Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. – Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. – Psalm 23.

King Solomon over the course of his lifetime tried about every thing feasible to find satisfaction and fulfillment in life. He had the money and the power to try it all. It appears that toward the end of his life he turned away from his decadent lifestyle and turned back to God. Solomon turned back to the teachings he had received at an early age. He says at the end of his life that man should, “Fear God and keep His commandments.”

The fact is that you may gain the whole world and still lose your own soul. That is what Jesus said in Matthew 16:26, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Solomon understood this and his father King David understood this as well.

King David had a lifetime of experience behind the words that he wrote in the 23rd Psalm. What depth and wisdom are contained in those few verses! Here we have direction for living our lives and for ending our lives. How are we to live our lives? We are to follow our shepherd through life’s journey even if it takes us through the valley of the shadow of death. Even though the way may be fearful, we are to follow our shepherd each step of the way through this life. How are we to end our lives? We are to follow our Lord to His home where He has prepared a place for us.

Over the past few days, I have been thinking and pondering what constitutes, what makes up a successful life. I think that this is it. If we can look back over our lives and say the Lord was my Shepherd then that is successful living. And, at the end of our lives, we can not only say the Lord was my Shepherd but that He is my Shepherd and that is true success. I can think back to the funeral services of so many dear saints of God who did not have much in terms of material possessions. Some might say that they were failures in terms of the world. However, we know the truth of the matter is that they were successes in the ultimate meaning of the word. Because they walked with their Lord throughout their lives and to the very end and into eternity.

Is your life a success in worldly terms or is it a success in spiritual terms? Is the Lord truly your shepherd and when you face death will you know you are going home to dwell in the House of the Lord forever and ever?

(How to have a successful life.)

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