Secrets of My Success

1 Chronicles 22:11-13Now, my son, the LORD be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the LORD your God, as he said you would. May the LORD give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. (NIV 1984)

Colin Powell – There are no secrets to success: Don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence.

My Musings – Success without these milestones on the way is really no success at all. It is merely a destination, not an achievement.  But neither the destination nor the achievement will be worth it in the end if the LORD is not with you.  He will be if you are careful to observe His Word.

My Advice – There is no easy road to success. But if you conduct yourself in your job, as you have thus far, you will succeed.  So “be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or discouraged.”

Enriched in Poverty

Revelation 2:9 – “I know your afflictions and your poverty-yet you are rich!” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – It’s all a matter of perspective. The world may see poverty on the outside, but God sees the riches of Christ in our hearts.

My Advice – There may be lean years early in your career. But remember, no matter how little you have in your bank account, you are rich because you have Christ in your heart.

Do Not Lose What You Worked For

2 John 8Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – This is not talking about salvation. We did not work for it we received it as a gift. Thus, we cannot lose it. But since salvation, we have been doing good works that are building rewards for us in Heaven. These we can lose.

My Advice – Live a life that builds rewards, not one that loses them.

He Is Coming Soon!

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Revelation 22:12-13  –  “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – I’ve worked for four different companies in my nearly 42 year post-college career.  All of them required a certain degree of travel. Fortunately, it was not too frequent and the time away was rarely for extended stays. Like the dad pictured in the cartoon above, my son Joel came to expect some kind of gift when I returned.  Nothing elaborate or expensive, but no matter how small or trivial, he was always excited.  Of course, I know he was also glad to see me.

One particular return is vividly etched in my memory.  Joel was barely walking and still sleeping in a crib.  I believe the trip in question was probably my longest in terms of distance and time away (Buenos Aires for a little over a week).  I got home late at night, and Joel was down for the night (I thought).  The driver dropped me off and I set down my bags in the front entryway to our home.  My wife welcomed me and we were chatting away, trying to be quiet, when I heard the patter of little feet coming from down the hallway and the bedrooms.  It was Joel.  He had heard my voice and could not wait his turn.  He figured out how to climb out of his crib and made a beeline for his dad.  Incidentally, Joel got a new bed that weekend.

Another return from a long absence is getting nearer every day.  Our Lord’s return!  His reward will be with Him.  Will we be eager to see Him?  Or ashamed at HIs coming, for the things that we did or did not do?  For some He will not be coming as Father, but as Judge.

My Advice – Make sure you He is coming to you as a loving Father.  Don’t know if or how?  See my series on “The Born Again Experience.”

If you already know Him as Savior, just seeing Him will be reward enough.  But there will be rewards too, based upon how faithfully we have served Him.  See my series “Got Spiritual Milk?” on becoming a faithful disciple.  You can also purchase this book in my “store.”

Finally, are you looking for His return?  Joel was listening and ready for me.  Do you know the signs of His return?  As many of you know, who follow my blog, I’ve been sharing on the last days in my series “Studies in Revelation.”  We’re almost done with that series, but it is archived and you can also purchase it in my “store.”

You Can Take It With You

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Job 1:21 – “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,  and naked I will depart.  The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (NIV 1984)

My Musing – In reality, you can take it with you.  Not the possessions you might accumulate in this life of course.  You might actually die with these things possessing you instead of you possessing them.  Whichever is the case, you must relinquish them as you pass into eternity – whatever your final destination.  But there are some things that you can take with you.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:3-7)

What He has given us is not measured by the abundance of our possession or the wealth that we may happen to accumulate over a lifetime.  These may not even last our lifetime, and we certainly cannot take them with us.  But the above qualities can be ours, and we will take them with us into eternity.  How much the measure increases (1 Peter 3:8) in this lifetime, and how much we carry into the next life, is entirely up to us.  You see, “it’s not how much you [possess] but what you do with what you have [been given].”  So how full have you packed your suitcase?

 

 

 

 

Lest We Forget

Psalms 103:2-5Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. He forgives…heals…redeems…crowns…satisfies…renews….  (NIV 1978)

My Musings – But we do forget. In the midst of pain or sorrow or stress or misfortune, we lose focus of the benefits and refocus on the problem. We forget how many times in the past He has delivered us. If we remembered it would be so much easier for us to endure.

My Advice – Recall to mind, on a regular basis, how much God has done for you. Be specific. This will make it so much easier to recall them when you go through similar difficulties. Then it be less likely that you will say “how am I going to get through this” and more likely to say “I remember when God helped me through something just like this.”