DAILY HOPE: DECEMBER 15

Set These Four Goals to Grow More Like Jesus

“Walk carefully, not as the unwise, but as wise, making the very most of your time . . . Do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 AMP).

Do you want to be healthier? More rested and less stressed? Do you want to be closer to God? To other people?

You don’t just drift into good things. You must be intentional. You have to set some goals and then commit to working toward them every day.

We were created to become like Jesus Christ, so let’s use him as a model for growth. The Bible tells us that Jesus grew in four ways: “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52 NIV).

If you want to be like Jesus, then you have to grow intellectually, physically, relationally, and spiritually. As you read through these points, be thinking of one goal you can set for yourself in each of these four areas.

1. Set a goal for intellectual growth.

Proverbs 19:8 says, “Do yourself a favor and learn all you can; then remember what you learn and you will prosper” (GNT). You must never stop learning. A mind is a terrible thing to waste! What is one thing you’d like to learn? It doesn’t have to be a spiritual thing. Maybe there’s a book you’d like to read for the first time. Maybe there’s a class you’d like to take. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn another language. Now is the time to do it!

2. Set a goal for physical growth.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (NLT). God wants you to honor him with your body, because it’s where he lives. What could you do to set a goal in this area? How can you improve your health? Don’t make an unrealistic goal, because you will just get discouraged. You might need to get a physical, go to bed earlier, change an eating habit, or start walking during your lunch break.

3. Set a goal for relational growth.

Philippians 1:9 says, “This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love” (NCV). The greatest lesson you can learn in life is how to love God and other people. Because that’s what life is all about! What do you need to do to develop stronger relationships? Do you need to join a small group? Restore a relationship? Offer forgiveness or ask for forgiveness? Invite a new friend over for a meal? Remember to make your goal specific.

4. Set a goal for spiritual growth.

The Bible says in 2 Peter 3:18, “Grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (TLB). I’ve found in my life that the smallest goal I set in this area reaps the most incredible benefits. As you think through this one, ask, “What can I do that will make the biggest difference?” Even a small thing can make a huge difference. Or what have you been putting off when it comes to spiritual growth? Do that one first when it comes to this goal.

Make it a point to write down your goals and put them on your refrigerator or your mirror. Look at them every day. Pray about them. Review them. Share them with a spiritual partner. Use these goals to help you know Jesus better and grow more into his image.

“Walk carefully, not as the unwise, but as wise, making the very most of your time . . . Do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 AMP).

From Daily Hope by Rick Warren
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