What is your definition of success? Most of us define success in terms of the abundance of money we have. So we strive to get more. We will work our fingers to the bone to become successful. We will claw and scratch our way to the top of the corporate ladder. Step on or over anyone just to be there. If the Devil makes us a bargain then we will simply accept it. We want what we want and we will do anything to get it. It is what it is!
When our definition of success is flawed we look at the lifestyle of others and think that right there is it! If I can be just like them I will be successful. We see the limousine. The private jet. We here that they have millions and billions in the bank and we think, if I just have that I will be successful. If I just have $1 million I will be successful. I will not have to worry about paying the bills. Life will be very good. The problem with that is once you get to that level you realize that money can quickly be eaten up. You see, if you do not keep your lifestyle in control then the money you have will be quickly finished. A million dollars can be flushed down the drain by lavish living. Flying first class. Renting a very expensive apartment. Perhaps buying a house valued at half a million dollars. Right there half of the money’s gone. The house has swallowed it. Comedian Steve Harvey said he had to live in his car at one time. He was hungry many nights. Then things turned after his first successful gig at the Apollo. He made people laugh but he kept his eyes on the prize. What was the prize? Never being poor again. He worked very hard. Night and day He worked. Then one day His manager announced to him that He is now a millionaire. He was so happy he took him to dinner to celebrate. He ordered the meal. They ate. When the meal was finished the manager looked him in the eye and said, “you ain’t a millionaire no more”. That was sobering truth. It made him aware that what he had required work to maintain it. You had to put in more work just to ensure that remained the same or increases.
One thing about money that will always be true. It’s value changes daily. A dollar today is not a dollar tomorrow. Economists call it the time value of money. When they evaluate money earned many years ago they will make adjustments for changes in the overall price of goods. This is called inflation. Inflation will eat up the value of your money. As the price of goods increase your money is valued, less and less each day.
If the economy goes into a depression people will start hoarding money. They will stop spending. That means less money going around. Suddenly the value of good will start going down. A house will lose it’s value. Prices of food will remain the same. Less people spending means business will not have the kind of profits they need to remain ‘successful’. That will mean layoffs. People will be sent home.
I do not mean depress you. I want you to evaluate your definition of success. If it all about the benjamins then your hope is misplaced. It will fail you.
Ecclesiastes 4:8, Amplified Bible Classic
Here is one alone—no one with him; he neither has child nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labor, neither is his eye satisfied with riches, neither does he ask, For whom do I labor and deprive myself of good? This is also vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility); yes, it is a painful effort and an unhappy business.
I am sure you will agree that Jesus was the most successful man alive. He built a ministry that did not have buildings. He started with just 12 men. They were not the brightest. They were not educated. One betrayed him. The others abandoned him. Yet the lessons he taught them for three years allowed them to become very strong individuals. They were his core team. Their were hundreds of others. They existed on the outside. It was this core team of individuals that he invested most of his time and effort into that ensured that his ministry survived to this day. After the one who betrayed him took his life, he came appeared to a murderer of the saints. That one encounter changed this man from a religious zealot to one of the greatest disciples.
By his tireless work christianity was introduced to most of the gentile world under the control of the Roman Empire. The legacy of what Jesus did still lives on today. Although, it faces tremendous persecution it still continues to thrive and flourish.
Jesus The Bible tells us to store up riches above where it will never perish. No moth or rust will eat it up. Absolutely nothing ever will destroy that. When you transition you will receive your reward.
Matthew 6:19-21, Amplified Bible Classic
19 Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal.
20 But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal;
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
A treasure is something of great value that is normally stored in a secure location. We think so highly of it that we do everything to protect and keep it. What Jesus was saying is we must not spend all our time accumulating treasures for this life; our here and now. There is something of more value that we must ensure we do. In my teens, I loved watching the series The Lifestyle of the Fabulously Rich. Sometimes I would be fascinated by the number of cars that the wealthy had. The garage would be a huge warehouse that contained many, many, vintage and custom cars. You know what? All those cars had to be maintained regularly just to keep the value. Failure to constantly service them meant they would deteriorate. The paint would fade. The engine would stop working. Rust would just eat it up! Not one episode of that series As a teenager I The many cars that we may purchase and store in a garage all will
What Jesus was saying was very clear. Do not make plans to receive things of tremendous value in this life. There is a life that goes beyond the here and now. Our plans must be to ensure that we make deposits for that life. Your reward will never be denied in the life to come. Heaven will celebrate your coming.
Jesus also said that when you place the Kingdom first. When you make the sacrifice you will receive reward in this life.
We actually make deposits and receive the benefits of:
- Peace of mind;
- Good health;
- Good relationships;
- All our needs supplied;
- Money to fund the work of the kingdom;
When we put the Kingdom of God first. From our commitment to the Kingdom comes our resounding success. Our household will see and experience it.