Success…What would you describe success as? Is it making it to work on time? Is it getting through the day without your kids going crazy? Is it not having to deal with that someone at work? Is it when your team wins? Our definition of success could come in many different forms. We have many things that we go through each and every day and if we make it through them, usually we consider that a success. What happens when we succeed though? We get a good feeling inside and we feel like we have accomplished something. We then work and try to make that happen again and again because it feels good. We like succeeding. No one likes the alternative. Failing isn’t even a word we like to say much because no one likes to fail. We would much rather have victory or success than fail. But to what extent do we measure whether we fail or succeed and at what cost?
If we were to ask God the same question, how would God describe success? Would His definition and ours be the same? And what about the cost? To be honest, our definitions probably wouldn't line up. Why? Because we view success more from a worldly point of view than from a Godly. We work, practice, travel, and prepare for things here and now when we should be doing all of those things for the kingdom of God. Matthew 16:24-27 says, "Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done."
What have you done? Are you living out what Jesus said in those verses? If so you are succeeding. Because success isn't truly rewarded here. For us to succeed here God is calling us to be last, to deny ourselves and to put Him first. To make yourself last probably won’t get you the bonus or promotion you wanted. So what do you do? Are you willing to sacrifice things on earth for things in heaven, or are you sacrificing things in heaven for things on earth? Jesus asks, what good is it to gain everything here, but lose everything there? That is the true definition of success. No matter what it may cost us here, we gain everything in the end by faithfully denying ourselves and following him. And if you think that cost is too high of a price to pay, just remember what price Jesus paid for you.
Have you decided to follow Jesus…if so…no turning back, no turning back.
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