An important part of a Christian lifestyle is understanding why we need goals.

Doyle Jackson
Apr 21, 2018    37m
This sermon is about understanding the "why" of the goals we set for ourselves. It explains that when we understand the "why" of a goal, it gives us more incentive to be successful in reaching it. Another important part of goal setting is incorporating goals that lead to a fulfilling Christian lifestyle where we help others, and worship God. Video recorded at Columbus, Ohio.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Jennifer: 00:00 Good morning from Chavakali, Kenya. We're here, day two of the conference, and our scripture today is second Samuel 21:10. So look it up. We're going to have services all day today. We're going to be, the guys are going to a youth conference today, we're going to worship, we're going to dance, we're going to sing, we're going to praise the Lord. God is mighty in the earth.

Doyle Jackson: 00:27 Awesome guys. Jennifer just called, they're still in Africa, and they're supposed to be. They just had church there, and it's been a great trip. If you haven't been watching on our Facebook page, or checking that out, I encourage you to go and just check that out today. You can also check Jennifer's a personal, professional, Facebook page. It's got some stuff there, some videos.

Doyle Jackson: 00:53 This week because of you, it is so exciting to me, God has allowed us for the past 15 years as a church. If you're new around here, you may not be aware of this, but for the past 15 plus years we've had a partnership in Africa with Jesus Harvesters Ministries. Several years ago we started the process of building an orphanage, they visited, that and we're making progress on the orphanage in Africa. But this week because of you, 350 widows received blankets, just some basic needs. A bunch of young people that are orphans, because of you, there was a team of six doctors and nurses there to treat them there. There's a certain kind of parasite that they get in their feet, especially because they walk around barefoot, and they have issues there that you and I don't have in the same way. They have zebras that are roaming around. Okay? And they have giraffes, they have different bugs that you and I don't have. Okay? It's a whole different world, and they've had a great week, but because of you, you are making a difference. Someone last night said, you know, pastor, it's been so neat because of all the posts on Facebook, I actually feel like I've been in Africa too. And you have, whether you realize it or not, thank you for giving. You need to know, your generosity helps us do this and, your giving helps us do so much. So we're really excited about that, and thank you. Jennifer and the team, they come back on Tuesday night, so tomorrow, well tonight while you're asleep, they're going to begin the process of making their way back to Nairobi, and then getting on planes and heading home. It will probably take them some 24 plus hours of just travel to get back here, and with time zones and everything, so keep them in your prayers. Keep the ministry there in prayers, because we had lots and lots of people that were touched by you. We had a group of people that accepted Christ as a part of these meetings, I don't know exactly how many yet. I do know that there were over a thousand people, that they were feeding every day, and that takes a lot of money, a lot of energy, a lot of resources, and so thank you very, very, very much. Alright?

Doyle Jackson: 03:11 Alright, today we're going to talk about goals it's what we've been talking about. And if you will do me a favor, put your hands together and just applaud for whoever's watching online right now, for those folks that are going to listen to this. Alright, thank you for joining us today. We're talking about goals, and this is our third step in that, and can I tell you this is the hardest part when it comes to goals. Because at first when you think about goals it's exciting, and now it starts to get into the work portion of it, and so I just want to do a real quick review. You may not have been here for the first two, that means that you've got all the energy right now, so go with it. Alright?

Doyle Jackson: 03:46 The first thing we said when it comes to goals that you have to do is this, you have to do a heart check. And the real important part about the heart check is this, Jesus said this, he said, count the cost first before you set a goal in your life, before you go to climb a mountain, before you go to do something. If you don't first ask yourself, am I really willing to pay the price? And that's the question. What is it you're willing to pay the price for? Do you want a better marriage? Is it your finances you want dealt with? Is it your spiritual life? What is it in your life that you want really to make some momentum in, to make something happen this year? Is that your spiritual life? I hope it is, because this is what I know. If you don't have a goal, if you're working in an area, you're probably not going to hit that target. Okay?

Doyle Jackson: 04:38 We said last week, probably the most important piece of last week was this. He says, it was this concept. You lose what you don't manage. If you don't manage your time, it'll slip away from you. If you don't manage your health, you'll lose your health. If you don't manage your money, it's going to be gone. If you don't manage your business, if you own a business, you'll lose it. If you don't manage your life, you'll lose it. And so whatever you manage is what you care about, and that's what we really got into last week. And so we said, look at your life in terms of your experience. and that will help you determine your voice, what you have to speak to. And this week we're going to talk about your why, alright? The why is the big question, why is where you get your meaning and your purpose. If you can answer the question why, what it will do for you is it will begin to help you think about what is motivating you., what really encourages you about this goal. If you don't answer the why question, when you're talking about your goals, what will happen is they will slip away from you.

Doyle Jackson: 05:46 See, because why is your reason for success. If you don't answer the question why, then you are purposeless, and you're not going to reach your goal. If you know your why, it will begin to motivate you, energize you, and fuel you towards what you want to accomplish. Because why is the big question right? Why? I mean, why are we here today? Why am I here, that's the big philosophical question. Why? I mean if you have young children, you've heard the question why so much you want to scream, right? It's about time, you're going to have to get ready for bed. Why? Because you need sleep, and I need to be alone for a little bit, or I might kill you that's why. Right? You will ask another one, it's about time, you've got to go get your bath, to get ready for bed. Why? Because you starting to smell, and it's been like three days. You know what I'm saying? You need a bath. Why? Because you got all these glands and your sweating. Why? Because leprosy is dangerous., go take a bath. You know when we're young, and we asked the question why? It's because there's something internally within us that drives us to understand. We want to know the meaning, and the purpose. And what happens is this, we just kind of get in the routine, and we stop asking the question why. And I believe that why becomes really, really, really important. I also believe that God comes to us with the question why, and it will really help us think about our lives.

Doyle Jackson: 07:29 So if you have your notes, open them up, if you have your app, you can get it out, and follow along. You might want to take a note. In Acts 26, we have a powerful story in the life of the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul, we've talked about him before recently, and I think he's really important because he's written the majority of the New Testament that you have. All these letters that we're about to start reading as we go through the New Testament. If you're reading along with us, beginning today, we started Romans tonight. We're going to do a class at Deeper Life, to start talking about Romans. Going through the New Testament is going to go really fast now, because you're going to start going through these short letters, these letters to the different churches that are written by Paul.

Doyle Jackson: 08:12 In Acts 26, Paul has been taken from Jerusalem. Aright? Just his showing up in the city of Jerusalem causes a riot, and the Roman guard comes around him to protect him, and then word comes from his nephew. To me, the reason the Bible is powerful, if you will actually slow down and read it and begin to just absorb it, is it's real people about real life. It says right there in Acts that Paul's sister's boy, his nephew, comes to him in Jerusalem and says, Uncle Paul, there's a plot to kill you. Paul looks at his nephew and says, please go tell the Roman guard. And the Roman guard comes, and says, Paul, we're going to get you out of the city. And so Paul is taken out of the city at night, and he's taking from Jerusalem all the way down to Caesarea. Alright? You remember Caesarea in the book of Acts. It's where the, the gentile Pentecost took place, right? Caesarea becomes an important part of early Christian tradition. Alight? It also tells us that Philip, the evangelist Philip, became the head of the church kind of at Caesarea. It's an interesting thing, if you will read the Bible and begin to pull out the pieces and think about it, it's all interconnected. Will Paul now, is that Caesarea, and they hold him there for two years. No charge has been brought against him, he's held there because the Jews in Jerusalem want to kill him, and he appeals to the Roman authority saying, you know, I'm a Roman citizen. You shouldn't just let these people kill me in a mob. And so he's at Caesarea, he sits there for two years, and the governor changes over. Alright?

Doyle Jackson: 10:00 And now we have a new governor, and he's from the TV show Gunsmoke because his name is Festus. Alright? Thank you for an older crowd being here, right? Festus is the man that's in charge, and he's just been in town a few days. I mean he just arrives as the governor, and the people in Jerusalem are saying, give us Paul, give us Paul, we want to kill him. And he says, well hold on, I just got here. Let me think about this before I hand somebody over to you. He makes his way back to Caesarea and King Agrippa comes to visit him. Now this is logical, a new governor in town and, King Agrippa, he wants to, you know, to secure his power. And so he comes to visit the new governor down at Caesarea, and when he gets there, the governor Festus says, I don't know anything about this Jewish stuff going on in Jerusalem, and I've got this prisoner and he's been living here for two years. I mean, he's eating up all the food, and think about it, you know, he's got these, you know, I've got budgets to meet. And he says, can you help me figure this out? It's so in Acts 26, Paul is brought before the new governor Festus, King Agrippa, and Agrippa's wife Bernice, and he begins to tell his story. Now Paul begins to tell how he came to know Jesus. Now, this is not the first time we have Paul's story in the Book of Acts, because we have it back in Acts 9. Now it's being told from Paul's voice this time, and he's telling these people. And what's interesting about Paul's story is this. He says, you know I'm the reason the Jews want to kill me is because I believe in Jesus, and because I believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and I'm out there telling everybody I don't just believe in the resurrection from the dead theoretically. See, the reason Paul's message is so powerful, was he grew up in a Jewish home, he was trained by the most prestigious Jewish religious leaders. He's trained by Gamaliel, who is the grandson of Hillel, alright? This is the most famous, of famous Jewish rabbis of the ancient world. And he knows everything about it, and he defended the Jewish traditions, even to the point of trying to kill the new Christian movement, followers of Jesus. He says, you guys got to understand, I was just like them. I was out to kill Christians, followers of the way, like me, and he's telling them the story of how this came about. Now why is that important? Because for Paul to go from one who imprisoned and killed Christians, to one who believes that Jesus rose from the dead, that's a pretty strong argument. He totally switches camps. And now, you know, if he wanted to go free now all he has to do his cave and say, oh, you guys are wrong, Jesus never rose, and I don't know anything about that stuff. Let me live.

Doyle Jackson: 13:28 Look what it says here Acts 26:6, on one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority of the commissioner, the chief priest. Now why does he say that? He says, these guys know me, I used to work for them, I was one of them. About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven brighter than the sun blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, Saul, Saul, why, why do you persecute me? See, God ask's us that question. You know Jesus, one day, he asked the disciples that question. He looked at them, you know, and he said, who do you say I am? What Jesus was trying to get at in their lives is this. He says, why are you following me? Why? Why did you get up this morning and go to church? Why? And God gives Paul a little push back. He says, Paul, why are you fighting this new movement called the way the followers of Jesus? It's hard for you to kick against the goads. He's saying, Paul, this is painful. What's going on in your life? It's not working for you son.

Doyle Jackson: 15:02 And I don't know, maybe you're in that situation right now. Maybe you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Maybe you feel like what's going on in your life? This is just not working, and whatnot. You know that's a good point in your life, because you know you can turn it around really quickly, that's what I love about it. Then I asked, who are you, Lord? I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting the Lord replied. So the real question that Paul has to address, then you have to address, and that I have to address up in our lives today is this. Why are you living as you are now? Why are you living as you are right now? Why are you living the way you are? Why? Well, you know, I've just been doing it for several years and I'm kind of comfortable with it. I've gotten kind of in a rut. It creates a real tension inside of us, doesn't it? When we start asking that, why am I living the way I am? Is it getting me the results I hope for? Do I have going on in my life, what I was hoping would happen if I did this? The reason we resist God, generally the reason I have resisted God, is I want control. Okay? I think if I'll do it my way, This is what Paul thought, Paul thought, you know, if I resist this whole movement of Jesus, I'm going to be powerful. I've got this education, and this whole pharisee Judaism stuff. I'm going to move up the ranks, I'm going to be more powerful. He was looking from the world's standards, and God shook him up on the road to Damascus. Okay?

Doyle Jackson: 16:53 In this interview, as he goes on, if you read on in those verses, as he speaking to King Agrippa. As He goes on to verse 16. Now, get up and stand on your feet, I have appeared to you, this is Jesus still speaking to him, to appoint you as a servant, as a witness of what you have seen, and will see of me. Jesus says, I've decided to change your why Paul. I've decided you're no longer going to resist God, and I'm going to give you an option. I'm going to give you a new option for your life, and you are going to be my servant, and you're going to be my witness to the ends of the earth son. And Paul, after kicking against the goads, after resisting God. You may be in that position today. I can just tell you, I would encourage you to stop resisting. Alright? Verse 17, I will rescue you from your own people, and from the gentiles. I'm sending you to them to open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. So that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
Doyle Jackson: 18:09 See what God said was this, Paul, your why has been to make you powerful. I want to make you. I want to give you a new why for your life. I want your why, from now on. to be my servant, my witness, my apostle, and I'm going to make you an apostle to the gentiles. And when you start reading Paul's writings after this experience, when you look at his life, you ought to go see the movie the Apostle Paul. It's out in the theaters., you ought to see it. It's powerful, because it shows you his why. Now, the reason you and I choose goals in our life, is that we have some understanding of why we're here. It may not be real clear to us, okay, we may be fuzzy on it. At times we may struggle over what our purpose is. We may know some aspect of it. For some reason you have children, then some aspect of your why is going to be parenting, at least for a season. If God has placed you in Columbus, Ohio at this time in history, and since you are breathing and in the room, that has something to do with your why. So you're why is connected to your context. That's why we looked at that last week. And so as you begin to look at it and you say, well, my marriage isn't quite the way I want it to be, then you should probably set some goals to improve the condition of your marriage. If you know that something about your life has to do with finances, because you like to eat hello, and your finances aren't where you want them to be, then you might ought to set some goals about your finances. See goals become important to reaching the why's of your life. Don't just set goals because, you know, it seemed like a good idea and they talked about goals at church. Everybody needs some goals, come on, that's not a reason to have a goal.

Doyle Jackson: 20:21 The reason you have a goal is because you want to do something. You want to be something. You want to have something happen in your life, and so you begin to set the goals. Now that here comes the hard part, well, how do I set a goal? I don't know how to set a goal in those areas. Last week I think I gave you 10 different areas of your life, I said, you've got to put some focus into either your physical life, your intellectual, your social, your financial, your spiritual, your marital, your parental, your vocational, your avocational. It's okay to have a hobby, alright? And then your emotional life. And then look at those and say, which one of these 10 do I need to deal with first? And we talked about that, pick three or four of them and begin to set some goals out in that area.

Doyle Jackson: 21:10 Alright, look what Paul says in Acts 26:19, he still in this conversation with King Agrippa. Why is he in this conference, a conversation, with King Agrippa? Well, technically, yeah, he's there because he's under arrest, but Paul's why determines what he says to the king. Look at him. He says, so then King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven since the day God grabbed a hold of my life, and shipped me on the road to Damascus, ever since that day, it's turned my life around. Ever since I realized that there was more to life than just me getting my own way, to being more powerful, me being more religious. Paul says, I realized that there was a greater force out there, that God really did exist, that God loved me, and he sent his son. His name was Jesus, and he died on a cross, and he rose again, and I knew this was for real. King Agrippa, I want you to know something. Since that day hit my life, never been the same. Never been the same. He says, first those in Damascus, then those in Jerusalem, and in all Judea ,and then to gentiles, I preached that they should repent, and turn to God, and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. Paul's goals shifted when his why got set inside of him, his goals shifted. His goal shifted from imprisoning, persecuting, killing Christians, to finding recruiting, training. He says right here, I preached that they should repent. So he had a goal that people would repent, to turn to God, that they would learn to rely on God, it didn't matter if they were a Jew or a gentile. Then he said that their lives would be so transformed, that they would demonstrate to other people in the way they lived.

Doyle Jackson: 23:16 Let me tell you something. If you just determined today that your goal would be, I've got to know God better. I've got a grow spiritually, so I'm going to start praying, or I'm going to start reading my Bible. Okay? That became your goal, because you wanted to be transformed so that other people could see the change in you. That is a worthy goal. That's a worthy goal. So what Paul said was my goals became, when you read Paul's life, you can see what Paul's goals were at different seasons. First, his first three years was he just wanted to get to know God, he wanted to begin to experience the ministry. He worked alongside Barnabas, and Barnabas was teaching him how to preach, teaching him. He already knew, the context for him, he already knew the scriptures. Okay? He had a head start on some of us. He already knew the scriptures, but he didn't know how to share his faith into it, so he had to learn that. Then it says, he had a desire to go and preach, and to go places, and to travel. So his goals became, well, I want to go to Macedonia. And God said, not yet, not yet, not yet. Then God sends him into Macedonia. His goal, when you read Paul's story, he always had people alongside him, young people in ministry, people that were being prepared to go alongside him. His goals were to preach, his goals, he wrote, he wrote books, letters. See that the goals support the why. They're just the what things you do. Alright?

Doyle Jackson: 24:55 So here, I'm going to give you a sample goal that you might write for your life. If right now you're wanting to work on your parenting. Okay? I wrote it down in your notes. It says a parental example, brainstorm with the kids, six family meals, and cook at least two meals a week, starting May 1st. So now why is that a good goal? That's a good goal because number one, you're getting the family involved in it. The reason you want to do this, as this part of your why's, you're a parent and you want to parent your kids. You cannot parent your kids while they are on the soccer field and you are in the stands. Forgive me, but someone else is getting time with your kids, when you're sitting in the stands. Now you're getting the time on the way there, and the way home, I'm not against it. But let me tell you something, around the table, not with fries flying in the seats of the car, Alright? When you are around the table, this is what happens, you get to ask questions and hear what's going on in their life. And they will want to share, if you will learn to listen.

Doyle Jackson: 26:17 So if you want to evaluate your goal, okay? Always evaluate it.. I call it a smarter goal. I know that in work they talk about smart goals, I like this. This is smarter goal, so okay, you may have heard this before. Is it specific? Is it measurable? Is it actionable? Is it risky? Let me tell you what, whenever you ask your kids to help you cook, it's risky. Alright? Is it time keyed? Is it exciting? Is it relevant? Is it relevant to where you are right now? So you can set goals, you can set goals in lots of areas of your life. You can set health goals. You can say, I want to lose x number of pounds by such and such date. Now, if you only say I want to lose one pound over the next 12 months, not very risky, not much of a challenge is? But if you say you want to lose five pounds over the next three weeks, depending on who you are, and it's not just water weight, that could be a challenge. How about this? I want to bring down my blood pressure by blank points, by this time.

Doyle Jackson: 27:26 Now why are health goals important? Health goals are important because, if you want to deal with your health goals, what it will do is this, it will determine how long you get to spend with the people that you love, for the purposes you want to reach. Until you get to the why of your health, you won't reach the goal. Because if it's to make the doctor happy, if it's to make your spouse happy, that won't motivate you. But if you have a picture in your mind, and you begin to write out, well, I want to be healthier because I want to do a bike ride with my grand-kids when they're 15 across Nevada. I don't know why you'd want to do that, but hey, you know. If you have some imagination of what you want to do, if I'm healthier, I can climb x mountain with so and so. How about this? Ask yourself if you reach this goal, if I get this purpose going in my life, if I have a better marriage, how will that impact my life? Let me ask you this. If your marriage was the way you dreamed it would be, what would that do for your life, and what would that do for your kids? What would that do for other people?

Doyle Jackson: 29:11 Any one of these areas of your life, you have to ask that big question, how will this change your life? So if I get my finances together, and I got them going the way I want my finances to be, how would this change my life? But a bigger question is this, how would it change other people's lives if my finances were in order, and I wasn't always worried and stressed about finances, what would that do for my health? What would that do for my relationship with my spouse? What would that do for my relationship with my kids? What about their future? How would it impact their future? How would it impact the Kingdom of God If I got my finances in order and I was able to help more people in Columbus, in Africa and the ends of the earth? See the moment you and I begin to think about the why. If I got my finances in order, I might truly be able to fulfill God's purposes for my life. And see the question of why is always important, not just for you, but how will it change other people's lives?

Doyle Jackson: 30:30 If you're why is self-centered, if you just want to be great for your own purposes the way Paul did, you know what it'll do right? It will destroy you, because a self-centered...Okay? A self-centered approach to life will always cause you to harm other people for your purposes, so your why needs to impact other people's lives for it to become meaningful, and powerful, and exponential. So when you think about your whys, and what you're doing, think about the impact it'll have on other people. The most powerful goals are not selfish, but include other people.

Doyle Jackson: 31:12 So what are the costs? What is the cost if you say no to this goal, if you say no to better health, what's the cost? If you say yes to better health, what's the cost? It may cost you. You may have to get a gym membership, you may have some buy smaller clothes, you may have to spend more time doing exercise, you may have to no longer eat Krispy Kreme donuts. It. That is a sad day, right? See the moment you say yes to a goal, you've got to realize there's a cost. If you're growing your business, if you're growing your business and you just keep saying yes to each new opportunity, it's going to mean a cost. You're going to have to hire more employees, you're going to have to figure out a new way to do payroll, you're going to have to expand the office space. You're going to have to see every yes has a cost, but every no has a cost too. Jesus said, count the cost. And if you will look at the why question, it will help you.

Doyle Jackson: 32:30 Now this is what has helped me in setting goals in my life. I sit down, and I ask myself what are the key motivators? So I wrote down just some key motivators to a health goal. Alright? Key motivators for me are more energy, feeling better, seeing the future generations, and getting to be with them. Every time I'm with my dad, he's like, I'm so glad that God allowed me to live and get to see my grandchildren. You know, if you approach your life from that perspective, if my health is better, I might get to go on a mission trip to Africa. Who knows? Jennifer might let me go with her one time. See, let me ask you this. For me, the most important, is the spiritual aspect, but answer this question. If you really got it together emotionally and spiritually, how would it impact your life, and how would it impact other people's lives? If you finally got healing in those broken areas of your life, and God restored you, and you no longer were angry all the time, you were no longer on the crazy cycle, what would that do for your kids? What would that do for your neighbors? If you decided that a goal would be, I need to pray more, and I've decided that I'm going to pray a half an hour, at one time of the day, and a half an hour, another time of the day, so I get one hour of prayer in a day. And when I say that right now, some of you are just melting down in your brain, there is just no way I could do that. Okay, but if you combine that with every morning, I'm going to walk for half an hour while I pray. Alright? Now your health goal is starting to get going, right? And your spiritual goal. But tell me this, how would it impact your spiritual life, but how would it impact your family, How would it impact your neighborhood if you walked around your neighborhood? You said, Lord, I thank you for the Joneses, I know they're in a tough spot in their marriage right now, and I just pray that you bring healing and life to them. And God, I thank you for the Smiths', I know they've got a new baby, and I'm sure they're staying up late at night. I pray that you would cause that baby to sleep, and peace to fill their house. And God, I thank you for the Mitchell's, I'm so encouraged by the Mitchell's. God, I'm glad that John moved in, and you start going down and you start praying for those people, what would happen? What would happen in your life? You begin to see the world through God's eyes.

Doyle Jackson: 35:26 I want to invite you to set spiritual goals, set a goal that says, I'm going to read with a pastor from now until the fourth of July. I'm going to finish the new testament. I may not have read everything up until now, but I'm going to finish the letters of Paul. See, what would it do for you? What would it do for your family? What would it do for Columbus, if a church of a thousand people read their Bible daily, prayed to Jesus, got their finances in order. And they were giving generously, the way their heavenly father gives. That city would catch on fire. And one day, we would look back at hundreds of thousands of people that were Christ followers. Amen.

Doyle Jackson: 36:26 I want to teach you a prayer that my mom and dad began to pray when I was a baby, when they came to know Jesus, when they turned that corner with God. It was a simple prayer, and they would kneel the edge of their bed every night, and they would bow their heads and they would pray aloud together, God, please don't let us waste our lives. It's a short prayer, but I'm telling you, if you will begin to pray that prayer, it will change your life, it change your marriage, it will change your children's lives. Who knows, it might even change your grandchildren's lives. It's worked for my mom and dad, so I submit it to you as a worldly prayer. If you'd like to stand, we'll say this together. You can hold your neighbor's hand if they're willing. Alright, let's say it together. Alright, God, please don't let us waste our lives. Amen.

Doyle Jackson: 37:26 Hey, you have a great week. If you want to talk some more, I'm down here, I'd love to meet you if you're new.

Recorded in Columbus, Ohio.
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