Page 3 - February 2018 - Truth & Tidings
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nother year has begun. By the time  some spiritual progress, but without an
               you read this, we will likely be  overarching goal, what philosophers call
        Ainto the second month of the year,  a meta-narrative, we may not know how
        1/12th of it history and non-reclaimable.  those events are meant to shape us, where
        Were you proactive as you approached the  they fit into our lives.
        new year or merely reactive?           As individual believers we should have
          Proactive means to have vision and to  goals for our lives and plans to implement
        plan, to set goals and to work toward those  those goals. Those goals will involve our
        goals. Did you set any spiritual goals for  individual spiritual lives, our study habits,
        the year? To many believers, that smacks of  and our ministry for the Lord. Is there an
        the flesh: planning, working, and attaining  epistle you have set as a goal to study over
        some personally envisioned destination.  the next month? Is there a work for the
        What can be achieved spiritually by fleshly  Lord that you plan to accomplish with His
        endeavors?                           guidance this year?
          However, the Apostle Paul would differ   As shepherds, we need to be proactive.
        with you. He had goals. He had spiritual  What ministry or teaching does the assem-
        goals for his own life. He tells us of them in  bly need in the year ahead? How long has
        Philippians 3:12-14. He pressed on toward  it been since a soul has been saved through
        the mark; he was bearing down on the  gospel efforts? Do we need to become more
        finish line. He had goals for his service. In  active in gospel work or children’s work?
        Romans 15, he reveals that he had a goal to  Are there individual believers who need
        bring the gospel to Rome and then to Spain.  to be mentored, helped, and strengthened?
        He had goals for younger men whom he  What goals do we have for the assembly
        mentored, such as Timothy and Titus.  Of  for the coming year? To be proactive will
        course, all was subject to the will of God;  mean commitment and time, labor and
        but he still had goals which he submitted  involvement.
        to that will.                          If we are proactive, living with a major
          Ezra had goals: to learn, to do and teach  goal and subsidiary goals, we can take
        the Word of God (Ezra 7:10). No doubt he  the circumstances and crises of life and
        invested countless hours to achieve his  see them as God’s assists toward the goals
        goal.                                we have. Only when we have goals do we
          We have the choice of living and reacting   have even the faintest hope of being able
        to circumstances and situations; in their   to say, “I have finished my course” (2Tim
        absence, if God does not shake our world,  4:7, KJV).
        we are neither reactive nor proactive but   Individually and collectively, we need to
        inactive. When we merely react to circum-  evaluate, establish, and execute goals for
        stances and events, we are able to make  spiritual progress and growth.

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