successSuccess by the world’s definition may be considered: wide personal recognition, six-figure salary, overseer of many subordinates, expensive cars, big houses, gold and precious jewels, lots of fun stuff purchased for deriving pleasure out of this life. The list can go on and on.

If Jesus was tempted by the devil, what makes any of us think that we will not? A life spent on worldly pleasures will only be a vain labor burned up in our passing.

Matthew 4:1-11
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

We will all give an account to God for how we used the resources He gave us. This is not just money and property (affluence), but also the people He has allowed us to influence. Our children, spouses, the younger generation, our peers and co-workers.

God gives us every good and perfect gift. He created the universe for our enjoyment – our pleasure. But, He also said He “is our shepherd, I shall not be in want.” In Psalm 23, David gives us a glimpse at God’s gift of an inner peace that surpasses the world’s understanding. It is a faith that does not desire the things of the world, but the pursuit of the presence of Jesus, and joyfully labors at placing blessings in eternity.

I believe God will never withhold any of His gifts from His faithful. He even created a way for us to eternally enjoy His greatest gift – His son, Jesus Christ. Praise Him!

Success by God’s definition is an obedient, “good and faithful servant.”

(This was taken from earlier personal devotion. (September 2006))

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