"And Philip went down to the city of Samaria . . ." Acts 8:5
You never know how much money is worth till you see how little it can buy. None of the gifts of God can be purchased with money – not honor, not love, not peace, not a clean conscience, not even the respect of others. If one were to give all they have to buy love, nothing would come of it. Regardless of how much one might give, it would never purchase the salvation of God, for redemption is priceless. It's the gift of God in Christ.
When Jesus first called the disciples He did not ask of them to pay for the privilege with gold or silver. Upon their commission to go to the ends of the world, Jesus never charged them a fee for following Him.
Yet sadly, today this is lost on many believers in our culture of commerce and consumerism, where everything has a price and is for sale. The condition for success in our world today is entirely a self-centered pursuit. Where push, determination, and self-promotion are the requirements for getting ahead.
Jesus’ teaching and example runs counter to our society. He taught His followers to put aside both the end to which the world aspires, as well as the means sought to attain it. The Christian’s idea of success is something far above riches, fame and power. Success from God’s perspective is achieved through discipline, sacrifice, and surrender, humble service coupled with a child-like faith. Jesus called His followers to find success by dying to themselves and taking up the way of His cross.
Jesus warns us that riches are a snare. He cautions us not to seek out the seats of honor for the sole reason of self-promotion. He instructs us that true greatness and the success of His kingdom consist in humility. But there is nothing in His teaching that implies that disciples should refuse to stand up boldly in their witness of Jesus. It’s a tragedy for God’s people to do nothing, so Philip went to Samaria and began proclaiming Christ.
What does your definition of success say about your relationship with Christ?