Monday, December 6, 2021
Last week I reached behind me into my bookcase and grabbed the Bible I was given by my parents for my 16thbirthday. I was showing it to someone as an example of how students can study the Bible. It is pretty well worn out, and I have had it recovered twice, but it has so many wonderful notes from my dad’s preaching and my own study. Later that day I spent some time looking through it. I wanted to look at some of the significant things God had taught me in my early walk with Christ. I discovered some timeless principles of successful Christian living. Over the next few days I want to share some of them with you.
Let’s first define success. Success is defined as “a favorable result” in the Thorndike Barnhart Dictionary. The Cambridge on-line dictionary says that success is the “achieving of a desired result.” So the question we must ask is this – “What is the desired favorable result I wish to achieve with my life?” In other words, how will my life be fulfilled?
For the Christian this question is answered in Galatians 2:20 when Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Our lives are declared successful when Christ lives in us. The favorable result that is achieved by living life by faith in the Son of God is the realization of the fullness of the life-giver in us. All other worldly pursuits fail at this point, because only Jesus can give life. He said, “I have come that they might have life, and live it to the fullest.” (John 10:10) “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) Only the One who is Life can give life.
So if that is the desired favorable result of your life, how do we achieve that successfully? Here are seven fundamentals I learned in my youth and are a great starting point for all of us.
1. Confess Christ daily in your life. Confess is defined as “to be in agreement with.” Every morning when you awaken, be in agreement with God that you are His child through your faith in Jesus Christ and that His blood has saved you from the penalty and the power of sin.
2. Make His Word your daily companion. Spend time meditating on the Bible and taking its principles with you into every area of your life.
3. Talk all things over with God in prayer. Open every area of your life to spiritual conversations with God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
4. Trust God to provide for all your daily needs. Stop worrying and fretting over all the material stuff. Focus on the spiritual ministry of your life to others and God will take care of the rest.
5. Surrender your life fully to God. Surrender the present and the future. Surrender the control of all outcomes to the control of God. Surrender who you are to whom God wants you to be.
6. Lay aside your gifts and offerings with thanksgiving. Specifically plan to give a generous portion of your income to the Lord as a worshipful expression of your love for Him.
7. Use the special gifts and talents God has given you to serve Him. Get involved in ministry. Do something that builds up the body of Christ and encourages others.
As I stated earlier, these are simple yet timeless truths, and they are a great reminder of the foundational principles that promote success. Do these things faithfully, and you will achieve the desired favorable result of Christ’s fullness, which is the fulfillment of life.