Sermon Summary

This week, Pastor Chris preached a powerful word seeking to define true, Biblical success. He shared the reality that each of us have our own, personal definition of success. We learn through David and Solomon that genuine success is found by doing, following and obeying the commands of God. We want to be ones who define success the same way Jesus does and live lives of radical obedience to Him. To do this, we must hear what Jesus says, obey Him, and trust Him to do His part. 

1 Kings 2:3

“Do what the LORD your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses. Then you will be a success, no matter what you do or where you go.” 

Proverbs 3:1–4 (ESV)

1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

God views success as having a:

  • Good reputation
  • Moral character
  • Spiritual devotion to obey him

Qualities that promote success and a good reputation: 

  1. Godliness – Pursue righteousness and root yourself in it so that you won’t be moved when shaking seasons come. 

Proverbs 12:3 (ESV)

3 No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved.

2. Hating what is false – We know that God’s truth is objective and unchanging. Hating what is false does not mean we become critics of others. We need to know God’s standards, exercise discernment, and speak the truth in love.

Proverbs 13:5 (ESV)

5 The righteous hates falsehood, but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.

3. Committing all work to the Lord – Commitment means a total submission to God’s will. 

Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)

3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

4. Humility and fear of the Lord – These will always be areas of opportunity to go deeper. We will never be perfectly humble this side of heaven. 

Proverbs 22:4 (ESV)

4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.

5. Willingness to confess and forsake sin – Merely admitting your mistakes is not the same as truly repenting of sin. We cannot justify or excuse our sin, we must turn away from it with resolve to continually forsake it. 

Proverbs 28:13 (ESV)

13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Qualities that prevent success and cause a bad reputation: 

  1. Wickedness – This will rot your walk with Jesus. 

Proverbs 10:7 (ESV)

7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.

  1. Seeking honors – This is self-promotion and it will block and hinder you. Instead, try serving others without a desire to be seen or champion someone else’s vision. 

Proverbs 25:27 (ESV)

27 It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.

2. Hatred, especially when masked as kindness – It grieves God’s heart when someone refuses to live in the light. 

Proverbs 26:24–26 (ESV)

24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; 25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; 26 though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

3. Praising oneself – Boast in Jesus and let others speak well of you. Let your reputation speak for itself.

Proverbs 27:2 (ESV)

2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.

4. Concealing sin – This is walking in the footsteps of Adam and Eve when they hid in the garden due to their shame. We have to remember that we can find freedom and victory when we confess and bring sin into the light. 

Proverbs 28:13 (ESV)

13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Biblical Success =  F-A-I-T-H

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)

6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

  • Bible faith comes from: 
    • Knowing what God wants you to do
    • Obeying whatever He shows you to do, then
    • Trusting Him to do what you cannot do, in His way and in His time. 

HOT: Hear, Obey, Trust

  1. Hear: What is He saying to you? 

Romans 10:17 (ESV)

17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

  1. Obey: Whatever he has shown you. 
  2. Trust: Trust God to do his part. 

Proverbs 3:5–6 (The Message)

5 Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. 6 Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.

  • To grow in your faith and trust of God: 
  1. Study the attributes of God in the Bible. 
  2. Read His promises throughout the Word. 
  3. Read stories of His faithfulness. 
  4. Write down all the times in the past God came through for you. 
  5. Read books of God’s faithfulness. 

Discussion Questions

  1. How does the Bible’s definition of success differ from the world’s? How do you define success?
  2. Have you ever tried to portray a perfect, external version of yourself rather than be honest about a sin struggle? Why? Why is this not a picture of success from a Godly perspective?
  3. Have you ever fallen into the habit of knowing the Bible without fully obeying it? How can we guard ourselves against this?
  4. Chris said Biblical faith comes from knowing (by hearing) what God wants you to do, obeying what He says, and trusting Him to do the rest. Which of these three areas do you find the most difficult to pursue?
  5. Which of the 5 qualities thatpromote success (godliness, hating what is false, committing all work to the Lord, humility and fear of the Lord, and willingness to confess/forsake sin) do you personally need to grow in? How will you pursue this?

Application Questions

  1. Do you want to grow in your faith and trust in God? Choose one tip Pastor Chris shared to pursue this week: study God’s attributes, read God’s promises, read stories of His faithfulness, write down times he’s come through for you, read books about His faithfulness.
  2. Read through the 5 qualities that prevent success (wickedness, seeking honors, hatred masked in kindness, praising self, or concealing sin) and determine any you need to repent of this week.
  3. Read through the 5 qualities thatpromote success (godliness, hating what is false, committing all work to the Lord, humility and fear of the Lord, and willingness to confess/forsake sin) and determine which you need to pursue this week.