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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Successful Failure"

August 23, 2006

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I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 1 Corinthians 3:6

It is praiseworthy that we like to be successful in all we do for the Lord, but sometimes we seem to fail utterly.

Jesus invited the people of Jerusalem to come to Him, but they would not. Paul did not win all to whom he preached the Gospel. In a parable that Jesus gave us, some of the good seed of God's Word fell on hard, shallow, and weedy soil and did not grow or produce a harvest.

God does not hold us responsible for success. He only asks that we work faithfully and to the best of our abilities.

God calls some of us to plant the seed, others to water it, but only He can make it grow. When a person believes in Jesus as Savior, that is entirely the work of God.

God can turn what looks like failure to us into success. What looks hopeless today may become God's great victory tomorrow. His ways are not our ways. We are sure that His Word will accomplish what He wants and our labors are not in vain in the Lord. In this confidence we serve faithfully -- doing our sowing and watering -- and leave the success in God's hands.

PRAYER: When things seem to go wrong, assure us, Lord, that the work we do in Your name will not fail; for Jesus' sake. Amen.

(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: 1 Chronicles 23-25    1 Corinthians 14:21-40

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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