What measure do you use to measure success? Some people measure success from a financial perspective. Others measure success by what you own or by prestige taking into consideration your position on the corporate ladder. The real question is how does God measure success? God measures success by your faithfulness. Faithfulness is not a common virtue in society today. Marriages, relationships between family and friends and the breaking of commitments/contracts all suffer from the lack of faithfulness.
God wants to see our faithfulness. God wants us to be faithful to what He has called us to do. We will not be judged on how much stuff we have accumulated here on earth. Rather we will be judged on our faithfulness or lack thereof on the work God has called us to do. True success is not to be measured in terms of what man can see, but in terms of what God sees. Therefore, it doesn’t matter in what manner we have been called to serve God, we must do so faithfully. We are redeemed of the Lord. We belong to Him. He is our Lord and Master and the only one whose judgment matters. It would be good if God looks upon our work and finds us faithful. From the parable of the talents story in the Bible, it doesn’t matter if God has given us 5, 2 or 1 talent. We don’t have to compare our accomplishments. We only need to be faithful in obeying God and fulfilling our purpose in this life. Look at the disciples. They were persecuted and died horrible deaths. They were successful not because of prosperity and power, not because of prestige or popularity, but only because they chose to remain faithful to the Lord. They were faithful in obeying His Word and doing His work.
Whenever God give us a responsibility, let us accept it and do our best at it and show God that He can depend on us. One day, we are going to hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servants. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” Luke 16:10 says “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Do you want to be successful? Become known as someone who can be depended upon to be faithful to do everything that you are asked to do.
When was the last time you found yourself thinking about the ‘good old days?’ It’s human nature to do so but you must avoid getting stuck there. Many people zero in on a good time in their life but spend their present trying to relive those days. That is not a good way to live life because the past is just that, it’s in the past, and it can never be relived or repeated. The alternative is to dare to be bold and seize every day as a new gift from God. Psalm 118:24 says “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Every new day presents us with new opportunities and it would be wise to see it as such and work on seizing the moment while we have it. Your past contained both good and bad days. You made good choices and you made bad choices but dwelling on the good or bad will do you no good. Today you have a choice. You can live in the past or you can choose to let it go and move on and take advantage of all the possibilities that a new day brings.
Facing the present means that we put our faith in Jesus Christ, and trust Him to be involved in every part of our lives. It also means that we choose to live life as it comes to us day by day; not in the past, not in the future, but right here at this moment. God does not want us to waste our lives away. He wants us to seize the moment and live every day of our lives with a purpose. Your past, whether good or bad, does not predict your future. Your future is what you are determined to make it, so do your best and leave the outcome to God. God is an important factor in what lies ahead for you. Many people forget the God factor and plan for success based solely on what they hope to accomplish and they fail to take into consideration that what is impossible to man is possible with God.
Abraham Lincoln said “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Live every day on purpose knowing that you can make a difference. There is nothing you can’t do. Believing that you can is the first step. Don’t let what’s behind you keep you from living today. Life is good; life is precious and it should be embraced and enjoyed one day at a time. Don’t dwell on yesterday and what could have or should have been. Look up and see what is in front of you right now. Life is to be enjoyed and not merely endured.
One of the advantages of growing older is the opportunity to learn. In fact, I really believe if you are not still learning, you have stopped living. No one is too young or too old to learn no matter what their position is in life, and one thing that I have learned is our world needs more people who can’t help themselves but to be kind to the people who cross their paths every day. These are good people who enjoy doing good. The Bible has a great deal to say about being good and doing good. God is good and God wants us to be good. That sounds very simple, but many foundational truths in life are just that simple. There is so much violence and pain in the world today and sometimes it all seems overwhelming and we can feel powerless to do anything about it. We can, however, choose to be kind and to do good every day.
Kindness and goodness is an extension of God’s love and needs to be given out as freely as it is bestowed upon us daily by our heavenly Father. See each person as Christ sees them. Make a commitment to let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Often we’ll find we end up benefiting and being blessed as well. There are people waiting for someone who is genuinely kind to enter their world. These people have gone a long time since seeing an act of kindness or hearing a kind word. Just stop and think about it for a moment. There is someone out there who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to heal a hurting heart. Treating everyone with kindness will help us to live with purpose because we would have done what was in our power to do for someone when we were with him or her.
Just as important as being kind and doing good is to do so with no thought of reward. Do it simply because it is the right thing to do. There is no benefit of keeping score of our good deeds. With no records to read you will avoid the risk of growing resentful or bitter because your good deeds were never reciprocated. In the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul says that love “keeps no record of wrongs.” Our love should keep no record of “rights” either. One of the most meaningful emotions you can ever experience is to have someone recall how you did something for them that meant a great deal to them. Ephesians 4:32 says “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Do all the good you can, to everyone you can, while you can. Remember the words of Dr. Seuss “To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”
Most Christians don’t fully understand how much God loves them individually. They know that they are saved and they believe that their sins have been forgiven, but they can’t wrap their arms around the concept that God is personable and knows them by name. Understanding the depth of God’s love for you is the fundamental truth that will hold you steady on your earthly journey. The Bible says “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32). Once you get this truth down in your soul, it will bring about the breakthrough that many believers need to be set free. You might feel unloveable right now because of what someone has done to you or said about you, but you are loved by God not because of what you’ve done, but because of who you are. The blood of Jesus Christ has made you loveable and worthy to be called a child of God. Jesus said that the greatest love a man can show for his friends is when he lays down his life for them. Jesus laid down His life for us. That is how valuable and loveable we are to Him!
The love of God may be hard for some of us to understand because we define love based on a human understanding. People love one another for many different reasons. Unfortunately, human love can change. Have you ever loved someone who only seemed to love you for what they could get from you? That is very painful but God’s love never changes nor is it based on our performance. It is impossible for us to do anything to make God love us any more than He already does. God will never love us less because His love is unconditional. It is everlasting and even though we may reject His love, He will continue to love us. At times in our lives we may find ourselves asking questions like does God love me? How do I know that God loves me? Just remember that you were purchased at a steep price and nothing will ever be able to separate you from God’s love.
There is nothing like the love of God. It is the most overwhelming thing I have ever encountered in my life. It is the greatest thing God ever did for any of us. The love of God heals, forgives and most of all it has redeemed you. God’s love is priceless and the best way to show God that you love Him is by doing His will and being what He would have you to be. Love others exactly as you are loved by God. The world needs to see what real love looks like. The world needs to see kindness, compassion and the act of putting the needs of others first. The world needs to see a love that knows no partiality and most of all it needs to see a love that is forever increasing because it has no boundaries. God would love that!
It’s important to focus on God and not on your circumstances when going through a tough time. That is the only way to find peace. When you focus on God you are acknowledging that God is in control and that God is bigger than your problem. Your faith causes you to possess a supernatural perspective that involves having the knowledge that God is going to use your problem for your good and you rest in that.
No one enjoys going through difficult times but God has promised to never leave or forsake us. That promise alone will carry you through your darkest days and should be looked at as an invitation to take your burdens to the Lord in prayer. God wants us to tell Him what’s burdening our hearts and give it to Him so we can rest. He commands us to stop thinking about our problems and let Him deal with them. When we do that, He gives us peace – the kind of peace which surpasses all understanding.(Philippians 4:7). God wants us to focus on Him; to think about Him and to pray to Him. Focusing on God and not your circumstances may not be easy; that’s why it’s called a battle. But the way we fight this battle is to change what we’re thinking about. You might say certain thoughts plague you because the crisis you are in has been going on for a long time and seems never ending. The answer is to renew your mind and think about those things that are true, lovely and of a good report. (Philippians 4:8).
Jesus was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and He’ll be with you in your fiery furnace as well. They were at peace even though they didn’t know whether God would actually keep them alive or not. All they knew was that God was with them and would see them through one way or the other. And that’s what you need to realize; God is with you and will see you through one way or the other. And that’s not resignation or defeat. That’s confidence. God has a plan for you and it’s good. If you’ll just keep moving forward, being the best that you can be, God will take what’s meant for your harm and He will use it to your advantage. God will open doors that no man can shut. God will give you favor and cause you to accomplish your dreams. God knows how to get you to where you’re supposed to be. You are not going to just come out, you’re going to come out better off than you were before!