Series: The Good Life
Sermon: Success and the Good Life
Scripture Readings: Galatians 6:7-10, Matthew 22:34-40
Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. (Galatians 6:7-10)
Monday November 5 — Matthew 22:34-40
There are many keys to living the good life. We’ve considered several of them: gratitude, purpose, simplicity (creating margin), and generosity. But the most important keys to the good life that God desires for us are found in relationships. Jesus makes this clear. We experience the good life when we love God with our entire being and love our neighbors in the same way that God loves them. As you think about the most important relationships in your life, think about ways that you might strengthen them this week. How might you grow in love for God and neighbor?
• Prayer: Loving God, I know that the only way I can obey Jesus’ command to love my neighbor is by loving you. Help me increase my love for you this week. Amen.
Tuesday November 6 — 2 Peter 1:3-8
The good news is that in Jesus God has given us everything we need to live the good life. In 2 Peter 1:5-7, we find the characteristics of the good life that are made possible by God’s divine power (see 2 Peter 1:3). Use Peter’s list (faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love) to review your life. Which of these characteristics are most evident in your day-to-day living? Which of these characteristics need your attention?
• Prayer: Eternal God, thank you for giving me everything I need to live the good life. Help me continue to grow in knowledge and love for you and your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Wednesday November 7 — 2 Corinthians 9:5-15
On his missionary journeys, the apostle Paul received an offering for the church in Jerusalem. The purpose of the offering was two-fold. First and foremost, Paul wanted to bless the believers in Jerusalem in their time of need. But he also wanted the Corinthians to experience the blessing of being generous and living out Jesus’ command to love their neighbors. He says that their generosity glorifies God (2 Corinthians 9:13). How is God glorified in your daily living?
• Prayer: God of Grace, you call us to love our neighbor, not just with words, but in actions. Inspire in me a desire to glorify you by caring for people in need. Amen.
Thursday November 8 — Romans 12:9-21, 13:8
Since the time of Jesus, loving people in real and tangible ways (not by simply thinking good thoughts or saying the right words) has been the hallmark of Jesus’ followers. Paul emphasizes the characteristics of Christ-like love in several of his letters. (See Galatians 5:14 for another example.) Think about your experience with other believers in the Church. How do you think non-Christians view believers? Do you think love is the hallmark of Christians in the world today? Jesus says that they will know we are Christians by our love (John 13:35). Is that true for you?
• Prayer: God of Love, forgive me for failing to love you and my neighbor without hesitation or reservation. Make love for you and my neighbor the hallmark of my life. Amen.
Friday November 9 — Colossians 3:9-17
Through his letter to the Colossians, Paul instructs us to pay attention to the wardrobe of our hearts, not just the wardrobes found in our closets. He says that Jesus’ followers are to clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, and love. By wearing these “clothes” every day and nurturing our relationship with God, we will be able to fulfill the command found in Colossians 3:17. Do everything in the name of Jesus today and see what happens.
• Prayer: Almighty God, I am humbled by the contrast between your expectations and the reality of my life. Today I choose to seek your will in everything I do. Amen.
Saturday November 10 — 1 John 4:7-12
If we want to live the good life, we will need to improve our love life, that is: our willingness and ability to love God and love our neighbor every moment of every day. This is where Jesus is pointing us in Matthew 5:48. But the truth is that without God’s love abiding in our hearts, we will never be able to love as we should. If you want to improve your love life, accept the good news that God loves you, forgives you, and saves you (from the power of sin and death) through Jesus. Spend time in prayer today. Accept God’s gift of love. Nurture your love life. Live the good life.
- Prayer: Gracious God, today I confess my need for your forgiveness and I accept your gift of saving grace through Jesus. I know you love me and I choose to follow Jesus.