Gospel: Goal Oriented Planning

We often hear about goals. We are told that, “Successful people are goal-oriented people.” Have you thought of your goals for your life? Few of us take our life goals seriously and fewer still take into account the next life, life after death. What are your goals in life? “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36).

In John 5 we read about a man who had been sick for 38 years. His goal was to be cured. He had identified the cure and was determined to get it. The angel of the Lord appeared at a certain season and stirred the water of the sheep pool. The first person to step into the water was cured. The man had been sitting by the pool a long time trying to win the race to be first to the pool. As he sat day after day by the side of the pool with the sun beating down on him, he worked tirelessly on plans that would get him into the pool first. He had finally come to the conclusion after 38 years had passed that he needed help from someone else. He said to the Lord, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled to put me into the water.”

This man was acutely aware of his need of healing. He knew he could not obtain a cure by his own doing. So many people are unaware of their need as sinners. Perhaps you are one of those who have never realized that you have a far more serious disease than this poor man. You have a disease called sin that affects every part of your life. The Bible says “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Just a short reflection on your life should be sufficient to convince you that you have fallen short of God’s holy standard. Our failure to meet that standard has serious consequences: “So death is passed upon all men for that all have sinned” (Rom 5:12).

You may have realized that you are not perfect and are seeking to gain God’s favor by helping yourself. The Bible reminds us this will not work: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8-9). And again, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” in God’s sight. Thus, in God’s sight, our good works are stained by sin.

Just as the man in our story, you need someone to save you from the awful peril of sin. If you remain in your sin the Bible tells us you will end up under the judgment of God for all eternity. The help and deliverance you need is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He died on the Cross so that you might have your sins forgiven. He bore the punishment so that you might not have to bear it. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

Salvation is not a goal for the future, nor something on your list of ambitions. It is not something you can just “get around to doing.” It is of utmost urgency because the Bible says “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2Cor 6:2). Trust Christ as your personal Savior; place your faith in Him and Him alone for salvation and then live the rest of your life with the goal before you of serving Him.

“Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed” (1Peter 2:24).