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!

Beaten, Busted, Broken

” For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes.” Job: 3:25-26 ESV

job 3

Life has a tendency to throw us lemons. Those who are positive thinkers, state that we need to transform the lemons into lemonade. Yet what about us who are not equipped to make it happen? Not everyone has the talent or character to pick up one self and rise up to the occasion. Or maybe this time the challenge is larger than anything we have faced before and we don’t know where to turn to. Now what?

At times like this I am comforted by God’s reply to Job’s challenge. Job was the wealthiest person in his neck of the woods. He had a large family and was known throughout the community for his philanthropic work. He was the picture of success. Even God claimed that He was blameless.

Yet bad things do happen to good people. In Job’s case, he was the pawn in a wager between God and Satan. God gave Satan authority to do whatever he wanted but spare his life. So with his walking papers, Satan destroyed Job’s business, family, and health. By the time Satan was done, Job was beaten, busted, and broken.

He was physically disabled with chronic pain. He was financially ruined. His wife deserted him. His immediate family taken away. He was left alone beaten, busted, and broken. Yet he never disowned His God. In fact, besides his three companions who tried to comfort him, but ended up throwing spiritual daggers into his side, he spent the time seeking answers from God. As the events unfolded, God finally granted him his day in court where Job eventually repented from his thinking and acknowledged God’s greatness and faithfulness.

God restored Job with more at the end of his crisis than before his broken, busted, and beaten state. What is it that I find encouraging about the entire ordeal?

Simply that God was always with him. Even when God wages a bet with others, he does so knowing that the final outcome is going to be better than if He did nothing. For most of us, we shall experience a Good Friday event in our life. Hopefully, if we hang in there long enough, we shall also experience a Resurrection Sunday.

God is good. He wants what is best for all of us. The immediate future may look bleak. But God in all his glory will carry us through the situation and bless us with character, virtue, and reward.

Yes we may be beaten, busted, and broken at this time. But it only allows us to place our trust in the hand of who will rise us up and restore us to a place for his glory. With Job, his story has become an inspiration for millions throughout history. For us, our story may likewise become a living testament for others on the grace of God.

Again, being beaten, busted, and broken isn’t bad unless we neglect to lean on Him. Then pity on us. I choose to trust Him who raises the dead, walks on water, and turns water into wine.

There is a purpose and meaning behind the BBB of life. As we learn from it, grow from it, and glorify God through it, in hindsight, we may have a better understanding of why we went through it. But for today, let’s just be pleasantly surprised on how He will intervene and save us from ourselves, for the sake of others, and for His glory.

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

Tweet Gospel

“…there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” Galatians 1:7

twitter 2

Twitter is one of those modern techno gadgets that I haven’t had time nor desire to take on at this season of life. My understanding is that one communicates the word in a short fashion using abbreviations and special codes. The entire sentence is limited to approximately 120 letters/numbers/characters. Since I have a difficult time communicating with 400 words via a blog, it probably will be a while before we attempt to tweet.

Yet, when I hear the gospel being preached through radio, television, or the pulpit, I sometimes feel that the good news of Jesus Christ is being limited in its presentation, just like a tweet. Instead of sharing the entire message of Jesus Christ, we only share one aspect of it. Usually that aspect is the forgiveness of sin. Though it is one reason that Jesus broke time and space as a human person, it is only one reason. And in my opinion, it isn’t the main reason.

For example, when one reads the four gospel accounts of Jesus, his message wasn’t solely about the forgiveness of sin. He introduced himself as the King of a government – The Kingdom of God. Some theologians like to only speak about the kingdom in our hearts and forget that the Kingdom He spoke about was also the fulfillment of the Messiah prophecies of an universal order that included heaven and earth. Kingdom reality is already here for those who are participating with Him in His work to restore creation back to His original intent.

In addition, when one reads the letters of Paul, one is introduced to God’s plan from the beginning of creation that included the adoption of humanity into the inner circle of the Triune God (Eph. 1:4). Before man was created and sinned, God already had a plan in motion. Sin and the forgiveness of sin was only a messy inkblot in His plan for the universe. His initial purpose was not to save us, but to adopt us into His world.

When we repent (change our mind of who God is and what He is doing) God impregnates us with his Spirit. As we abide in Christ, take up our cross, and follow Him, the Spirit begins to change our hearts and minds patterned after the character and attitude of Christ himself (2 Timothy 1:7). The Holy Spirit of God begins to remove the darkness of sin from our life. The addictions, lies, self-righteousness, pride of life, vanity, anger, hatred is being replaced with the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the virtues of God.

There is also the good news of grace, freedom, justice, and resurrection. In other words, it is far more than just being saved from our sins and acquiring a one way ticket to heaven. It’s about people flourishing with other people within God’s governmental order. It’s about being adopted into a royal and priestly family that rules the universe. And yes, it’s about transformation – being prepared and equipped with the character of God to serve others and God now and for eternity.

The good news of Jesus Christ is truly more than we really know or imagine.

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