It was so nice to be back to having a regular Wednesday Night Worship this week after being out last week for snow, I was gone to school the week before that, and before that we did not meet during the Christmas break. So this week I got to preach and give my message to kick off the year. We hear about success from so many outlets and so many people have different views of success. The word's view of success usually revolves around fame, fortune, and career achievements. While there is no way to measure a biblical success, we can still determine what it means to be successful in God's eyes and strive toward that.
So what is a biblical view of success? Well I believe we must first look at our purpose in life which is to glorify God- 1 Corinthians 10:31. So everything we do in life, we are to do with an attitude and heart and effort that brings glory to God. Well to break this down further we need to really understand what it means to "glory" or "glorify" God. This means that we acknowledge God's greatness and give Him honor by praising and worshiping Him. To worship means that we declare the worth or value of God in everything that we do. Worship was often displayed in biblical times by bowing down and kissing the feet of the item of worship. We may or may not physically bow down to worship God, but this is the attitude at heart we must have.
So now that we have defined biblical success, here are two actions we need to do to lead us to success:
1) BE USABLE- Esther 4:13-14
I believe the book of Esther is incredible. Esther who was of Jewish descent had become queen of Persia. There was going to be a massacre of the Jews and so Esther's cousin Mordecai, who had also raised her, sent her the message in these verses. He tells her that if she does not do something then not only will her family lose their lives but she will also die. He tells her that maybe she has been placed there as queen "for such a time as this". So Esther gains courage to approach the king knowing that she could be killed for it. He allows her to approach him and she prepares a feast and banquet. At the second banquet she reveals that she is of Jewish descent and the king has a new decree written that the Jews can defend themselves when the attack takes place, allowing Esther and her family to live. Esther realized that God had placed her there to be used to save her people. God has placed you where you are to be used for his glory. The question is whether or not you will be usable by Him.
2) BE GRATEFUL
Any time you receive a gift you should be grateful, but take a look at this video of a kid who is extremely grateful for receiving an XBox 360. While no XBox will save you, it is touching how grateful this kid is for receiving this gift. But what if we were this grateful each and every day for Jesus taking on our sin and dying on the cross? We need to be grateful and each day wake up and say "Jesus- you did this for me? You died on the cross- for me? It cost you a fortune! THANK YOU!"
When we become grateful for Jesus and His death on the cross, we become usable by Him which in turn brings us godly success.