Steve Jobs: Epic & Legendary Failure?

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The whole world is talking about, if not actually mourning the tragic passing of legendary tech and business leader, innovator, entrepreneur,  Steve Jobs. His story is fascinating and many people are inspired by his life. And yet what did Steve really achieve? In the greater scheme of things was  he really successful? Where is he now?

Oh I know his financial net worth was far greater than mine will ever be. And he was far more famous than I’ll ever be. You could without exaggeration describe his life as having been ‘significant’, or ‘epic’, or even ‘legendary’. By every measure the world uses his life was tremendously successful.

The Lord Jesus talks about such a man in Luke 12: 15Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”16And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (NASB)

In the end, it doesn’t matter how rich or famous you or the world thought you were. If you make being ‘significant’, or ‘epic’, or even ‘legendary’ a priority in your life you are in danger of spending eternity in Hell. This isn’t what God wants for you. God wants you to seek Him out. God wants you to be rich toward Him.  When Steve Jobs appeared before God the question of how much money he had, or how famous he was, never came up. The only question that mattered was “Is his name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?” (Revelation 12:15) .  The only way to heaven is through the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. It’s sad to say that Steve Jobs was a life long Buddhist. In God’s eyes that doesn’t make him anything but a bankrupt,  epic, legendary, failure.

Consider some of the following scriptures:

  • He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)
  • For what hope has the godless when he is cut off, when God takes away his life? Job 27:8 (NIV)
  • We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. Psalm 39:6 (NLT)
  • Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1Timothy 6:17 (NIV)
  •  10let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11“He is theSTONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERSbut WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. 12“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” ACTS 4:10 – 12 (NASB)

How about you? Where is your treasure? Don’t waste your life pursuing fame, money, or power. Pursue God. You can only find Him through His Son Jesus.


Warning Stones

After the recent earthquake here in Virginia I remembered a NYT article I read last April: Tsunami warnings, written in stone, saved some.

The article tells of an old stone marker in Japan, that was set at the point of the farthest reach of a tidal wave that hit Japan 600 years ago. The people at this village have always obeyed this warning from their ancestors and so they survived the latest tsunami.

The article goes on to say that these kinds of stones are common throughout Japan, many as far as 3 miles inland. Some of the locals have faithfully obeyed them through the generations. In other areas these ancient warnings have been ignored. It was considered inconvenient to have to commute so far to their fishing boats. I’m sure that many were enticed to live within the danger zone because of the beauty as well as the availability of prime coastal property.

In some areas the stones have been neglected over time: The carved writing has weathered away. The stones have been covered with vegetation. The people couldn’t be bothered to keep up or heed these warnings. When the wave came, they died.

Are We Ignoring Our Ancient Stones?

I am convinced that yes, we American Christians are largely ignoring the ancient stones – or landmarks as the bible calls them – that God has given to us. In Proverbs 22:28 (ESV) – it says ‘Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.’ Instead of hearing about the Jesus who came to free us from our sins, a ‘new’ gospel is preached that teaches that Jesus came to free us to sin. Repentance has become old fashioned and obsolete. We want a God who will allow us to continue to live for ourselves and give us material wealth and health. We are guilty of idolatry because  we have fashioned a god by our own hands. Instead of preaching the Jesus Christ who was crucified, who died for us, and was raised to life by the power of God – the Christ who accepts all who humbly repent and call on Him – we have fashioned a new age politically correct religion which lacks the power to save and is certainly no gospel at all.

So what exactly are our landmarks? What warnings have been ‘carved in stone’ for us that are going unheeded? It’s spelled out plainly in the  Bible. Both testaments together show the fullness of God’s nature. It shows us that from even before the beginning of time, God had a plan to rescue us. It’s full of examples of how people pleased him and walked with him, and how they displeased him and sometimes paid the price for that lack of faith and obedience.  

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:11 (ESV) “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” The context refers to the Children of Israel that were led out of Egypt by Moses. It warns us that the things that happened to them – how they rebelled, murmured, and complained; and how they were judged by the Lord and severely punished was to warn and instruct us not to act the way they did. Check it out for yourself. Read the 10 th chapter of 1 Corinthians.

The only way to heaven is by faith in Christ alone, but both the New and Old Testaments make it abundantly clear that we were created to walk with God. He is holy and doesn’t tolerate sin. We were created to live closely with Him, to hear Him, speak with Him, love Him, trust Him, please Him, and obey Him.

Simply put: pay attention to the ‘warning stones’, the landmarks God has given. Don’t ignore them or allow them to fade with time. Your life depends on it. Don’t allow yourself to be deceived into thinking that just because ‘the wave’ has never reached where you are now, that it never will.

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