TEXT: 2 Chronicles 26:1-15; Psalm 37:3-11
Success is a word with a variety of meanings. To some, it means “a job, friends, a family, and enough possessions to meet their needs and gratify their desires.” To others, it signifies “recognition for superiority in terms of beauty, intelligence, or athletic or artistic talent.” These latter equate success with popularity, fame, influence, political power, or rare creativity. God’s value system, however, is just the opposite of the worldly viewpoint. God views success from the perspective of eternity, since we are all going to live forever somewhere! He sees us not as evaluated by the world, gauged by our public image or our private enterprise, but instead by the extent of our commitment to Him. Solomon, who sought success in every possible channel of life, finally came to this realization. After pronouncing all of his many worldly successes as vanity (without real meaning), he writes: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
- Point out two things that Uzziah did early in his reign that brought him good success. How does Uzziah’s example apply to us today? See Matthew 7:7-8.
- God gave Uzziah good success in that He gave him victory over his enemies; He gave him helpful, intelligent associates; He gave him much cattle and vineyards; He gave him weapons of warfare. How can we parallel these things to success in the Christian life today? See Luke 10:19; Ephesians 6:13-17; Philippians 4:19 and 1 John 1:7.
- David, the author of Psalm 37, had proven God’s care in both good and bad circumstances. God gave him success over the lion, the bear, Goliath, and in many other situations because David trusted in Him. Relate an example from your own experience or knowledge of someone whose success came directly through God’s help.
- Later, David endured much persecution and was hunted as if he were a criminal. In what way might this difficult experience have contributed to David’s eventual success (Psalm 37:7-11)? How might dismal and disappointing circumstances contribute to our eventual spiritual success (1 Peter 4:12-13; 5:10)?
- Psalm 37:3-11 may be spoken of as a formula for success—spiritually and materially. Very simply stated, this formula is: Our part performed + God’s part guaranteed = success. From these verses, list the phrases which describe our part and God’s part.
- Arrange the following items in priority as to how you think they should be to assure success in your life: education, occupation, home and family life, recreation and social activities, individual spiritual life, church-related activities.
- What was the Apostle Paul’s main goal in life (Philippians 3:8-11)? What assurance did he have that he had attained this? See 2 Timothy 4:6-8.