesus says, however, in Matthew 5:48 (NIV), " Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Perfect?! Really?! How? It's hard enough to be good since all of us sin. And on top of that, what if we are tired or sick or even immobile? Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29 (NASB), "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." How can He say that if we are to be perfect?

The fact is, in and of ourselves, we are imperfect and not capable of being perfect. And in our own efforts, the attempt is conflicting, lacking peace. However, there is hope in Jesus. He has accomplished the work. He was and is perfect and was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He died on the Cross on our behalf, was buried and rose again, conquering the power of sin, death and hell. All we have to do is believe in that. This does not mean we are free to sin. We are called to live in Christ, not to have lifestyles characterized by sin. This does not mean we never sin, but our lives are to be characterized by Jesus. And He provides the Holy Spirit to empower us to live for Him. Are you aiming for Jesus? What are you aiming for?


Top of Page

Ichthus Library: Personal Works

Beacon Deacon Home