Fresh Hope – 23rd January 2020

We have a generation on our hands that is hungry for success and significance. Where previous generations may have been content with a more ‘simple life’, we desire the big, the ambitious, the best. 

While the desire for success is absolutely from God, we must consider what our measuring stick is. What are we defining as success? Are we holding ourselves to a standard that actually is not from God? 

God wants us to be successful, or another word – fruitful. In fact, Jesus hated anything that was not bearing fruit. If God has created something, He has designed it to carry life and reproduce/bare fruit. Jesus cursed the fig tree (Matthew 21:18-22). Why? Because it was bearing leaves, it had the appearance of life, it had the appearance of fruitfulness, but it wasn’t actually producing fruit. God doesn’t want us to have the appearance of fruitfulness (religion), but actually just be a bunch of leaves. He wants success to be a real part of our lives, because of who we are connected to. We should be producing fruit as we are a branch connected to the true vine (Jesus), John 15:1-8. 

So what is this true success then? What should be our focus? To find out what God defines as true success, let us look at the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. 

FACT: Three men were given different amounts of money in which they were told to increase. (This was a common way of investment for masters of servants in the context of this scripture). 

POINT: There is no point comparing to the person next to you, because despite what you may think, God doesn’t actually operate on fairness. He gives each of us something different based on what He believes we can handle. 

FACT: The third man returned exactly what God gave him. 

Point: Don’t think you can just give back to God what you started with. He wants to see increase in your life. 

FACT: Even one talent was a lot. 

POINT: Just because the person next to you may have more, doesn’t mean you haven’t already been given a lot in life. 

FACT: They had to give an account to the master, with what they did with their money. 

POINT: We will have to give an account to God on what we did with our life. 

FACT: The master congratulated them on being ‘good and faithful’ not once mentioning the amount of money that they made. 

POINT: God is not looking for numbers, or titles (things we may define as success), He is looking for character, heart and stewardship of whatever we have been given. 

‘Well done good and faithful servant’ is the definition of success. To hear God say to us at the end of our life, ‘well done good and faithful servant’, you were faithful with what you were given – you stewarded your marriage well, your relationships well, your mouth and words, your job, your money, your body – whatever you were given, you were faithful and managed it well’. THAT IS SUCCESS! 

It isn’t about the amount. It isn’t about the numbers. It isn’t all the facts and stats that is going to interest God. What God is looking for is – WHATEVER He gave me, I was faithful with it.  

At the end of your life, you want to ask yourself:  Did I do what God said to do? – Did I use whatever I got given? – Was outcome my focus or stewardship? – Did I hear Him say, ‘well done, good and faithful servant?’

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.