For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.
2 Tim.4:3

Success has been the litmus test for spirituality for many Christians, and sadly, for many pastors over the last two decades. If it is growing in numbers and in dollars, it must be God. Is that what we really believe, is that what you believe? The results of that position has taken the church down some interesting paths over the last few years. We have traveled from positive thinking to faith confession. We have been seeker sensitive, relevant, purpose driven, and emergent, but have we been biblical. Have all of our journeys been motivated by a hunger for God or just a lust after success and a desire to be accepted by the world? In our pursuit of accomplishment, have we lost sight of what is central to the christian faith, have we lost sight of God Himself? “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his very soul?”
John Piper addressed some of these issues in his book “God’s Passion for His Glory”. Here is one of his observations about what is really important in the Christian life.

“If the exhibition of God’s glory and the deepest joy of human souls are one thing, then all true virtue among human beings must aim at bringing people to rejoice in the glory of God. No act is truly virtuous—that is, truly loving—that does not come from and aim at joy in the glory of God.”

That statement defines what has been missing in many churches. Piper talks about bringing people to a place in their life where they have their joy in their relationship with God and His Glory. Rather than trying to find identity and satisfaction from our accomplishments or personal identity, the goal of a Christian is to find his joy in the Lord. The pursuit for satisfaction in our accomplishments or possessions is just a sign of a cold heart. Maybe the trend over the recent past is nor really relevant, purpose driven, seeker sensitive, or emergent after all. Maybe it is just another version of the slow fade from the Glory of His Presence.


  1. When man begins to measure success more times than not he uses human standards as outlined in this devotional: growing in numbers and in dollars. Everything God has done is to have relationship with His creation. Everything He has done from creation on is working towards developing and nurturing the relationship between Himself and man. He deems it so precious He sacrificed Himself in the person of our Lord and Savior to redeem us that we could again have relationship with him. Funny how man has a knack for continuing to get it wrong!!!!!!!
    I read this from a book from David Platt titled “Radical”. Seems to parallel some of Pastors thoughts. I have not finished reading it but it has been spot on thus far. That is my legal disclaimer for both copy right infringement and should some unbiblical doctrine be introduced in the last 150 pages of this book.
    David Platt writes this after become the head pastor of a church of thousands of people. “Soon I realized I was on a collision course with American church culture where success is defined by bigger crowds, bigger budgets, and bigger buildings. I was now confronted with a startling reality: Jesus actually spurned the things my church culture said where most important.”
    “But if Jesus is who He says He is, and if His promises are as rewarding as the bible claims they are, then we may discover that satisfaction in our lives and success in the church are not found in what our culture deems most important but in radical abandonment to Jesus.”
    The question for each child of God is do I choose to appear successful to my peers (pride) or be successful to He who sets the standard. Do we do the popular thing or look like the fool that with all his joy sold all he had and purchased that field?!?

  2. Amen! I think of Misty Edwards song shake what needs to shake and brake what needs to be broken in our lives(in the body of christ) so we want more then Christ and Christ alone!!To walk and be like Jesus!!!

  3. Hey Brother Mark, are we not some big time fools for the Lord? All righty then, I’d rather be deemed a fool for the Lord- a Jesus freak- if you will, than a wiseman of this world. Amen X 3, plus infinite Glories to the Lord,add in a big heap of Hallelujahs, 7X70x70 splashes of the Holy Spirit, stir, mix, and absorb till you are slain in the Spirit and on your knees.!!!

  4. We are lucky and blessed to find a group with sound bible teachings, so many dont have this, its sad, I know of a church that wont let anyone be a member unless they see last years tax papers they want to get from people all that is due them! I hasve a real problem with this, it is a huge assembllley of god church and they should know better than this this church forgot what they were grounded on and their history as a church. most assembley of gods are very right on, i would send someone to most assembley of gods. This one church tells people were they can sit you just dont go in there and sit, you have only certain places that you can sit, onlt special people can set in different areas, if a person going there needs spiritual help they dont get it you have to make a appointment for any help like that and you may have a long wait. im wondering What happened? they are very rich but very poor The needs of their people go unmet too often, prosparity and being positive is very big there, I pray God just messes them up so they can get right. Dont ever take god for granite, we could end up messed up, his word is a lite unto our feet, with out it we are on our way of really missing out in our lives and the lives we effect.

  5. What a dangerous thing to fade away from the truth into man’s idea of living for Christ. This reinforces why we need to stay saturated in God’s Presence and always valuing the study of His holy Word. God’s Word and the Holy Spirit will guide us away from these dangerous side journeys.

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