Matters of Faith: A Recipe For Success – Part 2


by Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv.

Psalm 34:4-6, 15-20

“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles  

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. 16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. 20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.

Last week we opened a discussion about success and what it looks like from God’s perspective. How did you like the little taste you had last week? We stuck our spoon in and got a taste of His goodness. Was it as good as you thought it would be or better? If you liked that, today we complete what I call David’s, or the Psalmist’s “Recipe for Success.”   

What I didn’t tell you last week is that it is necessary to start the process with two of the four “P’s”; Prepare prayerfully and Plan purposefully. Now, the next ingredient needed is TC, tongue control. Holding your tongue is an ingredient!

Someone once said, “just because it comes into your mind does mean that it has to come out of your mouth! The writer of Proverbs says, “Even a fool is thought wise when he keeps his mouth shut (Proverbs 17:28). Jesus said that it isn’t what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out (Matthew 15:11). But the one that’s most succinct to me is found in the lyrics of a rap song by Coolio that says, “It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Knowing that the Lord sees and hears those who seek Him (v. 15) and forgets those who stir up trouble (v. 16), another ingredient is integrity. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as an “unimpaired condition; firm adherence to a code, especially those of moral or artistic values.” When it pertains to success, integrity is what you do when no one is watching. Integrity is a necessary ingredient!

We also have to include compassion and empathy into the mix. You don’t want to separate these two ingredients. Compassion and empathy go together. When you have compassion and show empathy for others when they are going through the vicissitudes of life, the Lord honors you while He blesses them. (v. 17)   

Righteousness is another ingredient. A broken heart is understood by God, and a repentant spirit is the domain of His care. The Lord knew you’d have trials and tribulations, so He has a place of deliverance for the afflicted, rescue for those who have lost hope, healing for the broken hearted, and resuscitation for the spiritually weak. The Lord delights in restoration! All of these things develop into a key ingredient called righteousness. A side benefit for the righteous is when tears fill their eyes, the Lord not only feels their pain, He hears their cry and delivers them from all hurt, harm and danger! (vv. 18-20)

Now, you have all the Psalmist’s ingredients and prayerfully have mixed it all together. You now need to preheat your oven with the last of the four “P’s”;  


Proceed positively,
Pursue persistently.


I know, at least I think, you want to get a taste of the finished product; Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.” You will soon find out that “Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! So let me encourage you; “Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.”


God Bless +++


Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM., or by phone at 626-226-1448. Note: You don’t have to talk, but you can access the show by calling in.   


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