Friday, March 30, 2012

Worthy Achievements

Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. (2 Chronicles 14:2 NIV)

AchievementsWith the passing of Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs in October 2011, the world is said to have lost one of the greatest and most well-known innovators and visionaries. Jobs is best remembered for changing the modern culture with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. His achievements are reckoned by many as legendary because his creations changed the way people live and stay connected.

According to Wired.com, during his keynote address at Macworld 2007, Jobs announced the launched of three things—“A widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communications device.” All these three things are of course found in one—the iPhone. Since then, Apple's phone has been hailed by many as the coolest device that completely changed the expectations of how a smartphone should look, feel, and behave.

Like the achievements of Jobs, the Bible also mentioned the achievements of one who had done great things in times past. Asa, king of Judah, was reckoned by God as having done what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles during his reign. He also commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to obey God's laws and commands (2 Chronicles 14:2-4). All these things that Asa did, along with other events during his reign, his achievements and the cities he built, are recorded in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah (1 Kings 15:23).

Steve Jobs and King Asa are both remembered for doing the right things. Jobs’ achievements are recognized by the world, while King Asa’s achievements are recognized by both the world and God. What about our achievements? Are we achieving what we hope to be remembered for as doing something of worth? Are the things we are accomplishing today intended for achieving great things to receive the praise of men or even to gain favor from God?

Working hard and smart to achieve targeted goals is nothing wrong. However, our God does not need us to be like Steve Jobs or King Asa to receive His approval. He does not require us to prove our worth or accomplish great things to please Him, for we are justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24). We ought not therefore to pressure ourselves unnecessarily, for the yoke of our Lord is light and not burdensome (Matthew 11:29-30). Just as Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God (2 Chronicles 14:2), let us likewise simply do what is good and right.

Rather than regard our earthly achievements as worthy of praise, therefore, let us consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing our Lord. What is more, our achievements are nothing in comparison to the gain we receive in Christ, having no righteousness of our own but the righteousness from God through faith in Him (Philippians 3:8-9). If we therefore have anything to boast, let our boasts be in the Lord, for it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends (2 Corinthians 10:17-18).

Dear Lord, thank You for accepting us just as we are, and not according to our achievements. You O God do not need us to prove our worth or accomplish great things before granting us Your approval, and we are grateful for that. Help us Lord to simply do what is good and right in Your eyes, rather than attempt to earn Your favor, for all our earthly achievements are nothing compared to the surpassing worth of knowing You. Set our hearts right O Lord that we may not seek praise from men, but do all things for the glory of Your name.

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