Summary: The god of success is a god that has taken many captive.
• SLIDE #1
• Over the past couple of weeks we have been looking at the Clash of The Titans, the battle between God and the gods we serve.
• This week we are going to examine a god this world has to offer that many people bow themselves down before, the Titan of Success.
• I mean who does not want to be successful? When My 7th grade math teacher Mr. Day would ask us what we wanted to be when we grew up, my friend Kevin who by the way is also a minister used to tell him that we aspired to be one of the whino’s on the courthouse steps in town because we would not have to learn math.
• Jeff, what could possibly be wrong with wanting to be successful? Should we aspire to be a loser?
• Well, not exactly and as far as there being anything wrong with being successful or desiring to be successful, there is nothing wrong with that either, as a matter of fact I would encourage you to strive to be successful in whatever you do in life.
• It is a bit like pleasure, there is nothing wrong with seeking pleasure in life, BUT when life BECOMES about pleasure, then Houston, we have a problem!
• There is nothing wrong in being successful until that is what comes first in life.
• The other issue with success is how do you define what being successful means?
• We have to be careful not to let the gods of this world take first place in our lives. Many people have sacrificed everything at the altar of success.
• Men and women have lost their families in the pursuit of the Titan of success, fathers who have offered up their children at the altar of success.
• Being successful is not a bad thing until it becomes your god. The Titan of Success offers a lot of perks. Materialism, prestige, position, and power are some of the big perk this god offers to those who worship at its altar.
• Today we are going to look at an encounter that Jesus has with a young ruler who has been worshipping the titan of success and until this encounter with Jesus he did not even know he was doing it.
• This young man will be confronted with a choice, the god of success or the true God.
• Who we decide to serve is 100% our choice; let’s examine the dilemma this young man finds himself in.
• The dilemma this young ruler faces is the same one we face each and every day.
• SLIDE #2
• Luke 18:18–21 (HCSB) 18 A ruler asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God. 20 You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother.” 21 “I have kept all these from my youth,” he said.
• SLIDE #3
I. The real need. (18-21)
• Wow, this is shaping up to be an interesting exchange.
• Here a young man with power, prestige and a decent amount of wealth. It seems like he is living the Israelite Dream.
• For the standards of the day, he looks to be one of those others envy. It seems like this young man is a nice man also, I mean he is coming to Jesus because he needs something.
• I believe unknowingly this young ruler has been worshipping the god of success. He had all the trappings of success; I mentioned some of those trappings a moment ago.
• Let’s think this through. Let’s bring it to today for a moment.
• Imagine having achieved whatever you define as being successful. We see a lot of seemingly successful; we live in a prosperous country.
• I remember when I was very young wanting to be a draftsman like my dad, because that is what my dad did, that is what I wanted to do.
• My dad told me that I should not want to be a draftsman because they do not make a lot of money.
• So as I got a little older I figured my job was just to make a lot of money. If I could live large I would be successful and happy.
• I would have it all.
• There are a lot of folks who live under the illusion that success in itself will bring happiness.
• They work hard, they go to great sacrifice and they eventually achieve their goal, but when they get the goal, something is not quite right, something is missing, something is lacking.