“…take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry (Luke 12:16-21).”
In the 80’s, Steve Taylor sang ‘What is the Measure of Your Success?’ Most base success on stuff that doesn’t transfer into eternity…home, possessions, income, savings, education, looks, job, spouse, car, fame, personality, strength, title, family, talent, or intellect. We quietly boast in these, but it all stays when we leave.
Jim had success…in this world.
Jesus warned that this “success” is shortsighted, even foolish. True success involves God and souls. “Then He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.’
“And He told them a parable, saying, ‘The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’”
Michael had it, and lost it all
Jeremiah described true success, something worth bragging about (chapter 9): “Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord.”
Getting to know a person starts with learning what they think. Have you ever seriously read the Bible to see what God thinks? It says that He loves you (John 3:1-21), but your sin separates you from Him (Isaiah 59:2) and your good deeds stink (Isaiah 64:6). We’re so infected with sin that we can’t be near Him (Habakkuk 1:13), and we’re criminals (Romans 3:9-23) awaiting His justice (Nahum 1:3). So until your sin is removed, you cannot know and understand Him (Ephesians 2:1). Sadly, because of sin we’re fixated on ourselves, shortsighted, My-opic, but we should be Him-opic, focused on Him. But how?
Steve had some “success”
You’ve probably never heard of Steve Taylor, but knowing of Steve Taylor is not the same as knowing him, personally. Knowing of Jesus isn’t the same as knowing Him either, but reading the Bible is how to know Him and His solution (2 Corinthians chapter 5). Stuff stays, but a soul transfers into eternity, so redeeming a soul is true success, being rich toward God. So let’s start there…with your soul. Are you sure you know Jesus? If not, I’d love to introduce you.
Here’s a good place to meet Jesus, Luke’s Gospel: