Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 12, 2019

The Secret of Success

A Full and Happy Life

Recently I was finishing breakfast and watching my wife using some nail polish remover; the breakfast room shutters were open so Abby, our cat, could sit on the window sill and look outside. The thought occurred to me there was nowhere on the face of the earth that I would rather be than sitting there at that moment; a sense of peace and contentment flooded me as I thought on those things.

We have lived in this house for almost 45 years and by the standards of many, it would be thought of as less than fashionable. We have added the comfort items that were important to us over the years so we live comfortably by our own personal standards. The house, I suppose, reflects our desires and choices and fits us very well; we enjoy being at home and feel our lives are enriched by our surroundings.

We both feel greatly blessed by our Lord and are always thankful to him for the love, grace and mercy he has showered on us so abundantly. The first 22 years of our marriage seemed to involve a lot of moving for school and work; we had lived in Houston, Norfolk VA, Grand Prairie, Ft. Worth, Dallas, and Austin before we finally settled into our present home. Needless to say, we were happy to finally get settled somewhere for the long term.

Although we have good memories from all of those places and made some very dear friends, it is satisfying for us to stay put and have no plans to ever move again.

An Important Lesson

In his letter to the church at Philippi, the Apostle Paul mentions an important lesson he had learned; in Chapter 4, verses 11-13 he writes:

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

By God’s grace, I seek to apply this lesson to my own life in a consistent manner. Paul explains the secret of his success in verse 13 where he notes: “ 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

We all have these same resources available and can join Paul as we look to Christ for our strength.

None of us knows what the future holds for us but we do know who holds the future; we can also know that he who holds the future has elected to live his life through us, we have exchanged our life for his!

Chasing Dreams

Over my many decades of life I have observed a very large group of individuals both personally and vicariously; I have been fascinated by watching their efforts over the years as they searched to build lives for themselves. These individuals have followed many different paths in their quests to find a fulfilling life; needless to say, these various paths have led the seekers to a variety of destinations, some better than others.

The world is very deceptive in that it presents material things as goals worthy of obtaining; the problem comes in when those goals, once achieved, do not provide the feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment that seemed to be promised. I recall one national sales trainer who commented on that phenomena by saying one just needed to set new goals when the old goals failed to provide the promised results.

A casual perusal of the news will quickly reveal that those who have accumulated a great deal of material possessions have failed to find the peace and contentment promised; the many problems faced by the rich and famous are well known to most of us thanks to the media.

The world is frantic to conceal the basic facts of reality, to hide the truth that could provide the freedom and fulfillment desired by all of us; the truth of the matter is mankind was created in the image of God and only a total commitment to God will provide the path to freedom, fulfillment, peace, and joy.

Finding Reality

The search for truth in the human condition has taken many forms over the centuries. One searcher was a man named Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, a truly remarkable man who has been described as a mathematician, inventor, physicist, writer, and theologian.

In 1669, around seven years after his death, a collection of his notes was published in book form and later became well known as “a masterpiece and a landmark of French prose.”

This was Pascal’s most influential theological work and defense of the Christian faith. One quote from the work has gained considerable popularity in a variety of paraphrased forms.

The original form follows:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”

One popular paraphrase is:

“There is a Godshaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”

The principle is clear enough whether in the original or the paraphrase; without God we are incomplete creatures and there is absolutely nothing that can substitute for our relationship with our creator!

God’s Solution to Man’s Problem

In his grace, mercy and love, “God himself” has taken the necessary steps to fill this “infinite abyss” through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. By his death, burial, and resurrection, Christ provided the “infinite and immutable object” required to fill the “empty print and trace” and restore “true happiness!”

There is only one decision that can be made in anyone’s lifetime that has any real, lasting value and that is the decision to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s Savior!

On September 8, 2011, I published an essay entitled, “What is Reality;” the last sentence still expresses my heartfelt belief on this matter:

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will have effectually and successfully responded to true reality; your life will have been a success regardless of whatever else may happen.”

This is the message the world wants hidden and is willing to go to any lengths possible to conceal or subvert it.

This is the message the church should broadcast far and wide;

if you would be a successful, completed human being then: receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior!


Responses

  1. Excellent message, Mr. Bower!!
    “Mr. Furl” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Phil! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just pour that information into the brains of those we love?

      Like

      • You are sooo right about that.
        I can think of one particular case where that would definitely apply!!

        Like

      • Me too!

        Like


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