Dear friends, greetings in the blessed Name of our Lord Jesus. It’s good to be back with all of you🙂. Every day we read, watch or hear about some tycoon who has outwitted and outsmarted everyone and was repeatedly featured on the cover of celebrity magazines. Then a few years later we also hear stories about how that erstwhile star winds up broke or worse dead from suicide. We read stories about once successful people going bankrupt or falling from grace. These stories make us both suspicious and skeptical of professional success and make us shy away from accomplishing all that God would have us to do in the professional world. The reason these people fail after a spectacular run is because they aren’t grounded on Christ and don’t follow God’s word and instead rely on their natural instincts. They rely on computer algorithms and are quick to act while they should instead be relying on the Holy Spirit. God Almighty does want us to succeed in both our personal and professional lives. However, the methodology that we ought to adopt is considerably different from what the world tells us.
Please turn with me to Matthew 25:14-30. This is the well known parable of talents. We see how the productive servants who multiplied their initial investments were well rewarded by the Lord. The stingy and overly cautious servant who hid the talent because he was afraid of losing was actually kicked out of God’s kingdom. This man seems to be awfully similar to all the pundits who appear on your TV screens every day yelling at you to sell all your holdings and stay in cash to protect yourself against the coming apocalypse. Although they mean well, they’re missing out on one fundamental truth. The Devil may be in charge of this world and its assets (Matthew 4:9), but God is ultimately in control of Satan (2 Peter 2:4, Romans 16:20). The panic (sell) or the greed (buy) that these celebrity advisers spread comes not from Godly wisdom but worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:19). I’ve seen people make money and become billionaires by smart timing and some astute market moves, but I’ve never seen them create sustainable wealth that they could pass onto their children and grand-children. Remember saints, people who make money today may also lose it tomorrow. People book 100% profits when they could actually be making 5000-10,000% profit (compounding effect) over the years. If we indeed follow God’s principles of sowing and reaping (1 Corinthians 3:6, Galatians 6:9, Psalm 126:5) and don’t follow smart alecs out there we’d be infinitely more productive and successful than the so called successful people of this world whose success is only fleeting and temporal. I used an investing analogy to describe professional success as all of us would easily relate to it.
Let’s now turn to the spiritual aspect of growth and success that the Lord desires in and from us. Please turn with me to 2 Peter 1:5-9. The Apostle Peter is exhorting us to practice and live out the life that the Lord Jesus planted in us when we were born again (1 Peter 1:23). Here again we hear and watch televangelists and Christian psychologists quoting scripture out of context and advocating either total passivity (Matthew 5:39-42) or outright aggression and assertiveness (Acts 23:3 – The Apostle Paul’s outburst against the high priest). In reality the Lord Jesus never advocated total subservience or outright hostility. He was merely illustrating the character of our Heavenly Father in Matthew 5:39-42. The same Lord Jesus who instructed us to turn the other cheek also cautioned His disciples to sell all they had to buy weapons to defend themselves (Luke 22:36-38). The Holy Spirit will decide when we ought to defensive or aggressive, or when to love and when to hate (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Growing in the grace of God as advised in 2 Peter 1:5-9 doesn’t require counsel from a clinical psychologist as much as it needs good old fashioned common-sense combined with being sensitive to the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, John 16:7, Galatians 5:22-26).
Dear saints, God wants us to be productive in our professional and spiritual lives. But this success should be much more than the worldly success touted out there. Businesses go bust and marriage counselors end up divorced. We as saints ought to surpass their meager worldly achievements, be more consistent and last much longer as well. The secret to that productivity lies in tuning out the world and tuning in to the Holy Spirit. But remember this productivity is not for personal gain or benefit (Matthew 6:19-21) but for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). If we live with that attitude then the Lord will see to it that we’re blessed in this life as well (Mark 10:29).
Dear friends, I’m quite certain that all of you are sanctified, Holy Ghost baptized saints. Should there be any among you that don’t know the Lord yet, I pray that the Lord of the Universe will set you free from sin and disobedience into His glorious light and freedom. Amen.