My Goals, By God’s Grace

Title: My Goals, By God's Grace

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians 9 : 16

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: Pastor, Duty of; Goal of the Preacher



All of us need goals to which we aspire. Goals in our lives are extremely helpful, in that they endow us with a sense of direction and purpose; give us a mark at which to aim; and a level of accomplishment for which to strive. There’s an old saying that succinctly explains why people need goals for their life: “He who aims at nothing hits it every time.” Very little real satisfaction can be obtained in life through mere happenstance.

Ever since I became your pastor, I have sought to fulfill three basic goals, among others. Though I’ve never formally written them down, these goals have nonetheless guided my teaching and preaching, as well as my actions. I can’t say that I’ve always given equal time to each goal; but I’ve been ever cognizant of the necessity and importance of each one.

I would like to think that I have always fulfilled these three basic goals to the fullest; but I doubt that is true. I would like to say that I’ve always had my goals in sharp focus; but sometimes they’ve been somewhat blurry, for one reason or another. However, having said that, I still maintain the same basic goals with which I started, over thirty years ago. I still strive to fulfill them to the best of my ability.

In a couple of days, we will find ourselves the year 2008; and exactly what the New Year holds for us, no one but God knows. But though we can’t foresee the future, that fact should not prevent us from setting some godly goals for our lives that will honor God in the coming year. Whether you do or don’t set goals for 2008 is your business. However, I want to share with you three basic goals, pertaining to my life and ministry, by which I seek to honor God, in the New Year.


A. My Calling Demands It.

1. My calling is from the Savior.

1 Timothy 1:12, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”

2 Corinthians 3:5b-6a, “…but our sufficiency is of God; 6a Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament…”

Ephesians 3:7, “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.”

2. Jesus expects me to be a faithful steward.

1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

Whether one is a preacher of the Gospel, the owner of a business, or the president of the United States, the child of God is expected to serve faithfully where God has placed him.

In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery. “Your Majesty,” said Prior Richard, “do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king.”

“I understand,” said Henry. “The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.”

“Then I will tell you what to do,” said Prior Richard. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.”

When King Henry died, a statement was written: “The King learned to rule by being obedient.” When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or mother or father. Christ expects us to be faithful where he puts us, and when he returns, we’ll rule together with him.

Steve Brown, Key Biscayne, Florida.

3. Jesus expects my life to backup what I say.

1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

B. My Convictions Dictate It.

1. The Gospel is foolishness to many people.

1 Corinthians 1:18, 21 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

I believe that the preaching of the Word of God should be possessed of the power and authority of God. It should be God’s truth, not what some man thinks. Too much of today’s preaching is much like someone once characterized it: “Some pastors preach ‘longhorn sermons,’ a point here, a point there, and a lot of bull in between” (Source Unknown).

Though preachers shouldn’t make a point of offending people, they also shouldn’t be afraid of saying what God says, no matter who it bothers.

Some preachers are like the Chinese jugglers. One stood against a wall and the others threw knives at him. They’d hit above his head, close by his ear, under his armpit, and between his fingers. They could throw within a hair’s breadth and never strike. J.R.W. Stott, Between Two Worlds, pp. 135-6.

2. The Gospel is possessed of God’s power.

Romans 1:16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

3. The Gospel must be proclaimed.

Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”

Titus 1:2-3, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;”


A. Time Is Drawing To A Close.

1. The time is short.

1 Corinthians 7:29a, 31b, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short, 31b…for the fashion of this world passeth away.”

2. Life is but a shadow.

Psalm 102:11, “My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass,”

Psalm 144:4, “Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.”

3. There is but one time for the lost to be saved.

2 Corinthians 6:2b, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

B. The Judgment Of Lost Sinners Is Certain.

Psalm 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”

John 3:18, 36, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 36 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.”

Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

C. The Lord Has Issued A Compassionate Call.

Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

John 6:37b, “…him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Revelation 22:17b, “…and let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”


A. Maturity Is God’s Plan.

Romans 8:29a, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son…”

1 Thessalonians 4:3a, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…”

B. Providing Maturity is Duty of the Pastor

Providing For The Maturity Of The Saints Is The Duty Of Every Pastor.

1. I want to encourage you in your walk with God.

Colossians 1:9-10, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy (to weigh as much as) of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”

2 Corinthians 13:9b, “…and this also we wish, even your perfection (spiritual maturity).”

Spiritual maturity is fraught with troubles and hardships all along its path. But we must learn to never run away from the very things that will ultimately help produce maturity, no matter how unpleasant they may seem.

We are to grow up, lest we act like children rather than mature, Christian adults.

A mother was having a hard time getting her son to leave for school one morning. “Nobody likes me at school,” said the son. “The teachers don’t and the kids don’t. The superintendent wants to transfer me, the bus drivers hate me, the school board wants me to drop out, and the custodians have it in for me. I don’t want to go.”

“You’ve got to go,” insisted the mother. “You’re healthy. You’ve a lot to learn. You’ve got something to offer others. You’re a leader. Besides, you’re forty-five years old and you’re the principal at the school!”

If we do not grow up, we will shirk our Christian responsibilities. (Original source unknown. Taken from

2. I want to encourage you in your worship of God.

John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Isaiah 55:6, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:”

Psalms 99:5, “Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.”

3. I want to encourage you in you work for God.

Ephesians 4:11, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

2 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

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