March 2, 2020
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I think most of us remember hearing that news first about Kobe Bryant's sudden death in the helicopter crash. I notice a deep sense of sadness people have. A lot of times it was like they almost had lost somebody that they knew. And then we learned his 13-year-old daughter had died and seven other extraordinary people were also lost in that crash.
You know, Kobe Bryant did have amazing basketball achievements and had superstar status that made this crash a tragedy that was kind of felt around the world. Five NBA championships. Two Olympic gold medals. His famous "work ethic" that a lot of young players called their inspiration. One time he said, "I was blessed with talent, but I worked as if I had none."
Now, I've done a lot of life-coaching over the years, and I'm thinking that Kobe played his biggest and best game after his NBA career ended. Because of where his values seemed to land. A lot of the tributes for Kobe referenced some of the darkest chapters in his life. But it's the way Kobe Bryant lived his remaining years that, measured spiritually, might have been his "biggest game."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Kobe Bryant's Biggest Game - and Yours."
As evidenced even by what he did in his final hours we saw his values. He went to church. And he was being a dad. Now none of us can know a person's heart or the depth of their faith. But we can acknowledge choices that elevate the things that really matter in this life.
People close to the Bryants called Kobe "a hands-on dad." That's a good thing. The biggest points a man will ever score in his life aren't on a court. They're the legacy of love and encouragement that he gives his children. A lot of people can be a hero on the "court" of life. But you're the only guy in the whole world who's "Dad" for your kids. Apparently, Kobe Bryant answered that wakeup call. He invested in his marriage and his daughters. You know, being a hero at home; that's where heroism really matters.
But even more important than investing in your family is what Jesus called "seeking first the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33). Because the One who gives us life and breath is often pushed to the edge of our life because we're seeking our kingdom. But the challenges of family, the reality check of our personal failures, the things that are beyond our control to fix - they can force you beyond "I believe in God." To "I really need God."
Kobe Bryant was actually pressed in an interview to explain what he had learned from that darkest chapter in his life. And he said, "God is great. It don't get no simpler than that." "Well, didn't he know that before the interview?" the interviewer asked. Bryant said, "You can know it all you want. But until He picks up that cross that you can't carry and carries you and the cross - then you know."
Well, I get that, because that's what Jesus did for me when the love of my life, my amazing Karen, was suddenly gone to heaven. In the deepest, darkest valley of my life, He picked me up, and the heaviest "cross" of my life, and He carried me.
And when our "eternity moment" comes - as it did for nine people on a California hillside that Sunday, that relationship is really all that matters. All the trophies, the applause suddenly mean nothing. The Bible says, "Your life is like the morning fog - it's here a little while, then it's gone" (James 4:14). In our word for today from the Word of God in Proverbs 27:1, God says, "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring."
One heart malfunction. One driver crossing the middle line. As a friend said in his Facebook post, "Here's the sobering reality. Any moment could be our last." He's right. In that moment, all that will matter is whether I'm right with God. I can't get into heaven with my sin. You can't either. And only one person can forgive our sin. The One who died to pay our death penalty for hijacking our life from God. That's why I'm so grateful for Jesus' promise: "Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die" (John 11:26).
Look, if you want that resurrection power in your life, you want that love in your life, you want to be sure you're ready for eternity, would you tell Jesus today "I'm yours" because you died for me. You rose from the dead for me."
Go to our website and let us help you there be sure you belong to Him. That website is ANewStory.com. Because there is no greater peace than knowing you're ready for eternity. Whenever it comes, however it comes.