Sermons

Summary: 1. Success comes when you put God first. 2. Success is obedience to God’s laws, especially the law of love. 3. Success is generational.

Setting up your life to succeed in the eyes of God

Grant van Boeschoten

December 30th, 2007

Proverbs 3:6 (NCV)

6 Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success.

We are at the end of 2007 and a fresh new year is waiting in store for every single one of us.

You haven’t made any mistakes yet in 2008; You haven’t sinned, hurt someone’s feelings or missed the mark in 2008.

It is open to hundreds of possibilities for your life. Just think, what might God want to do with you this year.

• Is this the year where you lead someone to become a Christian,

• is this the year when your prayers spark a revival,

• is this the year when God gives you a passion for a brand new thing.

What does God have in store for you in 2008?

One of the things that a lot of people do around the end of the year is to make a resolution for the New Year. That’s good, to set a goal and to resolve to make it happen.

I want to encourage you this year to finish off 2007 by setting up for Success in 2008. It’s more than saying that you are going to lose 20 pounds or that you will spend more time with your family this year. It is setting up your life to succeed in the eyes of God.

The question that we have to ask is what does success look like to God?

1. Success comes when you put God first in your life.

Proverbs 3:6 (NCV)

6 Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success.

In North Shore Baptist Church, in Chicago, the Sunday School Director and one of the deacons in the church was a man named James L. Kraft.

As a young man, just beginning, he wanted to be the most famous manufacturer and salesman of cheese in the world. He was going to be rich and famous, and he was going to do it making and selling cheese.

So as a young man, he started out. He had a little pony named Paddy and a little buggy. He would make his cheese and put it in the buggy and drive Paddy down the streets of Chicago, selling his cheese.

The days passed and the months passed and he fell into despair. He wasn’t succeeding. He wasn’t making any money. He was just working long and hard with no success. One day, driving those streets, in a cloud of despair, he began talking to his pony. He said, “Paddy, there’s something wrong. We’re not doing it right. Our priorities are not where they ought to be. Paddy, He says, “Maybe we ought first to serve God and place God first in our lives.”

When he got home that night, Kraft made a covenant that all the rest of his life he would serve God first. And then he would work as God would direct and open doors and bless.

James L. Kraft went on to found the great Kraft Food Corporation. When you go to the grocery store and see foods with the name “Kraft” on it, you are looking at food made by this man’s company.

Years later, He had the opportunity to speak at a large gathering in Washington D. C. In that address, the founder of one of America’s largest corporations said, “I had rather be a layman in the North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago than to head the greatest corporation in America.” He paused and then added, “My first job is serving Jesus.” (Told by W. A. Criswell).

Success comes when you put God first in your life.

Putting God first is an attitude and it is an action. Sometimes your attitudes will shape your actions and other times it will be the reverse, you will start acting in a certain way and your attitude will form to your action.

For some people this year, putting God first will begin with a commitment to attend the Church regularly, signaling to God that he is first in life and that he is a priority.

For other people it will mean setting your alarm clock to wake up an extra 30 minutes earlier in the morning to read your Bible and pray.

Take a moment to ask God right now, “What does this mean for my life. What must I do to put your first?”

When you believe that your first job is serving Jesus it shapes your actions. You go about your daily routine remembering that God has got opportunities for you and you ask him to open your eyes to see those opportunities.

Some of you might remember this story, because I told it once before in the summer of 2005. But I’m going to tell it again because it is serves this point so well.

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