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"Lessons From A Shark Tank"

PastorMikeOsthimer1
"Looking unto Jesus"

Hebrews 12:2a


Watching the television show 'Shark Tank' on Sunday afternoon I was enjoying the dialog taking place between one of the entrepreneurs seeking financial backing and wisdom and with all the Sharks, whom also expressed interest in becoming business partner to this entrepreneur. The conversation taking place sounded more like a bible study then a business proposition. By the time the show ended I was more convinced than ever that the same principle for building a successful business are much the same that are needed to build a successful spiritual life. Read on and you decide. 

One of the Sharks shared that to be a successful entrepreneur required "laser like focus" which in my mind meant putting Hebrews 12:2 into practice by fixing our eyes on the Lord, "looking unto Jesus". I thought of the conversation in Luke chapter 9 where Jesus is in a dialog with people who have expressed interest in following Him. Jesus doesn't refuse their request but instead challenges them to count the cost. Jesus says, unless a person is willing to forsake everything in their lives to follow Him they might as well not waste their time as Jesus response demonstrates that a half hearted commitment is no commitment at all, as Jesus plainly teaches in Luke 9:62, "But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

One of the other Sharks that entered into the discussion said one of the principles they live by in their own life is, "Get rid of the things that don't matter and focus on the things that do." To be successful they said you need to constantly evaluate your life and as they put it, "go lean", learn to be a minimalist if we are to get rid of the clutter. Two of my favorite passages of scripture came to mind as I listened intently to everything that these successful business executives had to say. 

First, going back to Hebrews 12:1-2 the writer of Hebrews shares with us the basis of a successful spiritual life, "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Such wisdom there is in "looking unto Jesus". Just as the apostle Paul exhorts us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith we do well to get rid of the things that don't matter in our lives so that we can focus on the things that do.

The Bible provides us with many examples as to why and how we should and can get rid of the things that don't matter so we can focus on the things that do. In Philippians 3 we read the words of the apostle Paul who most would agree lived a very successful Christian life. If there was a Christian television show called, "Shark Tank" that was about men and women who are 'billionaires' spiritually speaking with regard to their faith in God and who willingly share their wisdom on what is takes to be successful in our spiritual journey I am pretty certain the Apostle Paul would be a regular on the show. 

The Apostle Paul puts one of his keys to spiritual success in writing for us in Philippians 3:12-14, "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." In a nut shell, Paul affirms in the spiritual realm what I witnessed on "Shark Tank" Sunday afternoon taking place in the business realm. Had Paul been on the show on Sunday he might has simply said, "Let go and let God."

Are there things in your life, loved one, that are keeping you from reaching your goals? Is there something or someone that is weighing you down spiritually instead of helping you up so you can fix your eyes on Jesus? Seek to eliminate the distractions. Take Jesus words to heart today and "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). Set your mind on the prize today! Live like a spiritual billionaire, loved one as you determine to keep the main thing the main thing! And don't ever forget that Jesus is the main thing! Focus, focus, focus… 


"Do you not know that those who run in a
race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

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