Over the weeks leading up to the start of 2017, perhaps you have, as I have, seen lots of blog posts and articles on the keys to success in 2017.
No new years resolutions per se, but ideas, concepts coupled with the latest thinking from people we respect as to what you and I need to do in order to experience success in our family, personal life, work and ministry in this new year.
I want to share with you what I believe is the single most important key for success in 2017.
It’s not something you do, but someone you know. That someone is Jesus. The one key is one word for success across the board for you in 2017:
When the clever lawyer (at least he thought he was clever and insightful) asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Jesus didn’t give him a laundry list of things to do, which perhaps caught him by surprise!
Jesus, in essence, is telling him that his total and completely abandoned love relationship with God is the key to everything.
Loving God is without a doubt the key to everything. Since we believe that Jesus is God and that the way we love God is by loving Jesus with all our heart, mind and soul, this is the key to success as it was then and is now.
He’s your most important relationship…
- Not the family you’re responsible for
- Not the team you’re leading
- Not the people you’re discipling
- Not the people you are sharing the Gospel with
All of these other relationships are important, but not the most important, as Jesus reminds us in Luke 14.
“Looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12.2 (ESV).
A study I did years ago on the phrase “Looking to Jesus” led me to understand that it means looking away from one thing and intentionally and deliberately turning our attention to something else.
As Christian leaders, we need to look away from:
- The most talked about books
- The most listened to Pod and Vod Casts
- The most effective programs
- The latest and greatest ideas
None of these are wrong per se, but we should not look to any of these as the keys to success.
Neither should we look to, or measure success by:
- The size of our building
- The size of our budget
- The size of our staff
- The size of our program offerings
- The size of our attendance
- The size of our volunteer force
In 2017 let’s all agree to look to Jesus! He is the Lord of the Harvest (Matthew 9:38). He is our foundation, our cornerstone, our hope, our rock! He is the one who will bear fruit through us (John 15; I Corinthians 3:5-9).
Let’s keep it simple and focused.
Quoting John Piper: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
It’s too easy for me to find my satisfaction, my value, my worth and my security in everything and anything but Jesus! The Bible calls this idolatry.
Years ago I ran across Hosea 6:3 in the (old) Living Bible and it has inspired and motivated me for over 30 years:
“Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him, and he will respond to us as surely as the coming of dawn or the rain of early spring.”
In 2017 may we all, as his leaders, press on to know HIM!
It has been 57 years since He opend my eyes and turned me from darkness to his marveous light (Acts 26:18). I love the gospel and Jesus whom the gospel is all about.
My desire is stronger now than it has ever been to:
- Love Him
- Stay centered on Him
- Spend time with Him
- Listen to Him
- Respond to Him
- Obey Him
- Walk with Him
- Serve Him
What about you? What, or who, are you looking to for success in 2017.