Monday, January 12, 2015

The Look of Success

When the men came to Him (Jesus), they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’ ” (Luke 7: 20, NASB).

The Look of Success

Success when doing the kingdom's work does not always appear as success with mortal finite eyes. A popular false doctrine proclaims that when we are following God's direction, His blessings will be evident. However, that is not often the case with the one who has sacrificed his or her life to seeking and doing the will of the Father.

John the Baptist proclaimed the coming of Christ and yet, his earthly reward was prison and beheading. The world would not proclaim execution as success. In fact, many of our current popular Bible teachers and pastors would probably be telling John that he missed the mark. "John, if you were following God's direction and listening to His spirit, you would not find yourself in such a mess. Obviously, you went off on your own because God would have blessed you and your efforts."

However, the purpose of John's life was not to promote himself to a larger ministry, a bigger house and a newer car. His purpose was to point folks to Jesus. His question was not based on John's believing that he had missed the mark, but was an inquiry, "Are you Jesus, my cousin, the one?"

This question was not for John's ease of mind. John wanted to tell his followers either, "Yes, Jesus is the one." Or, "No, look for another." His concern was for his followers.

What great joy must have enveloped his heart and soul when the response from Christ  was, "Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them" (Luke 7: 22, NASB).

John died knowing that the Messiah, of whom He taught, had arrived in the flesh. John never assumed that he was commissioned to elevate himself. His life was to help prepare hearts to receive Christ as Lord and Savior.

Dear servants of God, your success is not based on worldly wealth or fame. It is based on one simple truth. Have you fulfilled the mission of pointing others to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus? Sometimes, there will be material success involved but other times success is not evident in that way. Your purpose is to promote Jesus not self. Occasionally, success in the kingdom will cost you all you hold dear even to the point of your life.

Be Blessed,

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