Goal Setting For Saints

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, December 28, 2003, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 
by Michael D. O’Neal                    Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Acts 19:11-21

Text: Acts 19:21

Acts 19:21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

Introduction: I want to preach to you this morning on the subject, “Goal Setting for Saints.” I brought this message once before about 8 years ago, and it is available in print in booklet form. I believe that if you let God work in your heart today and put these things into practice, you can have a much more effective year in 2004 for our Lord.

I am a goals-oriented person.

I believe the apostle Paul was a goals-oriented person. He prayerfully made plans to go places and do things.

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The end of the year is one of the times at which I am more conscious of what I have done, am doing, and should be doing in the future.

I believe you should have spiritual goals, mental goals, financial goals, and physical goals. Some of you wives should have housekeeping and child-rearing goals.

I’m going to take the word “saint” and make an acrostic from it to give you some guidelines for



1 Corinthians 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

It’s not enough to just “toot” the horn; you need to toot a specific note!

A. The purpose should be specific –
1 Cor. 10:31 – general; Examples of more specific purposes:
1. Strengthen your prayer life
2. Win more souls
3. Become more knowledgeable in the Bible

B. The project should be specific
1. Paul desired to travel to carry the gospel, but he had plans to visit specific places.

C. The people involved should be specific
1. Sometimes other people will be necessary to help you accomplish your goals.
2. Write their names down.
3. Make plans to talk to them and enlist their help.

D. The plan should be specific
1. How do you eat an elephant? – one bite at a time!
2. Chop your big task into many small tasks and do them regularly.

E. The period involved should be specific
1. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly


James 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

A. To resistance – you may have to change your plan even if you keep the same goal
1. You are going to be resisted by the world, the flesh, and the devil

B. To rearrangement of circumstances – change of location, death, change of health

C. To revelation from God (as He shows you that your goals or direction should be changed)
1. Philip was preaching in Samaria, but God interrupted him and told him to go to the desert. He went.
2. Paul intended to go to Jerusalem, but God told him to change his plans and go to Rome. Paul didn’t listen and ended up in Rome in bonds.


1 Kings 19:9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

A. The saint should check his own goals
1. It’s good for you to ask yourself, “What am I doing here?”
2. Elijah was off track. Inspecting your goals will help you realize if you’re on track.
3. 1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
4. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

B. A spouse or supporter should check our goals
1. A “support group”

C. The Spirit of God will check our goals
1. He leads – Rom. 8:14
2. We should be filled with the Spirit – Eph. 5:18
3. We should walk in the Spirit – Gal. 5:16

D. The Savior will ultimately inspect our goals
1. He is inspecting them now – Heb. 4:13
2. He will inspect them at the Judgment Seat of Christ – Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10


2 Corinthians 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

Paul thought it NECESSARY to do what he was doing.

A. They should be required
1. Even rest is necessary
2. Time with your family is necessary
3. 1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

B. They should be righteous
1. What is your motive for doing what you want to accomplish?

C. They should be rated (in order of importance)
1. Some things are better than others.
2. Martha’s goal was not as important as Mary’s goal was in Luke 10:42.
3. Rating your goals may take some time. Once it’s done, though, you can get on track and stay on track.


2 Corinthians 8:11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.

Start now!

A. We should prepare them
1. Do it now! Do it this afternoon!

B. We should plan them
1. Write them down!

C. We should PERFORM them
1. Perform the DOING of it; start now!


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