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Would Jesus be a success in today’s world?

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While scanning a list of titles on Amazon, I stopped to read the summary of a book titled “The Selfish Guide to Success: How To Use The Power Of Momentum To Change Your Life And Put The Focus Back On You.”

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”— Luke 19:10 (NIV).

Before I read the summary, I knew it was not a book I would purchase. The title says it all. However, the hype used by the author to attract buyers was what I expected. Here is just a portion of the description:

Why is it so hard to find success with long-term goals? Again, and again, your dreams come up short. No matter how hard you work, it feels like you’re never where you want to be. Never where you deserve to be.

The problem isn’t you. You fail because you’re not putting enough focus on you.

We live in a world where we are expected to constantly worry about others. It’s no wonder we feel stuck.

Understand how to pay yourself first. It’s in your DNA. Don’t ignore it, exploit it! Shape your willpower. I’ll teach you how to fully recharge and make the most of your energy each day. Tips and tricks to show you how to bounce-back from bad days, and how you can stop them before they get out of control. This guide contains powerful selfish techniques to help you bust out of any slump.

Jesus on the CrossYes, I know the book wasn’t written from a Christian perspective, but does that sound like anything Jesus would say or do? Hardly. In today’s society, success is defined in terms of achieving goals, acquiring wealth and having prestige, favor, status and power. For most, the definition of success is equated with the “here and now” of this life.

By today’s standards of success, Jesus would be termed a failure. He had few material possessions. He didn’t even own a home. Rejected by most people and hated by others, He was despised by the religious leaders of the time and even his closest friends deserted Him in His time of need. Then, accused and found guilty of things He didn’t do, Jesus was beaten, spit upon, cursed and mocked before suffering one of the most horrible kinds of death known to man at that time.

But seeing Jesus through God’s eyes, we see heavenly success. God accomplished the redemption and salvation of all mankind through His son Jesus. God loves us so much, He sent His only Son to pay for our sins.

God defines success differently. He’s not impressed by wealth and prestige. Instead, He desires obedience and faithfulness to Him, regardless of the opposition we might face or the personal cost. He is looking for loyal followers who want a personal relationship with Him.

Evangelist Oswald Chambers once said, “God’s call is for you to be his loyal friend, to accomplish His purposes and goals for your life.”

Proverbs 21:21 puts it this way. “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”

This article first appeared on My Christian Daily