(this is a follow-up post to the previous one “What is success?“)
If you are going to succeed in what God has called you to do in this life, it will be because:
- You accept the grace of God (Titus 2:11).
- You are humble (James 4:6).
- You won’t be fooled into exchanging the glory of God for lesser things (Romans 1:22-23).
- You put away false gods, fear the LORD, and serve him in faithfulness and humility (Joshua 24:14).
- You abandon your own will to that of the Father (Matthew 6:10).
- In view of God’s mercy, you present yourself as a living sacrifice for His use (Romans 12:1).
- You crucify your fleshly desires, emotions, and habits (Galatians 5:24).
- You follow His leading, not your own heart (Matthew 16:24).
- You eagerly look for and engage in the good works God has appointed for you to do (Ephesians 2:10).
- You rely daily on the fact that you are already more than a conqueror through Christ (Romans 8:37).
- You trust Jesus to live powerfully in you to accomplish His own will in your present life (Galatians 2:20).
- Instead of being overcome by evil, you overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
- You refuse to be among those who shrink back in the face of hardship or evil (Hebrews 10:39).
- When you are mistreated, you entrust yourself to God, who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23).
- You keep your eyes fixed on what is to come (1 Peter 1:4).
What would you add to the list?
John Piper gives these 4 purposes God has for history…
- God’s purpose is to be known: “That your way may be known on earth” (v. 2)
- God’s purpose is to be praised: “Let the peoples praise you” (v. 3).
- God’s purpose is to be enjoyed: “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy” (v. 4).
- God’s purpose is to be feared and reverenced: “Let all the peoples of the earth fear him” (v. 7).
Spend some time pondering these… and what they mean for YOUR life!
My wife was having a conversation with someone recently and gave an illustration from the Old Testament about how God sometimes works with His people. The person she was talking to responded along these lines…
But that’s the Old Testament… give me an example from the New Testament.
Comments such as these not only show a greater appreciation for the New Testament among some Christians (completely understandable on some levels), but perhaps also a wrong perception of the Old Testament… and therefore of God Himself.
The God of the Old Testament is the SAME GOD as in the New Testament. And the Old Testament reveals things about God that we do not see as readily or obviously in the New Testament. In its pages we find the fear of the Lord, His unsearchable holiness, His love for His chosen people, the importance of obedience, and even grace.
Yes, grace. From the first sin of Adam and Eve we see God providing grace through the provision of animal skins. There we see the first “sacrifice” of one life for another – an innocent animal gave its life so that Adam and Eve could have their shame covered. And God is the One Who did the covering! Follow the storyline on and you see Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the grace of God is evident in their stories as well.
Everything that is true of God now was true of Him during the Old Testament era – because He never changes (James 1:17)! A mindset that shows partiality to the New Testament to the exclusion of the Old Testament is one that limits its own growth in the knowledge of God… and can come dangerously close to dividing God into two caricatures, neither of which is accurate in itself.