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Redefining Success

May 14th, 2006

“The God of heaven will give us success”

(Nehemiah 2:20, NEB)

There is a great need in our world to redefine “success.” Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Matthew 5:13).

The world continues to define success along the lines of the big-four. It is not strange that Jesus addressed all four in his, Sermon On the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

1. Money (secular security) “You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24).

2. Power (achievement/advancement) “Your kingdom come, your will be done” (Matthew 6:10).

3. Beauty (external endowments)“Therefore do not be anxious, saying…What shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek after all these things”

4. Athleticism (talent) “On that day many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not…and do many mighty works in your name?” (Matthew 7:22).

Humanistic success, as grounded in the big-four, may cause one’s peers to oooh and ahhh! But, the God of heaven is not impressed. For, this kind of “success” is a “success” without God, and/or without God’s plan. May we come to learn that, “The God of heaven gives success” (Nehemiah 2:20).

-Robert M. Housby

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