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Success = Faithfulness
Theme of the week: Seeing Success Through God's Eyes
Thursday, January 31, 2013

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Key Bible Verses: Many people did believe in [Jesus], however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn't admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. (John 12:42-43) Dig Deeper: 1 Peter 1:13-17

You and I can be appreciated and admired by our peers, our family and friends, our boss and coworkers, our neighbors and even ourselves, [and yet] not be a success in the eyes of God. It doesn't matter how many promotions we might be given at work, how much our salary might rise, how much prestige we might enjoy in the eyes of the community; if we're not faithful to God, we're not successful. And conversely, if we are genuinely faithful to God, trusting him enough to be obedient to him, we are truly successful, no matter what anyone else might say about us.

[Consider] John the Baptist. He took a courageous stand for righteousness in confronting Herod about his unlawful marriage to Herodias, and he ended up being beheaded for it (Matt. 14:1-12). This does not at all seem to be a sign of a "successful" ministry. Yet Jesus commended him in glowing terms: "I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John" (Luke 7:28, TNIV).

Success in the eyes of other people and success in the eyes of God are not necessarily the same thing. It is very possible to have one but not the other.

—Steven Roy in What God Thinks When We Fail

My Response: How do I measure my own success?

Thought to Apply: Greatness in the kingdom of God is measured in terms of obedience.—John Stott (British theologian, writer)

Adapted from What God Thinks When We Fail (IVP, 2011) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Father, help me to define success the way you do; remind me that the only opinion that ultimately matters is yours.

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