Faithlife Sermons

A Success

My Heart  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view

A successful church is full of stories of God changed lives.


What is success?

Do you have a successful family?
after New Years Baylor’s head football coach was hired by the NFL team the Carolina Panthers. My fellow Baylor Bears panicked as we thought good for him now we are going to be awful.
Do you have a successful job?
At the same time I heard about Megan being hired away by a church in Santa Rosa. I again thought great for them, great for the kingdom of God, great but now New Day what am I supposed to do.
Do you have a successful life?
Why do you think that by what do you judge it by?
I’ve been asking myself those questions for quiet a while now.
A journey that has taken me on a God journey this past year, from long lost friends to ruined marriages, murder, and most powerfully God speaking.
So I am going to take a risk today and wrap a story within a story within a story.
So I am going to take a risk today and wrap a story within a story within a story.
Perhaps today you come not thinking about success but thinking your life is a mess, but in order for you to think it’s a mess you must have an idea of what it should be and know that this isn’t it. But why? What can God do with you?
So I am going to take a risk today and wrap a story within a story within a story.
I can’t jump and say I’m like you. I barley know you. I like to know you more but whatever, while if I got arrested today no one in jail would be impressed at my offenses, no one from my university would be impressed with my accomplishments either.
This church isn’t going to be in the alumni magazine
Do you think you should be more, have greater success?
From someone who is homeless to someone with advanced degrees and lots of money in the bank i have observed those who think they deserve better, who believe what should happen based on what they know, yet fall into despair not because they are wrong but because perhaps, they have an incorrect definition of success, an incorrect definition of the more they should e seeking. .
I personally was struggling with my definition of success, as a pastor, father, teacher.
I called a friend not because I was struggling but because they were struggling.
Another story,
king David, everything was going right for him
He chose a new place for the capital of the new nation as he united all 12 tribes of Hebrews under his rule in the Bible. God gave him Jerusalem. A palace was built but David had seen his own home and new of the great buildings in other places.
2 Samuel 7:1–2 CSB
1 When the king had settled into his palace and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, 2 the king said to the prophet Nathan, “Look, I am living in a cedar house while the ark of God sits inside tent curtains.”

Initiative is the highest form of obedience.

The story of the lady and the box.
Here David looks around and says my house is sweet and God’s house sucks! He takes some initiative.
Our initiative is based on our vision of importance.
Initiative also allows you learn that God’s vision of success and your vision of success are different.
2 Samuel 7:7 CSB
7 In all my journeys with all the Israelites, have I ever spoken a word to one of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, asking: Why haven’t you built me a house of cedar?’
2 Samuel 7:1 CSB
1 When the king had settled into his palace and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies,
2 Samuel
Our focus on vision can often be one that makes us value things that matter to us and do not matter to God.

Initiative allows seeing God’s vision of success and your vision of success are different. The importance, you get to see God’s vision of success!

I want to say though that David would not have learned that if he didn’t take initiative.
My whole life has been full of initiative where I learned more about God and that was the success.
Please don’t be afraid to seek after God, to take initiative because you might be wrong. God is big enough to correct you as He did David.
What is a successful church, what is a successful pastor, it can get wrapped up in the visions of everything around us. It can get wrapped up in nice buildings in nice places.
Great ways people at the church can help us, programs that we can join, services we can take up,
Yet God never gave us that kind of vision of success.
John 4:19-

Your vision for success determines whether or not you are even close to it.

John 4:19–24 CSB
19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus told her, “Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.”
You’ve heard people say I can worship God wherever I am and Jesus agrees with them. The vision of success is about more than location, more than things. How can a vision of God be about things.
Recently asked by a person “who gave their problems to God” and it just kept coming up in their mind
Your vision for success determines whether or not you are even close to it.
Football teams all set out to win the championship. Next week with the super bowl.
I make goals for people all the time, I have to make yearly goals for all of my students, work with them on reaching them and measure to see if they are going to achieve them. My basis is for them to be as independent in their living as possible.
I found in my life that I have never achieved that , and in fact I don’t observe others doing that either.
Weddings might have a version of success, and what you view as success will determine greatly what the marriage should look like and what the could will go towards
My journey the anxiety comes from a lack of security, if we are a little bit larger, a little bit
The temptation all around us is to make goals for our life that will allow you to be as independent from God as possible?
2 Corinthians 12:10 CSB
10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
The greater our faith the more we realize how much we depend on God.
Because of the acts of God I got to reconnect with my friend at a restaurant on the miracle mile.
What is
What is the successful church? It is a group of people fully surrendered to God.
My friend told me that he has a new definition of success, something that has allowed him to be part of seeing the amazing hand of God.
Today we have churches that have beautiful buildings, schools, internet & television impact, book deals all kinds of stuff.In you

Success is Surrender to Christ and Showing Up.

It reminded me of Jesus. who had something special. to show at the beginning of this group he was putting together, That the success of a church was and still is judged by that beginning.
Acts 1:
Acts 1:12–14 CSB
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they arrived, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 They all were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Yes apostles, disciples, heroes of old
I was hanging out with my friend, a pastor of a church I think is one of the most influential in all of Stockton, who gave me a new vision of success in the church. Reminded me of this vision
But let me say it like this.
After being on the run, they gathered together to pray. Unlike anyone else, hard core men who literally left everything they had and got up and followed Jesus. working man who used to talk to much and listen too little, followers who never stood up for themselves know standing up to an empire, traitors who are now loyal, prostitutes who know are faithful, trustworthy and live for others, people who used to be flipped out on politics who can’t help but love people of any political way, a bunch of people with changed lives.
Then they lived and told their stories of total surrender and showing up.
1 John 1:1–4 CSB
1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—2 that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—3 what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
1 John
The Bible is made up of the experiences of God’s people withe God. Over thousands of years they tell how God changed lives. God changed circumstances.
My friend realized God’s bigger definition of success for himself by this story.
Showing up on his first police call
a woman, chained in her house, abused by her husband so choke
a person led by God, to investigate the garage, seeing to her freedom
My chains are gone I've been set free My God, my Savior has ransomed me And like a flood His mercy rains Unending love, Amazing grace
You see my friend reminded that a successful church is made up of the stories of God entering people’s lives.

Success is surrender, showing up, and collecting stories of God

as I sat there I remembered the stories of God encounters in our lives.
God tells us to surrender. TO show up, and then we have to tell the stories of what God does.
If God is
1 John 1:1–4 The Message
1 From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. 2 The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us. 3 We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!
When I sat there I realized your stories. aZS
Related Media
Related Sermons