Sunday was a fun day for me to preach! I love to preach every week, but often when we are in the middle of a sermon series I feel a bit "stuck" in what I can talk about. More specifically, there are often topics on my mind/heart that I'd rather talk about, but I often can't break from the sermon schedule. That's why I especially enjoyed this past Sunday. In case you missed it (of if you just want a recap) ...

  • One of my greatest struggles is with being successful. By nature, I have always feared failure. In my mind failure simply isn't an option. I'm supposed to be the best at everything I do. This isn't a pressure that anyone puts on me, I put it on myself. I've always struggled with it. Over the last several weeks God has been encouraging my heart and rebuking my habits in this area of my life. Simply put, He has been changing my outlook from a focus on success, to a focus on faithfulness.
  • We often take the idea of "success" and transpose it into our faith.
  • We expect that our actions, hard work, or general attempt to be "good enough" will earn us an easy life, blessings, and even salvation.
  • We often use the success formula (hard work = success) and project it on others. In other words, because we work hard at "being good," when others don't, we judge them as "not good enough."
  • The reason we prefer "success" over "faithfulness" is control. It's easier to believe that since we control our actions we can control our "goodness."
  • The truth is, the Gospel doesn't work this way.
  • The first truth of the Gospel is that we need a Savior because we can't save ourselves.
  • Furthermore, we can never be good enough. We've all sinned, messed up, disobeyed, and turned our backs on God. In this sense, from the world's perspective, we are failures.
  • HOWEVER, God didn't call us to be successful; He called us to be FAITHFUL!
  • For a powerful statement on what this looks like, read Paul's words in Acts 20:18-27, especially in the NLT.
  • Faithfulness and success are not mutually exclusive: Focusing on success is about the outcome Focusing on faithfulness is about the motive. Focusing on the outcome is about what’s on the outside. Focusing on the motive is about the heart.
  • God is always more interested in the heart, for if our heart is faithful, our actions will follow.
  • When I die, there is only one thing I want to hear Jesus say to me, and it's not, "Well done, good and successful servant!"
  • I pray that I hear, "Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant."