Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Key Statement: Not what we have, but what we do with what we do have, is the real measure of success.
How does God view success? We know the standards of the world- prestige, income, and recognition. But what constitutes success in the eyes of God?
There are two plumb lines by which God measures success-obedience and faithfulness.
Though the apostle Paul ministered to thousands, he considered his success only in terms of obedience to the will of God for his life. “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
Jesus’ ministry led Him to a Roman cross before a jeering crowd. How could that possibly be deemed a success in the eyes of His contemporaries? But it was pleasing to God because He had done the will of the Father. “Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying” (John 8:55).
We are obedient to the will of God as we heartily respond to the truth of His Word and the guidance of His spirit. A wealthy entrepreneur is gradually convinced that God is calling him to a missionary role. He bows to God’s will and spends the last twenty years of his life in relative obscurity and poverty. Has he succeeded? He certainly has, and will be rewarded for all eternity for his obedience to God’s plan.
Be Faithful in All You Do
Faithfulness is the second guideline for succeeding in the eyes of God. The parable of the talents illustrates this quite precisely. After having imparted a sum of money to each servant, the master in the parable returned tears later and “settled accounts with them” (Matthew 25:19).
The servant who had received five talents and the one who had received two talents both presented the fruit of their labor to their master who responded to both with this crowning statement:
“His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21, 23).
“Well done, good and faithful servant” is God’s sublime recognition of genuine success. What mattered wasn’t how rich they ere, how many companies and subsidiaries they had formed, or how many employees they had, but their faithfulness in fulfilling their assigned task.
Here is the great equalizer: Those born into great wealth or into abject poverty can have the same quality of success. Not what we have, but what we do with what we do have, is the measure.
Glorify God in Your Work
Notice that God’s view of success isn’t focused only on what we do with His gifts but why we do it. The servants all came to bring the fruits of their labor to the master. Their motivation was to benefit him with their profits. Our earthly toil takes on divine dimensions when we seek to honor and serve God with our work.
That is enduring, all-encompassing, eternal success.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Key Statement: Loyalty to principle, deep dependence upon God, and personal integrity are the hallmarks of the true spirit of excellence.
One of the watchwords of business is excellence. After a long period of steadily declining workmanship, excellence in both manufacturing and management has become the standard.
Excellence from the biblical perspective, however, is more than simply improving quality control. While first-rate job performance is both expected and encouraged by Scripture, God’s criteria for excellence are established on a much higher plane.
The much revered woman of Proverbs 31 is portrayed as an excellent woman for her character, demeanor, and inner beauty. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul challenged them to “approve the things that are excellent” (Philippians 1:10). The Greek usage of the word implies the ability to distinguish moral differences. High on Peter’s list of cardinal virtues was moral excellence (2 Peter 1:5). “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”.
Daniel, as both prophet and administrator, adhered to morally exacting rules of conduct, earning him high praise and admiration. He was indeed a man of excellence, and the principles that elevated him above his contemporaries are as applicable today as they were in ancient Babylon.
Be Loyal to Godly Principles
At the crux of Daniel’s spirit of excellence was his loyalty to godly principles. Though offered enticing food from the king’s court, Daniel made up his mind “that he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8). The man of excellence is a man of loyalty to the standard of God’s Word, not a man of compromise. Perhaps Daniel’s name which means “God is My Judge,” served as a reminder of his firmly held ethical code. Our loyalty to the higher standard of Scripture works only when we recognize that we are accountable to God above man. Embracing that powerful truth, all of our labor is directed toward pleasing and honoring God, which also forms the foundation of a superior work ethic.
Daniel’s extraordinary life and work demonstrated dependence upon the wisdom of God through prayer. Daniel’s abilities to rule and his courage to act were the overflow of consistent prayer that looked to God for solutions and guidance. “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime” (Daniel 6:10).
That same wisdom can be received today: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Excellence is fueled by wisdom, and what can possibly equal the wisdom from the omniscient One that applies to every circumstance of our existence. Wisdom for our job, our family, our children, our finances, our relationships is generously provided by God for excellent living.
Moral Excellence Is a Witness to Others
Daniel’s integrity before God and men was a blazing witness of his commitment to excellence. As his adversaries sought to indict him, they were forced to admit that “they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him” (Daniel 6:4).
The results of Daniel’s loyalty to God’s standards and his prayer life were not hidden from men. His work and life had the impeccable marks of an obedient man. Excellence in the moral realm will invariably lead to demonstrable evidence in the physical arena. Loyalty to principle, deep dependence upon God, and personal integrity are the hallmarks of the true spirit of excellence, gaining the acclaim of both God and man.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Key Statement: As you steadfastly and consistently wait on God, you will discover that He is indeed arranging and ordering your circumstances.
Ours is a harried and hurried world. The complex and changing demands of our families, businesses, friends, and a myriad of other obligations and relationships are a constant strain on the ordering of our priorities.
Yet, none of us has faced the daily, overwhelming pressures that Jesus Christ encountered during His earthly ministry. Everywhere He went, there were hordes of people who begged for His individual attention. There were the sick to heal, the multitudes to teach, disciples to tutor, weddings to grace, dinners to attend, dead to resurrect-the list is endless.
Jesus Kept Sight of His Mission
In no instance, however, do we ever sense panic or anxiety in Jesus’ life. He never lost sight of His mission. Despite the constant tugs at His robe, Jesus was never distracted from His ultimate purpose and priority.
When the amazed crowd at Capernaum wanted Him to stay, Christ replied: “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” (Luke 4:43). As Jerusalem loomed on the horizon, Jesus “steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).
The most compelling of all Jesus’ priorities is heard in His final words at the young age of thirty-three on a Roman cross:
“It is finished!” (John 19:30). Though there were thousands Jesus didn’t heal, hundreds of villages He didn’t preach in, innumerable synagogues He didn’t visit, Jesus could still proclaim He had completely fulfilled the Father’s plan for His life.
Seek God’s Will Through Prayer
The secret of Jesus’ ordered life is also available for all who seek to accomplish God’s will through setting priorities-in daily, prayerful dependence upon the Father.
During His life on earth, Jesus was dependent upon the Father for direction and guidance. Most mornings were spent in a special time of fellowship and communion with His Father: “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35).
Before Jesus served lunch to the five thousand, He prayed. After they left, He prayed. So completely was His reliance that He could say, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12:49).
Such regular dependence upon the Lord through prayer is our key to sifting through the daily complexities of our crowded schedules. In His presence we have access to His wisdom for whatever lies ahead for the day.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Thus God has already laid out a marvelous array of priorities for us. Our responsibility is simply to “walk in them.”
That’s where the abiding, prayerful life that seeks first the kingdom of God is critical. It is in meditating on our relationship with Christ through His Word, that everything falls into its proper place.
Commit yourself to spend a regular, concentrated time with God at the beginning of each day. List your tasks for the day. Ask the Father to equip you and lead you. Confess that you are involved in His business and therefore desire to please Him. Thank Him for the people, the places, and the deeds He has already prepared for you to encounter along the way. Tell Him you are responsive to His prompting, willing to change your routine if necessary.
God Will Order Your Circumstances
As you steadfastly and consistently wait on God, you will discover that He is indeed arranging and ordering your circumstances. You have made Him the center of all that you do, and you are dependent on Him.
As you cultivate your intimate relationship with Christ, you too can say, along with the Lord, that you have accomplished “the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4).
That is living with your priorities in the highest sense.
Teaching Believers, Training Leaders, and Coaching People
“ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK, NOT LOVING THE MATH?”
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Key Statement: We become steadfast Christians, able to endure and overcome through the power of Jesus Christ.
Job stress has become such a universal problem that many medical professionals now classify it as an occupational related disease, precipitating numerous other serious problems such as ulcers, depression, and even suicide.
Causes of Stress
In our complex environment, however, pressure on the job is just one of many causes of high tension and anxiety. Family trouble, financial difficulty, and other factors induce a great deal of turmoil. In fact, there is even a detailed list that assigns points to the various sources of stress. For example, the most stressful of events is the death of a spouse, next divorce, then martial separation, a jail term, death of another family member, and illness or injury.
Still, the strains of work account for many of the stress- producing agents, including dismissal, retirement, business readjustment, change to a different kind of work, change in work responsibilities, trouble with supervision, and change in work hours or conditions.
Common Reactions to Stress
There are several common reactions to stress. Many try to flee the problem-changing jobs, bosses, or environment-in the hopes that the irritation will go away. Some internalize their duress, seeking to suppress it. However, it usually spills over into some other area, most often into the family life. Still others crumble emotionally, giving way to despair and depression.
The Christian’s Response to Stress
The believer’s response to such adversity is critical if he is to emerge successfully. The Word of God reveals several fundamental principles that can bring us through tough times and even positively benefit our spiritual and emotional well-being in the process.
FIRST, we should look at our situation as with a telescope, not under a microscope. All too often, we magnify our troubles beyond their significance and in so doing increase their pressure. Instead, remember that God is the author and finisher of our faith, knowing the end from the beginning and providing all of our necessities for the present. Concentrate on today’s problems, not tomorrow’s, and thank God for His daily grace to sustain you.
SECOND; rely on God’s strength, not yours. Satan deceives us into thinking we can handle our strains in our own cleverness and abilities-until we are almost at the breaking point. The key is to lean on His indwelling might at the initial stage of the problem. God’s strength comes as He stabilizes our emotions with His peace, infuses our hearts with His joy, and provides us with His all-sufficient wisdom to deal with any hardship in life.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).
“He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength” (Isaiah 40:29).
THIRD, thank God that He is at work producing some positive results from your stressful circumstances. Trials always turn us toward the Lord, seeking and trusting Him with new fervor. Trials also are working in us to create sturdier Christian character and the ability to persevere under the load.
“And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;And patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3-4). As we turn to the sufficiency of Christ and trust in His power and wisdom, we gain new spiritual maturity and hardiness of spirit.
How God Uses Our Stressful Times
God is never out to break us or shatter us. He knows our frame and will not overload us in times of stress. Rather, He seeks to use our stressful times as cleverly disguised opportunities for us to gain His perspective, lean on His strength, and develop steadfastness with which we can run life’s course.
God may not change the circumstance that is pressing so grievously on you. He may not remove that person who vexes you so greatly. He may not heal that affliction that daily grates away at your body and soul. But, He will dramatically alter your own emotions and responses as you turn to Him instead of running or exploding.
Over time, you truly will find His strength, wisdom, and presence sufficient for the fray. Your stress will become a catalyst for spiritual stability, instead of an agent of destruction and despair.
The pressure will reinforce your faith, not weaken it. We become steadfast Christians, able to endure and overcome through the power of Jesus Christ.
“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalms 55:22).
God has no need of a handbasket. Just Jesus on His White Horse, followed by all His Saints.
With the Far-Left-Side-of-Stupid running amuck in the streets, people are concerned about the fate of this country. More importantly we should be extremely concern about our eternal-fate.
Unfortunately, speaking the TRUTH is so politically incorrect today and if you speak it all hell breaks loose. The truth of God’s Word is the pill that everyone needs but cannot seem to swallow. Where it is right to hold an opinion, it is dangerous to let that opinion hold you.
Satan’s greatest weapon is man’s ignorance of God’s Word! Additionally, half of the truth is the worst part of the lie. With every temptation, there is a lie involved. (1) The Prove It Lie, (2) The “For It Is Written” Lie, and (3) The Short Cut Lie. The devil deceived Eve in the garden with these lies, while Jesus was victorious in the wilderness.
The greatest and most deceptive lie conceived by man is that “ALL ROADS LEAD TO GOD.” This eternally destructive lie states that since God is love, and you are a good person, God will never send you to hell. The whole and complete truth is, that all roads do lead to God but for distinct reasons and different ends: believers for their rewards and non-believers for judgment.
There are no do overs once we leave this world.
Furthermore, God does not send anyone to hell. We alone choose between heaven or hell according to our belief in or rejection of Jesus Christ. Those who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will receive eternal life. Those who deny Christ will be judged, and by that decision alone, be separated from God for all eternity. Free choice can either be a gift or a curse.
For this reason, never let any new normal define or control you. You should pivot your paradigm to make the decisions that create the future God desires for you. Our views on reality might be different from mind to mind, but our opinion does not give us a pass on eternal matters. We must still have our Salvation worked out before the coming of the Lord. There are no do overs once we leave this world.
God has many promises for those who believe in faith the work on the cross, notwithstanding the promise of eternal life. Satan’s purpose is to draw us farther and farther away from God, and he wants to achieve that goal in any way possible. Cometh, the new world order.
At some point, even God will have had enough of all these foolish and prideful people. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:28). We know the end of the story because we have read the book and personally know the author. God will return with the saints and put a stop to Satan’s world.
OVER 3,000 PROMISES FROM GOD ARE YES AND FOR SURE!
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
HOWEVER, TIME IS RUNNING OUT!
“God’s promises will expire (in the twinkling of an eye) between our last breath and our entrance into eternity.”
THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF THE MATTER!
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning, and the end, the first and the last.
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:12-14)
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE WHEN YOU BELIEVE ABSOLUTELY.
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