A Radical Redefinition of Success

Compass in hand

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2, NIV).

Over and over again, I have been struck by the prophet Bob Jones’ testimony. In the year 1976, he died and was brought back to life three hours later.* During that interim, He had a face-to-face encounter with Jesus. As part of that experience, Bob saw an immense line of people waiting to stand before the Lord. As each one approached, Jesus asked that individual just one question: “Did you learn to love?” 

That one question cuts to the heart of what really matters in this life. It defines the meaning of all of our earthly existence. We are here to love.

When we stand before Him, our lives will be measured by our love. We talked yesterday about true greatness, which is demonstrated by a childlike spirit poured out in sacrificial service. The bottom line; the essence, of a life lived this way, is love.

“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor. 13:3, NIV). It is entirely possible to live a life of service and sacrifice devoid of love, compelled instead by a sense of duty, or even fear. Such empty form bereft of agape will not count as greatness as we give account of our lives before the Great Throne.

It’s genuine selfless love that infuses our earthly lives with meaning and eternal worth. How we need the Holy Spirit to continue to transform us by the renewing of our minds! Daily, in the world around us, we watch as lives are measured by money. A “successful” individual is one who has attained a certain income level and the accompanying lifestyle to match.

Romans 12:2 exhorts us not to be conformed to this way of thinking. Daddy doesn’t want our mind and emotions ticking to this world’s rhythm. He doesn’t want us processing life the way those around us that don’t yet know Him process it. Our thinking, our feeling, our processing, is to be fundamentally different from the worldview of our culture.

Daddy wants to radically alter our value system. He wants to tear down the track inside of us that says, “The accumulation of wealth makes for a tremendously successful life,” and replace it with “Pouring myself out in genuine love makes for a tremendously successful life.” He wants to re-write the programming in the very core of us.

This may sound daunting. But please don’t fear; Holy Spirit is far more eager to do this job than you and I even are to have Him do it. As we continue to passionately pursue relationship with Jesus day after day, without fail, He will be keeping this promise to us:

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts’” (Jer. 31:33, NIV).

The closer we walk with Him, the more indelibly His law of love will be inscribed into the quintessential substance of who we are. The closer we walk with Him, the more His tenderness will transform our lives into a truly selfless success.



When your life is over, how do you hope to be remembered?

10 thoughts on “A Radical Redefinition of Success

  1. Two things: First, as usual, I have enjoyed what you have written. You write in a way that brings the truth of God to the forefront of the heart and mind. This serves to remind me today that we love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). God supplies us with the love we are to love others with!
    Second: As we concluded Bible study last night, I asked the very same question you ended your blog with. How awesome is that!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Chuck! That is truly so very, very cool! How I LOVE the way the Holy Spirit coordinates such details, confirming His message to our hearts and that we are right in sync with Him! And AMEN to Him supplying the love so we can love others like He loves us! How amazing is He!! Thank you so much for sharing, my brother. This blesses and edifies me 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    As I stand in the Presence of the KING OF KINGS, I will worship the FATHER for all ETERNITY. I will sing – HOLY, HOLY, HOLY to our ETERNAL GOD. len wisniewski

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m learning how to love – still, at the ripe age of 53. I grew up feeling “tolerated” rather than loved. It’s taken over 20 years of marriage to a patient, persistent, loving man for me to be able to navigate the vulnerability and risk of loving others – to even get what it looks like or how it’s done. But early in my marriage, I told God that I regretted that I didn’t know how to love. Very clearly, He said, “That’s why I gave you John.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laronda, I rejoice with you for Daddy’s faithfulness. I am deeply, deeply glad that He gave you John. What a special ministry Daddy has committed to him, in being His own representative to you. That’s precious beyond what words can express. Thank you so much for sharing, and may Holy Spirit continue to heal your heart, taking you deeper into His amazing love for you!!


  4. WOW! Thank you for this post and for the people who comment on the post. Do any of you belong to Aglow International? An unimportant question except I was wondering. My first should be.. Do you really know Jesus Christ? Are you saved by His atoning death at Calvary. Are you ‘born again’ into a New Kingdom? Can you LOVE with His Love both Him and the Peoples of the world? Then, life does have a new dimension and an answer to why we are here. Blessings! .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes and amen to those vital bottom line questions!! No, I am not a part of Aglow, but I have heard wonderful things about it! I so appreciate you taking the time to share all your insights and thoughts, Faye! Blessings to you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s