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How To Be Successful      Mk. 10:32-45      Jan. 31, 2010


       I find it very interesting to note that the words success, or successful do not appear in the New Testament. All of the importance we in America place on these words and the New Testament never uses them. What words would be the equivalent? Maybe, “approved In Christ,” (Rom. 16:10) or “Pleasing to Him” (2 Cor. 5:9). However since most of us know what the title means we certainly will be interested in How To Be Successful as it applies to our Christian Life.


1.   How to Be Successful; Follow the . . Will of God. Mk. 10:32-34

       A.   Follow The Will Of God As Seen In The . . Example of Jesus. 10:32-33a

       32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. They were

       astonished, but those who followed Him were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, He began to tell them

       the things that would happen to Him. 33 "Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be

       handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, . . .”


       B.   Follow The Will Of God As Seen In The . . Encounters of Jesus. 10:33b-34

“. . . and they will condemn Him to death. Then they will hand Him over to the Gentiles, 34 and they will mock Him, spit on Him, flog Him, and kill Him, and He will rise after three days."

       The success of Jesus life must be first evaluated by Him doing the will of the Father. He perfectly performed all the Father set out for Him to accomplish. If we in any way think we have followed His will for our life we must have accomplished the doing of His will. His will may include suffering; it is certainly in His example. As we look at the encounters of Jesus over and over we see He was confronted by hateful people and He knew ahead of time the details of His horrible death. We need not expect a bed of roses. In the first century and today the words successful may be placed on the tomb of many who died for their faith and willingness to magnify Jesus.


2.   How To Be Successful; Follow The . . Wisdom Of God. Mk. 10:35-41 

       A.   Follow The Wisdom Of God And . . Seek His Wisdom. 10:35-37

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Him and said, "Teacher, we want You to do something for us if we ask You." 36 "What do you want Me to do for you?" He asked them. 37 They answered Him, "Allow us to sit at Your right and at Your left in Your glory."


       B.   Follow The Wisdom Of God And . . Share His Wisdom. 10:38-39

38 But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you're asking. Are you able to drink the cup I drink or

       to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?" 39 "We are able," they told Him. Jesus said to them,

       "You will drink the cup I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with.


       C.   Follow The Wisdom Of God And . . Submit To His Wisdom. 10:40-41

40 But to sit at My right or left is not Mine to give; instead, it is for those it has been prepared for."

       41 When the other 10 disciples heard this, they began to be indignant with James and John.

       If we want to in any way be considered spiritually successful we must seek the wisdom of the Lord. The words of Isaiah in 55:9 apply here, “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (HCSB) If we desire to be successful in a spiritually sense we must seek and share in our practices the wisdom of the Lord. It is curious how Jesus limited Himself by coming to this earth; here he tells the disciples, “to sit at my right or left hand is not mine to give;” So as Jesus submitted to the Father we need to be submissive to the wisdom of God for our lives.



3.   How To Be Successful; Follow The . . Ways Of God. Mk. 10:42-45 

       A.   Follow The Ways Of God And . . Serve In His Example. 10:42-43

42 Jesus called them over and said to them, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the

       Gentiles dominate them, and their men of high positions exercise power over them. 43 But it must not be

       like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,


       B.   Follow The Ways Of God And . . Sacrifice In His Example. 10:44-45

44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many." HCSB

       The Lord emphasized a way of humility and benevolent leadership. James and John wanted a different kind of prominence but successful spiritual leadership includes service and sacrifice. Today on the national scene every once in a while some succeeded in getting themselves a place of prominence through their talent or ability but a few of them have taken a fall that embarrassed all of Christianity. I recently read that one such leader admitted to saying, “Jesus was not Lord in my life.” That kind of example certainly does not demonstrate an example of How To Be Successful. Amen? Amen!