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Summary: The secret of living a successful Christian life, or to say, a life that is pleasing to God is found in the declaration: “they first gave themselves to the Lord”.

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THE SECRET OF SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIAN LIVING

“Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.

For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 (NKJV)

The secret of living a successful Christian life, or to say, a life that is pleasing to God is found in the declaration: “they first gave themselves to the Lord”.

I. The first thing the Macedonian Christians did was to properly relate themselves to God: "they first gave themselves to the Lord."

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33

II. Their dedication and service was voluntary: "they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God."

Every soldier in the army of God is a volunteer. God does not force anyone to serve Him. "For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate your-selves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy." Leviticus 11:44

"…the gold for things of gold and silver for things of silver, and for all kinds of work to be done by the hands of craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?" I Chronicles 29:5.

III. Their dedication and service was complete: "they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God."

The Macedonian Christians gave liberally to God of their limited material possessions; they gave of their time and energy to the work of the Lord….but they gave more…they gave themselves!

"…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1.

IV. Their dedication and service was properly focused: "they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God."

"Then Jesus to him…For it is written: You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve." Matthew 4:10.

V. Their dedication and service was appropriately directed: "they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God."

True service to God must be worked out in the lives of others.

"For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister." Hebrews 6:10.

"And the King will answer and say to them, ’Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." Matthew 25:40.


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Brenda Zabodyn

commented on Sep 23, 2006

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrin, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" 2 Tim. 3:16 A successful Christian life is a day to day journey. Always begin the day with the Word of God to be a successful Christian.

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