What Is Success


They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us.
~I John 4:5-6, NRSV


Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
~Sir Winston Churchill
How do you define success? It all depends on who’s dictionary you use. The Apostle John made it clear in the verses above that the world has its own frequency or language whereas believers speak a different language, one the world does not understand. John was referring to the false teachers when he said, “What they say is from the world’s dictionary and the world listens to them…What we say comes from God and only true believers understand what we are saying.” No doubt about it, there is a great disconnect between the true church and the world. The world’s definition of success can be summed up with three A’s: Accomplishment, Achievement and Attainment. The world judges success by the attainment of fame, wealth, and power. Check out the Board of Directors of any University, even Christian universities and you will find a group of millionaires. It is simply the way the world operates and unfortunately this mindset has infiltrated the church. Does this mean that all wealthy people are successful? By the world’s standard, the answer is yes but by God’s standard, the answer is no.

We have a great example in the Old Testament. In Genesis 25:27, the scripture reads...And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. (AV) As a young preacher, I drafted an acrostic, based on the life of Jacob that spells success. 
  • S-piritul Insight…Jacob dared to think about eternal things. Esau never thought beyond this world.
  • U-nderstanding…Jacob established clear goals, that a part from God’s grace and providence, could not be achieved. Esau had a much lower aim…a beer, bow, burger, brawl and a braud.
  • C-onstant Effort…Jacob was a hard worker. He was relentless in pursuit of his goals. 
  • C-onfidence…Jacob did which was humanly possible and the he trusted God to do the rest. He had the perfect balance between works and faith.
  • E-nduring Spirit…Jacob refused to quit. His tenacious spirit came out when he refused to let go of the Angel of the LORD. Failure is never final: quitting is final.
  • S-elf Denial…This came slowly but eventually, he removed self from the equation.
  • S-ubmission…He yielded himself to the will of God. When God said “Move,” Jacob moved.

It’s hard to achieve worldly success but within the kingdom of Christ, success is easy. Go where God tells you to go and do what He tells you to do. If you please your Master, Jesus Christ, you are a success. You don’t have to lead, you don’t have to make decisions, you don’t have to have money, or be a keen intellect. All you have to do is obey your master.

I am enjoying VBS more this year than ever before. Why? I am not in charge. I have no decisions to make. I am simply a worker. I asked Mandy what she needed me to do and I have done everything she has asked me to do. Success is not hard–its simply a matter of obedience. If you can obey; if you can submit to authority, you can be a success in the Kingdom of Christ.

Day four of VBS. It is a big day. Pray especially for Joe David as he presents the gospel four times. It’s a hard day mentally and physically on our pastor. I have the easier assignment today: I am going to Birmingham for Vickie Livingston’s surgery. A word of explanation about the Pic…Janet wanted a copy of the pic because it is the one in the DIGEST. I tried to send it to her by phone and them Facebook but failed. I hate passwords. I can’t log on to my own Facebook page which I am about ready to do away with. I am beginning to believe that Facebook may do more harm than good.

Janet and Ruth: Mother’s Day 2016

I do want to give the LORD praise for the great weather for VBS. We have never had it so good. Cindy has not had to use the A/C in the bus barn. I walked to the office last night and it was cool; very unusual for this time of year. THANK YOU JESUS FOR THE GOOD WEATHER!

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