Sunday, February 4, 2024

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Success - 02/04/2024

 Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 02/04/2024

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Success Bible Study Podcast

Or watch the Video Zoom Session of our Study on YouTube: 


         What a defining word for our culture, perhaps even for the world system which is driven by the pursuit of success. Michael Ramsden, formerly of RZIM, once said that success has no meaning, (as a word) “a donkey is successful at being a donkey.” In this we immediately recognize that, conceptually, success requires a qualifier in order to have meaning. And we have no shortage of qualifiers that we may place before or after the word in order to justify our existence and to fit the equation.

         The most practical expression of success is to achieve a desired outcome or aim. You study for the math test. You get all the answers right. You are successful in that sphere.

Jos. 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

         Read the Book, do what it says, have success; a sort of quid pro quo with God. Interesting how the above verse blends prosperity with success, which is something we are quick to recognize and agree with.

Gen. 24:12 is another excellent example of practical success. “Then he said, ‘O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day...’

Job was a successful guy, by the worlds standard but by chapter 6:13 he says, “And is success driven from me?” Often success is not evaluated until it is lost.

Gen. 39:2 describes Josephs experience with Potiphar, “The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”

In the New Covenant we unveil a new equation.

Gal. 2:16 says, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ” Kind of contradicts Jos. 1:8.

Heb. 7:19 says, “for the law made nothing perfect…” Or may I say “successful?” It’s not that the Law was bad or imperfect, but our ability to keep it. Following Joshua’s injunction Israel fails miserably.

So, what does success look like in the New Covenant?

Paul says, in II Cor. 12:10, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Seemingly an inversion of our presupposition of what success looks like.

All the apostles, except for John, died a criminals death. Doesn’t sound very successful. John was boiled in oil and exiled to the island of Patmos.

Finding alignment with God’s will for our lives is true success. Not  all of us will be called to the above experience, but alignment with God’s will is often painful to our flesh and contrary to our sense of success.

How do we govern this alignment?

I Th. 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I Pet. 2:15 says, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men”

I Jo. 2:17 is very bold to say, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

Awkwardly, I’m still seeing a lot of qualifiers to determine success.

Non of us are one hundred percent regarding the New Testament Scriptures either.

How can we be successful with God? Can we be?

The good news of the Scripture is that we are successful in Christ by default. If you are a Christian, a Believer, born again, saved, or however you wish to frame it, you are a success!

Let’s make it practical. What is your goal?

Do you aim to be loved by God?           You are!             Success

         Eph. 1:6, “...He made us accepted in the Beloved”

Do you hope to go to heaven?               You will             Success

         “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved”

Do you wish you had help in trouble?   You do                Success

         Ps. 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present                        help in trouble.”

Would you like to access the

         resources of heaven?                     You can              Success

         II Pet. 1:3, “as His divine power has given to us all things       that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of    Him who called us by glory and virtue.”


         Though I would caution my next saying by confirming that it is never the will of God to sin, I will say that it is questionable whether we can avoid the will of God. We are caught up in a great narrative, as small or as great as our part my be is not the measure of our success, because it’s not about us. It’s about Him! His will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven. It’s unavoidable.

         If you wish to “feel” successful, as a believe, the best indicator is peace. That comes by embracing the above truths and trusting Him with the outcome. He is the great Qualifier. He has qualified us for sonship. We couldn’t do it on our own.

That sounds pretty successful!

-----Join us for another Bible Study Next Week -------


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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

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