Feeling as if we have accomplished something gives us a sense of worth. If we are to see ourselves as successful, we look at our accomplishments. Moreover, it is what others use to measure the success of our lives, even within the Christian community.
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Successful preachers, musicians, singers, evangelists, are those who have a following. A plethora of methods exist to make a name for ourselves in the world.
Is the race we are to run against others competing for the same market share of heaven? The race Paul wrote about in Philippians is one in which everyone is expected to compete and to win: “But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honour of being called by God in Christ” (Philippians 3:14, J.B. Phillips).
Many translations suggest that the race is making it to heaven. But I am inclined to think that this ‘upward call’ as others translate it, is the call we sense deep within us to keep going, to get up, and get over, and go on. Answering it is yielding to the Spirit of Christ (the Anointed One) within us and following His leading whether we ever accomplish our idea of success or not.
We may not be famous in this world, but we’re not playing to the world and our sense of worth should not depend on the world’s view of success, or even what we have come to believe is the Christian ideal of success. Those who are really successful are the ones who continue, day by day, doing what they know is right, whether anyone here on earth ever notices, or not.
Matthew 6:1 “Watch out! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” New Living Translation.
2 Corinthians 10:18 “When people commend themselves, it doesn't count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.” New Living Translation.
John 12:43 “For they loved the glory that comes from men rather than the glory that comes from God.” Weymouth.
2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought an excellent fight; I have finished my race and I have kept my faith.”
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
While it is Called Today - a 30-day photo devotional for living well
by Dee Marvin Emeigh
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