Okay, so this is a little hard to write. I’ve been ‘in church’ since well before I was born. But in over 30 years, I was still childlike in understanding God’s grace and favor.
I’ve had the Sunday School answer, a simple, childish acceptance, which is great, but we’re called to a combination of childlike faith and spiritual maturity. (Matthew 18:2-4, Ephesians 4:11-16, Hebrews 6)
I didn’t know what I didn’t know. But now I’m excited. Every time I do learn the Biblical or historical meaning of a word, I find my Bible reading time so much richer. It’s something I need to do more often because it’s so cool!
Today, I want to unpack some of what I’ve learned, understanding God’s grace on a whole new level. Then, I want to show you what that has to do with setting Christian goals. Because it’s HUGE!!! Discovering Christian goal setting and it’s connection with God’s grace and favor will change Everything!
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Understanding God’s Grace and Mercy
The Sunday School answer, Understanding God’s Grace and Mercy as a child was as simple as this:
Grace is getting something we DON’T deserve, and Mercy is not getting something we DO deserve.
Accurate, sure. But incomplete, and I had no idea!
Ephesians 2:8-9 would be the key verses for this basic understanding.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.[Eph 2:8-9 NIV]
Understanding the Grace of God is a gift is powerful and life-changing. Salvation is the perfect intersection of God’s Grace and Mercy. We don’t deserve it, it’s a gift, and it spares us from the punishment we absolutely deserve.
Understanding God’s Grace and Favor as an Adult
There was a question in a Bible study I’m doing (Review Here) that inspired me to look up the definition of grace.
Definition of graceMerriam-Webster
1a: unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification
Unmerited Divine Assistance Given to Humans…
So, in plain English, God’s Grace is Him helping us become new and Christ-like.
Wow! Makes me think of another verse:
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.Philippians 2:13 NIV
I’ve always been encouraged by this verse, but I did not realize that it was talking about God’s Grace!
Understanding What the Grace of God Can Do
So, let’s go from a dictionary definition to a biblical one. Understanding what the grace of God can do on a personal level begins with the Bible. I don’t want this to be another post that just talks in circles and doesn’t answer the question of helping with understanding God’s grace and favor. Especially when it comes to setting goals as a Christian.
The first part of understanding God’s grace is understanding the saving grace of the cross. God’s grace and favor in calling us, giving us the gift of recognition of our sins and the gift of saving us from the death penalty we have earned. Are there 3 steps to Salvation? (Click if you’re curious!!)
The second part of understanding God’s grace and favor is the ‘favor’ part. God favors us with gifts and assistance we never could earn or deserve.
And that is what we’re here for today. The blessing of God’s grace and favor poured out over-and guiding-our Biblical goal setting and goal getting!
He wants us to live with purpose, not drift along. God gave us the desires that are in our hearts, and he wants to help us get from here to there.
Remember Philippians 2:13! It’s God at work in us, giving us the desires, and the actions to fulfill his good purpose.
With God’s Grace Christian Goal Setting Works
Before we really get into the how to of setting Christian goals, think about the most common goals people set.
Aren’t they usually fitness or finance-related? Maybe relationships or spiritual growth? Our body is his temple, and we’re supposed to take care of it, so we can serve to the best of our abilities, right? If our finances are in a mess, we’re not free to serve and give in the way God would want.
And relationships? Isn’t he in the relationship business? We’re supposed to be Christlike in friend, spouse, parent, child, coworker relationships, correct?
God gives us the desire to improve, yes. But the wonder of God’s grace is this: He’s also willing to get in there and help us do the work! That’s what sets Christian goal setting apart.
In my study of Experiencing God we’re highlighting this fact, about God not sending his servants out to ‘go and do’ but actually inviting us to GO WITH HIM, and Work Together!! God’s Grace is so amazing!!!
Understanding God’s Grace in the Bible
It’s beautiful, looking at God’s Grace in the Bible. You know, there are over a dozen books in the New Testament where the author begins with a blessing, a prayer of Grace and Peace to the recipient. I’d love it if we could get out of our myopic ruts, and pray grace and peace over those we come into contact with.
The Riches of God’s Grace Explained
Another childhood acronym I’ve seen for GRACE is this:
If you want the riches of God’s Grace explained simply, this one is great! God’s riches are available to us, at Christ’s expense. He paid the ultimate price. I love this quote, which explains God’s Grace beautifully:
In Jesus, every believer has an infinite treasury of wisdom, knowledge, and blessing. Do you need strength? The all–powerful God grants energy for any task. Do you lack wisdom? He provides discernment and insight to cut through the fog of confusion. Are you searching for contentment? Divine peace is beyond human understanding.Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries
Also Consider These:
- How to Cultivate the Ability to Multitask Wisely
- 3 Powerful Tools for Complete Life Change for Christian Women
- Goal: Leaving a Legacy of Faith as a Christian Mom
Setting Christian Goals With God’s Grace
Are you with me? Understanding God’s Grace Changes Everything! God’s grace and favor towards us is unbelievable, but something I believe with my whole heart!
Last month, I got to have a ‘retreat day’ by myself for 8 hours in a hotel (without an internet signal). I spent the day with my Grace Goals Packet, a pencil, notebook, and the Gideon Bible from the nightstand since the one on my phone wouldn’t load.
This was an incredibly rare opportunity for me, and an unforgettable day. As I worked through my packet on setting Christian goals, I found myself understanding God’s grace and favor towards me on a whole new level, because Arabah Joy does such an amazing job. She challenges, explains, encourages, and makes you laugh and really think.
I worked through the pre-goal-setting section, and setting 2 Christian goals that day. A big “life-goal” and a smaller, short term goal. By the end, I know my goals are in line with God’s will, and that HE will stick with me and enable me to stick with these goals. I may stumble, but he will pick me up! Let me give you a peek into my learning how to set Christian goals with God’s grace, and then I’ll show you how you can get started yourself:
Christian Goal Setting: A Look Back
The first third or so of the packet is full of evaluation and review. It’s very interesting and so helpful to look back over the year. Not something I’ve ever really done much of in a productive way. Sure, I look back through a ‘wish I had (or hadn’t) done or said that’ lens. But to actually evaluate where I am now, and where I’ve been over the past year was eye-opening.
In case you want a taste, here’s a sample. A FREE personal spiritual formation assessment. This is just one of the assessment sections included in Grace Goals, but it’s my favorite, because it’s so powerful!
Then, on to choosing and setting Christian goals with God’s grace and favor… Actually working through how to set goals and achieve them in practical ways!
Christian Goal Setting Step 2: Dreams
I’ve been convicted lately, that I may know a lot about God, and believe in him, but I don’t Know Him as well as I should. He’s not always the first person I turn to when I want to talk, or need advice, or … So my first goal is this:
Lifetime Christian Goals #1: Friendship with God
This one is huge. It is also going to require several smaller goals along the way. We read in Isaiah 41 and James 2 how Abraham was a friend of God. And we know from reading in Genesis that he was not always perfect. So that begs the question, how can I be a friend of God? I want that.
Well, I know it means I have to obey promptly when he tells me to do something. And trust him. But it also means talking to him. and so much more. I found these two articles very helpful in forming my goal steps:
How to Be a Friend
How to Talk to God
Some of the smaller goals associated with this would be developing a consistent listening and conversational prayer pattern, reading, writing, and memorizing scripture, and teaching my boys what I am learning and doing so they can get a headstart.
Short Term Christian Goals: Rewrite Internal Dialogue Defaults
I’ve become aware that many of the things that are on repeat in my brain are lies, and extremely unhelpful. So I am ready to do something about it.
I plan on starting with Sarah’s new book, Transforming Your Thought Life. I’m really excited about this book. I don’t know exactly what else will be happening here, but I will try to make a list of what I need to change, and the truth that I need to replace it with.
Heaven Breaks In and Grace-Filled Plate have also been helpful for inspiration here. Just picked up and plan to read Compared to Who? next.
How to Set Christian Goals and Achieve Them With God’s Grace
Now, I have tried to figure out how to set goals before, like with my 52-week challenge – which flopped. I tend to enjoy organizing and setting up the process. But on my own, I lack follow-through. I think I sent out 3-4 weeks worth of challenge emails.
I’ve gone back through my notes, and I have a lot of good ideas, that are simple and practical. It can work. With God’s grace working in me this time.
I also intend to set goals for writing a will, parenting and fitness, marriage and organizing my house/life. But I will add them one at a time, and not overwhelm myself with too much change too soon, which is when I shut down. See? I’m learning how to set goals and achieve them already!
Knowing that I can set Christian goals with God’s approval, and have God’s grace is why I believe I will be successful this year.
And since, as Tigger says that ‘half this bounce is 90% mental’ I have a head start this year! Even if it takes many years!
Biblical Goal Setting: List of Spiritual Goals
Do you need a few ideas for Biblical Goal Setting? Some Christian goals to get you started? Here are some of the most common Christian Goal setting ideas that, with God’s grace, could change your world!
16 Faith Goals Examples
Here are 16 Faith Goals examples, practical Christian goals for every believer. And no matter whether you’re a brand new Christian or you’ve been saved since you were 7, there’s always room for improvement in these and many other spiritual goals
- Psalm a Day
- Proverb a Day
- Gospel per Month
- Whole Bible in xx Days
- Memorize a Verse a Week
- Hand Write Scriptures (Book or Theme)
- Designate days of the week/month to pray for family, friends, leaders, the lost…
- Read a book on prayer
- Pray a Name of Jesus Daily
- Memorize Biblical Prayers
- Fasting (from various things, for various times)
- Daily Time With God
Need some ideas for personal goals?
Do You Want A Guide to Setting Christian Goals With God’s Grace and Favor?
If you want to have God’s grace and favor while you learn how to set goals this year, please join me! Grace Goals is packed with kindness and wisdom and guidance. Over 80 pages in fact. This includes:
- A Year-End Assesment
- Spiritual Growth Inventory
- Spiritual Formation Assesment
- Goal Setting Workbook
- Planner Pages for putting your goals into action
- Mission Statement Worksheet, and more…
Video “Unboxing” of Grace Goals 2021
Whether you’re planning on writing a book, becoming a better mom, or running a marathon, Grace Goals can help. I’ve tasted it and had to share!
I hope you’ll give Grace Goals 2020 a chance to change your life for the better.
Until Next Time, Love God, Love Books, Shine The Light!!
Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ve been working on being a better listener and trying to discern God’s voice from all the other distractions. I appreciate your insights!
You’re welcome! Discerning God’s voice in the middle of the chaos is hard! But with God’s grace and favor available to help, it’s totally possible!!
Wow, I love this article! Since I am a goal-oriented person, setting goals is really a topic that interests me a lot. Thank you for the reminder that with God and by His grace we can not only set the right and specific goals but also achieve them. You mention the book “Transforming your thought life”. I can highly recommend it!
Yes! Understanding God’s grace is a huge game changer!!
And thank you for the recommendation, I am looking forward to getting started on Transforming Your Thought Life!! ?
It sounds really interesting. I need to set some new goals and it sounds like a good tool to do so.
Grace Goals 2020 is a great tool for setting goals and following through. Having God’s grace and favor and guidance makes all the difference!