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success

How do you define success?

Webster’s Dictionary defines success as the following:

  • the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame

  • the correct or desired result of an attempt

  • someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds

As we continue in this series of post about the book “Raising Kids for True Greatness”, we need to understand how the world defines success. Dr. Kimmel writes,

We live in a day when success is defined by looks, IQ, strategic alliances, titles, and world records. Success is supposed to attract people’s attention and put you in a superior position in the human pecking order. And it is the natural desire average parents have for their children.

It’s easy to see that parenting can become preoccupied with crowding a child’s academic, athletic, and social resume with the accolades that count most in our culture but don’t have any bearing on eternity.

This world has said that our children have to be the…smartest, fastest, prettiest, best connected, most popular, best outfitted, best rewarded and most confident.

Everywhere we turn and just about everything we hear people say reminds us that we should be raising kids who primary goal is to post high marks and great statistic. To them, life is about success that can be quantified in degrees or dollar signs.

Dr. Kimmel goes on to talk about 5 “anchor tenets” of the success illusion:

Fame

Without even trying, parents can unwittingly format their children to need the empty praise of fame by orchestrating their lives so that they can become popular among their young peer groups. There’s a fine line between encouraging our children to excel and pushing them to achieve the public’s attention in the process

Power

True greatness does not have power as its goal, but it often gains power by default.

Health & Beauty

The problem comes when we deify and worship health and beauty. This happens when our view of ourselves doesn’t come from our relationship with God but from the way we fit into our clothes and the images looking back at us in the mirror each morning.

Wealth

Money is so important to many parents that it is not uncommon for a mom or dad to push a child to pursue a certain vocation simply because of its income potential. Whether the child has an aptitude for it, or even enjoys it, is irrelevant. The important thing is that he spends his adult life doing something that pays well.

We must be careful to avoid equating wealth with greatness. They are NOT the same!

Parents, let strive to raise our children with a passionate love for God that demonstrates itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others. Let’s not let the world determine what is success in the lives of our children. Let’s look to God’s Word for guidance and direction for their lives.

Matthew 20:25-28 – “Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant. Whoever wants to become first among you must serve the rest of you like a slave. In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people”

Proverbs 3:5 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

TrustOur third foundation verse is a verse that just about every Christian knows but one of the hardest verses to put into practice.

TRUST!

As Christians, we place so much emphasis on this word. We sing songs about this word. We read scripture about this word. We listen to messages based around this word – but for the life of me, it is one of the most difficult things to do!

Our sin nature kicks in and we try to take care of situations that arise by ourselves instead of trusting God.

I think a key to this verse is found in the last part of verse 5, “with all your heart”. Warren Weirsbe puts it this way:

We must trust Him with all our heart and obey Him in all our ways. That means total commitment to Him (Romans 12:1-2). The word translated “trust” in verse 5 means “to lie helpless, facedown.” It pictures a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general.

Are you anticipating God’s command for you and are you ready to obey?

TRUST! Small word; big implications in the life of a Christian!

Matthew-624-10-03-13“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Nothing like jumping into a verse like this on the second week of the foundation verses but what a verse it is!

Remember, God told us last week (Foundation Verse #1) that HE created everything and now HE is telling us that we have a choice. We have a choice to choose between HIM or money.

The word “serve” here indicates the work of a slave. Since a slave is the sole property of one master, he must give the master exclusive service. This verse is telling us that we are either going to be a slave to Jesus Christ or we are going to be a slave to money.

The last part of this verse is very, very clear – a person CAN NOT serve both God and money!

Materialism will do the following to a person:

  • Enslave the heart – Matthew 6:19-21
  • Enslave the mind – Matthew 6:22-23
  • Enslave the will – Matthew 6:24

It is important for us to not only look at this verse but look at the verses preceding this verse. These verses are talking about laying up treasures in heaven. Verse 21 tells us,

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

Let me encourage you today to not place your trust (or your heart, mind or will) in money!

Charles Spurgeon said it like this:

God and the world will never agree, and however much we may attempt it, we shall never be able to serve both. Our danger is that in trying to gain money, or in the pursuit of any other object, we should put it out of its place, and allow it to get the mastery of our mind. Gain and godliness cannot both be masters of our souls: we can serve two, but not “two masters. ” You can live for this world, or live for the next; but to live equally for both is impossible. Where God reigns, the lust of gain must go.

Today we begin our journey as we look to dig deeper into God’s Word and to lay a foundation of what we believe. In my last post about the Foundation Verses, I challenged you to join me and to memorize these verses so that we can do what I Peter 3:15 tells us to do –

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

So, are you ready? Here we go…

Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

genesis-1-1-bible-lock-screenIn the movie The Sound of Music, there is a song that many of us have heard before and I believe these words are true for our first foundation verse. The words of this song say,

Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi

As we look at this verse, it is imperative that we “start at the beginning” and know Genesis 1:1. It was God that created everything – not man nor was it a “big band” – IT WAS GOD!

Hebrews 11:3 tells us,

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

I love that when God speaks – things happen!

Warren Weirsbe say the following about Genesis 1:1,

When you consider the acts of God recorded in Genesis 1:1, you can’t help but bow in reverent worship, for His creative acts reveal a God of power and wisdom whose word carries authority.

In the beginning, GOD!

Follow Up Verses: Psalm 33:9, Romans 4:17