A Study of Success BY CARY MCQUAID
There are many self help books written today. This book was written to show us how to have victory through the leadership that God has established and provided for us as our examples, just as Daniel proposed a challenge to Melzar, “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink.” Daniel 1;12 this after Melzar was instructing everyone to eat the Kings food selection which was meat that wasn’t healthy, the challenge is set before us also, we are challenged to be successful God’s way. Can we overcome and even excel past all by following what God has given to us?
God teaches us that we can if we elect to stay the course and He has given us the way. These 21 Godly characteristics of effective leaders hand- picked and selected by God show us how to be successful in life.
Table of Contents
Staying the Course - Noah’s Nuggets! 6-17
Oval Obedience - Abraham’s Reward! 18- 27
Living Sacrifice - Isaac’s Mission 28 - 37
Building for We? – Nehemiah’s Project 38 - 49
Passing the Baton - Joshua’s Call 50 - 62
Giant Problem – David Discovered 63 - 70
In Memory Of – Cornelius the Centurion 71 - 81
Don’t Run Away – Jonah’s Rebellion 82 – 91
21 Days in Waiting – Daniel’s Success 92 - 100
A Doctor’s Advice – Luke the Physician 100 - 109
RECAP (21 STONES) – Lay the foundation 110 - 113
Chief Cornerstone – Jesus Laid it All! 114- 122
Personal or Team Success! – Meant for all! 123 - 125
To all those great leaders that laid stones of leadership examples for us to follow!
From Self-Help to God's-Help, these 21 Stones of progress are a look into the actions leading to victory and success that were taken by God's Leaders. God’s leaders like Noah, Abraham, and Moses were the leadership examples that Daniel might have studied in his time of waiting. By studying their triumphs we gain valuable insights into the laws of success given to us in God's word. 21 Stones are 21 days into the study of the 21 Godly habits of highly effective leaders that were hand-picked for God’s purpose. Daniel’s prayers were hindered for 21 days, but each day of delay Daniel stood fast and laid a stone as a mark of success against the forces that resisted God’s answer to his prayer. While we wait on God to answer our prayers these life changing examples of success will be our focus.
Noah’s Nuggets - Staying The Course!
“And Noah builded an Altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the Altar.” Genesis 8:20
"And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6:7, 8
Is it possible that we can hurt God? He is the Almighty! When we talk about falling it’s not to say that we have stumbled off of our feet and have fallen onto the ground below, nor is it to say that we have lost our balance and are now lying on the ground, instead when we talk about falling, we are talking about a moving away from God, a falling away from God’s ways. When we fall away from God it hurts, it hurts us and it hurts him! To think that we have the ability to hurt God is intense, God has a heart though, a heart that is grieved, and a heart that hurts when we choose to follow another.
Man’s fall started in the garden and has continued ever since. Since the time of Adam and Eve there has been actions repeatedly that we all have taken that have hurt God because of the choice to listen and follow someone else. These actions are called SIN. Our sin(s) hurt God and cause us to be separated from God to live in a fallen state. We are all guilty, and we all have fallen. Behold all we like sheep have gone astray! What can be done about this? "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1John1:9. Although we have hurt God, let us confess our sins and turn to Him in love today!
Many times you won't see anything for some time.
Don't lose hope, keep the faith, and continue the work, knowing that all labor has a profit!
Can you imagine what it took for Noah to do what he did? Talk about swimming against the current! You want to build a what? Noah! Why not just wear a dress out in public and change your name to Nostradamus? Noah, what is rain?
What’s a flood? What’s a ship? Listen, I know you don’t understand and that these things seem new and unusual, but God said it and I believe God!
I can’t help that I am what I am and that you are what you are, but I hope that you will listen and take heed. No matter what you say, God will do what he says and I am sure of this! Ok, are you there yet? Are you there with Noah? Genesis 6 and on tells the story, take a look at it and imagine what it took to stay the course in the face of unbelief and ridicule!
Staying the course, being steadfast, making your heart sure and immovable, that’s what Noah teaches us the best. Did you realize that if Noah had not been as ridiculous as others thought and so focused on righteousness, that none of us would be here today? God was mad! So angry was he that he was intent on destroying all man. Not just a few to make an example regarding sin, but ALL man was scheduled for the slaughter block! We would not be here today if Noah wasn’t crazy about God! For this cause Noah is the first of 21 stones that we will consider. The first stone to success in life is to make a choice and stick with that choice no matter what others say or do! As it is written,
Make your choice!
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-16
Our choices in life will determine our successes!
Stay the course!
We all must make our choice and stay the course! Staying the course will often require that we are lonely. Noah was the only one in his community or I suppose it could be said his church, he was the only one that was building this ark. Of course his family assisted him, but they knew Noah and how he was with God. They didn’t need a supernatural sign from heaven before they would get involved in this project. Aside from Noah’s family, which was in total 7 others apart from him, aside from them there were no others, in fact all others were opposed and refused to believe. So what made Noah continue? Noah was steadfast in the face of adversity and doubt because he heard God. When we hear God all other voices become faint and distant,
Irrelevant and distracting. To stay the course will require that we make our choice and hear only His voice.
Hear His Voice
“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:4, 5
The three major keys to success for Noah were:
1. Noah made his choice 2. Noah listened to no other voice 3. Noah set his face like flint and stayed the course.
"For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know I shall not be ashamed." Isaiah 50:7
The scrolling banner reads, "I HAVE SET MY FACE LIKE A FLINT!" Can you say this? There will be times in your life that you will have to take a stand and stand therefore having put on the whole armor of God. Unfortunately, there are some powers out there that would love to see you fail, this is a fact, and the old phrases "buck up" or "take the bull by the horn" are required. The reaching down inside for a bit more stubbornness and refusal to quit is necessary. "I shall NOT be moved" is the bulk message that needs to be sent, and God is with you! Just like a tree planted by the waters, I shall not be moved. What a horrible message for our adversary! Just when it seemed that he might be prevailing, we come back with a powerful punch! God is powerful! Take heart, a new thing is coming to you as we speak. God is at work and re- enforcements have been dispatched into this fight. Stand firm and let God take the wheel! The shame shall be redirected and this egg shall be on our adversary's face. Remember the stone in which the builders have rejected? This stone has become the chief Corner-Stone, Jesus is this stone that has been rejected so many times!
"And he beheld them, and said, what is this then that is written, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." Luke 20:17, 18
God is on your side, he has seen your struggles and pains. Stand strong because he will not allow you to be put to shame! Today put your enemies on official notice by saying. I HAVE SET MY FACE LIKE A FLINT AND I SHALL NOT BE MOVED! Let God help you today by letting go and giving the battle to him.
How important was it that Noah made his choice, listened to God’s voice, and stayed the course?
How unfortunate it was for the rest, those that refused to heed God’s voice, citing how strange Noah’s behavior and belief was.
Stay the course and listen to God’s voice this is the keys to success that Noah teaches.
Because of Noah all of humanity received a second chance. The fact that we can all have a second chance is a pivotal part of the character of a successful leader.
To be successful in life we must be ready to forward grace and second chances to all.
Through Noah God’s character of forgiveness is revealed and second chances are introduced to us.
Let’s look at a story that identifies this better,
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
In addition to these:
The three major keys to success for Noah were:
1. Noah made his choice 2. Noah listened to no other voice 3. Noah set his face like flint and stayed the course.
Forgiveness is what Noah represents to us and for our life. Without forgiveness and second chances we could never fail or fall and get back up and try again.
Noah represents New Life! New Starts! And New Hope! Never give up!
Where there is breath there is hope.
"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." 1Corinthians 15:10
Hmm, is it all worth it? This is the sentiment of some after a number of years in the ministry. Some have reflected on some old-time phrases to explain their thoughts, phrases such as, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." This phrase goes along with, "I'll believe it when I see it!" Both of these phrases are a reflection of the condition of faith an individual has. Remember, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6 There are some better phrases that we can use to explain some situations, such as, "A living Dog is better than a dead lion." Ecclesiastes 9:4 and,
"While there is breath there is hope." "The cup is half full and not half empty!" Hope is a must have, without hope there is despair. It's all in how we look at things. Is it worth it? Yes, absolutely! What you are doing to help others and to help Jesus has a great reward!
Nothing is gained for those that turn away unless they see something gained in their hands. Many times you won't see anything for some time. Don't lose hope, keep the faith, and continue the work, knowing that all labor has a profit!
Never give up! No matter how bad things look!
"In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury." Proverbs 14:23
Second chances do come and what we do with them determines our success, but to look back at failure is to not see the chance in front of us. We need to take the chance with a grateful heart and an open and excited mind towards this opportunity to succeed!
Abraham’s Reward – Oval Obedience!
“And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an Altar unto the Lord. Who appeared unto him.” Genesis 12:7
"Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” Deuteronomy 13:4
Well, it is one thing to believe in Jesus, and an entirely different challenge to cleave to him as you believe. To walk after Jesus is to walk in his footsteps, to do the things that he did, such as having compassion upon the multitudes and preaching the word wherever we go. To cleave to him is not only walking the walk and talking the talk, but it is to stick to him and adhere to his words. We are to be like glue that is stuck to our Master. We should obey and serve despite how the world views us. Love for the world always works to separate us from Jesus, so we always have to be on guard and not allow anything in this world to keep us from loving Him.
If we are sticking close to Jesus then we will never be separated. The command to cleave to him is for our good so that our enemy who desires to sift us like wheat does not devour us. Why be so heavenly minded, so zealous for God, and so close to Jesus? Because the devil wants to separate us and pull us apart from God in order to serve him.
It has been said, All we like sheep have gone astray, this happens because just like sheep we keep our heads down instead of looking at Jesus and cleaving to Him, we forget to ask ourselves, where am I, am I cleaving closely to Jesus today?
This nugget is an egg-shaped oval because sometimes obedience doesn’t come in the nicest shape or package, but obedience is a major key to success. The Webster’s Dictionary defines obey as follows: “to carry out orders of, to be guided by.” Herein rests a critical element of an effective leader. The question now is who and what shall one obey?
Let’s suppose that Abraham had not obeyed God and instead began to consult his inner self about whether or not picking up all of his belongings and instructing all of his family and household to do the same, was a good idea! Especially when he didn’t know where they would go! Was this a good idea?
Why would a loving God tell someone to put his whole family at risk to do the unknown and uncertain?
What are the possible outcomes if Abraham chose to do it a way that made sense to everyone else, what if he decided that he was going to get some council from someone that has training in this field and put God on hold until he found someone that could or would agree with God that this is what he should do? I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone!
Remember Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not yet seen.”
1Samuel 15:22, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord. Behold to obey is better than sacrifice.”
So why would anyone obey what seems to be something that doesn’t make sense or as they say, “common sense”?
Let me tell you why Abraham obeyed. Abraham didn’t know where he was going, he didn’t know what to do next, and Abraham was looking for answers. Are you looking for answers to questions like,
How can I be successful? What are the keys to success? What are effective habits that will help me?
Abraham had questions too, but Abraham knew who had the answers! God has the answers. Do you want your questions answered? God can give the answers to you because he has a plan for your life!
Let’s say that again! God has a plan for your life! God had a plan for the world and Abraham was right there in the world’s plan!
If Abraham had not obeyed God, if Abraham had not surrendered to God’s plan then the world as we know it would not be the same. It is through Abraham that the world became populated. “Unto thy seed will I give this land.”
Again, that was the plan for the population of the whole earth!
What seemed to be a ridiculous and possibly destructive and highly risky plan was in fact the beginning of the population of all mankind that exists today!
This is why we obey, because the one who we obey has the plan!
God holds the plans for your future, so do you think it wise to obey and follow his orders?
Don’t ignore God’s plan for your life, and then ask, how can I be successful? Without obedience we can’t!
When the Lord said unto Abraham get thee out, Abraham went!
“Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of the country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.” Genesis 12:1
Obedience is better than sacrifice because obedience follows
God’s plan, while anything less than obedience ignores it.
Out of the country, away from any other source of dependency, and totally surrendered to faith in God.
Acknowledge that God has a plan for you, acknowledge that His plan is greater than yours, and acknowledge that you need Him.
Choose no other.
Listen to no other.
Obey no other.
"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." Hebrews 11:8
This is a very interesting scripture because it leads us to presume that if we act in faith God will lead us to where he wants us to go! Is this foolishness? Foolishness is not obeying God! Abraham was told to do something and although he did not know the plan and all of the details, he obeyed God. We will not always know the plan, we will not always be told the details, and we will have to deal with the fears of not knowing if we are going to obey God.
Obedience is better than sacrifice, what will we sacrifice to obey?
Well at the onset we sacrifice personal security maybe, until we totally rest in the fact that God has our back. It is not foolish to trust God, it is not foolish to step out in faith even when you don’t know all things or have a comfortable seat to sit in. Just obey God and it will be settled!
“Faith is the substance of all things!”
What will be your choice, His success, or your plan?
“And I will make of thee a great nation, I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing!” Genesis 12:2
World Population through Abraham!
Who’s your Daddy?
"Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all." Romans 4:16
To the unbelieving, to the uncertain, and to the doubtful we present to you today this question, "who's your daddy?" If you say any other than Abraham I remind you of God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 and also this verse where Paul has called Abraham, "the father of us all." Why is this important? Because through Abraham we all are related and have common ground. Because of the faith that Abraham had in God and because of his obedience to God's call even at the wonderful age of 75 and despite not knowing where he should go or anything about God's plan, he obeyed God and was rewarded for his obedience. What was his reward? To be the father of us all! He was a great leader of people that started a revolution against paganism and all unbelievers and replaced this with three of the world's major religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
There is one God and Jesus is his name!
We all come from that same God and not any statue or other hand-made object. Give God his due and recognize who your Daddy is!
"And I will make of thee a great nation, I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing." Genesis 12:2 God is able to reward you for your faith and obedience to His call.
God rewards obedience! Through obedience the world is changed and we will see great success!
“But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” Jeremiah 7:23
If we obey God and his righteousness we shall have great success!
Abraham’s Obedience=Abraham’s reward
Founder of a new nation
Victory over Paganism
Father of the World’s three great religions
Realized the vision of God for his life
The Father of us all
Isaac’s Mission – Living Sacrifice!
“And Isaac spake unto Abraham his Father, and said, My Father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Genesis 22:7
Are you willing to make some sacrifices? What about the sacrifice of self? Do you want it bad enough? Is it worth your efforts? All these questions and more must be considered if we desire success in our life. Many times we have to pay the price! What is the price of success? Sacrifice! Sacrifice is to give up some things for the sake of others. Often, we have to give up ourselves for the sake of others.
Sacrifice for others!
"Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Many people have heard about what God has done for them. In John 3:16 it reads,
" For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whomsoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Many have heard this, but have not taken time to meditate on what this means. It means love. God's great love has been sent to us and it has been poured out for us. It is the greatest love that could ever be given and God has set this love as a banner over our life. How great is our God? That He would give to us His only begotten son and that His son would give His life to save his friends. Do you know that you are his friend? Jesus is your friend! He is this constant banner of love that flies above your life every day. This banner of love is a reminder to us that in that midnight hour of our fear, when we may not feel Him standing near, we can lift our eyes above, and see this banner of love! Jesus loves you!
Are you going through hard times today? Lift your head high, God loves you! Are you worried about the future? Lift your head high and remember Jesus loves you! He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38, 39 God's banner flies high everyday above our life, just look up and give Him praise!
Do you desire success in life? Deny yourself and get ready to set your hands to the plow!
Success in life won’t just jump from the sky and fall into your lap, it requires sacrifice!
Checklist for the Win!
Prioritize what matters the most
Count the Cost of what it will take
Deny yourself and become a Living Sacrifice
“Then Jesus said unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Mathew 16:24
What matters the most?
After serving almost six years in the Military I learned that the priority was always Mission first. With God his mission is to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10
What matters the most to God is souls and in keeping with counting the cost, he became the sacrificial lamb who gave his life for us on the cross. He was the man that gave! He is the leader that became the Living Sacrifice.
LOVE IS PRIORITY
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1Corinthians 1:9
When determining what matters the most we must consider what we are willing to give to make what matters most our number one priority.
It seems that we often sell ourselves short and it could be because our aspirations are based upon what we think we can achieve. The old adage, "The sky is the limit" is not true, so what is the limit? Philippians 3:14 inspires us to reach higher, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." What is that mark and its prize for reaching it? While the prize gives reference to Eternal Life with Christ Jesus in heaven, it also includes many of the greatest things in life, such as the best of the land, that perfect mate, the will of God, and the surprising accomplishments that only God knows about and has prepared for us! We are closing in on another Graduation Ceremony, another promotion opportunity, another great achievement for God and for others. It's now time to take another look, is it really all that God has intended for us? God intends for you and I to move on towards our hopes and dreams, and towards His mark.
God has a great plan for you and me! There is no limit, it is His mark, and He will reward us with His prize. Rethink it all, and re-establish your mark of success. Do not settle for less!
Do not sell yourself short, you are more than anything that you have imagined yourself to be, and your life will be more than what is seen now. You have set your love on Jesus and He has a great plan for you. Our vision and our understanding, is limited, but God has so much more prepared for us!
"For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee.
LOVE IS SACIFICE! A SACRIFICE OF SELF FOR OTHERS!
ISAAC GAVE HIMSELF FOR OTHERS!
LOVE IS PRIORITY! PURE RELIGION IS LOVE!
THERE IS NO SUCCESS WHERE THERE IS NO LOVE!
A highly effective person will give themselves for others! God saw that we needed this and he gave!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on him would receive eternal life.” John 3:16
Isaac didn’t know that he would become an example of giving; he just obeyed his father and surrendered his life to a purpose greater than himself. He became:
A LIVING SACRIFICE!
In doing a quick recap we discover that leadership and success up to this point depends on the following:
Staying the course
Making a choice for right
Not listening to the Nay-Sayers voice
Standing firm without doubt
Obeying what is right
Making the sacrifice
Periodically throughout this book we will review the characteristics required to achieve the greatest success in life.
Whatever it takes is a principle that is aggressive. It determines that we are willing to lay down the road to get there despite obstacles that seem to stand in the way.
If it takes your sacrifice are you willing? Are you willing to give your all to affect the lives of many?
Are you willing to pray, to serve, to deny yourself, to take the hard road, and to choose the right over what others will say?
He who loses his life shall find it
“He that finds his life shall lose it and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.” Mathew 10:39
This speaks of focus and the requirements of a single mind and a forward vision.
When we see the end, when our focus is on the vision that leads us to success, when we can see past our life in the “now” and unto the goals that we have set according to the vision that is before us, then we lose our life and accept our responsibility in life for a greater purpose.
We are not here merely to make a living.
We are here to enrich the world.
The world depends on highly successful people. Your purpose is in this! You can and will be a highly successful person!
Your season of success is here now!
Nehemiah’s Project – Building for, We!
Hard work for all intensive purposes never hurt anyone! What’s it all about is what hurts us, are we building for me or for we? Do we consider the way of the ant only to make it something big for ourselves? When we actually study the way of the ant as it is written in Proverbs 6:5-7, we learn that the ant is a team, it is “we” over me,
To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift. Franklin Roosevelt
And the ant is straightway focused on the goal and is ever moving towards its purpose.
Proverbs 6:5-7, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,”
Proverbs 30:24-26, “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer.”
It’s time to roll up the sleeves if it is determined that you will succeed. There are one million or more excuses, “but you don’t understand you say!” Maybe you are prevented from physical labor for some reason, if so then your work is spiritual, maybe it’s prayer? Still we can’t sit idle and expect things to happen.
James tells us that our faith is dead without works, “Faith if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 1:17
To reach a port we must sail, to reach a goal we must work!
But who and what are we working for? Our motives are everything so do we desire and have not because our goals are amiss?
Thought is the seed of action.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Why do we want to succeed? Do we desire accolades, fame, riches, or glory?
We can’t expect to build for ourselves and consume all of our gains upon only ourselves and be successful because it will be soon torn down. Nothing last that doesn’t have a righteous purpose. If we desire to be successful what will we do with our success? Think about many successful people and what they do with their gains. Can you name a few?
Nehemiah had a purpose, his heart was sad and hurting so severe because Jerusalem had no walls and the people had no home and no place to go. So he desired to achieve a goal and that goal was the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, now where in this did he desire to achieve fame, glory, riches, and self serving things?
Nehemiah teaches us how to be successful through:
Compassion is seeing and feeling the hearts and hurts of others, to see beyond ourselves sometimes requires real effort, but with the stirring of the heart we can see the plight of others. It is this concern and compassion that motivates leaders to stand up and take up the challenge of helping others. Nehemiah had this compassion.
“And they said unto me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 1:3, 4
Many people know that a passionate person can be successful, but how many know that a compassionate person will be successful?
Courage is looking at fear in the face and confronting it knowing that it will be defeated!
Contending with the opposition at a time of insecurity is having courage! To defy what fear is saying and believing what faith says instead. President Theodore Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself!” And every successful person will be confronted with fear, but how we deal with fear will determine our success.
Nehemiah had courage in the face of fear and when confronted by his two arch enemies, Sanballat and Tobiah.
“When Sanballat the Heronite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.” Nehemiah 2:10
There are always haters, people that hate someone doing good for others! Nehemiah withstood them to their face.
“Then answered I them, and said unto them, the God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusalem.” Nehemiah 2:20
A successful leader will contend with naysayers and will hope for well wishers in their place, no matter what they attempt to do. This takes courage.
"The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? Psalm 118:6
You know that you have heard from God, and now people aren't going to be happy, you have always treated them with the utmost respect and dignity, but now God is asking you to do what He wants, and it just don't fit their plans. Has this ever happened to you?
The first thing to remember is, God is on your side when you do as He says, and what is pleasing to Him. Remember God is first, and He will see you through! No need to fear what others may say or think to say, just obey. 1Samuel 15:22 tells us the importance of obeying God and not fearing man, "And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." We will never please everyone, some people just can't handle that, what's most important in our life is that we please God! If God tells you something, and somebody doesn't like it, just remember God desires your obedience above all else and He will deal with the dissatisfied! Fret not, God has your back!
Confidence is a knowing that it can be and that it is a sure thing. There is no doubt when we are confident. We know that we are right and that we have favor because this is a good and right way. A leader must be confident. Success depends on confidence.
Nehemiah shows his confidence by taking a stand and firmly proclaiming that they will prosper because this was a good and right thing and that they have the favor of God, Herein we find how motives matter, is it for me or for we, when our efforts are for others or for we as a team, then we will have confidence, but when our motives are wrong and are meant to serve only ourselves and our goals, then we will doubt in the face of adversity.
Success requires cooperation, no one person can be a success on their own, but our success requires that the “we” is a team that can equally see the purpose and vision, working together is effective when the results benefit everyone together and are not for selfish purposes only.
How can it benefit us all? This is when cooperation will come through.
Nehemiah knew that he could not do it alone, that he needed the cooperation of others. “Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth in waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.” Nehemiah 2:17
Nehemiah invokes cooperation by including all others and sharing with them the burden of the work, but also the success of the completed effort.
We are not alone, when we become a “me” entity we have failed in all areas of life.
More and more successful Christians are appearing, being motivated by compassion for the conditions that our lives are in.
Defenders of the faith such as,
Billy Graham-William Franklin "Billy" Graham, Jr. (born November 7, 1918) is an American evangelical Christian evangelist.
Requirements for Team Success
As of April 25, 2010, when he met with Barack Obama, Graham has spent personal time with twelve United States Presidents dating back to Harry S. Truman, and is number seven on Gallup's list of admired people for the 20th century
George W. Bush, As a candidate, Bush proposed $8 billion in tax incentives to encourage charitable giving and policies intended to rally "small armies of compassion" across the country. He is responsible for stressing the need for "compassionate conservatism."
Sarah Palin, while serving as Governor of Alaska, was nominated as the first female candidate of the Republican Party for Vice President of the United States.
Many entrepreneurs start companies to get rich. Some want to be famous. Others just can't work for anyone else. Bart Azzarelli, 57, launched his Florida pipeline- construction company because, he says, God told him to.
There are so many, in music, politics, business, churches, sports, and so much more. All because they believe in what they do!
Joshua’s Call – Passing the Baton
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Joshua 1:8
For the 18 in this month it is very appropriate to take a look at this number. A number of things come to mind when considering the number 18, such as Peyton Manning the Professional Quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, Nascar racing driver Kyle Bush, and maybe even for some the 18th week of pregnancy comes to mind, where it is the best time to get an ultrasound picture, since now the baby is making waves! What does all of that have to do with this verse, well it's about what we think when we hear this number. For me 18=meditate, 18 as in Joshua 1:8. To meditate is to dwell on, to take serious contemplation or thought, or to have continuous attention to something or the study of. What comes to mind when we think? Is it God's word that comes to our mind first thing? Joshua gives to us the proven way to success.
Meditate on all that is written in God's word and we are guaranteed success in life.
Everyone say 1:8 equals meditate! God's word never comes back empty, when we meditate on it in our life it will do a work that we will all be amazed at! God's word creates amazing things! "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." Hebrews 11:3
"And it shall come to pass, as soon as the souls of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap." Joshua 3:13
If thought is the seed of action we need to have our thoughts right so that we don’t act wrong.
Have you ever heard the saying, "Get your feet wet?" To get your feet wet usually means to step out of your comfort zone and overcome the fear of something new by walking in faith, it usually means the act of gaining your first experience at something. Well, the Israelites are really going to step out in faith here, trust God, and it would seem that they might get their feet wet literally! Ah! But then there is God! We can't forget about him! The Israelites are going to step out alright, it seems that they might step out into a huge body of water, and it seems as though they might get a lot more than their feet wet, in fact if they were a group of non-believers it would appear that they could drown! Not so, says God! True this may be their first experience, however God is in control, and he is planning to show His power and work a great miracle. God wants to perform a miracle! As it is written, "And the Lord said unto Joshua, this day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee." Joshua 3:7
Are you trying to lead for the first time? Don't be afraid, what appears to be a struggle and even a potential threat is an opportunity for good! God wants to perform a miracle in your life! He wants to bring you through it all on dry ground and for you to lead your people to success!
Here the Baton was passed from Moses unto Joshua and he was to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.
So let’s get this right. What we need to do so far is, get our thinking straight and meditate on what is right and next we need to get our feet wet by stepping out in faith, not standing around waiting for others to tell us what to do, instead we are to take the bull by the horns without fear and lead!
Grab the Baton
Unlike some others, Joshua took the responsibility and ran with it, when he stepped out without doubt, his people saw his confidence and followed. What do you think might have happened if Joshua began to doubt this position and began to say things like, I’m not sure about this, but let’s give it a try? His people would say the same thing! I don’t know about this, but let’s give it a try, and when it doesn’t seem to be working, we’ll try a different way.
• Meditate on what is right (what’s the plan?)
• Get our feet wet by stepping out (take charge)
• Grab the Baton (Do not wade out in fear)
• Run with your plan (Run with faith and confidence)
• Take what is yours! (I got this!)
What I’m saying is, you need to be sure and confident so that those behind you will be confident in what they are to do.
Shaken leaves are easily blown off of the tree at the first good gust of wind. Leaves that change colors are ready to fall.
People today are looking for confidence and a steady hand. If those that are leading have a weak hand they know that soon everything will drop.
Grab the Baton
Hold it tight
Stand confident at the start line
Run to win
Finish strong and stand firm at the finish line
Believe in what you are doing. Attach yourself to it and take ownership. People are watching and depending on your actions. Success is strapped to your back and taking a ride.
Confidence, doubt, and success are all taking a trip to corporate headquarters today. It seems that recently the Human Resources department posted a vacancy announcement for management! They have called many to include you! Your appointment is set and you’ll be carpooling with friends.
Here they are now, it was just supposed to be the two of you, you and success, but now confidence and doubt are knocking at your door and are asking to ride with you too.
Well, what a time for decisions, Confidence wants to ride and is saying, “c’mon let’s go, we got this!” Doubt replies saying, “I hope that we do!” And Success just looks at confidence and says, “hey doubt, between you and me, I’m riding with confidence!” Who will you ride with?
Make no mistake about your life; success knows that he will ride with confidence! Where will you ride? Go get it!
There are many greats that have gone before us having success attached to their lives, they failed several times, but because they dug deep within and opened the door for confidence to ride with them, not allowing surrender to doubt, they persevered!
In spite of difficulty and in spite of failure we keep going because we know that we know that we know it is so!
Here are a few that chose confidence over doubt knowing that without confidence they couldn’t keep trying even after failures.
Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was "too stupid to learn anything." Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.
Orville and Wilbur Wright: These brothers’ battled depression and family illness before starting the bicycle shop that would lead them to experimenting with flight. After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there
CHOOSING CONFIDENCE OVER DOUBT!
Winston Churchill: This Nobel Prize-winning, twice- elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn't always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.
Abraham Lincoln: While today he is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of our nation, Lincoln's life wasn't so easy. In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you're not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn't stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed businesses and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office.
Oprah Winfrey: Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was "unfit for TV."
Harry S. Truman: This WWI vet, Senator, Vice President and eventual President eventually found success in his life, but not without a few missteps along the way. Truman started a store that sold silk shirts and other clothing–seemingly a success at first–only go bankrupt a few years later.
Dick Cheney: This recent Vice President and businessman made his way to the White House but managed to flunk out of Yale University, not once, but twice. Former President George W. Bush joked with Cheney about this fact, stating, "So now we know –if you graduate from Yale, you become president. If you drop out, you get to be vice president."
SUCCESS IS WITH YOU!
• YOU CARRY THE BATON
• YOU ARE GOING PLACES
• YOUR THOUGHTS ARE TRUE
• YOUR STEPPING OUT
• RUNNING TO WIN
• YOUR TAKING CHARGE
• VICTORY IS YOURS
“So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” Joshua 6:20
Success is ours! Go take the city! Ride with confidence!
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain," 1Corinthians 9:24
There is a challenge that is now before us. What will we do? Will we enter the race and follow the crowd of pew sitters or will we enter the race and lead the crowd to Jesus, thereby winning the race? There's a difference between signing up and crossing the finish line and that difference is all a matter of your desire to win! You might say, "What's he talking about race? What race?"
Did you know that Jesus set before you a race, that when you were saved; he encourages you to run with patience? It's true! Hebrews 12:1 tells us "Lay aside every weight, and the sin which easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Now that you know, take courage, and don't run to lose. RUN TO WIN! Let go of all those sins that hold you back!
"If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." Thomas Edison
David Discovered – Giant Problems
Most people have heard the biblical story in the Bible about David and Goliath. One day the Philistines had the army of Israel surrounded, scared, and almost defeated. For many days Goliath came out and taunted the Israelites with a challenge for anyone to come out and fight him. Finally one day David a shepherd boy came to the Israelite Army and was bringing food for his brothers and at that moment Goliath appeared again and began his daily ritual of taunting everyone creating fear. After hearing this David was filled with righteous anger and David knowing that his God of truth had a power so much greater than this simple Philistine that was harassing everyone. David knew that God was greater and was able to give him the victory. So David decided to call Goliath out, of course Goliath laughed and mocked David, but David being unshaken by this stood up in the face of this problem and determined to fix this Giant Problem he grabbed five stones and went to battle. Goliath fell by the power of one, one stone, one man, one shepherd boy!
So what do we learn from David? We learn that giants can fall! Giant problems can disappear! Do you think that your problems are too large? Listen to the following:
So we think that we have it bad?
"And whosoever shall exalt shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." Mathew 23:12
In Egypt there is a city literally called "Garbage City". In this city many Christians hide from Muslim persecution by surviving amongst the collected garbage. They work in the stench as the trash is piled into mounds. The odor is horrible, yet the Christians there squeeze out their living by sorting and picking through the trash. Just when you thought you had it bad, you here a story like this! These people reveal a lot more than just hiding from persecution.
They show us how to be humble and how to wait on God, trusting Him for their needs and despite the persecution their numbers are growing.
God is exalting them by bringing attention to their plight! God is able to keep you in His care!
God will hide you in His secret place of the Most High and when you wait on Him He shall renew your strength. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the
Most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God in him will I trust.” Psalm 91:1, 2
David was a man after God’s own heart, he was a great biblical leader that started as a mere Shepherd boy and became King. How did he do it? What are his secrets to success?
King David discovered that he was the one, the one that God put strength, wisdom, and courage in to confront Israel’s problem.
There will be problems, but who will solve them?
Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s no skin off my back?” Well originally it went like this:
The original form of this phrase was no skin off my nose, dating back to the early 20th century, but other body parts have been used as well (e.g. elbow, knee, and ear.) It essentially means 'it’s no concern to me, not my business, doesn't hurt me at all.' There is not much information about why back became more popular than other parts, though one theory holds that it relates to being whipped, a well-known (if not commonly practiced) form of punishment in English- speaking countries. The link would be that, when one is in a situation that this phrase could describe, it is not causing you any harm and there is no fear of any punishment to oneself.
My take on this will take us back to the time of Jesus; it’s no skin off our back because Jesus paid the price for our sins by taking these stripes for us.
Remember that leadership requires compassion and to be successful in life you must have this, Jesus was compassionate. His skin was taken for us! What is the lesson in this, you ask? Jesus is our example of leadership, he calls us to take a stand against our giants even if it cost us the skin on our backs!
David was compassionate also, he saw the fear that Israel was held captive to.
David stood up against Goliath the giant Philistine that harassed Israel and kept them in a constant state of fear. Fear cripples us and so we must take a stand against the giants in our life without fear. Don’t worry about self preservation, the loss of your skin, or the giants that you must confront in order to succeed, you’re not the first one my friend! This is not new!
So you have giant problems? What will you do? What would Jesus do? What would David do?
What are you going to do about the Giants?
"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him..." Mathew 14:30,31a
Have you ever stepped out in faith only to discover a frightening sight? Oh, it happens!
There is never any guarantee that we won't see some scary things as we walk this walk of faith, but will we step out in faith despite what we see? Faith is not full of visual comforts and it is usually empty of any proof that we can see with our eyes, but faith is the evidence of things not yet seen, had Peter saw by faith that he was already at the place that Jesus called him to, maybe he would have walked right through the winds ignoring them and maybe he would have stood tall in faith on the water without sinking! Is this Hard to do? Should we close our eyes? Hmm! We walk by faith and not by sight!!! Jesus will save you! It’s the same with the giants in your life; they are already defeated when your focus makes them smaller than they seem to appear.
Sometimes you need to see your giants in a much smaller way because then your view changes you!
Your source of faith becomes more powerful than your giants, in 3D you and your faith is more than paper thin! It is HUGE! You can overcome your fear!
Your giants are smaller than ants in the light of the truth!
David saw Goliath and heard all of the ooh’s and awe’s that the crowds were quietly breathing, but David said this is no skin off of my back because my source of power is so much greater than any Goliath. What we see as giants are mere lies that wear much smaller shoes when they stand in front of God’s truth, in fact they are severely shaking in the presence of truth. Overcome fear through faith.
How to Deal With Giant Problems!
Confront Giants Head On
Be Confident in Victory
Look Again With Eyes of Faith
Be Convinced of Truth
Ignore the Crowds
So what are your Giant Problems? What’s the truth about them? Have they ever been defeated before? Are these really giants?
A giant is any imaginary being of super human size!
Bring your giants down to their true size!
Cornelius the Centurion - In Memory Of
The act of giving precedes any future success. Giving, giving, giving the last thought, but the first requirement.
Listen to a story about giving that Jesus tells us:
Let us take a look at the greatest teacher of all, what did he do? Did Jesus need anyone to give him a road or an open door before he began to give? No he didn’t, nor do we. There are opportunities all around us to give. The world is in need of more givers and less takers. Here is one of the first things that God gave:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him will receive eternal life.” John 3:16
Now most people are familiar with this, but how many can see the formula for success here? How many people are almost dying to have the secret to success? How many books are written about this?
What if it was here with us since the beginning of time? What would we give to find it?
Well, that secret is not a new formula, the formula for success is simple and has been with us all along, are you really ready to learn this secret?
Before we can be successful we must learn this secret and apply this time tested formula to our life. Here is the secret:
Now what do I mean by something given? Well, many will say, “Oh he’s just trying to get us to give money or to buy something.” No, if your thinking is not able to see beyond money then success is further from you than ever before. Let’s look at success in a different light for a moment.
God gave us the secret to success
There must be something given before we can receive!
Let’s consider a story of a highly successful man that gave for years faithfully, but it wasn’t just money that he gave.
“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,”
Ok, before you ask, do I have to be Italian, I will tell you that God is not a respecter of persons and that this is for everyone.
“A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people and prayed to God always.
He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day and angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” Acts 10:1-4
Success was coming to Cornelius this day, but why? See, I don’t see anywhere in this story that success, money, fame, houses, cars, and other luxuries were growing on a tree and by happenstance Cornelius passed by and wham there they were all ready to be titled into his name for his personal possession! It doesn’t work like that! Cornelius was devout, devoted, and faithful for years giving, giving, and giving. He gave alms to the people, what are alms you say? Alms are money, food, clothing, and provisions. He gave, remember the formula?
There must be something given before we can receive.
Cornelius was a giver, he gave alms, but there was more than this that got noticed, the giving of his time and effort in prayer was also included in this.
Prayer is giving, it is similar to the offering that Abel gave, Abel was known for giving a better offering than the one that his brother Cain gave. Believe it or not sincere and fervent prayer is the best offering that we can give. It is the connecting with God that counts more than anything, especially when time is of essence as they say. Our time, when given to God produces success because we are relying on him.
Cornelius was noticed for giving his time to God. Before we can receive, we must give, and the better the offering, the greater the reward. It’s a little thing for someone to give of their abundance, but a huge thing for someone to give from the most precious thing to them. God gave his most precious thing by giving his only begotten son. Cornelius a Centurion leader had many things to occupy his time, yet he always gave to God what was most valuable to him.
Prayer is the key to success!
Thomas and Charles Welch
The story of Welch's began in 1869 in Vineland, New Jersey – when physician and dentist Thomas Bramwell Welch who wanted to be a missionary, but things weren’t working out so he began to pray to God for his direction and soon he and his son Charles processed the first bottles of "unfermented wine" to use during their church's communion service.
Today Welch's is the world's leading marketer of Concord and Niagara-based grape products – with over 400 items ranging from refrigerated juices and sparkling juice cocktails to jams, jellies and a variety of single-serve products in all shapes and sizes. Our headquarters is in Concord, Massachusetts – birthplace of the Concord grape.
Our products are sold throughout the U.S. and in more than 35 countries and territories around the world.
James Lewis (J.L.) Kraft (December 11, 1874–February 16, 1953) was a Canadian-American entrepreneur and inventor. Born near Stevensville, Ontario in Canada to Mennonite parents, George and Minerva Tripp Kraft, he was the first to patent processed cheese. Kraft was educated in the Stevensville area and worked nearby at Ferguson's general store in Fort Erie, Ontario.
After immigrating to Buffalo and then Chicago in 1903, he began selling cheese from a horse-drawn wagon. Four of his brothers joined the company in 1909. By 1914 J.L. Kraft & Bros. Company, which would later become Kraft Foods Inc opened its first cheese manufacturing plant in Stockton, Illinois. Kraft developed a revolutionary process, patented in 1916, for pasteurizing cheese so that it would resist spoiling and could be shipped long distances. The company grew quickly, expanding into Canada in 1919. Kraft saw a large increase in business during World War I when the United States government provided cheese in tins to their armed forces.
J. L. Kraft served as the company's president from 1909 to 1953. Over the years, Kraft introduced many innovative products and used progressive marketing techniques to make his company one of North America's leading food producers. During that time the company introduced Velveeta in 1928 and Miracle Whip in 1933 at the Century of Progress world's fair. Kraft was an amateur jewelry maker; he also supported the Baptist Church and was a strong proponent of religious education for young people.
These are a few Cornelius types of devout givers in prayer and there are so many more that are modern day success stories. Well, often people say, “seeing is believing” like Thomas who doubted, to this I say go to your local super market and you will find them. It was prayer that led the way.
What are we willing to give? Are we willing to give ourselves over to daily prayer and giving to the hurting? The Dead Sea is located on the east side of Israel, called the Dead Sea because no life can live in it. It is saturated with salt. Also known as the Salt Sea it takes in water from many bodies of water that flows into it, but it gives no life in return, and therefore is dead.
Give and you will receive, if you want success start with giving. Giving is the tree of life that many will lodge in. Even when it is small it will grow into a huge tree!
No need to make announcements, soon success will announce it loud and clear!
Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." Acts 12:5
Giving is the private act of worship and the secret act of success that no one has to know about until they ask how you did it. Then you can tell them through prayer to my helper! God in heaven, with whom all glory and honor resides!!
The last thing that our enemy wants us to do as Christians is to pray! Prayer is the weapon of mass destruction that the devil hates! C. S. Lewis put it well in his book The Screwtape letters. Screwtape was the evil uncle of the character called Wormwood and he is teaching Wormwood about the awful effects of prayer when a Christian prays, Screwtape says, "The best thing, where it is possible is to keep the patient from the serious intention of praying altogether." then Screwtape tells Wormwood, "Whenever they are attending to the enemy himself we are defeated." That is the biggest concern that our enemy has. So he will do everything possible to distract us from prayer. If you are reading this right now then STOP! Stop and pray right now, don't worry you can finish this later! Ok, good, your back! It is so important to your life that you pray. Do not allow distractions to keep you from prayer because right around the bend lies your blessing, but the devil knows this too so there is a fight to resist allowing you to pray.
We are to pray without ceasing! Why? Because like Peter there are so many that are imprisoned to sin in their life.
"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." Acts 6:4 As God's warriors it is upon us to drop a few bombs each day on our enemies head! Pray without ceasing. Give the devil all that you can and defeat (take his feat) him today!
Prayer is so much more than a stone it is a boulder! Essential for success!
“And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” Acts 10:5, 6
The following instructions are written in response to your continual prayer Cornelius, now I am going to bless you, I have noticed you and now is your time of reward.
Are you looking for your breakthrough? Remember this doesn’t grow on a tree, instead it is the seed planted while on your knees!
Give food, shelter, and clothing, and money to help others.
Give your time to prayer.
Be devoted to righteousness
Don’t Run Away – Jonah’s Rebellion
Honesty check! Are you a flight risk when a challenge comes your way? Do you look for an easier way out? You’re not the first person. I remember the confidence course at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The Military has always had its wonderful way of presenting challenge to the soldiers! In truth, there were many times that I personally was a flight risk in the face of challenge. The Gulf War being one of these times, Thank God for second chances.
Many times in our life we will deal with our fears, in times such as war, public speaking, leading our staff at work, or crisis at home.
Many times in our life we might not want to do what is right!
“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:15
September 11, 2001 was a perfect example of times of crisis that provoked many to extraordinary composure and life saving responses. The challenge for some may have been what should I do? Or I can’t do this? This was certainly a time of need for leadership. And many rose to the call!
Running is not the answer!
We can’t run from our life or our responsibility to others. Jonah was a flight risk. He was called to task so to speak and he ran. He ran to Tar shish because evidently he had some friends there and could avoid what he was supposed to do. Of course his friends helped and so he went with them. That all went pretty smooth and it seemed as though everything was going to be ok for him, even though he was taking the easy way out.
As the story goes though he quickly found out that he couldn’t hide from what he was supposed to do as a leader.
Jonah was a prophet of Israel. He was a leader with responsibilities. One day he was asked to do something that he wasn’t willing to do. He was asked to stand on the streets of one of the greatest cities in history. Nineveh was a huge city with a large population and they were doing wrong!
Someone had to tell them and unfortunately for Jonah this was his area of responsibility.
Have you ever had to confront someone with a very unpopular message? Paul did when he had to confront Peter.
"For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. Galatians 2:12
As Christians we have enjoyed the popularity of calling ourselves Christians, in fact, the majority of the world's population calls themselves Christian when asked about their faith.
This is largely due to the progress that our brothers and sisters in Christ made before us through Christ Jesus. One way that progress has been made is in the advancing of the Gospel. Progress depends heavily on the continual advancement or movement of the faith. We are experiencing some hindrance to this though and as we read here in Galatians 2, this is not a new thing. There are some that easily retreat at the presence of others, I don't mean retreat, as in spiritual retreat, where one would take time out to meditate and reflect, but retreat, as in drawing back from the faith. This drawback expresses a lack in confidence and it hinders growth. Anytime there would be some discomfort, disagreement, or danger to expressing a love for Jesus, some people draw back and retreat. Paul said in Galatians 2:11, "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." Why? Because he drew back, his drawback string had been tightened, and he became fearful and stopped preaching the truth. Do you have certain things (drawback strings) that cause you to stop sharing in the midst of a secular crowd? These drawback strings hinder the advancement of Christianity in a world that needs Jesus!
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind." 2Timothy 1:7
Stir up the gift of God in you! Do not be afraid, do not shrink back, and remember you are making a difference in a world that needs change. They need you to stand firm in confidence and tell them about Jesus!
Tell Them The Message!
They may seem Huge to you but the stage is yours!
You got this!
So Jonah ran. If you’re thinking that running is you’re best option let’s look at this story.
Jonah a leader of people, a prophet of God, and a proven rebellious servant to God decided that he would not go.
Sometimes it may not be fear that causes us to run away. Maybe, as it was in this case for Jonah, he just didn’t want to do what he should do. He didn’t agree with it and therefore refused to go! Has there ever been a time when you were asked to do something that you should have done, but refused because you didn’t agree with it?
Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because he didn’t really want them to get a second chance. He just wanted them to be punished! It didn’t seem right to him that Nineveh should be able to do all this wickedness and he would tell them their wrong and they could possibly repent and not be destroyed.
Many times as a leader, to be successful, you will have to do things that may not seem right to you. Maybe it’s a company policy that you don’t agree with, maybe it’s a time and location that you don’t like,
Or maybe you are required to give a message that isn’t one that you agree with.
If you are rebellious as a leader and refuse to do right how many will follow your example?
A Leader Sets the Example
A successful leader leads the way!
Who will follow you if you run?
Who will follow you if you rebel against what is right?
"And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Mathew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, FOLLOW ME. And he arose, and followed him."Mathew 9:9
Jesus wants us to follow him, it's not that he desires to have the approval of the multitudes so that he can say look at me!, he doesn't need our approval for what he does. Jesus wants us to follow him because we need direction in our life. His direction is for our benefit, it leads us to our own land, a good pasture and a place of rest from all the troubles in our life. Jesus has concern for our welfare saying, "I will feed my flock and I will cause them to lie down." He doesn't want us to wander aimlessly through life allowing ourselves to be placed in harm’s way, making us meat to all the beast of the field. Instead he calls us to follow him so that we will have direction, protection, and a hedge of love to surround us that keeps us safe from all harm. FOLLOW JESUS TODAY!
A good leader wants their people to follow the right way!
A successful leader takes care of their people and leads by example with loyalty to righteousness.
Keys for a Successful Leader
"No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave."
— Calvin Coolidge 30th president of the United States
"You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction." — George Horace Lorimer
"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success."— Dale Carnegie
"Well begun is half done." — Aristotle
Harden not your heart, stand up to the challenge and don’t run away!
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." — Calvin Coolidge
30th president of the United States
"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand." — Vince Lombardi
"Desire is the key to motivation, but its determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek." — Mario Andretti
"Even the woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head and keeps pecking away until he finishes the job he starts."— Coleman Cox
21 Days in Waiting – Daniel’s Success
So what did Daniel do in the 21 days of waiting? As the story goes in Daniel chapter 10, Daniel prayed for God to reveal an interpretation of a vision that he had. For three weeks he mourned, fasted, and prayed until he was visited by the angel Gabriel. Gabriel came to bring understanding to Daniel.
“Then said he unto me, fear not Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.” Daniel 10:12
Ok, good enough, Daniel is finally going to get his prayers answered and receive understanding after sweating it out for three weeks. End of story right? Well, hold on, not so fast. Why was Daniel successful? What did Daniel do that we can learn from in our prayers? Where did Daniel learn this? The fact is Daniel’s heart’s desire was about to be fulfilled in that he was going to receive what he was asking for. Shouldn’t we ask a few questions about this?
I understand the reason why it took three weeks to get the answer, Gabriel explains the reason in verse 13,
“But the Prince of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.” Daniel 10:13
The prince of Persia is Satan! Satan will always resist our success in life.
How did Daniel know that he needed to mourn and fast and pray until he got his answer? What we can learn here is, what we do while we are waiting can be very important to our success. Are you waiting for an answer from God? Are you in waiting for a promise or a desired result? What are you doing while you wait?
What did Daniel do while waiting? I believe that along with mourning, fasting, and prayer Daniel looked to the examples that were set before him. How did he know to pray, fast, and mourn? Others before him had great success when they did. Think of the pains that he was in while he was waiting!
I believe in his prayers he reminded God of his goodness and grace towards those before him.
I believe that he did as they did and found the favor and victory through this process. Instead of grumbling and complaining that he needed an answer now, and because he didn’t receive the answer when he thought he should, he didn’t give up, instead he continued to be afflicted and to pray!
Many have heard it said, “They became an overnight success” Is there really such a thing? Maybe overnight success after hard work, prayer, and due diligence! You may have also heard it said, “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” Of course I am not encouraging anyone to do as the Romans did, we all know that they were very wicked in their deeds, but the righteous meaning is simple, if you desire success, do as successful people do. Daniel was highly successful because he did as successful people did.
“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.” Daniel 10:1
So this might take some time? What will we do in the waiting?
“Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.” Daniel 10:14
What we do with our time matters!
The time appointed was long! Daniel 10:1b
The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business-- or almost anywhere else for that matter. Lee Iacocca
How will we deal with hindrance? When our plans are held back, discouraged, impeded, and afflicted with obstacles in our way what will we do?
Recently I spoke with a person that wrote poetry, it was really good stuff, but they explained to me that they were discouraged because too many things were standing in the way of success. I asked what things?
They cited time, finances, scoffers, and fear of copyright infringements. These things matter, but how much do they matter? Enough to make us quit? Are there ways around these obstacles, have we prayed?
God wants to give us our heart’s desire!
“The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be.”
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
I received an email recently from Africa that questioned why God doesn't answer prayer when you have a need and have asked him several times. While reading this email I could feel the hurt that came from their heart. God never desires that our heart hurts because we feel our needs aren't being met. The book of Proverbs tells us, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." Proverbs 13:12 If we feel that our needs haven't been met, does that make God a liar? No Way! God is not a man that he should lie. So why then do we seem to have needs that aren't met? First we need to look at our expectations, God's will, and if we are asking amiss. Are our expectations in line with God's will? Are we asking correctly or do we ask amiss as it is suggested in the Book of James 4:3?
Sometimes we ask God for things, but are in need of patience. Sometimes we ask God for a need to be met without having the strength in faith to believe that he is able to do what he has promised. And sometimes we ask God for things that we feel is a need, but really may not be.
It may not come to us in our timing, but it will always come to us in God's perfect time. God always answers prayer. His answers are "Yes, No, and Wait." He will always supply our need though, if we don't have it yet, it's on the way, or we don't really need it like we think.
Our timing for success may not be the right time, but never give up!
"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." Psalm 27:14
There is a cloud of witnesses watching us wait. It is a powerful example to those that are waiting to see Jesus, before they will make their decision. Waiting with patience has many rewards, not just receiving what we are waiting for, but an even greater reward is when those that are watching us wait, watching us struggle, and are waiting from the sidelines to see what will happen, comes to Jesus because they have seen him work through us and through our patience in waiting. Isaiah 25:9 reads, "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." You have been waiting for Jesus to come through for a long time, but you are not the only one that is waiting for Jesus' promise in your life. Those that are silently waiting and watching you wait will see the salvation of the Lord as he performs his miracles in your life.
This could be exactly what they need before they will ask Jesus into their heart!
Jesus will never disappoint, he is at work to bring it to pass just as he has said and all around shall see his glory in your life!
A Doctor’s Advice – Luke the Physician
“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
Is it time to see the doctor? Have you been waiting for what seems to be an eternity? It’s time to get a doctor’s advice! Luke the Physician has a few words to say about success. Luke is known as “the beloved physician”
Luke pays special attention to prayer, he is also known as an Evangelist, and his heart was to heal the hurting.
To be successful in life we have to care for others. We need to pray and work to comfort and heal any area in the world that needs special attention. This is what a physician does. While many Christians have a variety of gifts and abilities this particular gift of compassion carries with it the greatest success. As we are healing the hearts of the sick and hurting, our life is renewed.
Luke’s key to success is in his heart. Our success depends on our heart condition also. In Luke chapter 10 we get a good look into a story that Luke finds important because he cares for people, as a good Physician is noted for. Let’s look as Luke tells the story that Jesus told, Luke 10:30-35:
“And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest by the way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And Likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”
We see here that this is an important story and very relevant in our times, because this is happening now. All around the world there are people falling amongst thieves, spiritually the thief is Satan, but also physically and literally we hear and see these events in our time. Compassion for mankind is at the core of this story. As a successful leader we must have compassion for others. That’s what a Physician does and this is not restricted to them only.
“The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated.” ---Plato
We are all skilled physicians, each of us having our individual gifts of healing. Each one is activated by compassion.
Luke is known for many things, but compassion must be considered as his greatest gift.
So now you are waiting and perhaps your heart is heavy and even sick.
Healing others is our success
Healing yourself is connected to healing with others. – Yoko Ono
Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity. – Hippocrates
Our heart gets sick when we wait too long focusing on us!
While we wait, seek to heal others who are hurting.
The list below is just a few of American Physicians that have been highly successful because they went beyond the average physician:
Charles Horace Mayo
One of the most famous doctors in America, Charles Mayo (July 19, 1865 - May 26, 1939) was one of the founder members of Mayo Clinic that is an internationally renowned non-profit medical organization headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota. Charles Mayo, along with his six partners, established the world's first integrated (Mayo Properties Association) group practice. It is said that in his lifetime, Charles Mayo registered one million patients.
William James Mayo
William James Mayo (June 29, 1861 - July 28, 1939), elder brother of Charles Horace Mayo, was one of the founding members of Mayo Clinic. He joined his father's private medical practice after graduating from a medical school in 1880s. In 1919, this private practice came to be known as non-profit Mayo Clinic. William recounts an incident when his father had to perform an autopsy on a stormy night.
He was 16 years old and his father had taken him along. He stood there watching the procedure.
His father finished and had to rush to see another patient. He asked William to clean up and sew the incisions, tucking the sheet around the corpse. Instead of running away, William stood there and did what his father had asked him to do.
William Osler Abott
William Osler (July 26, 1902 - September 10, 1943) was a well known physician of his time. His most known contribution was the development of Miller-Abbott tube that had two lumens – one ended in a small collapsible balloon whereas the other, was a metallic tip with numerous openings. He is often considered as the 'father of modern medicine.'
Benjamin Spock (May 2, 1903 – March 15, 1998) was an American pediatrician, often referred to as the 'world's most famous baby doctor.' He authored a book called Baby and Child Care in 1946, which is one of the bestsellers of all time.
His line for all mothers was, "You know more than you think you do." He was also the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis in order to understand the needs of children.
A good sportsperson, Dr Benjamin Spock was also an Olympic gold-medalist in rowing.
Jonas Salk (October 28, 1914 – June 23, 1995) a medical researcher and virologist, is known for his work on the development of the first safe and efficient polio vaccine. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants but they left no stone unturned to make sure that he got the best of education.
Elliot P. Joslin
The first doctor in the United States to specialize in diabetes, Elliot Joslin (June 6, 1869 – January 28, 1962) was the founder of Joslin Diabetes Center, the world's largest diabetes research center. He stood for teaching patients to take care of their diabetes, the approach now known as Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME).
These were a few of the famous American doctors who not only made a difference in the United States, but throughout the whole world. Their significant contributions will always be remembered. This is success that made a huge impact in our world!
What if these physicians were like the Priest or the Levite in our story? When we choose to pass by we are passing up an opportunity to make a difference in the life of others.
Do you know that the same Good Samaritan that showed compassion was also on a journey and as he journeyed he came to this man. Luke 10:33 Suppose he said to the man, I’d really like to help you, but I have an appointment and it is critical that I am there on time. I’ll tell you what, I will pray for you and when I get into the city I will send some help.
When we take the extra time to go a little further with the right things, then we will be known as a difference maker and success will come to us.
Only a life lived for others, is a life worthwhile.
A successful person will always seek to make things better, whether an invention, cure, or just a kind word. These are all tools in the box of success.
What impact will your life have on the world, at home, or in your neighbor’s life?
How many smiles will you create? What will you do while you wait? Will you help the hurting to the healing gate?
As Abraham was the Father of nations, Luke was the Evangelist of nations. Physician and healer full of mercy, compassion and hope.
(Your name) M.D. of Compassion
Before we move on to the final chapter, the chapter that will bring all of these into one, let’s review the 21 characteristics and their examples that will build a foundation for success in our lives.
1. Make your choice – Noah 2. Stay the course –Noah 3. No other voice –Noah 4. Set your face like flint – Noah 5. Give and take second chances – Noah 6. Be obedient – Abraham 7. See the vision – Abraham 8. Sacrifice for others – Isaac 9. Make your priority love – Isaac 10. Count the cost – Isaac 11. Build for we not me – Nehemiah 12. Compassion, courage, confidence, cooperation – Joshua 13. Make his thoughts our thoughts – Joshua 14. Don’t run away, take charge – Joshua, Jonah
15. Run to win and persevere –Joshua 16. Confront your giants – David 17. Be filled with truth – David 18. Give to receive – Cornelius 19. Be devoted to right – Cornelius 20. Pray for open doors – Cornelius 21. Have compassion for others –Luke
These are just a few examples that we can build on. It’s time to lay the foundation, but we must first lay the Chief Cornerstone. Without this stone all other stones won’t stand, they will collapse without having this one stone. This stone is the greatest and most important of all.
He is called the Chief Cornerstone because to build your life as a success, he must be the first stone that we lay down and build upon.
Now we have talked about many success stories, but none of these would we read about without having the one who created all things involved in their life.
He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the beginning and the end. All things were created by him and for his purpose. He is the Absolute most successful success story of all time.
He has much more than 21 stones to build a foundation, he is the foundation! All that we need for success is in him and through him.
He leads from the front, middle, and the rear of all formations and events in our life. We cannot run from his presence he is in all places that we could go.
Who is this I am talking about; you may have guessed already, his name is Jesus! He who was and is and always will be! Blessed redeemer and Holy One! He is a firm foundation for our life and a million or more books have been written about his life and his wisdom! Is that the ultimate success? No, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the greatness of his accomplishments, the lives throughout history that he has changed.
The lives that have been saved, healed, changed, blessed, and built as success stories themselves.
Daniel had examples to follow, but in our day we have an even greater example in Jesus and he has left us with a helper in the Holy Spirit!
The testimonies are endless!
What will your testimony be?
Jesus -The Chief Cornerstone
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the Chief Cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto a Holy Temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:18-22
"And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in very little, have thou authority over ten cities." Luke 19:17
Wow! Maybe it’s time to celebrate a promotion? Well, the question is what have you done with what God has given you? Nobody can argue that God hasn't given to them anything! No matter how much or how little a person has, it has come from God, and a responsibility came with it. So, the question remains, what have you done with what God has given you? If you have been faithful and applied all that you have to a good use, and it has blessed God and others, then you are in line for a promotion. God doesn’t start by promoting us to high levels without first observing our heart and testing us to see if we will use it for good. We might be asking for better things, but what have we done with what we already have been given? Be faithful in the little things and he will give to you greater blessings!
Remember success for Cornelius came from giving, he was faithful in the little things and suddenly he was commissioned unto greater things.
You will see this theme played out throughout the entire Bible and throughout the history of mankind.
From those that started their small business or church in their parent’s back yard and saw it become an international phenomenon, unto those that created a huge world-wide corporation from a little radio shop. These were faithful in the little things and were made responsible for greater things. Names like Nokia who started in wood pulp and moved to rubber boots until 1968. Sony started a small radio repair shop in 1958. IBM started with coffee grinders and time clocks. Others started ministry in their garage or home cell group like Rod Parsley who began leading a Bible study in his parent’s back yard and now is the Senior Pastor of World Harvest Church. Others like Pacific Garden Missions, D.L. Moody, and Warner Brothers, Harry, Sam, Albert, and Jack. The list is huge, but the point is clear. Do not despise small beginnings.
“For who hath despised the day of small things?” Zechariah 4:10a
Too many of the greats started as little and became great by being faithful!
The importance of building a firm foundation!
"According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let man take heed how he builds thereon. For another foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1Corinthians 3:10
Along with many industries, the construction industry has recently been afflicted with economic woes. I believe that many of these afflictions are due to the laying of another foundation other than Jesus Christ. Many have lifted up by the roots the previous foundations that were laid, such as prayer and the reading of the Bible, and have replaced these with a foundation that is beginning to crumble.
That replacement foundation of gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble may look nice and seem secure, but they are not a firm foundation, as we have all recently discovered through the collapse of many markets and industries. Only through Jesus is a firm foundation laid. I speak heavily to the construction industry because they understand the importance of having laid the right foundation. For those of you who still insist upon unearthing the foundation of Jesus Christ in this country or any other, I remind you of the cost! All other ground is sinking sand! If you are not building a foundation on Jesus Christ it will collapse!
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." 1Corinthians 3:13 Now as a suggestion, I recommend that instead of moaning about such collapse, repent and replace, where the foundations of Jesus Christ have been removed, put them back! Bring Jesus back into your building plans!
“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” 1Corinthians 4:14
Our success depends on what foundation we have built on.
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.” Mathew 7:24, 25
Wisdom cries out to us telling us to follow those that laid firm foundations that have enabled them to succeed in life, when we follow these examples we will have success!
It’s the ultimate “How to succeed formula!”
A Firm Foundation leads to success!
Start your success story today! Start with Jesus as your firm foundation!
Jesus Christ Is Lord
Would you like to start on the road to success today? God wants to lay a new foundation in your life, a firm foundation, his only begotten son! Do you think your sins are too big, or your life is too ugly because of failures in your life so far? God can turn it around! It’s time to start a new life with a new foundation to build on. Jesus loves you and is ready to help you succeed in things that you could have never thought possible.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!" John 3:16
We all have fallen short of God's glory and we need a savior because of it. We need a solid foundation to build on. None of us are good and we cannot be successful in life without Jesus’ grace.
Life's real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up. ”
The fact is, we are on a destructive course and without a savior we are eternally damned. God’s gift of love provided the savior that we need, His son who gave His life to pay the price for our sins. There is only one way to get into heaven and be with the Father. There is only one true way to success and happiness in life and that is through Jesus Christ. Take this opportunity to stand on a firm foundation. Make Jesus your first priority and your firm foundation today by following Him in your life.
Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
Romans 3:10, "As it is written, there are none good, no, not one!"
Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, (in hell); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord".
Romans 5:8, "But God commanded His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us".
Romans 10:9,"That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved"
If you believe this in your heart and confess with your mouth that the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised again then you are SAVED!
Now Jesus is your foundation, start building your life on him!
You will find that with Jesus as your firm foundation and with the examples of the Prophets, apostles, and other Christians included here, and the many, many, more that have come before us and currently are with us, by following these 21 stones the foundations to success have been started in your life!
Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.” Zig Ziegler
Personal or team Success!
Each of us will have a personal purpose.
What will be your success story? Take a few moments to write down your vision, hopes, and dreams. With all that you have read here I challenge you to start laying the foundations to your own success story. There are none that are greater, or less than the other. All of us have purpose. Listen about another success story in Biblical history:
"And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;" Luke 1:76
John the Baptist was given a calling like no other! To go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways! We each are given a calling in our life and no, not everyone can be a preacher :-)! All of us have a purpose. Let's start with the importance of those that are called to perform personal works. Personal work has many advantages because it is dealing with one person at a time. It is the simplest form of Christian work and one of the most effective. I remember my time teaching class at a Rescue Mission. There were many that frequented and even lived there, some for months due to hard times.
In this time I was called to teach a Discipleship class, but more importantly I was given the opportunity to be there and listen as people poured out their hearts about various struggles that they were going through, one at a time they received Jesus as their personal savior! Praise Jesus for this opportunity because all too often it was my heart that was changed for the better! Personal success has a few things that need to be pointed out.
1. All can do it. Have you have heard it said, “You can be who you want to be”? For everyone who applies themselves, to everyone that allows their life to be molded, and to all who desire to succeed. All can do it if they go for it!
2. It can be done anywhere. Your dream can come true anywhere that you choose to apply yourself. There is no geographical disparities that prohibit someone chasing their dreams! You can achieve success anywhere.
3. It can be done anytime. Have you heard it said, “They are an overnight success story.”? Well, I’m not sure about how many are actually true overnight success stories, but this just means that you can have success anytime, day or night, Monday through Sunday, it simply requires that the wheels be set in motion.
4. It reaches all classes of people. Your success will touch many people’s lives because all will want to know your secrets, always point to the grace of the one who is your foundation and gave success to you!
5. It is direct and personal. Your success will open many conversation opportunities and you will have direct contact with many that seek to find their own success story. What an opportunity to help others and change the world!
6. It hears the needs of each person. These newly found relationships and the conversation opportunities that you will have because of your success will enable you to hear the needs of others as they are filled with hope and are striving to succeed also. Help them with their needs and build for we!
7. It works where other methods fail. Your success is an open door and a platform where other methods of reaching others with hope have failed. There are far too many people in the world today who believe there is no hope for them. You are an inspiration to them where other means have not reached to them.
There is nothing like a one on one relationship with those that are reaching out for help and desire to succeed and are looking to you as the example to follow. It will change your life! You have a calling just as many of the prophets and apostles in the Bible had. While a message from the pulpit is good, it might not be as effective as those that deal with a person directly and personal, sharing with them the way to succeed!
You are a success and will be used to help others succeed in life!
Building a foundation for success!
IN JESUS TODAY, THE A&L LETTERS AND SKILL FOR THE BATTLE!
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LOVE IS PRIORITY!