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Posts Tagged ‘Proverbs 3:6’

The Secret to Success

April 27th, 2018

Jesus is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all.

“I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:13 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today discuss, “The secret to success.”

Someone or something must be first when you have more than one choice or consideration. Who, or what, will be the priority and first consideration in your life? That question is one that every one of us need to answer for life to work as it should. You can try to make life work on your terms, but the Bible consistently declares this eternal principle for success in life, “In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Proverbs 3:6 TLB.

Each day requires you to ask and answer this all-important question, “Is Jesus Lord of my life in the most practical, everyday ways?” More than any other single factor, your sincere answer determines how you will live your life, and therefore the measure of real and lasting success that you can achieve. Your truthful answer to the single question predisposes your answer to other questions that will arise during your life.

Jesus’ words teach several, simple truths. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Read Matthew 6:25-34 NIV. No success is true success until God crowns your efforts. Your best is still inadequate without God’s blessing added to it.

Whatever you achieve, and however many voices loudly acclaim and admire your resulting rewards, there is only voice that matters eternally. God’s estimation of your work is all that matters eternally. At the end of your life, only His “Well done” will be all that matters in eternity.

In this life, success requires your best efforts, consistently and long term. No halfhearted attempt, no working when you feel like it will do. You must give God something deserving of His blessing. To do that, there will be many lesser things for which you will not have time. There will be cost and sacrifice. Success cannot be bought cheaply, nor does it come easily. Most importantly, in every day and in everything, you have to, “put God first!” I learned a simple reality. If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.

When Abraham left all he had known to follow God to a place he did not know, he was putting God first. See Genesis 12: 1-8 NKJV. When Joseph fled from the seductress without regard to the consequences, he was putting God first. See Genesis 39:7-21 NKJV. When Moses stood before Pharaoh demanding the release of Israel, he was putting God first. See Exodus 5:1-3 NKJV.

When David placed his faith in God when facing the defiant Goliath, he was putting God first. See 1 Samuel 17:40-51 NKJV. When the three Hebrew slaves would not compromise and bow to worship the King’s image, they were putting God first. See Daniel 3:1-18 NKJV. When Daniel could not obey the King’s command, he was putting God first. See Daniel 6:3-23 NKJV. When Jesus embraced the cross to die for yours and my sins, He was putting God first. See John 12:23-28 NKJV. True to His Word, God crowned their obedience and faith with success, as He will yours.

The secret to success is found in knowing and obeying God’s Word and always doing what’s right, even when success may appear to be found in a different direction. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8 NIV.

Again, I pose the question with which I began, “Who, or what, will be the priority and first consideration in your life?” The only One that can ever be first and foremost is Jesus, your Lord and Savior. Triumphantly, Jesus declares, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:13 NIV. He reigns, and He is Lord of all!

Today I pray for you to seek the success that God alone can provide.

Christian Communications 2018-708

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God, First and Foremost

January 10th, 2014

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6 NKJV.

 In every aspect of your life, seek and submit to God’s will and wisdom first.

My thoughts and comments today are about “God, first and foremost.”

Everyday life is filled with decisions; those decisions often have unexpected consequences. And invariably, those consequences affect more than yourself. How can you know the decisions you make are wise? How can you minimize the impact of your decisions on others? You can purchase life, home, or auto insurance to offset a loss you experience. But what will protect you against costly errors or misjudgments?

Life can become confusing. There are so many variables, known and unknown. Life offers multiple options, not all of which are good. There are choices to be made, often without sufficient knowledge and experience, or even adequate time to understand and choose wisely. Sometimes the options are between better and best, at other times between right and wrong. There has to be a better way than guessing, and hoping you are right.

Upon his coronation, Solomon sought and received wisdom and knowledge from God. Read 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 NIV.  But if you know the history of Solomon, you know that he was wise, but not always. When He loved and followed God’s Word, he lived wisely; when he lived by his own wits, he was confused and misled. The book of Ecclesiastes chronicles Solomon’s quixotic journey from God’s truth to his futile attempts to understand life by natural intellect and observation, finally returning to God’s ways and wisdom. Solomon wrote, “Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey His commands, for this is the duty of every person.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 NLT.  

In the Book of Proverbs, his collection of Godly wisdom, Solomon wrote, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” See Proverbs 3:5-12 NKJV. So few words, uncomplicated and simple, explain how life works. Be advised; Jeremiah the prophet, wrote, “O Lord, I know the way of a man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” Jeremiah 10:23 NKJV

I have observed a direct correlation between God’s direction and protection. When God directs your life, God protects your life. There is protection from my errors and misjudgments – from both the frailty of my flesh and inadequate knowledge – when I purposely seek to be directed by God’s Word (John 17:17 NIV), and guided by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13 NIV). “I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk yours steps will not be hindered, and when you run you will not stumble.” Proverbs 4:11-12 NKJV.

According to Solomon, this process is not complicated. In every aspect of your life, seek and submit to God’s will and wisdom first. A good result is assured; God will not only guide you upon the right path, He will direct your steps wisely on those paths. “The steps (and stops, I might suggest) of the Godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:23-24 NLT. See Psalm 91:11-12 NASB.

“Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5 NKJV. Here is my conclusion: “As for God, His way is perfect.” Psalm 18:30 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you follow faithfully the God who leads you righteously.

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God Has a Better Idea

February 17th, 2010

“All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the One who sent Me.” John 9:4 NKJV

“You do not choose your life’s task; He chooses that and you answer His call.”

My thoughts today are that “God has a better idea.”

Life is not fun when there is no sense of direction. You and I were never created to be aimless or idle; we need purpose and meaning, and the opportunity to contribute something to the well being of others. There is a danger, however, and that is if you assume that direction and purpose is yours alone to determine. My plans for life were the study of architecture. Personally, I don’t think any person can best choose their own course for their life’s purpose; that requires a proper recognition of God’s place and priority in every life, especially your own. Read Romans 12:1-2.

After graduating from High School, I was enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, for the following fall semester. There was nothing wrong with my plans, except they had been without conscious consideration of God’s plan for me. Just weeks before beginning my architectural studies, I became aware that God had a better idea. My assignment from God was pastoral ministry not architecture, and I left weeks later for studies at what is now Bethany University in Santa Cruz, California – a world away from Illinois for an 18 year old boy.

Everything about the outworking of my life from that point hinged on just one decision – accepting a Godly assignment and trusting Him to direct and use my life as He chose. I cannot think of a single thing that I would change today about the course my life has taken since. What I do, where I am, and the incredible lady who shares my life, are all the direct result of letting God direct my path. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn.” Psalm 37:3-6 NIV. I am so glad that I did not waste time till later in my life to discover that God always has the better idea. There has never been a moment of regret. You do not choose your assignment; His assignment chooses you and you answer the call. Read Matthew 6:33 NIV.

A conviction of your God-given assignment is one of the most powerful influences for an effective and fulfilling life – a life that makes sense, even when little else does. There comes clarity to everyday life. You may not yet know everything you will need to know eventually, but you will be confident about what you do know. Some people just wander through life, trying one thing unsuccessfully and then something else – never finding their place or calling. See Proverbs 3:6 NLT.

There comes priority to everyday life. Success and satisfaction in life is really a matter of saying yes to the right things and no to the wrong. When you understand God’s plan and welcome His assignment, it is easier to recognize what are your responsibilities and what are not. You keep focus and stay on task better.

There comes a certainty to everyday life. You finally know what life is about, and what you are about, and you know with conviction how life will ultimately turn out – with success in His eyes and satisfaction in your heart. While others are looking for what they should be and do, you are happily busy enjoying that. Consider Proverbs 16:9 NIV.

My prayer for you today is to choose His plans and know of their success and reward.

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