What Have You Accomplished?

“LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.” – Isaiah 26:12 (NIV)

I like accomplishments. I like reading biographies of people who have accomplished great things. I enjoy sifting through news articles to find the ones about people who have done something amazing. The Guinness Book of World Records fascinates me. It amazes me to read about the man who typed the most books backward, or about the woman with the longest hair in the world. And I like accomplishing things, and getting things done. It feels good to finish reading a book, or finish my college education, or finish running a 10k race. Spiritual accomplishments feel even better. It’s deeply satisfying to memorize a long passage of scripture, or read the entire Bible in a year, or share the gospel with a non-Christian.

But there’s a unique temptation that comes with accomplishing something. I’m tempted to be proud of what I’ve done, what I’ve achieved. I want to say, “Hey, look over here! We’ve got something pretty significant going on. I just shared the gospel. Feel free to call me The Apostle, or Mr. Graham. Yes, I know, I’m gifted. What can I say?” After every accomplishment, pride whispers words of self-adoration in my ear.

Scripture however, takes a different view of our achievements. We’re told very clearly that all we’ve accomplished is from the Lord. Wow, that puts a bit of a damper on my enthusiastic self- worship. All that I’ve accomplished comes from the Lord. My accomplishments at work? From God. My spiritual successes? They are the result of God at work in my life. My athletic ability? That too is from God. Anything good or noble that I’ve accomplished is the result of God’s unmerited kindness. To be proud over my accomplishments is to rob God of the glory that belongs to Him alone. It makes me a glory thief.

Friend, what have you accomplished? Are you tempted to be proud at your recent successes? Are you tempted to boast of what you’ve done and glory in what you’ve achieved? If so, take time to meditate on this passage and to remember where all success comes from.

The Secret of Success

“And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him.” – 1 Samuel 18:14

Our culture loves to celebrate success and to honor those that are successful. If you’re a successful businessman and make billion of dollars, you get a TV show where you get to say, “You’re fired!” If you have a sweet singing voice, you’ve got a shot to be the next American (or Canadian, or French, or British) Idol. If you can throw a baseball upwards of 90 m.p.h. you can make seven figures playing a game. It seems that everybody has a chance of succeeding and of being somebody great. And those that do succeed have the right to boast about it, or so our culture says.

But scripture gives us a different perspective on success. Success isn’t ultimately the result of working 70 hours a week or spending countless hours in the weight room. Success isn’t purely the product of intelligence, or business smarts, or beauty, or money. In scripture we see that success ultimately comes from the Lord. Why was David such a powerful warrior? Why did he always end up on the winning side? How did an insignificant shepherd boy become the greatest king in the history of Israel? How was a sheep farmer transformed into a giant-killer? The answer is clear. David’s success was from the Lord.

This has massive implications for our jobs, ministries, hobbies, relationships, athletic endeavors, and creative pursuits. Any success that we experience comes from the Lord as a gift. Christian, are you experiencing success at work? That is from the Lord. Are you performing well on your basketball team? That too is from the Lord. Are you in the midst of particular spiritual blessing at your church? God has been kind to you. Any and all success you are currently experiencing is because of God’s unmerited blessing.

Don’t let another day go by without stopping to thank the Lord for your success. All that you have accomplished God has done for you. And as you experience success, honor God by continuing to express your dependence on Him.

What Happening In The World?

I always knew cats were evil. This article proves it.

World’s tallest man meets world’s shortest man. Read it here.

EHow demonstrates how to give a good back massage. Husbands, this is for you!

Josh Harris posts a wonderful quote by Charles Spurgeon as an encouragement to those who are suffering.

Sovereign Grace Ministries gave me and my dad the chance to do our own album together. It has finally arrived!