Summary: How to reject the world’s model of success and accept God’s plan for Success
Good morning church. I am so excited you have joined us this morning as we continue our series of Bible Teachings, American’s Idols. You might be thinking, Terry, we don’t worship idols. You been in our homes, we don’t have statues of little gods set up on the Television Sets. And we certainly don’t bow down to images, how can you suggest we are worshiping idols. But, is it possible to worship an idol, without having an image sculpted, modeled, carved, or cast in material such as stone, clay, wood, or bronze?
To answer that question, we might look at the dictionary definition of idol. The dictionary defines an idol as an image used as an object of worship. But it also defines it as a false god, or one that is adored, often blindly or excessively.
If we use that definition, adoration that is excessive and blind, then, I am sure you would agree, America is a land filled with idols. Last week we looked at the idol of money. Today I would like for us to look at an idol often related to money but not always, today our Bible Teaching is on Success.
Are there people blindly chasing after success? Some would say, Donald Trump is a modern day success story. But look for a moment at his story, he made his fortune, often on the backs the poor. He, by his own admission, created his wealth early on by renting sub-standard housing. Now, his claim to fame, is the ease with which, he crushes the dreams and hopes of young men and women with his catch phrase, “Your Fired.”
It may be true, everything he touches turns to gold, but at what cost?
Lorne Sanny, when president of the Navigators, was correct when he said, “If you are suffering without succeeding, then someone will succeed after you.… If you are succeeding without suffering, then someone suffered before you.”
How many people have had to suffer for Donald Trump, and the Trumps of this world to be successful.
Here is the question that plagues me, is what Donald Trump is advocating real success.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
TRANS: As Christ followers, would it not be great if God’s Word gave us a definition and plan for success? Well do I have good news for you, The Bible, God’s Holy Word does both. Are you ready to be a real success? Here we go.
TO BE SUCCESSFUL YOU NEED TO REDEFINE SUCCESS.
The world we live in defines success by your title, your bank account, and your fame. But listen to the wisdom of Ravi Zacharias from his book, Can Man Live Without God.
He wrote, “One of the most common refrains we hear from those who have reached the pinnacle of success is that of the emptiness that still stalks their lives, all their successes notwithstanding.” Later he said, “Yet, judging by the remarks of some who have attained those higher standards, there is frequently an admission of disappointment. After his second Wimbledon victory, Boris Becker surprised the world by admitting his great struggle with suicide.
Jack Higgins, the renowned author of The Eagle Has Joshua 1:7 God said to Joshua, “7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
Landed, has said that he had known as a small boy is this: “When you get to the top, there’s nothing there.”
Success of this world is fleeting; it will not stand the test of time and eternity. True success must last beyond this life. No matter what you accumulate of this world riches, you can not take them with you beyond the grave. Listen to words of Job as he watched the wealth of this world being stripped from him.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart. c
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”
If success is not about position, possession, and power, then what is it?
Listen to how God’s defines it.
Success begins with belonging to Christ.
Look at Romans 1:6, a short verse but a powerful one.
And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
Success continues by becoming like Christ.
Look at 2 Corinthians 3:18
18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
Success, according to God, is complete by helping others, just like Christ.