Living a godly life can help get our goals in alignment.

Doyle Jackson
Apr 28, 2018    25m
In this sermon Pastor Doyle explains the idea of alignment. This is when all the work on your goals, your why's and your purpose come together in a nice organized way. Part of living a godly life includes setting goals that will bring yourself, and others, closer to God. He explains this takes self examination to decide which areas of your life you want to improve. 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.

Doyle Jackson: 00:01 Alright?, well tonight, we're continuing our study on goals. And the reason this is important is because you want to set your goals, and you've begun to really think about what it's going to cost you for those goals. That's what we've talked about, to set in your heart a motivation for those goals. Then you've got to make those happen. But what happens is this, life happens, right? You get busy, and you're like, oh no, I had this goal. And this is why everybody at New Year's always makes a resolution, but then by Valentine's Day they've forgotten the resolution or they've fallen off their resolution. Well, this then becomes the most important key piece, it's what I call alignment, and alignment is about you taking the goals that you've established and making sure that it aligns up with what you're doing every day.

Doyle Jackson: 00:56 Is there a noise going on? What is that caused by? Do I need to take a hold of the handheld microphone? Would that help you? Turn this one off. We'll do this. This is going to be a challenge, but I can do it Alright? I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Alright?

Doyle Jackson: 01:22 You know, you've seen ducks in a row, right? You've seen a mama duck and her ducklings and they're crossing the road. Why is that important? Why is that system in play? That system is in play so that everybody makes it, and so momma can do that. And you know, I imagine there's been some training involved though, you and I don't get to see it all. There's a process that goes into it, and the reason it's important is this, it helps them reach their targets. We're all here, and we're all safe. Now if you have a smaller family, you just hold hands with one child, and then as you have more children you hold more hands. Whatever you have to do to make sure it all goes together well.

Doyle Jackson: 02:09 That's the way it is with your goals. If you've created a health goal, if you've created a financial goal, if you've created a vocational goal, whatever that is, you have to then begin to line up your daily life. So you reach that goal, and it doesn't mean that you worship the goal, it means that your goal is always in your heart and in your mind you're aware of it. Okay?

Doyle Jackson: 02:34 So I thought that we would take a moment and look at Paul, because we've used Paul as our example, right? Paul was called by the Lord on his way to Damascus. We looked at that last week, and right now we're reading through the book of Romans as a church. So this week we started Romans. If you haven't been reading, it's okay, just start right now. Okay? Get up tomorrow and start reading with us. We're going to finish Romans this week and start in First Corinthians. Okay?

Doyle Jackson: 03:01 And I believe the readings are in the bottom of the page on the back of your notes. Okay? But look at this, look at this alignment that Paul had. It's Romans chapter 1:1-7, "Paul a servant of Christ Jesus called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God." I want to stop right there. What Paul is telling you in his first verse of the Book of Romans is he's telling you his why, his purpose in life. See, he views himself, first of all, he says, I am Paul and I am a servant of Christ Jesus. The word Christ means Messiah. It's just the Greek word for Messiah. Alright?, So he says, I am a servant of Messiah, Jesus. Now the word servant there, sometimes in our culture gets lost because the original Greek there actually is someone who is a bond servant or a slave, and I believe that modern translation is worried about people being offended and so they don't want to use the word slavery. Because slavery is horrendous, it's offensive, it's unacceptable, and it's taken us a long time to get to the point that we see slavery as an offensive act against another human being. Correct, but yet you and I still live in a day when human trafficking, and the enslavement of other individuals, is still taking place and we're aware of that. So slavery is a very painful concept for us. Yet, Paul uses it to describe his relationship to Messiah, Jesus.

Doyle Jackson: 05:01 Now, why? Because Paul says, I was once a slave to sin. See, for Paul, he understood what slavery meant because it was a very common part of the world in which he lived, and he used that common nature in the world in which he lived to say, I used to be a slave to sin. I was owned by my own desire to have power, to have a control of other people, and you know I lorded it over other people. And he was a wicked brutal man before God, he was a slave to his sin. And he said, when I met Messiah Jesus, he bought me, out of that slavery, but I determined that he would own me from then on. So that's Paul's concept of slavery. Basically Paul came to the conclusion, as long as I live in this life, I'm going to be a slave to something. I'm either going to be a slave to myself and sin, or I'm going to choose to let Jesus purchase me, and I'll be a slave to him.

Doyle Jackson: 06:15 Now he goes on in that verse to say, the first way he identifies himself is a slave to Jesus, but he is called to be an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God. Now see, he could have chosen to say, hi, I'm Paul, I'm an apostle I got this great gig, Jesus has set me apart. And see there are people, you will meet them, and they'll give you their title because they're proud of their title. And all Paul was saying, is this my first priority. My reason for living is to live to serve Jesus, and in so doing he has asked that I represent him as an apostle. That's the way he approached his relationship to God, and he said, I'm an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.

Doyle Jackson: 07:13 Do you know what he means by Gospel? Wherever Paul uses the word Gospel, it's one word, and it means good news in the Greek But Paul's good news was this, number one, that Jesus died for our sins. Wherever Paul went, when he spoke to the good news, he said, Jesus died for our sins. Now, why is that important? Because Paul is saying that there is a cure for sin, but the only cure for sin is death, and Jesus died a death so that you can be free of sins. So number one, Jesus died for our sins. Number two, he was buried. Death, usually entails a burial. And then thirdly, he rose on the third day. So whenever you talk of the Gospel and Paul, that's his definition. So for Paul, when he talks about his reason for living, is I live for Jesus, he owns me from this day forward.

Doyle Jackson: 08:22 But see, what we're inviting you to when we talk about goals for your life is this. Whatever your goals are, understand who owns you, who makes the decisions about your life, and how are they being made? And as Paul describes himself to this church at Rome, you've got to realize they've never met him. They've only heard stories about him. He introduces himself. He says, well, I'm Paul, I'm the one you've heard about. The Gospel he proclaimed beforehand, through his prophets in the holy scriptures regarding his son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David. So Paul goes through in the book of Romans, to describe how the Gospel came as a result of God's word. Alright? And God's promises, and it came through the lineage of humanity, to free us all. So Paul's "why" made his vision clear and his goals in sight.

Doyle Jackson: 09:24 Now this is what I want to get to for you. If you are a mommy and your goal is to be a godly mother, and you feel that God has called you to be a godly mother that raises your family for his purposes. That becomes your why. But what motivates you about that? What motivates you to do that every day? Well, you have to have a picture in your mind of what godly children look like. Back when we lived in Cincinnati, our boys were small. They were in preschool. Alright? It was before they had started school, and Jennifer one day was at home in our little house and she was praying and she was cleaning. And God gave her a vision of our eldest son, Aaron. And she was standing in the kitchen while she was cleaning and praying, and God gave her a vision of Aaron walking in the back door of the house as a grown man. I remember because I came home for lunch, and she said I had the weirdest experience today. I said, what was that? She said, I was praying. I was praying for the boys, and I was praying for the ministry, and I was just praying, and she said, God gave me a vision, and Aaron was a grown man. He was tall, and he was thin, and he had blonde hair, and he walked through the back door. So your vision is what carries you through. What is it you look forward to? What is it you want to see? So a godly mother wants to see grown children, that love God and serve God. And so for Paul, and for you and I, you have to have a picture of what it's going look like. And then you begin to see what happen in your life because you'll have that vision, and you begin to think about it, and you can picture it. So when you see your children lift their hands in worship, or they choose to to pray at the table, you begin to see it happening before your eyes it seems.

Doyle Jackson: 11:42 What is your vision? Do you want God to turn around your financial resources so that you don't have a car payment, so that you could give to help children in Africa? Then if you keep that vision, it motivates me not to buy a new car, when I know that I can give more to help other people. Seeing a little rust doesn't bother me when I know what the other benefits are, because I have a vision. But I'm not telling you it's wrong to have a new car, I think new cars are wonderful, I've owned them and you have to. You have to know what your vision is right now, and work towards it, that's why it'll get you alignment in terms of what you're supposed to be doing.

Doyle Jackson: 12:30 And this is what I would say too, is this, you can have a an idea of what your mission on your life is, your why you exist, and the vision will change over the years. Let me explain. So the mother of teenagers, if you're supposed to be raising a godly young people, it changes as a teenager what the vision is. The vision of a godly mother of toddlers is different. When they're toddlers you want to hold them, when they're teenagers they won't let you hold them, and rightfully so, at that point mama would be unhealthy. See, you have to know what they need, when they need it, and so your vision changes. But your why doesn't change. Your purpose doesn't change. But over the seasons your vision may change. Alright?

Doyle Jackson: 13:28 Keep reading Paul, he says how it works together. And Paul, what does he says in Romans 1, he says, "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world." The first thing Paul does in regard to his relationship with this new church, he says, listen, I'm a servant of God, called to be an apostle, to share the good news. Then in verse 8, he says, "My first thing I do for you is I praise God for you. I thank God for you." I thank God for you. So one of Paul's goals is a prayer goal isn't it, a praise goal, to begin to thank God for these new believers. In verse 11, he says, "I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong." So part of what he sees in his mind is one day I want to come to you, but right now I can't come, so I'm sending you this letter. And this letter is to encourage you, and my prayer is that one day I'm going to get to see you, but somehow God is going to give you a spiritual gift to help you along. See, your vision, because of the power of God in your life, you can transfer from one part of the world to another part. And then thirdly, he says, I am obligated both to Greeks and non- Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish, that is why I'm so eager to preach the gospel. Also to you who are in Rome, I'm not sure if that's a compliment or a slam. He says, I go to the wise and the unwise. I go to Greeks and I go to Jews, but I'll even come to you at Rome. Right? But see, his vision is, I want to preach to everyone, it doesn't matter if they're powerful, it doesn't matter if they have no means, it does not matter. He says, I want to preach to every kind of person possible.

Doyle Jackson: 15:30 Let me show you how this works in the life of The Church Next Door. Alright? At The Church Next Door we have a mission, many of you know it, our mission is to move people closer to God and that's why we exist. You have to know your why, why you exist, and your why will come out of your context. It'll come out of the context of your age, it'll come out of your life experiences, it'll come out of your spiritual gifts, it'll come out of all that is about you. Okay? What is it that makes you unique, what is it you bring to life, and what is your why? Here at The Church Next Door, our mission is to move people closer to God. And you will know your why, because your why will always be, what am I about every day? If your why is to encourage people wherever you go, because God has given you the gift of encouragement, that's a great why. If God has given you a why of sharing life, or God has given you a why of teaching, or if God has given you a why of a being a prayer warrior, I exist to pray for people, see everybody's why will be a part of their context? Then your vision, okay, is how I see myself daily at The Church Next Door. Our vision is to meet people right where they are, the Jesus way. That's why we went to Africa. It's why we do an egg hunt. We always look for where is that person, and meet them right where they are, because that's what Jesus did. God did not stay in heaven far from us. He chose to step into our realm and rub elbows with us, to have dinner, to love us. and look us in the eye, and so we've decided as a church that that's what we're going to do. We're going to get as close to people as we can, and just do life with them the way Jesus did. And then the next step is once you know your why, and you know your vision what it looks like You can see yourself going to people right where they are, so you can picture that. I know what that means, it means I have to go to uncomfortable for me, comfortable for them.

Doyle Jackson: 18:00 Right? And then we have what we call values. Alright? These are the principles that help us evaluate what's a good goal, what's a bad goal, what's a good thing for us to do it? Here at the church, we've set out a list of values. There are things like the Bible will transform your life, and we encourage people to read the Bible, get to know the Bible, love the Bible, pray the Bible, stand on the Bible, whatever you need to do, but the Bible will transform your life. We have on our values list, we talk about the church, the church is the bride of Christ. That's why we go to Africa to help plant churches and encourage the church, because the church is the bride of Christ. And so you have these values, we talk about the value of prayer, we talk about the value of honesty, we talk about the value of giving God our best. We have these values. Okay? In your life, when you have alignment, your goals fit with your why, your mission. You can see how they line up with your vision, and then do they hold your values? Do you have values as a family? I like that honesty value, you can take that one, go right ahead, I like that. Give God your best. Don't you want, as a family, want to always do your best. How about prayer? Do you think prayer should be a good value for your family, I'll give them all to you, the Bible. But see what they do is this, it helps you know what should I be about, and what I shouldn't be about. If you know what your values are, if honesty is a value, than lying not an option is it, stealing is not an option. Set up some values in your life, it'll give you alignment, it'll help you reach your goals.

Doyle Jackson: 19:49 Last piece, Alright?. A life of courage. Look what Paul says, same chapter, chapter 1. It says, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes first for the Jew and then for the Gentile, for in the Gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed. A righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, the righteous will live by faith." What Paul says is this, he says, I've chosen not to be ashamed of the way I'm living my life, I'm not ashamed of the Gospel.

Doyle Jackson: 20:36 And what I believe is so important about you understanding your purpose, and your goals, and choosing to live a life this way, is it should bring strength to you, and courage so you say, you know, I'm not ashamed to be a Christian. I'm not ashamed to choose a godly lifestyle. I'm not ashamed to put all my effort, and put all my energy, into being more healthy so that I can serve the Lord. I'm not ashamed of managing my money well, so that God could have the best of my resources. I'm not ashamed of you know the vocation I have, because it honors God. See what I'm saying? You can look at your life that way, and say, I'm not ashamed of the life that I've chosen. Now, here's the only question for you, what's the first step you need to take?

Doyle Jackson: 21:24 What's the first step, right now, that you need to take? Do you need to take the next three weeks and you're just going to pray about it, and say, I've got to get back to my why, and what my why is? And you're going to spend the next three weeks praying about that. Or maybe the first step is, you know, I know my why and I know the vision, I just have gotten off course. Can I tell you this? I've watched people over the years, they love God, or they've got some goal in their life. They want to start a business, or they have some goal in the area of their life, and something happens. A crisis takes place, a death in the family, a loss of a job, we had to move, you name any kind of life change. Okay? That happens, and because of that, they say, well, I had to put that on pause, and I've not gotten it back on course. I'm telling you, take the first step today to getting back on course. I know people that thought, you know, because a job change that it was going to improve their financial and everything about their life. But when they moved with their job, they cut themselves off from all the spiritual kind of connection and godly people they had, and in the move they lost that. And I'm not saying that to make anybody feel guilty in this room, but every one of us has had some life shift that hit them, and it got us off of that. And all I'm saying is you can decide for you, what is the first step, what's the one step you need to take to get back on course?

Doyle Jackson: 23:12 Today I want to give you a prayer, and this is Paul, the one we've been talking about. And this is from First Corinthians chapter 9, and what I did was I took two verses from First Corinthians, First Corinthians 9:24,26 and I just changed the verbiage, so it was a personal prayer. It says I know that in a race... And today was the half marathon, right? I did not run in that race, I wish I had. I know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize, I choose to run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training, they do it to get a crown that will not last, but I do it to get a crown that will last forever. So we can choose that prayer, and we can choose to take our first step. Alright?

Doyle Jackson: 24:11 So if you would stand, and we will say this together, if you're willing, right? And if you don't want to say it, I won't force you. I won't force you to hold your neighbor's hand either, I mean. Alright, here we go, we're going to say this together. I know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize, I choose to run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training, they do it to get a crown that will not last, but I do it to get a crown that will last forever. Amen. And I want you to know something, I believe that if you will choose this, you will be rewarded. There is a reward for choosing to trust God in that way. Amen.

Doyle Jackson: 24:59 God bless you, thank you for coming. If you want to talk some more, there's always a team that'll pray with you here.

Recorded in Columbus, Ohio.
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