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May 14, 1992

Defining Success (Part One)

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May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. PSALM 90:17
Grace is the unmerited favor of God that rests upon us when we respond to His call and believe in Him. Its benefits and blessings are beyond compare and comprehension. Grace is an unsearchable mystery that deserves our meditation and devotion. It also is a reality that alters the very nature of our work.
In our go-go economy full of excitement and energy, we have created an unrealistic and unhealthy preoccupation with success. We read about “success stories” in the news; we travel many miles and pay thousands of dollars to learn how to become “successful”; we buy books promising the ingredients of “success.” But for the follower of Christ, what does success look like? In God’s economy of giving and receiving versus buying and selling, how do we define success?
We’ll look at one way today and two more tomorrow.
Success is about grace. When God’s favor rests upon you, success is at your doorstep. You have transitioned from one kingdom into another. Your future is secured in Him. You are His child. His inheritance is yours. Your life is radically and permanently altered. You did nothing to warrant this, nothing to earn it. You can do nothing to lose it. Your salvation is given, received, signed, sealed, and delivered.
But you also will have difficulty. You will be opposed. You will struggle and labor and toil. Your life will be marked by hardships and pain. You are no longer callous to the hurts and needs of others. You will share them in a new way—you will feel other people’s hurt with them and understand their sorrow. You will encourage, exhort, heal, soothe, and comfort others. You are blessed, and in return, you bless. You give grace the way it was received.
Are you giving God’s grace to others through your words and actions at work? If so, that is success.

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