Summary: It is God who gives us all our abilities and opportunities. Any success we experience is all because of God, and we must give all glory to God. In this sermon, we see what happened to three men in the Bible when they did or didn't give glory to God for their abilities.
A. We are nearing the end of our sermon series “It’s All About God – Living A God-Centered Life.”
1. I hope this series has been inspiring and enlightening and challenging for you.
2. In the first half of the series, we sought to get a clearer picture of our God.
3. We sought to behold God’s glory and holiness, we sought to understand God’s eternal and unchanging nature, and we sought to grasp the fact that God is love.
4. But the reason we sought to behold God, was so that we could properly emulate and reflect God.
5. In the second half of this series we have been exploring how to properly emulate and reflect who God is by making our message and our salvation all about God, and by making our bodies and our struggles all about God.
6. Today, we want to explore how to make our success all about God.
B. The subject of success is an interesting one.
1. What may be defined as success is debatable, and formulas for success are a dime a dozen.
2. Someone has said: “Ability is what you need to succeed if the boss doesn’t have a daughter.”
3. One Texan’s formula for success is: Get up early, work late, and strike oil.
4. I heard about a newspaper reporter who was interviewing an old rancher and asked him to what he would attribute his success as a rancher.
a. With a twinkle in his eye the man replied, “It’s been about 50 percent the weather, 50 percent good luck, and the rest is brains.”
C. For the people of God, it should be our goal to make our success all about God, and not about us.
1. Let’s explore what that means and how to put that mindset into practice.
2. Let me start by asking you how well you know these successful people and organizations.
a. What do you know about Jack Tinker and Partners, or Doyle Dane Bernbach, or BBDO, or Foote, Cone and Belding, or J. Walter Thompson?
b. Do any of them ring a bell? Probably not.
3. Guess what? These successful people and organizations are pleased that most of us have no idea who they are.
4. Why would they be pleased that we don’t know them? Because Advertising agencies don’t exist to make a name for themselves – rather they exist to make a name for others.
5. While we may not be acquainted with the companies, we are very familiar with their work.
a. Do you recognize this: “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is”? That’s the work of Jack Tinker and Partners for Alka-Seltzer in 1976.
b. Do you recognize this: “We try harder”? That’s the work of Doyle Dane Bernbach created as a slogan for Avis Rent A Car in 1962.
c. Do you recognize this: “M’m! M’m! Good!”? Credit BBDO with that catach-phrase Campbell’s Soup has used since 1935.
d. While you’ve never heard of Foote, Cone and Belding, you have heard of the motto: “When you care enough to send the very best.” Hallmark began using that line in 1934.
e. You don’t hum the name of J. Walter Thompson, but you have likely hummed the jingle his agency wrote for Kellogg’s “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” Rice Krispies.
D. The people of God can learn a lesson from the example of those companies.
1. What those companies do for their clients, is what God wants us to do for Him.
2. Like the moon reflects the sun, God wants us to reflect Him.
3. Our goal should not be to attract attention to ourselves, but to point people’s attention to God.
4. As heaven’s advertising agency, we are supposed to be promoting God in every area of our lives, including our struggles (as we saw last week), and including our success (as we want to talk about today).
E. The Bible is clear about the fact that God is the giver of every good thing.
1. Romans 11:36 says: For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.
2. James 1:17 says: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.
3. Our very lives and all our abilities ultimately come from God.
4. Without God’s provision of a working body or a sound mind, none of us could do anything.
5. Do you have a beautiful voice for speaking or singing? Guess where it came from?
6. Are you fast as a jackrabbit or strong as an ox? Guess where that came from?
7. Do you have a brain that can crunch numbers as fast as a calculator, or process and store information as good as a computer? Guess where that came from?