Posts Tagged success
There’s a song that I’ve been listening to that I just can’t get out of my head. It’s by a band called Downhere, and the song is called “Little is Much.” You can download this song (and the entire album it’s on) for free here. I love this song because it’s an encouragement that God can use small things for his glory in a powerful way. Here’s an example:
Little is much when God’s in it
And no one can fathom the plans He holds
Little is much when God’s in it
He changes the world with the seeds we sow
Little is much, little is much
Consider a Kingdom in the smallest seed
Consider that giants fall to stones and slings
Consider a child in a manger
Consider the story isn’t over
What can be done with what you still have?
This is a great reminder that God can work through small things and things that seem insignificant and powerless — even you and me. Little is much when God’s in it.
I had lunch with a guy today and he said something that really got me thinking. His name is Bob and he was telling me about a video that he made for a family friend whose young adult son had died unexpectedly. The video was pretty basic — just a series of pictures set to music.
As Bob told me the story he said something like, “It’s amazing what is important when your life is reduced to 132 pictures. There aren’t a lot of pictures of your report card, SAT score, cars, big houses, or stuff like that. When your life is described with 132 pictures what matters are pictures of people that you loved and served.”
Scripture says that life is a vapor (James 4:14). Your life and mine will, someday, be reduced to 132 pictures. Don’t waste it.
Feel inspired? Check out www.dontwasteyourlife.com.
Session 10: Planning
This session helped us begin to implement all the previous things we had been working on and set key milestones that will help us get done what needs to get done before we plant. It’s both encouraging how much we have already done and discouraging how much there is to do. We’ll try to hold these plans loosely as they will surely change.
Session 11: Priorities
For this final session, anticipation was high. All week we had been told, “Don’t leave early. Make sure you stay for the last session, it’s always the best.” We were not disappointed.
In this session, Dr. Steve Childers (President of GCA) presented his “Eight biggest mistakes…that he can share publicly.” The gist of this session was that personal spiritual renewal and health is far more important than some version of of earthly “success” in church planting. This was a sobering session that caused both Molly and I to really think seriously about what lies ahead. Here are a few of the key takeaways for me:
- I have views of what “success” is and most of them are illegitimate and not based on faithfulness to God’s call.
- Joy comes from who I am in Christ, not what I do for Christ.
- At the root of my frantic propensity to overwork is usually the sin of pride and an exalted sense of my importance in the kingdom of God.
- Goals are things I can influence and control. Desires are things I cannot. Therefore, I should work toward my goals and pray for my desires.
- God’s goal for my life is not merely to serve him, but to know him, love him, trust him, glorify him and enjoy him. God is not a means to another end–he is the goal of everything.
- God loves me. Really. A lot. “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
- I need people who don’t just tell me how to live and do ministry better, but also point me to the truth of the gospel.
- I can choose to be content and enjoy life now, or I can put my hope in “I’ll be happy someday when…” and never actually get it.
- I have an amazing wife who needs to be treasured and not sacrificed to the idol of “success.”
As you can tell, this was an impactful session. We’re so thankful to EVBC for sending us to this seminar. We learned a lot and were truly refreshed in many ways. May God be your joy and may you know the power of his amazing love.
Our newspapers and TV channels today are filled with endless reports on how hard times are. It seems like every problem on earth is being somehow traced back to the price of oil. One of the things I regularly pray is that God would use difficult times like these to cause people to trust in him and not the uncertainty of riches.
While times of scarcity and pain are difficult, it’s often prosperity and success that is more dangerous for the spiritual life. One of the passages that we prayed through last Sunday was Deuteronomy 8, which warns the Israelites not to forget God when they enter the land of prosperity. The big danger of success is that we are tempted to take credit for things that really can only be credited to God. Here’s an excerpt from the text:
Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness…Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
May we be people that trust the Lord in the midst of difficulty and prosperity!