January 15 – Best Year Yet – How Do You Define Success?

Read Proverbs 3:1-35

I enjoy collecting ball caps. Most of them carry a special significance because I’ve gotten them in places we’ve traveled. This past Christmas, one of my favorite gifts was a hat from Mitch’s Seafood in San Diego. Over the years I’ve also worn many different “hats”. There is my husband hat, the dentist hat, and the dad hat. For a long time it was my contemporary worship team hat. Starting with the birth of Noah almost 10 years ago, I love to wear my Grandpa hat.

With each phase of life and with each hat I wear, at times I’ve felt very successful, and, at other times, not so much. How do we define success? Reading through today’s chapter, we see the results of walking with the Lord – a prolonged life, peace and prosperity, favor and a good name, health, overflowing barns and vats, riches and honor, safety, sleep that is sweet, protection from fear and ruin, and blessings  from the Lord. Sounds like the recipe for an awesome life, doesn’t it? Just like a great chef takes great ingredients to prepare an amazingly successful dish, our scriptures today give us a number of the ingredients God can use to create an amazingly successful life with and for us. Let’s look back through Proverbs 3 and note those tasty morsels: remembering His teachings, keeping His commands, consistent love and faithfulness, trusting, submitting to and leaning on Him, fearing and honoring the Lord, embracing His discipline, earnestly searching for godly wisdom and understanding, and acting with goodness. Each of these is an important part of a recipe that will not be the same if we neglect to add it in with the others.

Much of this list of ingredients reminds me of the three “good” ingredients that we find in Micah 6:8: acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God. In 2019 we can be mindful of each and everything we fold into our lives in the coming year. Side by side with our Savior, we can create something truly awe inspiring that the world will know was successful for His glory. What will they know? And how will they know where it came from? They will know we are successful when the sweet aroma of Proverbs 3 fills the air “in sight of God and man”. The world will know where it came from because the “hat” we wear will proudly proclaim “Jesus is my Lord”. It’s the hat that came from the very special place at the foot of the cross where we gave our lives to Jesus. A hat we can choose to proudly wear every single day. Let’s make 2019 a delicious success together!

Wade Karhan

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