The Secret Of Success

Friday, June 7, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Standing On The Promises"1 (Lyrics)

2 Chronicles 32:25 – But Hezekiah's heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord's wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. (NIV)

I've tried hard to overcome this failing of mine, but I can't abide ungrateful people. I guess it's because I grew up with so little that I feel the need to thank God for everything each day. When I see people in trouble, experiencing illness, or going through a crisis, they usually want God's help. They turn to Him and the Church for guidance, counsel, support, and wisdom. After the crisis has been averted, most people are very thankful to God and keep on worshipping Him. They remember His kindness and use their experiences to help other people in similar circumstances.

Sadly, throughout my twenty-five years in ministry, I have come across a handful of people who don't change. I've seen God do mighty things in their lives and even what I would call miracles, but it didn't change their character, their pride, or their ungrateful ways. And that just frosts and frustrates me. I guess it's what Jesus calls "casting pearls before pigs". They just take the goodness and kindness from their blessings, and end up trampling the beauty of God's gifts in the mud.

Hezekiah was a great king. In fact, he is one of my favourite characters from the whole Bible. But he also had some pride issues, which had to be dealt with and overcome. I am so glad that he managed to deal with his ingratitude and turned things around so that, as the Bible states, "He succeeded in everything he undertook." His new attitude of gratitude gave him a creed to succeed.

The lesson for all of us today is this: Have we taken God's goodness for granted and turned away from His blessings? Have we forgotten how to thank Him for His loving kindness, even for the kindness of granting us another day?

Prayer: Lord God, You have intervened in each of our lives and there have been many moments when we have called upon You for help. You have remained faithful to us; we are sorry if we have failed to do the same. Enable us to clearly see how much You have blessed, transformed, and even saved our lives. May we never take those blessings for granted, and may we always worship You. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good word John.

    Thank you for this great reminder. Blessings.

    Thank you for this! I think I should read this often!

    Good one John.

    Thank you, John, for this powerful word. It is so important to live each day in thankfulness to our Heavenly Father. God bless you.

    When I start reading one of your messages, I can usually know it is from you. God has blessed you with your words. Thank you for blessing us.

    Such a great devotional, John.
    I’m going to use it in SS class as our lesson is on Being Thankful.
    Keep writing.

    John I am glad you have written again. I have missed your devotionals. I’ll prayer for you about this frustration you feel. One suggestion is just to pray for the person who seems to be ungrateful. He/she may be in need of compassion and caring to be able to receive inner healing.

    Nicely done — and something that we need to remember every day!
    Appreciate your contributions!

    Good-morning John:
    I’m at a crossroad today. Your simple but powerful message is very helpful. Thank you for writing it.
    I’d like to read more of your writing.
    God bless you.

    Just wrote a bit about that same type of experience that I had today.
    But God calls us to reach out in love to them all, right?>
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts via this site.

    Thank you John. I am a young at heart 82 year old and every day my “attitude of gratitude” increases as I review all the years and how God answered the prayers of my Mother for me. I never knew a time when she didn’t exhibit His love and teach me to love Jesus. Through all the times I failed Him, in his mercy, He forgave me and each day is His precious gift to me.
    (B.C. Canada)

    Dear John,
    A big amen brother. Me too. Trouble is, I find myself the wrong side of the line of pride/gratitude all too often which also really bugs me at my fallibility to know/do better.
    People, never mind God, find pride a real turn off.
    However, by the Grace of God all things are possible, eventually. Nebuchadnezzer comes to mind too!

    Morning John,
    With thousands of others who grew up the hard way I can identify with you in the matter of growing up the hard way. I too cannot bide ungrateful people. Nor is it easy for me to tolerate ungrateful people. But I find that it pays to simply pray for such people to God, Who among all His other miracles, is able to make people grateful and to make them know the joy of giving thanks and always praising Him for all He does for them. And If only one ingrate turns around and offers thanks and praise it will still be better than the ninety and nine who do not.
    Thanks for the food for thought today.

    Dear Mr. Stuart:
    My leg broke last year. My church family and my earthly family have been wonderful. They have given me rides to wherever I needed to go and brought food – the whole works. I am eternally grateful and have expressed this gratitude to them. There is one person however, who probably has offered the most help, who has a very hard time accepting my gratitude and has told me to stop telling her, “thank you so much”. This attitude makes me feel more like a project than a person who needs help and companionship.
    God’s blessings on you and your writings.
    Thank you for doing what God guides you to do.

    I agree with what you say — people seem to be totally unaware that God saved them.
    We have had over the years some episodes that stood more, once when on our way through Florida I told my husband to get off I75. I had the radio on and not long after we turned off we hear there has been a terrible accident at the next rest area and it gave us the shivers and thanks to God as we think we would likely have been involved. Likely it was our warning. We have had other times when a feeling of warning to take a different road and later found out that again there was an accident where we would normally have been.
    I think people do not know how to listen how to know that God had a hand in things. We have had other examples and are thankful that we were in tune to know that we must listen to be aware of the messages.
    Thank you for your thought provoking devotionals we appreciate them.

    Dear John Stuart,
    Thank you for your devotional. I especially enjoyed your prayer and also enjoyed and found helpful:
    His new attitude of gratitude gave him a creed to succeed.
    The lesson for all of us today is this: Have we taken God’s goodness for granted and turned away from His blessings? Have we forgotten how to thank Him for His loving kindness, even for the kindness of granting us another day?
    Keep writing,

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