Summary: This sermon will detail what it takes to be successful in your calling.

How to be Successful

III John, Verse 2

By: JB Hall

Introduction: Here in our text verse, God, through the pen of John, tells us that He wishes above all things that we may prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers.

God does not wish poverty, oppression, and suffering for His children. Instead, He wishes prosperity, or success, and health.

God provides for this to be a reality; not just an idealistic dream, by supplying commandments and principles in His word, that, if followed, will produce these blessings in our lives.

He not only has the desire for us to be successful; He provides the means by which we can be successful.

First, let me say that the principles we will be discussing this morning are universally applicable; meaning they will work in any venue in life. But, we will be discussing them primarily as they relate to success in ministry.

Every child of God has been called to ministry.

II Corinthians 5:18 says, “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled the world unto himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”

God has reconciled the world to Himself in Jesus Christ; but He has given us the ministry, the responsibility, to take that message of reconciliation to the world of lost people; that they might be partakers of this great reconciliation that He has made available.

This ministry then, involves a wide array of gifts and specific callings.

Each of us is uniquely equipped and stationed to fulfill the ministry God has called us to.

I’d like us to look at some things that are ‘musts’ in our lives if we want to be successful.

1. We must understand the difference between curse, consequence, and correction.

A. Curse – One of the numerous definitions of curse, and the one I’m talking about is: Affliction; torment; great vexation.

B. A curse, as it relates to what we’re discussing, is an affliction or vexation explicitly imposed by the work of Satan or his demons; via an intrusion into our lives.

C. Consequence – A negative result that is the direct product of a choice or action we have made.

D. Correction – Or chastisement as it is called in scripture, is God-imposed difficulty , designed and inflicted for the express purpose of correcting a flaw or flaws, in us.

E. We give Satan too much credit.

F. We credit him with almost every failure or difficulty we experience; when in fact, most of our problems result from our own bad choices, attitudes, or actions.

G. Success begins with learning to make the distinction between curse, consequence, and correction; for each requires a different response from us.

H. When we are experiencing a curse, a satanically imposed affliction; we must submit to God, resist Satan, and pray.

I. Both consequence and correction require repentance and correction of our error – confession of the sin; abandoning it; then proceeding in the will of God.

J. Consequence and correction are avoidable, if we follow God’s prescribed way of doing things; but unavoidable if we do not.

K. Understanding the distinction between curse, consequence, and correction, will allow us to stop blaming Satan for every failure and difficulty, and accept responsibility for our actions.

L. Then, instead of blaming Satan for our failure, we can correct the choices and actions that led to failure, and set ourselves on a path to success.

M. We must understand the difference between curse, consequence, and correction.

2. We must operate in our gift and in our calling.

A. Gift - Power; faculty; some quality or endowment conferred by the author of our nature;

B. In other words, a gift is an ability or quality given by God for use in the work He has called and appointed you to do in His kingdom.

C. Calling - Vocation; profession; trade; usual occupation, or employment.

D. In other words, your calling is the specific job or work that God has called or appointed you to do; your specific office or place of service.

E. We often meet with failure, not because of lack of passion or commitment, but because we are doing a job God has not equipped us for or assigned us to.

F. An ink pen does a great job when it comes to writing; but makes a poor scalpel when it comes to surgery.

G. While a knife can be used to pierce the top of a can of meat, and open it; its best use is to slice the meat once it is out of the can.

H. Much like the ink pen or the knife, you and I are only really effective when we operate in our element; when we are doing what we were designed for, and operating in the venue we were designed to operate in.

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