Summary: God desires your success. He has given us the formula for success.
“God’s Plan for Your Success”
May 10, 2009
"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 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. 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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Last week I told you that you were a winner. Well, first I told you – you were born losers. Then I told you God loves to change losers into winners. I said each of us was created by God to be winners – but, because of sin, we are born losers. And I gave you the formula on how to become a winner. Most all of you made that commitment to live life as a winner.
This morning I want to elaborate on that topic a little bit. I believe that God wants you to be successful. He doesn’t want you to be a failure – or even to live in meritocracy. He wants you to be successful in all you do. In fact, I believe God ‘delights’ in making failures successful. Think about some examples in the Bible. There was Gideon, the least of the least, who went on to become the leader of the nation. How about Joseph who went from a prison to the palace overnight? There was the shepherd boy David, again - the least and the most unlikely, became the great King of Israel. In the New Testament, all of the apostles were in the category of ‘least likely’. Paul was the ‘chief of sinners’ by his own admission and went on to become the greatest evangelist and the main writer of the New Testament. Jesus died so that losers can win and failures can be successful.
This morning I want to share God’s plan for your success.
I. We must be strong and very courageous! (Joshua 1:1)
Courage is a choice. Courage is not an absence of fear. It is choosing to do courageous things in spite of fear. I think it is important to be strong and courageous as a Christian – because you just can not live the Christian life any other way. It takes courage to live by faith. You have to be strong to knowingly face the persecution of the Christian. The bible says,
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Timothy 3:12
You may have heard of Cassie Bernall. She was at Columbine, April 20, 1999. When the shooting started, Cassie was in the library, studying Shakespeare. The gunmen worked their way around to Cassie, who, like the rest of her classmates, was hiding under a table, but she was praying. One of the gunmen pointed his gun at Cassie, and asked her the question: "Do you believe in God?" Cassie hesitated a minute, then she looked right at him and his gun, and answered, "Yes, I believe in God". Those were her last words. The gunman asked her "Why?" But before she had time to answer, she was shot to death.
It takes courage to stand up for Jesus like that – but it also takes courage to stand up for Jesus and the Bible right where YOU live. We don’t have to be obnoxious, but we must not compromise either. Praying in public, testifying that Jesus is the only way to heaven, standing against abortion and homosexuality and same sex marriage may cause you to be persecuted, too. Are you up for it?
It takes courage to live a godly life in this present world. It requires a dynamic faith to live a life of dedication to the Lord. The Bible says,
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
It takes courage to have faith. Ask Peter if it took courage to step out of the boat and onto the water. Ask Paul if it took courage to stand before an angry mob and to be beaten and put in jail simply because He was a Christian.
If you want to be successful as a Christian – you will need to be courageous. Do you have the faith to be courageous? Do you have the courage to be faithful? Be strong and courageous.