“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
This tract is written for Christians only.Although some of its principles can be applied to anyone, only Christians have the potential of living truly successful lives, as defined in the Bible, so only Christians should read this tract.If you aren’t a Christian, we’ll gladly send you free literature to help you become a Christian. All you have to do is ask.
Someone has so rightly said that the Bible is our Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, and one of the most basic things in life is our desire to succeed—to accomplish something worthwhile.Yet, most Christians accomplish very little in life because they never leave the realm of the ORDINARY.If you desire to be an ordinary Christian, likemost other Christians, then I can’t help you.If you’re tired of “spinning your wheels,” and you want your life to start meaning something, then keep reading.I’d like help you by pointing out seven kinds of people who never get anywhere in life.
People Who Have No Vision
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”Of course, the vision in the verse is a vision for God, not just something selfish.
Most Christians spend so much time taking care of routine business and necessities that they never stop to ask the question, “What do I want to accomplish in life? “Consequently, they never get a vision for God.That is, they never realize God’s will for their lives.
Friend, is it God’s will for you to be a wife, mother, and homemaker?If so, then this must become more than your “duty.”It must become your VISION, your passion, your very purpose for existing.If this doesn’t happen, then you will never leave the realm of the ordinary.You might be an okay wife and mother, but you’ll never be GREAT until you get a vision and pursue it.
Perhaps you’re a man, and your life is nothing more than the fulfilling of numerous responsibilities: paying the mortgage, keeping descent transportation, feeding and clothing the family, etc.You’re just ordinary until you get a vision.
I’m not referring to some crazy dream or out of body experience.I’m referring to your ATTITUDE about your life and your service to God and others.Are you pressing toward and pursuing a vision, or are you simply meeting the needs of each passing day?Your vision might be to lead 1,000,000 souls to Christ, to raise $1,000,000 for missions, to write a masterpiece that will bless the souls of many.Perhaps God wants you to become a great musician, a great painter, or a great preacher.Maybe God wants you to be the parents who train up the godliest children in your county.I can’t give you a vision, but I can tell you that you’d better get one if you expect to get anywhere in life because where there is no vision, the people perish.
People Who Refuse to Take Risks
Notice the words of Luke 5:3-6:“And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.”
For the Christian, taking risks should be viewed as taking a step of faith.Jesus, in the passage above, told Peter to “launch out into the deep,” but Peter knew this was more risky, and he almost protested.Nevertheless, he went ahead and did as the Lord commanded and reaped a great reward.
This is a simple lesson, but most Christians have never learned it.Think of all the churches who could do so much more for God if the members would stop doubting and grumbling and start taking a few steps of faith!God is able to do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20), yet Christians are afraid to step out into “the deep” and be extraordinary.Such people usually never get anywhere in life.
People Who Fear Man
“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”(Pro. 29:25)Our church has the distinct honor of being the only church in our county (so far as I know) that preaches the Gospel on the public streets.On Saturday nights, when the weather is suitable, we take our Scripture signs and large paintings to one of the busiest traffic spots in town, and we preach the Gospel and display our signs to hundreds of people.It comes fairly easy now, but the first time was an incredible step of faith for my members who had never done such a thing before.What would happen?What would people think?What would people say about them?They trusted God, followed their pastor onto the street corner, and immediately discovered that God had stepped right up to the corner with them. Today they have some great memories and some great treasures in heaven because of it.They feared God, rather than man.
Today they are part of a winning team, not just an ordinary church, but an extraordinary church, all because they were, and still are, willing to take risks.I am constantly leading our people into “deeper waters” where others are scared to go, yet they always follow faithfully, ignoring the criticisms of men.As a result, we have an exciting and fruitful little church.The fear of man keeps most peopleaway from us, but those who come are getting somewhere in life.Friend, don’t be snared (trapped) by the fear of man.Fear God, and you’ll have none else to fear.Then your life will start meaning something worthwhile.
People Who Are Driven By Emotion
II Timothy 1:7 says that God has given His people a “sound mind,” yet most Christian servants simply “follow their hearts” while abandoning sound thought and judgment.Emotions certainly have their place in one’s life, but they should never be the guiding force.God gave us BRAINS as well as feelings, and we should show Him our appreciation by USING our brains.
I think of the many Christian men across America who “feel called” to go into “full time evangelism” or “full time street preaching.”My observation through the years has been that most of these men (though not all) are bringing unnecessary hardships upon their wives and children while traveling around the country and refusing to settle into any local church and submit to its pastor.I have met women and children who were just plain miserable and worn out as a result of tagging along with the “head of the family”while he chased his selfish dream up anddownthehighways.If this man had used his head as well as his heart, he would have put together a better plan for his family (first) and his ministry (second).People who sacrifice the joy and stability of their families do not succeed.They simply play make believe.That’s just one example.
People need to balance their emotional preferences and desires with sound thought.Failure to do so leads to failure in life.
People Who Are Lazy
Proverbs 21:25 says, “The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.”A man who won’t work is a man who won’t succeed.God ordained that men should spend their days WORKING, so laziness is a SIN, and God is not in the habit of blessing sin.
Someone once said, “No plan will work until YOU work.”With the word “work” occurring over 400 times in the Bible, one shouldn’t expect to succeed without it.
If your desire is to learn the word of God, you must work (II Tim. 2:15).If your desire is to be anevangelist, you must work (II Tim. 4:5).If you want to be a pastor, you must work (I Tim. 3:1).Perhaps you are a Christian lady who wants to be a great and godly mother of children; you too must work (Pro. 31).Lazy people are failures in life.It is our Christian duty to be filled with God’s Spirit and to remain ZEALOUS in His work.Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”Most Christians are not doing anything with “their might” (except maybe watching television or engaging in sporting events).Consequently, they aren’t getting anywhere in life.
People Who Refuse to Do As They Are Told
Some Christians are just too self-centered and proud to take orders or receive advice from others.Such people usually end up depressed and backslidden.
No one knows everything, so it is needful for everyone to be able to take orders or advice from others.I once had a man in my church who thought he knew everything.He loved giving advice to others, but he hated taking advice.Being his pastor, I gave him advice at times, even an order or two.Rather than humble himself and learn to excel as a Christian (I Pet. 5:6), he hardened himself and became a perpetual failure in life.Many preachers have tried to help this man, but he refuses to be instructed by others.His proud spirit is an incurable wound.He cannot succeed.
People Who Do ONLY As They Are Told
A wise employer once told me something very profound.He said, “There are two kinds of people who never get anywhere in life: those who never do what they are told and those who do ONLY what they are told.”
Jesus said, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”(Mat. 5:41)We call such people “EXTRA MILE” Christians because they go above and beyond the call of duty.Not everyone can succeed in life, but does it not make sense that the extra mile Christians will stand a far better chance of success?While some do their duty and thenWAIT for things to happen, others go beyond their duty and MAKE things happen.Someone else said it this way: “There are three kinds of people in life: those who WATCH things happen, those who MAKE things happen, and those who WONDER WHAT HAPPENED.”Christian, you can decide which group is yours, but I can assure you that God will never use you to make things happen if you don’t learn to do MORE than you’ve been told.
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