Success, a Good Word!

What response, or reaction, do you have to the word SUCCESS? For some it is associated with greed or materialism; for others it is sanctified to mean more spiritual fulfillments. 

By definition the word success means the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. This may be inclusive of, but not limited to, economics. For some it may mean sobriety. For others it may mean restoration of a marriage and family. It may even include ministry goals. 

Speaking of economics, the Bible does give special warnings to the rich of this world. The rest of us are warned about other issues. Unfortunately, the rich and famous may give success a bad name.

If we could stop being “people-conscious” for a moment, however, and really listen to what the Bible teaches about success, we would realize that God desires all His children to succeed. 

The Bible is also full of teaching about rewards (and punishment). It refers to crowns and prizes and being promoted. According to the words of Proverbs, success is only guaranteed to the dedicated and the diligent.

Opportunity to succeed is available to all who are willing, but to the lazy and unmotivated it is not. In fact, it is counterintuitive to reward someone who refuses to work hard. Rewarding the diligent is Godly. Contrariwise, rewarding the lazy is ungodly.  

Training to Succeed

In our venues of ministry we promote the truth that God searches for those who diligently seek Him and work hard. He comes to such and His reward is with Him.

Joshua rose to leadership after Moses died. Fear of failure must have gripped Joshua’s heart knowing that the nation’s pioneer, his “pastor,” had passed.

Now God called Joshua to the daunting task of leading His people into the Promised Land. It would take military genius under divine direction to root out the aliens with their false gods and possess their inheritance.

Joshua had been a faithful disciple of Moses and at the beginning of his mission God gave him specific, personal instructions to successfully reach the Promised Land.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8 NKJV

From this one Scripture we can deduce that: 

1. Meditation upon God’s written Word is essential. This practice would bring Joshua back to the moral principles that would keep the nation unified and strong and would remind them of God Himself. The same is true for us! 

2. This was to be done day and night, all the time. It was a life-style. Anything less would allow distraction and weaken the nation’s identity as the people of God.

3. These moral principles were to be obeyed. That is, they were not mere moral ideals and they were not negotiable; they were practical instructions on how to do life successfully. They were not just a “religious thing;” they permeated all the affairs of life. Everything was to be done to the glory of God!   


 4. If followed, God promised He would make Joshua’s way prosperous, which means “financially flourishing.” Logically, successful, wealthy people are in a greater position to help many others. If all are impoverished, what will the genuinely poor people do?

5. After this, God promised Joshua “great success.” This meant growth, increase and fruitfulness, resulting in more people becoming blessed, even generationally and globally. When God blesses His people, it blesses the entire world!

Embracing the Challenge to Succeed

If the recovering population receives God’s perspective on success while they have little, they will become generous when they have much. We boldly teach the principles behind prosperity and success. To fail to teach these truths to the poor and needy is ministerial malpractice. These truths transform takers into generous givers.

In the book, The Generosity Bet, pages 88-92, Rick Warren presents three types of givers:

the systematic giver, people who tithe regularly because they see it as a creative principle that predates the law;

the strategic giver, people who rally around a particular need at a particular time;

the spontaneous giver, people who feel moved upon emotionally to impulsively share out of their resources.

All three of these are Biblical and beneficial to the recipient and the giver.

Jesus said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

Constantly receiving without learning to give reinforces unhealthy dependencies and is actually demeaning. It perpetuates failure.

Your investment through Discovery Family Ministries is turning dependent recipients into successful cheerful givers. As we enter our 25th year of ministry pray that God will continue to honor His mission through us.  

At the beginning of this Summer, Linda and I want to thank you for participating with us. Some have become partners with us through their systematic, strategic or spontaneous giving. However God may direct you, we covet your prayers and friendship going forward.

May God bless your Summer!



 At our recent 60 Minutes to Success luncheon we shared with one another what we have learned and continue to learn about success in life. We asked attendees to share their Five Keys to Success.

Here is the consensus:

1. We ask the Lord for guidance, clarity and vision for the purpose of our existence, the “why” behind the calling. We believe, according to the Scriptures, that what pleases our heavenly Father is accessible to us personally. 

2. By meditating and centering on God’s will in prayer, we contemplate His Word as He unfolds our path daily. We follow His promptings, our wills are surrendered to His. In quiet times we hear God affirm us as His children and this empowers us to do the hard things that cut across our natural, fleshly tendencies that only lead to mediocrity. 

3. We make up our minds to stay focused in the present while serving in the big picture of God’s design. We stay dedicated to His mission and take ownership of it within our spheres and ourselves.

4. We seek community and surround ourselves with like-minded people who stimulate us to upward living. This strengthens us to face the unknown and work on our weaknesses knowing that even in our failures God teaches us by them. We are grateful for mentors and coaches who challenge us because we believe they see God’s potential in us.

5. Our hope and expectation is that change comes in the process of time. It is not random but intentionally based on God’s greater purpose. We are being transformed as we actively engage our wills in His.