The Secret To Success

The Secret To Success

“For David...served his own generation by the will of God...” (Acts 13:36)

Would you like to be important? Would you like to be a leader in God’s kingdom? There is a secret to success in the kingdom of God. Surprisingly it does not involve people serving you and meeting your every need. It does not involve being treated like a “Big Man” and every one else like “Little People!” In worldly leadership the big question is “Who is number one?” The emphasis is on position, titles, power, and the offices held. In the world leadership involves a quest for power. That was the very reason why Satan was brought down. He wanted to have power. (Isaiah 14:12-15)

It should not be that way in the Church. There it involves picking up a towel and washing the feet of others. Leadership in God’s kingdom involves serving others instead of them serving you.

“And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” (Mark 10:44)

Jesus said, “I am among you as he that serveth.” (Luke 22:27)

When looking for the leader; don’t look for the one with all the titles but look for the one with the servant’s heart. When you find him, you have found God’s leader. Look for the one who is willing to be a living sacrifice and not be conformed to the leadership thinking of this world.

“I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

“Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus - the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love.” (Acts 20:24 LB)

“The people who make the difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern.” Max Lucado

Jesus Christ is the greatest leader of all times. He was successful because He fulfilled His purpose in life. He knew the reason why He was born and accomplished the will of God. He stated His life’s purpose in Matthew 16:18 as “...upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” In order for us to be successful we must know the reason why we were born. What is our purpose in life? God has given each of us a unique role in the kingdom of God and we must find out what it is. Everyone in God’s kingdom is saved in order to do something for Him. God has a place for everyone to work in His Church.

Jesus went about doing good for others (Acts 10:38) He did not come to be served but He came to serve. When we serve others we are actually serving the Lord.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

There are many ways that we can minister to the Lord but each of these ways will involve serving people.

“...And ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Corinthians 4:5) There is a popular saying around Christian circles presently. It says, “What would Jesus do?” (WWJD) We do not serve others for our own sake but for Jesus’ sake. We try to do what Jesus would do, and to do it the way that Jesus would do it, and give all the credit we receive to Jesus Christ; our Master. We serve Jesus by serving His people. A leader achieves true success by serving others.

The thinking of the world is always to try to get ahead, to get others to serve you, and climb to the top as quickly as possible. This is done even if you have to walk over people to get there.

It has rightly been said, “Be careful who you kick on the way up. You may need that person on the way back down.”

The outstanding leaders in the Bible began their ministries as servants. Moses was tending the flock of Jethro when God called him to bring the Israelites out of the land of bondage. David was a shepherd boy and had to be called from the field when Samuel visited Jesse’s house to anoint the new king of Israel. Joshua began his ministry as a servant and assistant to Moses. Elisha served Elijah way before he received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Timothy was a servant and a son to the Apostle Paul taking care of many of his needs. Philip the evangelist began his ministry waiting on tables in Acts 6.

There are several principles to note here:

1. The people that God calls are already busy doing something. God calls busy people!

Barnabas and Saul were already busy serving others when God called them to be missionaries. They received this call through prayer, fasting and faithful service to God and others.

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

2. If a person is going to be used of God, he must first be a servant.

3. If a person is going to be successful, he must first be faithful with what he is doing.

4. True servant leaders produce others, after their own kind, that become servant leaders.

In a book entitled Primary Purpose the author has an excellent chapter on Becoming a Servant. Leadership is usually viewed from the standpoint of a group of people serving a smaller group of people called “leaders.” People involved themselves in a “power struggle” to get to the top. The author of Primary Purpose presents two different leadership triangles.

The first is the “World’s View of Leadership” and shows the leader at the top of the triangle and the people under the leader’s control at the bottom.

He then present’s the “Biblical view of Leadership” with the top of the triangle pointing downward. The people to be served by the leader are at the top and the leader is at the bottom.

To be great in the kingdom of God you must strive to serve the most people. He shows that the whole basis of what we do is so that we can serve others.

“A man’s heart plans his way,

But the Lord directs his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9 (New Living Translation)

God has given each of us talents, abilities, and a ministry. When we faithfully use these blessings from God; then God will give us more. Not only that, but He will put us in a place where they can be of the most benefit and blessings to others. That is the secret to success. Be faithful with what God has given to you and He will give you more.

“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25:23)

It is not surprising that these words are part of the story of the Parable of the Talents. A man traveling to a far country called his servants and delivered his goods to them. He gave one five talents, another two talents, and the last one talent, according to their different abilities. The man went on his trip and came back again. Calling his servants he began to inspect what they had done with what had been given to them. The one who had five talents had traded and received five other talents. The one with the two talents, did the same, and gained two. However, the man with the one talent hid his in the ground. The master was pleased with the first two men but angry at the third. To the first two he gave the Bible’s definition of success. He said, “...Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things...” (Matthew 25:21)

The man who had not invested his talent, lost it. Here is an important principle about the talents that God gives to His people. When we fail to use them, then we tend to lose them. His gifts and callings are without repentance but we can allow them to become dormant and inactive in our lives.

Look at God’s mathematics:

1. The man with one talent lost it.

1 + 0 = 0

2. The man with two talents gained two more.

2 + 2 = 4

3. The man with the five talents gained how many more?

5 + 5 = 11

How did this happen? Because the master took the one talent that the failing man had and gave it to the successful man.

Study Questions

1. In worldly leadership, where is the emphasis placed?


2. Leadership in God’s kingdom involves what?


3. What should we look for in a leader?


4. Why was Jesus a successful leader?


5. How did many of the outstanding leaders in the Bible begin their ministry?


6. What are some of the principles we can learn from this?


7. Draw two triangles representing the “World View of Leadership” and the “Biblical View of Leadership. (Use your own paper for this assignment.)

8. What is the Bible’s definition of success?


9. The man with five talents gained how many? ________________________

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