Sabbath, December 17, 2005
“True success in any line of work is not the result of chance or accident or destiny.” –Christian Service, p. 257.
• To analyze the secrets of missionary success.
• To overcome discouragement when no visible results are evident.
• To realize that when we work for God we should leave the results with Him.
• To depend on God for success.
SECRETS OF SUCCESS
1. What assurance of success can God’s messengers claim? Mark 9:23; Isaiah 55:10, 11.
Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Isaiah 55:10, 11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
2. What was one of Elijah’s secrets of success when he ministered for God?
2 Kings 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
“The success of the ministry of Elijah was not due to any inherited qualities he possessed, but to the submission of himself to the Holy Spirit, which was given to him as it will be given to all who exercise living faith in God. In his imperfection man has the privilege of linking himself up with God through Jesus Christ.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, p. 1037.
3. What is another mighty tool that should be used to bring people to Jesus?
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
“God’s messengers must tarry long with Him, if they would have success in their work. The story is told of an old Lancashire woman who was listening to the reasons that her neighbors gave for their minister’s success. They spoke of his gifts, of his style of address, of his manners. ‘Nay,’ said the old woman, ‘I will tell you what it is. Your man is very thick with the Almighty.’ ” –Gospel Workers, p. 255.
NO VISIBLE FRUITS
4. In our zeal to fi nd people for God’s kingdom, should we get discouraged when no visible results are evident?
Ecclesiastes 11:6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
“The good seed may for a time lie unnoticed in a cold, selfish, worldly heart, giving no evidence that it has taken root; but afterward, as the Spirit of God breathes on the soul, the hidden seed springs up, and at last bears fruit to the glory of God. In our lifework we know not which shall prosper, this or that. This is not a question for us to settle. We are to do our work, and leave the results with God.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 65.
5. Is there a reason to ever entertain thoughts of failure when working for Christ?
Mark 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
“Workers for Christ are never to think, much less to speak, of failure in their work. The Lord Jesus is our efficiency in all things; His Spirit is to be our inspiration; and as we place ourselves in His hands, to be channels of light, our means of doing good will never be exhausted. We may draw upon His fullness, and receive of that grace which has no limit.” –Gospel Workers, p. 19.
“… When we give ourselves wholly to God, and in our work follow His directions, He makes Himself responsible for its accomplishment. He would not have us conjecture as to the success of our honest endeavors. Not once should we even think of failure. We are to co-operate with One who knows no failure.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 363.
WHO QUALIFIES THE LABORER?
6. What is more important than eloquence, book knowledge, and talents in the eyes of the Lord?
Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
“Men may think that they possess superior qualifications. Their splendid talents, great learning, eloquence, activity, and zeal, may dazzle the eye, delight the fancy, and awaken the admiration of those who cannot read beneath the surface; but unless humility and modesty is linked with these other gifts, self glorification and self-exaltation will be seen. Unless each qualification is consecrated to the Lord, unless those to whom the Lord has entrusted gifts seek that grace which alone can make their qualifications acceptable to God, they are looked upon by the Lord . . . as unprofitable servants.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 68.
7. What should motivate every Christian to labor for the salvation of others?
2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
“Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful; for God regards more with how much love one worketh, than the amount he doeth.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 135.
“Ten truly converted, willing-minded, unselfish workers can do more in the missionary field than one hundred who confine their efforts to set forms, and preserve mechanical rules, working without deep love for souls.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 602.
8. Who alone can give missionaries success in their work?
1 Corinthians 3:6, 7 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
“If they depend on God for grace and strength, they will succeed.” –Christian Service, p. 258.
“Joshua had received the promise that God would surely overthrow these enemies of Israel, yet he put forth as earnest effort as though success depended upon the armies of Israel alone. He did all that human energy could do, and then he cried in faith for divine aid. The secret of success is the union of divine power with human effort. Those who achieve the greatest results are those who rely most implicitly upon the Almighty Arm.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 509.
• What is the underlying motive that energizes you to labor for God?
• How have you dealt with negative thoughts of failure?
• What heavenly tools have you used to become a successful laborer for God?