Edition: 14

Target Practice

Last Edition Recap

How have you applied the last edition to your life?

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, You have plans for us. Your will for us is good, pleasing and perfect. You want us to know what your will is. You want to lead us into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with you. So, Lord, teach us in this time and guide us into becoming the people you have created us to be. Thank you for this time together. Amen.

"If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." – Zig Ziglar.

Intro

“A king was hunting in the forest with his coterie of men-at-arms and servants when he came across a tree with an arrow protruding, dead centre, from a target painted on it. Marvelling at the nice shot, they ride on.

Before long, they come on another tree, with another target and an arrow in the dead centre. Eventually, they see another, and another, until it seems like every tree in the forest has been painted with a target, each pierced with unerring accuracy.

Riding on in astonishment, they eventually encounter a small boy carrying a bow and a nearly empty quiver. Pressed, the boy finally admits to being responsible for this incredible display of marksmanship.

The King suspiciously demands, “You didn’t just walk up to these targets and place the arrow in the middle, did you?”

“No, my Lord, I shot them from a hundred paces. I swear it.”

“That is remarkable,” said the King. “I hereby admit you into my service as a master archer.

“I just ask one favour: you must tell me how you managed to become such an amazing shot.”

“Sure,” said the boy, happy to oblige. “It’s straightforward. First I shoot the arrow, then I take my paintbrush and paint the target around it”

Chat Point 1

  1. Why would this boy never become a master archer by doing this?
  2. What advice would you give to him to help him improve?
  3. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? And how did that impact your life?
  4. Have you ever ignored someone’s advice to regret it later?

Read

Colossians 3:1-17

Key Focus

  • Col 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Chat Point 2

  1. What stands out for you in this passage?
  2. What do you think “Put on the new self” means, and how is it an advantage?
  3. Identify the different targets in this passage;
    a. List the targets we are supposed to aim at,
    b. and list those we are NOT supposed to aim at.
  4. What advice do you think God is trying to give you?
  5. What has God set up for us and done to help us with “Target Practice”?
  6. Why do you think it is essential to aim for God’s “targets”?
  7. How can we “Target Practice” as a group?
  8. What does the following quote say to you in the context of Colossians 3:2?

Final Thought

In the last issue, “I Feel Used,” we discussed living a full and purpose-filled life. God wants us to live with a purpose. Unfortunately, humanity has a knack for chasing after the things of this world. We aim to hit these ‘targets’ with a lot of effort and resources. There is nothing wrong with enjoying life or being comfortable as long as it’s not at the cost of your soul. Just as the little boy tried to fool himself into being a great archer, we must be careful not to think we are better than who we are by doing what WE feel is acceptable.

Too many Christians are “painting” targets around their own “arrows” by justifying their spiritual recklessness. Like in the story, once confronted by the King, we will only be exposed as frauds.

Adam Clarke wrote, “Love heavenly things; study them; let your hearts be entirely engrossed by them. Now, that ye are converted to God, act in reference to heavenly things as ye did formerly in reference to those of earth; and vice versa. This is a very good general rule: “Be as much in earnest for heavenly and eternal things, as ye formerly were for those that are earthly and perishing.”

God wants us to focus on those things that are of him. He has made us new in him (New Self). Because of his grace, we get to reinvent ourselves. God wants us t have eternal life with him. So let’s shoot for his targets and not our own.

What are your prayer requests?

Closing Prayer

Lord God, you constantly advise us on living in line with your will for us. You plan to save our souls and have made way for our salvation through Jesus Christ. Lord, help us to aim for your choice and not our own. For Christ’s Sake. Amen.

In-between Chats: Personal Reflection

  •  For what are you aiming?
  • In what area of your life do you want to re-evaluate to practice the things of God?
  • What’s stopping you, and how can you change it?