Summary: Successful Christians are those who know God and are willing to do what He wants them to do.
The Secrets of our Success
Intro: You don’t have to look very hard to find all kinds of books and seminars on success. How to be successful in business. How to earn a 6 figure income while staying at home. 6 Easy steps to Success. No doubt you can probably find some good principles in some of these seminars or books. You can learn how to set goals and plot out steps to see them achieved. You can sharpen your focus and get rid of negativity. You might even learn how to win friends and manipulate people!
-Some people become successful in leadership or in politics. Others become skilled and successful at a trade. Many people develop skills and accumulate knowledge that will help them be successful and get ahead in life. But there is one element that is often overlooked as people strive for excellence and jockey for the best positions in life. That one element can be summed up in one question: What does God want me to do? Some people ask that question but never wait around for an answer. Waiting can be hard, but waiting is important. A story in the book of Acts gives us some guidelines for finding out what God wants us to do for Him. Let me read it.
Acts 9:1-20 ... 19 Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.
Prop: Successful Christians are those who know God and are willing to do what He wants them to do.
T.S.: So, what are the secrets of our success as followers of Christ? Let’s look at 4 of them today.
1. Get to know God
-The first question Saul asks when Jesus stopped him was, “Who are You, Lord?” That is a good starting place for us as well. Getting to know Jesus is a lifetime endeavor, as Paul shows us in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ….” If we do not know God, how can we expect to know what He wants us to do? I’d like to cover 2 basic thoughts on how we get to know God.
A. Communicate with God through praise, prayer, and worship (Interaction)
-We want CLC to be a place of mutual love, acceptance and friendship. But we also want CLC to be a place where we pray fervently, praise joyfully, and worship sincerely. Both in our homes and when we are together we want to interact frequently with the God who created us and is changing us to become all He wants us to be. Worship really encompasses our entire lives. Your giving is part of your worship. That communicates the fact that you trust God with your finances and that His generosity is rubbing off on you. How can we worship? A person can worship while working or driving down the road. However, a person can also fail to worship – even while singing a song in the middle of a church service. That’s because worship comes from the heart. So getting to know God happens as we communicate with Him through worship. Prayer, praise and other ways of connecting with God will bring us closer to Him so we can know Him.
B. Discover God in your Bible (His Word to us)
The main point here is getting to know God better through His word. We call this discipleship. It is much more than receiving information – it is receiving transformation as God’s truth becomes reality to us.
Matthew 28:19-20 says, “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” We are recipients of the disciples’ teaching efforts. God used several of them to write down the things Jesus had taught them. Wed. night we learned that Matthew had been a tax collector and likely knew a form of shorthand, which would have allowed him to write nearly word for word accounts of the sermons Jesus gave.
-We want to help people experience God and get to know Him here at CLC. If you want to know Jesus more and more, one way that happens is by knowing the Bible more and more. If you don’t know where to start, please ask. But start somewhere so you can get to know the God who has revealed Himself to us.
-Let me add that obedience is part of this process of getting to know God. After Saul asked, “Who are You, Lord?” Jesus told Him His name, then told him to get up and go into Damascus where He would tell him what He wanted Him to do. How did Saul respond? He obeyed. He did what the Lord asked, and was rewarded for it.