Summary: What does Success look like in God’s eyes
Being successful means being a servant (Acts 6:8)
Being successful means being Filled with the Spirit (Acts 6:9-15)
Being successful means being a person of the Word (Acts 7:1-53)
Being successful means being Like Christ (Acts 7:54-60)
Who doesn’t want to be successful?
There are magazines devoted to being successful.
There are websites that say be a success with your own home based business.
There are infomercials that want you to be a success.
But what actually is success?
Some people think it is having a lot of money or stuff.
There used to be a bumper sticker out that read,
He who dies with the most toys wins.
But we all know that is not true.
There are many who have attained great wealth who can tell you that success is not about having a lot of money.
Ted Turner said this about success, “Well, I think it’s kind of an empty bag, to tell you the truth, but you have to really get there to really know that.”
(Guard your heart, pp.133-134)
Some people believe that success is found in power.
Getting others to do what you want.
But even those that have had great power will tell you that it is lonely there.
Is that success?
Well, if it is not found in those things, where can we find this elusive thing called success?
And how can we live a life of Success?
I want to take a look at a person today whom, you may not think of when you think of the word success, but I think the problem is not so much in this person not being successful, but in how success is defined in our minds.
That is the thing we need to begin with. Success is elusive because we believe it to be one thing but have to change our definition when we discover that that is not what we desire.
If we define success correctly, then we can not only be successful right now, but throughout time as well.
Scott’s Definition: Success is fulfilling your purpose.
Our purpose is to Glorify God.
So success for us living to glorify the Lord.
Let’s look at Stephen, (Acts 6:8, p. 775). He is a man who was successful.
Some of you may say, Stephen? He
died early in his ministry. And He was
stoned by the people.
How can that be success?
But he glorified the Lord in his life and his death. That is success.
In fact he got to see God’s glory while he was still alive.
And then for all of eternity.
So let’s take a look at Stephen’s life and see if we can
see what successful living looks like in real life and
learn how we can live a life of success.
Turn with me to Acts 6:8 (p. 775).
Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.
We learn from this first verse that
Being Successful means being a Servant
Stephen used his gifts in a powerful and mighty way serving God among the people.
Yeah, but Scott, God gave him the gift of miracles and wonders. Who couldn’t be successful with gifts like that? I am just a regular person. How does this help me?
Do you know where the success of using his gift started, though?
It started with Stephen being willing to serve where he was needed.
Read back in
2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."
Now I am not at all diminishing the responsibility of what these men were taking on. But it was not visible teaching and leading ministry that the Apostles were doing.
But the church needed some people to help with the distribution of food, waiting on tables.
Stephen and the others did not say,
“Hey, wait a minute. I can do more than wait on tables. I should be teaching or leading or have a more prominent role.”
No. They served willingly. They recognized that the need was here and they were willing to serve.
When we can be faithful with a little, God gives us more to be faithful with.
21 "His master replied, ’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’