This morning we continue our series entitled, “Refined Focus”, with a mini-series within it entitled “Focusing on the Word”. We are still dealing with the first half of the first psalm. Let’s go back to it today. The Bible says:
(Psalm 1:1-3 KJV) “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
(Psalm 1:1-3 ERV) “Great blessings belong to those who don’t listen to evil advice, who don’t live like sinners, and who don’t join those who make fun of God. Instead, they love the Lord’s teachings and think about them day and night. So they grow strong, like a tree planted by a stream—a tree that produces fruit when it should and has leaves that never fall. Everything they do is successful.”
For the last few days we have been focusing in on the line: “Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”, or “Everything they do is successful.” Yesterday I keyed in on the fact that true success in the earth comes as a result of your relationship with God. I gave you a contrast between the Old and New Testaments and I highlighted the differences between the covenant of the Law (works-based) and the covenant of Grace (grace-based). As I continue to flow in that vein this morning I feel led to share a few thoughts on “Grace Based Success”. If you have been following Today’s Word for a while you know that I taught on this topic for the entirety of 2015. True success only comes by the grace of God.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
- You can attempt to achieve success in life by human effort alone, but you will never be able to accomplish God’s assignment with human strength or ability. You need the grace of God.
- God’s dream for your life is so big that it will require His involvement and His empowerment. He gives you both by His grace.
- God will give you the grace to work hard in order to accomplish all He has called you to do. When you perform hard work by God’s grace, you are able to do so without getting overwhelmed, overtaxed, overloaded or overstressed.
- Instead of working hard to achieve success on your own, the Lord wants you to rely on Him and His grace. His grace will empower you to accomplish more than you ever dreamed of accomplishing, and it will be much more than anything you could have ever done on your own.
- When you are flowing in the grace of God you get to experience His favor. The favor of God can do more in a minute, than your labor could do in a lifetime.
- By His favor, the Lord can raise up people to use their power, ability, influence and money, to help you in ways you could never help yourself.
- Dream the BIG dreams God gives you and work hard to pursue those dreams. Just make sure you are working with God’s grace and not human effort alone. When you acknowledge the grace of God you will be able to say what Paul said, “For I have worked harder than the others; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.”
Closing Confession: Father, this is a season of refined focus for me. I bring my life into focus in 2016 by maturing my relationship with You. I have worked hard and I pursued things with my own blood, sweat and tears. I have been able to get many things done by my own strength, with my own power, through grit, determination and tireless effort. While that was good, the message of Your grace is much better. As I walk with You and You walk with me, You are revealing Your dreams for my life. Your dreams are above and beyond anything I could have ever come up with on my own. And they are also TOO BIG to realize without You. So as I pursue Your dreams for my life, I do so by Your grace, enjoying my relationship with You, seeking to bring You glory. I enter this day determined to maximize every meeting, conversation and activity I engage in today, knowing that You are with me, and working through me, by Your grace, to leave a mark in this world that will never be erased. I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.