Transcript: Hey CBF, welcome to our main meeting. I think it’s going to be a great one, I think it’s going to be an exciting one.
A young man that I’ve been coaching said to me recently at a coaching session, “Hey, I think my boss is out to get me. I think I’m going to be fired.”
I asked questions and we talked for a while, and came to the conclusion with him that it was probably not the case. I think he just had a boss who wanted to push him. But I was thinking about that question most of the day.
Here’s the real question that young man was saying to me. Here’s what he was asking. “I’m afraid of not being successful.” I’m afraid of not being successful. To be honest about that, we all have that. We all have a fear of failure. It’s a pretty good motivator. It’s not the best motivator, but it’s a motivator at some level.
So I asked myself, for the believer, for the Christian, where does our success come from? What creates the success that we all want? I want to talk about two things. I’ll talk to the least important thing first.
It comes from our efforts. It comes from your efforts. The Bible has a lot to say about how to be successful, how to work. We are called to work.
Here’s two words you’re going to see in the Bible a lot when it comes to work. One of the words is “heartily,” and the other is “diligently.” This is a great verse for you to memorize. It says in Colossians 3:23, “Whatsoever you do in your work, do your work heartily, as unto the Lord.”
What does the word “heartily” mean? I’ll tell you what it means. It means something very important. If you went to see a heart specialist today and he said, “You’ve got a problem with your heart,” you would be concerned. It talks about your passion and enthusiasm. It talks really about your soul.
What the Word of God is saying is put your heart into it, because in verse 24 it goes on to say that your reward is going to come from the Lord. So you see the word “heartily.”
Another word you see is the word “diligently.” Do you work diligently? On the negative side, it says in Proverbs 6, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands,” it says your need and your want is going to come rushing upon you.
So we are called to work diligently. You cannot be a Christian with a good testimony and not have a good work ethic.
When Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, he looked around and said, “The only ones working are the Christians. Why are we persecuting the Christians? The Christians are the ones showing up and doing the work.” Even in that society, having a good work ethic is really a great testimony.
But more importantly – and we know this – our success comes from a sovereign God. It’s as simple as that.
I want to read to you Psalm 127:1. I think you know it, but it’s a great one, and it says this: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He has given His beloved even in his sleep.”
What is that saying? Does it say that we don’t have to work hard? No, you’ve got to look at the whole council of God. We already talked about all the Scripture has to say about working heartily and diligently. But what it’s saying is that ultimately, our blessing is from the Lord.
Please, keep that in mind. I work for Xerox. There was a CFO who wasn’t a Christian – wasn’t Christian! – he used to say this: “We’re going to do our plans, we’re going to work our plans, and at the end of the day, the numbers will be the numbers.” If he understood that as a nonbeliever, we sure should understand that as well.
For those of you who have a lot of success, here’s one last verse in Jeremiah 9:23 you ought to keep in mind: “Let the wise man not boast in his wisdom, let the mighty man not boast in his might, let the rich man not boast in his riches, but him that boasts, boast in this, that he knows and he understands the Lord.”
Let’s have a great time in our chapter meeting today. Lean into your CAB sessions and have a great one.