What Is Real Success?

“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:3-8 ESV

real success1
What is real success?  Some say the accomplishment of a goal. Others say a healthy life. Others a caring family. Than others add financial independence, recognition from one’s peers, or the power to do whatever you want. Yet what does God say real success is? Is real success something you make happen or is it a gift?

Like teenagers sowing their wild oats is how humanity generally functions with God. We are the prodigal child or the son who remains home (Luke 15:11-32). We believe we need to venture out and satisfy all our internal desires. Or we need to stay home and live by all the rules. In so doing we believe we shall become successful. Yet for most, only through the trials, tests, and challenges that this life takes us through do we eventually realize that Father God has a better way to live. Only then do we repent, return, and seek after God.

Without God, we try to imitate success. We wear high fashion cloths. We sell our soul for work that pays the most money. We buy material goods that we believe will make us more satisfied. We play extreme sports to battle the demons of fear. We hang around people who we label as successful. We more or less pursue the outer trappings of success. But we fail to capture the real success that comes from the inside-out through His grace.

Real success is grace-based. It’s not earned, stolen, or passed on from others. Real success is a gift from God. It is being the recipient of His Grace. As we acknowledge, accept, and act upon His grace, we experience the fruit of real success.

Real success is an inner quality that manifests itself through external showings. We may at times be easily fooled through external showings, but the heart is the foundation of the soul. When the heart is a conduit of God’s Spirit, the fruit is real.

Real success is allowing God to live in you, with you, and through you. It is the result of submitting to Him. It is accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is becoming one with Him. As we become one with Him, we learn to live in Him, with Him, and through Him. It is a personal, covenant marriage relationship between you and the Eternal.

As we walk with Him, we become the recipient of His divine nature. He showers us with His character. The fruit of His Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control: Gal 5:22) empowers us. We become more like Him as a child becomes more like their parent. We learn to live life from a grace-based foundation instead of a performance model. We begin to experience the fruit of salvation. We live in freedom. Instead of trying to make ourselves feel good through our activities, we learn to rest in Christ. Instead of viewing life only through our eyes, we see life also through the heart of our Maker. What we learn by walking with God, we share with others. We want all to experience real success as God intended mankind to have since the beginning of time.

Real success is God’s work, not ours. The earlier we learn that, the quicker we experience the genuine fruit of real success.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Sin or Adoption

“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 ESV

sin 2

“… In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,…” Ephesians 1:4-5 ESV

adoption 2

When one reads the Bible, what is the general premise of one’s viewpoint? We all read the Bible with preconceived ideas and concepts. They are generally what we have been told, read somewhere, or simply our 21st century cultural bias. For some who grew up in a Christian culture, our worldview may generally be classified either under the premise of Sin or Adoption.

For example, many people read the Bible following the premise that Jesus’ sole reason for coming to earth was to take away our sins. If they accept Christ into their life, personal sins are forgiven and heaven is the reward. The entire process seems to follow a contractual transaction between God and man. Therefore, when reading the Bible, sin is the fundamental basis of one’s belief and emphasis is built around what one must personally do to manage the process.

On the other hand, there are those who read the Bible following the premise that Jesus came to adopt humanity into the inner circle of the Triune God. That Christ’s vicarious life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven paved the way for us before we even asked to be forgiven or even believed in Jesus as our Savior, Messiah, and Lord. This premise places more emphasis on the familial relationship of the Triune God within the salvation process built on what Jesus did, is doing, and will do.

Both premises speak about Sin and Relationship. However each emphasizes the one over the other. Personally, I have come to lean more towards salvation as explained through Adoption theology. For me it is easier to believe in a God that is relational, loves unconditionally, and is faithfully passionate and able to fulfill His vision for humanity through the Incarnate work of Jesus Christ. Sin is only an ink blot that made the process more messier.

For those who want to know more about Adoption theology or also known as Trinitarian Theology, you may want to watch the video series (Your Included) presented by Grace Communion International. The link may be found at http://www.mbirc.org/.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Rules, Principles, or Character

 

 

“…by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness…” 2 Peter 1:4-6 ESV

 

character 2

After you acknowledge Jesus is Lord, what comes next?

The Bible outlines our journey into three phases: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Justification is about Christ’s gift to humanity restoring our relationship with God. Glorification is packaged in the resurrection when our physical body is merged into a glorious state like our Lord’s. Sanctification is the time in between where we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ in preparation for eternity while tasting Kingdom reality now.

Sanctification is the now time. Most disciples of his start this journey first focusing on “the rules found in the Bible.” The problem though soon hits them that life is not black and white. External, fixed rules are like the ABCs of grammar. You need to know them before you can really start communicating with others. But they don’t take you very far.

Then after becoming frustrated with rules, you realize you need greater flexibility. Therefore, you begin to exert more emphasis on living with principles. However, over time you learn that principles are like words. Words better express what you want communicated than just knowing the ABCs. Yet words unless formed into meaningful sentences, only expressed a tiny portion of what you want known. There has to be something better.

Enter character development. When you take sentences and make paragraphs, paragraphs into chapters, and chapters into books, you have developed from the basic ABCs into creating work of art. You add you personality and experiences into the equation and share something you consider of value with others. The same goes with godly character.

When you allow God’s Spirit to enter you and lead you, you begin to set aside the rules and principles for a transformed life of virtue. Virtue is holiness in action. It doesn’t come overnight. It requires walking with our heavenly Triune God in all matters of life. It is the Spirit writing his love into our hearts. He leads us to express mercy and justice from God’s point of reference. It is more than head knowledge. It is eternal wisdom and understanding with godly attributes placed into action. The result is a life that flourishes for all.

So the next time to think life is black and white with rules and principles, think again. Instead, ask the Triune God what would He have you do at a moment like this? You may be pleasantly surprised.

 

We are rooting for you!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.