IN business and life there are short term and long term goals. Generally, short term goals are only effective in the light of the long term goal that they work to serve. It’s the long term goal that gives the momentum and energy to the short term goal. The long term goal reminds us of why we are doing what we do today and why the short term goals matter. Without the long term goal, the short term ones can lose there relevance. We forget why we are doing certain things and why it matters. Without the short term goals, the long term ones can seem too abstract and distant to be real. We need glimpses of the long term goal along the way. We need achievements that show we are not chasing unrealistic fairy tales. We need actions, habits, or ways of thinking that keep us on course and remind us of what’s most important and where we are heading. For the record, a goal can be a place we end up, an achievement, or even the person/organization we become. It could also be the combination of all three.
1 Peter 1:2-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
To many, the Christian lifestyle, ideals, and thoughts have become archaic and irrelevant. Christianity, as a simple matter of lifestyle, will be short lived because it lacks the long term goal that makes it powerful. As Paul said, “if in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable.” Many approach Christianity as only a way to better this life here on earth. That is short term living without the long term reality Peter called a “living hope.” Heaven and eternal life don’t seem real to many Christians. It’s too unknown. Therefore, decisions are made based on short sighted thinking. Living a passionate and purposeful life require both the long and short term goals.
Peter declares that we have been rescued from aimless living. It’s not about surviving today. Literally, the old dead end life that we were confined to has passed away. We are no longer held to the sad truth that this life is the best we could have. (Even the worst existence here won’t compare to the horrors of hell.) We are liberated to the powerful truth that the best is yet to come! (Even if we had the best of existences here on earth, it won’t compare to heaven.) Peter declares that we were born again to a living hope. Hope is for something that hasn’t happened yet. A living hope is a hope that hasn’t happened in its fullness yet, but affords us glimpses, experiences, and tastes of what’s to come. That’s really good news. This hope comes through the resurrection of the dead. We too will rise again like Jesus, the firstborn from the dead, and enter into our inheritance that is imperishable and will not fade away. God has reserved it for us and even now is protecting us by His power through our faith that we exert here on earth for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Do you see the long and short term goals? The promise of God and the work of faith.
With our eyes on Jesus and our heavenly reward (long term), we live a life of faith (short term) here on earth. That life of faith includes following Jesus, renewing our minds to His Word, and living a life of love. As we do, we catch glimpses, we have experiences, and we taste of greater things to come. We experience the Lord’s prayer, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” This Easter don’t lose sight of the long term goal. Continue to make short term faith goals in your walk with Christ. Use your faith to love more, give more, and share Jesus with others more. The just shall live by faith, which if we don’t shrink back will have great reward.