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16th June 2013
What is the secret to successful Christian living? Two things are vitally important: faith and believing the right things. We need both, because our Christian walk is the result of what we believe – not because our faith makes it true, but because we believe what is true and step out in faith accordingly. We need to hear and be shaped by what God says about us.
Over the course of this Transformed preach series, we've unpacked layer upon layer of truth. How will we live successful lives in the light of that truth? Here are seven areas to help us re-centre our lives on Jesus…
Firstly, success comes from having the right goals. Many of us measure success by what we do and what we achieve, but in God's Kingdom success has far more to do with what we're like: the primary goal is to be like Christ (2 Peter 1:3-10); as John Stott puts it: "God wants His people to become like Christ. Christ likeness is the will of God for the people of God." God's goal for you is that you follow and become like Christ.
Secondly, our significance comes from a proper use of time – what the world considers newsworthy and significant is quickly forgotten, but we have the opportunity to make an impact on eternity (1 Timothy 4:7-8). It's not how much we're doing that's important, but how eternal it is.
Thirdly, fulfilment comes from serving others – in fact, we have a responsibility to discover our own uniqueness in Christ and use our abilities and gifts to serve others (1 Peter 4:10; John 13:13-17). Fulfilment has little to do with our circumstances, and much to do with growing where we're planted.
Fourthly, satisfaction comes from living a life of quality, and nothing satisfies like living a righteous life (Matthew 5:6). It's about quality, not quantity: doing a few things well brings greater satisfaction, and the same is true of relationships (Proverbs 18:24). Satisfaction comes from living righteously and investing in what we do and the relationships we have to ensure they are of great quality.
The world says happiness comes from getting what we want but the truth is, fifthly, that happiness comes from wanting what we have (1 Timothy 6:6-7). Being thankful – enjoying what we have, being thankful for it and for all that God has done – is key to the health of our souls (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
Sixthly, security comes from focusing on eternal things – insecurity comes when we rely on earthly things that we have no ability to control. The apostle Paul had plenty of reasons to feel insecure, but he kept his focus on the eternal One: Jesus Christ. When we do the same, we rest secure in Him (John 10:27-30).
Finally, peace comes from quieting the inner storm. If your peace relies on external circumstances, you will be disappointed. The peace of God is internal, not external. We already have peace with God (Romans 5:1) but we need to take hold of God's peace daily (John 14:27). There are many things we cannot control, but we can control our thoughts and emotions. God is bigger than any storm you may face! (Colossians 3:15-17)
BE TRANSFORMED! (Romans 12:2)
To download the 'life application' questions and sermon, click here.
Posted by Paul Mann