Monday, April 4, 2011

Life's Tough Ten 4. Success

Shaka Smart, the 34 year old head coach of Virginia Commonwealth University,  is a brilliant and fast rising star in the world of mens college basketball.  After VCU's amazing run to the final four, several major colleges were battling behind the scenes for his services.  To most people's surprise, Coach Smart chose to remain at VCU, turning down a two million dollar offer from North Carolina State.

Now before you cry for the young coach, VCU gave him a salary increase that would take him from a $325K base, to a base of $1.2 million!  Shaka was staying put and would be handsomely rewarded.  By every standard in the world's eyes he is the epitome of the word success! 

But the ultimate question in life is will Coach Smart become a success in the eye's of God?  God doesn't measure success by the size of your bank account (that's nice), your job title, or the square footage of your home.   God measure's success by your absolute obedience to His Word,  your acknowledgment of sin in your life, and humbling yourself to receive His Son as the only acceptable payment for your sin.  Success God's way results in more than victories.  His road to success leads to a heavenly home with the King of Kings!

Coach Smart recruited my son while he was a senior in high school before deciding to go in another direction.  His basketball decisions have obviously been very wise, resulting in an improbable trip to this year's Final Four!   But my prayer for him and others in similar positions of acclaim, is that they would not settle for the world's definition of success, but choose success God's way.  Coach Smart has a lot of spiritual interests, but has yet to land on a definitive decision for Jesus Christ.  The good new is this.  As long as he has breath, there is still time.  My prayers are with him and I congratulate him for "Shaka-ing" the world of college basketball!

For every man who can handle adversity, there are two others who struggle with the "problem" of success!  Most of us want to do things our way.  God in His mercy, has given every man and woman the freedom to choose for themselves.  He did not make us robots, but wants us to choose Him for one reason ...We LOVE HIM!  Our ultimate reward is not a bigger paycheck, though we will walk the streets of gold with Him in Heaven one day.  The ultimate reward is found in six words from the Lord to summarize our lives..."Well done, good and faithful servant"! Matthew 25:19

The Lord told Joshua these words as he sought success in leading the children of Israel into the promise land in Joshua 1:6-9. 

"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

So the choice is yours.  Will you take the world's way of success and it's momentary pleasures, or will you choose the Lord's way of success and its eternal benefits and rewards.  As I pray for Shaka, I'm praying for you!  Joshua near the end of his life told the people these words in Joshua 24:14-15

14 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

Make the best choice today!

ULTIMATE SUCCESS - "COME TO JESUS" Adrian Rogers - prince of preachers - VICTORY with JESUS!

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