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                                 THE MOST IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENT IN LIFE
                                 By Stan L. Caldwell


Ask the average person on the street and you will gain various answers to the question before us, What is the most important achievement in life? Even among Christians you may find the answer coming in many forms. What is really important?

I. SECULAR EDUCATION: A secular education is important. We must function in society and without a secular education in is difficult. I have seen people in life that cannot read well. They become proficient in dealing with life in spite of their handicap but it is difficult. I knew one member of the church in Tennessee that could hardly read and yet he listened to the Bible on records and he knew much more of spiritual matter and truth than many of us who do read. He learned to cope and his skill was great but it was difficult for him in many ways.

II. SECULAR EMPLOYMENT: Some would say, the most important thing in life is employment. Employment is important. One must care for his own and if he does not Paul said he hath denied the faith, 1 Tim. 5:8. Paul again said in 1 Thess. 4:11, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you”. It is a command of God that we work.

III. MARRYING A GOOD WIFE: Marrying a good wife is certainly important. Genesis 2:18 says, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Prov. 18:22 reads, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” Prov 19:14, “a prudent wife is from the LORD.” Prov 31:10-11, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” Finding and marrying a woman who will help you both spiritually and physically in this life is a treasure beyond words to describe. God bless such a woman and the man who marries her.

IV. HAVING CHILDREN: Psalm 127:3-5, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” I know of few blessings that compare to this. So many women are seen in the Bible as feeling they were cursed when they could not bear children and then they are so blessed when they had them. Think of Rachel, Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, etc.

These things are among the most important things of life. I’m sure you can add to this a host of other such things that are important. God has not begrudged us these things. In fact he has blessed most of us with these things and we are to be extremely grateful to God as a result. Let us ever bow our heads and thank our God for the many blessings he has given. Mal 3:10 exhorts, “prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” He has blessed us!

When we look to the Word of God we begin to think of God’s attitude toward life and what is really important for man to achieve. We might look to many things that God holds important for man but there seems to be one that stands out more than they all and that is the salvation of the soul. God had an eternal purpose for man’s salvation in Christ, Eph. 1:11 & 3:11. Christ came to this earth to save sinners, 1 Tim. 1:15; Luke 19:10. The Holy Spirit has revealed God’s will to us for this cause, 2 Tim. 3:15-17. Paul admonished us in 1 Tim. 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” I believe God sees nothing more important than saving souls. May he help us to see this and ever work toward this goal!

I. SAVING SELF: Too many are hypocrites. They have a zeal in telling others how to live their lives but fail to practice what they preach. They are more interested in seeing the flaws in others than they are in seeing the flaws in themselves. They are like the woman who kept seeing her neighbors laundry with spots all over the white sheets until she realized that the spots were on her own window. Jesus deals with this in Matthew 7:5 saying, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” The most important thing before us is to “Save yourselves from this untoward generation”, Acts 2:40. “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”, Phil 2:12. How can you help someone else, if you are not living right yourself? When you die, what difference will it make what else you have accomplished if you are not saved? Mark 8:36 explains it like this, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” This makes all the other important things of life seem small.

II. SAVING OTHERS: Jesus came to save sinners. He is the actual savior and without Him and His death on Calvary no one would be saved. But we can have a part in saving others. Paul did say, “save thyself, and them that hear thee”, 1 Tim. 4:16. By your good example, by your words and deeds you can have an influence on others for good to the saving of their souls. Your family is so important to you that this is where to start. You influence them either for good or bad for they are the closest people to you. If they see Christ in you in all things, they will be encourage to have Christ in them. If they see this is the most important thing in your life, they will be influenced to make it the most important thing in their lives. But there are others with whom you come in contact: the brethren, the world, even your enemies. Jesus said in Matt. 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”. Talk to all you can of the gospel!

Perhaps we do not put enough emphasis on this. Jesus spoke of the first and second commandments, Mark 12:28-31. If you love God will you not keep his commandments, John 14:15,21,23? If you love your neighbor will you not seek his good, Luke 10:29-37?

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