Five Keys For a Successful 2018

Posted on January 2, 2018 by Steve Willis in Article from The Messenger

Do you want 2018 to be a successful year for you and your family? I don’t usually give a sermon recap for a Messenger article, but several people asked me for an outline with the specific verses I referred to in my sermon….so here it goes.For the follower of Christ, at the heart of every dream and goal must be hearing the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). That’s all we want to do is to please God.  Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), so any dream or goal must begin there.

 But we must also understand that our prayers offered in faith (Matt. 21:22) must be accompanied by good deeds (Isa. 32:8).  In other words, our faith must compel us to action (James 2:14-18).  What are those actions?  From what I understand in Scripture, and from what I gather from wise men and women who have mentored me over the years, there are five common denominators, FIVE KEYS, that are found in every successful person. They are a combination of biblical attitudes and behaviors that successful people exhibit DAILY.  Their good years are a result of the compilation of many good days.  What are those five keys?

1. Stay humble. Isa. 42:8. God will not share His glory with others, nor will He share praise with carved idols (man-made objects). Your goals and dreams must be for His glory and not your own. Desire for material things works directly against personal humility. Just like Mary (Luke 1:46-48, 52), God will reward the humble and take down the proud.  Make sure your motives are right.

2. Have a VISION for today and remain ENTHUSIASTIC about it. I have never met a successful person who had a melancholy personality. Driven by their vision for excellence and the great prize of standing before the Lord someday, successful people keep looking forward and inspire other people to do the same. They don’t spend their lives looking through the rear-view mirror (Prov. 29:18; Philp. 3:13-14).

3. Having a vision inspires us to work hard. Be diligent (Prov. 13:4. 12:24). Just as an ant doesn’t need a boss to tell her what to do (Prov. 6:6-8), visionary leaders don’t need constant supervision. They work long and hard without being told.  The same commandment that says, “Remember the sabbath” also commands us to work the other six days.  In Matthew 20 we see the common work day was 6am to 6pm.  That’s 12 hours.  12 hours a day, six days a week. One day off to rest and honor the Lord. Work hard! Get off of Facebook and TV, be productive 12 hours a day, and use the other 3-4 hours you have to develop relationships with friends and family.

Now unfortunately, a lot of people work many hours but don’t get a lot done.  They’re constantly busy but not accomplishing anything.  Their energy is not going in the right direction.  That leads to the fourth key.

4. Plan your work then work your plan. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Prioritize your time (James 4:13-15). “I can’t tell you for sure what I’ll be doing tomorrow, but by God’s help, I’m going to at least get these three things done today.”  Put the most important things on your calendar first and get them done.  Calendars show priority.

5. Finally, practice mastery. Keep learning (Prov. 1:5; 18:15. 9:9).  If you become the best at what you do, you’ll never lack for work.  The people of God should be the best teachers, lawyers, electricians, musicians …. You name the profession, let’s give God our best.

For the rest of this year, let’s just be faithful in the day-to-day. Leave the rest of 2018 to God.

--Steve