God’s definition of success is pretty much the opposite of the definition we find in a dictionary. The Bible does not urge us to be successful. Instead, we are told to thrive towards faithfulness. Success God is talking about comes from staying in his love. And even this happens not by our own might but by God’s grace. We need to just remember we are loved by God. All else follows.
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. (Jude 20-21, NIV, emphasis added,*)
Too often we forget that we are loved by God. Yet all our problems stem from this. Because if we do remember we are loved by God, our hearts are so full that there is no room for doubts or discouragement or sin. With the words of Charles Spurgeon “When the love of God is shed abroad in the heart, the idols will soon depart and the love of sin will take its flight.”
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5, KJV,*)
If we build ourselves up in our most holy faith and keep ourselves in God’s love, we are hope-filled and confident. Truly, we need to remind ourselves of God’s love every morning. Spiritual amnesia takes away our confidence during the night. But it can be rekindled every morning by asking the Holy Spirit to open our spiritual eyes to see – and believe – how much God loves us.
If we forget to remember we are loved by God, we get tired of waiting on God. When our hearts are not filled with God’s love, we are prone to discouragement and self-reliance. And we all know how that ends.
God’s love is a fire and we need to keep the fire going in our lives. It’s not a mere sentiment, love is robust power. We need to keep ourselves in God’s love because it leads to eternal life and lasts forever.
Of course, we don’t do this in our own strength but in God’s strength. But by God’s grace, we can do it. By God’s grace, we can love God by keeping his commandments and as we do so we are becoming more like Jesus. This holiness is God’s definition of success. It starts by remembering and believing we are loved by God.
You do keep surprising us.
Your definition of success seems to be foolishness
yet it packs the secret of eternal life.
Help us to always remember we are loved by you.
Fill our hearts to the brim with your love and grace.
Show us how to love like you,
how to joyfully keep your commandments
and how to confidently serve you with hope everlasting.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Do you remember you are loved by God? How does your day look different on the days when you do not shed spiritual amnesia right away?
Blessings to you, my dear fellow pilgrim, as you thrive towards faithfulness as you remember you are loved by God!
* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.]