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GLMX #157: The Problem With “Stuff”

 

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Many people place a lot of value on the things they own. They work hard to buy cars, clothes, jewelry, appliances, or the newest electronic device. Many of these same people find their satisfaction in the things they own. They live for the thrill of getting some new item that they have long desired. Sadly, people cling to things and are consumed by the pursuit of “stuff” they think will make them happy, attractive, or fulfilled.

Today, our society is more materialistic than ever. Our materialism is like a sickness: we are addicted to “stuff” and the pursuit of “stuff”. However, as with any addiction, the more we have of the drug, the more we want of it.

This constant craving for material things is futile and foolish. The problem with “stuff” is that it is not fulfilling. We get bored with things after a while. Stuff does not last. It decays and gets old. It can be taken away — stolen, destroyed by accident, or destroyed in a natural disaster.

The stuff that we gain on this earth will one day perish. The Bible says in Second Peter 3:10 that “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Because this physical world and all that is in it will perish one day, it is foolish to place our hearts where our earthly treasure is. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:19-20: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”

What are these “treasures in Heaven”? These treasures are eternal rewards — eternal “stuff” — that you will gain by becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. You will gain peace with God, joy because of your salvation, and fulfillment an purpose through your service to Jesus Christ. You will also gain Heavenly rewards that far surpass the value of anything you can gain on this earth. First Corinthians 2:9 says, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Would you like to trade temporary earthly gain for eternal rewards? Would you like to give up your reliance on material things that can be taken away for eternal things that can never be taken away? If so, there are a few steps you must take.

+ Plus, listen to Lecrae singing “Confessions”

GLMX #156: A New Heaven and a New Earth

 

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Have you ever felt dissatisfied with the world? Have you ever felt as though there ought to be more to the life that you are living? As though there was something major missing from your life? Do you know what it is you are longing for?

You are longing for life as it was meant to be lived.

J.R.R. Tolkien, the late English writer and professor most known for the fantasy epics, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, said: “We all long for Eden, and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature at its best and least corrupted, its gentlest and most human, is still soaked with the sense of exile.” Yes, the best of us and the worst of us, feel a tug in our hearts for Eden — the original creation where the first man and woman lived in perfect peace and harmony with God, with each other, and with nature — the original creation that God called “good.” So, what went wrong? Why did Adam and Eve have to leave this paradise?

The reason can be summarized by three words that start with S.

+ Plus, listen to Phil Wickham singing “Heaven and Earth”

GLMX #154: Meet the Attorney Who Has Never Lost a Case

 

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Many people are fascinated by dramatic legal proceedings. Over the past few weeks, many in America have stayed informed about the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin murder trial all the way to its conclusion on yesterday. No matter the outcome of any case, it is undeniable that a good lawyer is perhaps the most valuable asset in a courtroom. Someone once said, “he who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.”

You may have never needed the services of a lawyer in this life. But one day, when you stand before God, you will. And, the best lawyer you will find is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Bible says in First John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…”

This verse tells us the reason why we need a lawyer (or advocate) to stand before God the Father for us. It is because we are sinners, and we often do bad things. And, because God is holy and cannot tolerate sin in his presence, we cannot stand before God on our own. So, we must have someone to stand before God for us, just as a defendant has a lawyer to stand before a judge in his place. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the only person who can stand before God in our place because he is righteous — when he was on this earth, he lived a perfect life and never sinned.

+ Plus, listen to the Katinas singing “Everlasting God”

GLMX #153: What to Do When Death Glances at You

 

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Has death ever glanced at you? Has death ever taken a good, long look at you? If you know what I’m talking about, your answer is probably, yes. In other words, have you ever been in a serious car accident and somehow miraculously come out alive? Have you ever been asleep at night when a fire broke out at your house, but you and your family somehow got out alive? Have you ever had a tornado to rip through your community, and for some weird reason it skips your house, but destroys everything around you? Have you ever had the eerie experience of watching a tragedy unfold on TV at some place where you were supposed to be that day but because you overslept or couldn’t get out of the house fast enough just happened not to be there. That is what I mean by staring death in the face. It is at times like these when we are forced to confront the reality of our mortality.

At such times, which most of us will experience in life, what do you choose to do? I am afraid that most people run away from the seriousness of these situations as fast as they can. They bury themselves in recovering and rebuilding. They turn a blind eye to the reality of what they have experienced. They know that they have narrowly escaped death, but they do not want to face the fact of how close they came.

I believe that when these events happen, we should take a different approach. At times like these, when death stares us in the face, instead of running, we should stare back. We should take a good, long look at death, and realize three things.

+ Plus, listen to Chris Rice singing the “Untitled Hymn”

GLMX #152: Does Nelson Mandela Know the Lord Jesus Christ?

 

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This past week, people in South Africa and around the world have been gripped by the news that anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has once again been hospitalized, and that he is in critical condition. Ongoing prayer vigils are being held in South Africa each night for his recovery. Starting in 1952, Mandela rose to prominence in the African National Congress party, and he began to lead a campaign against the apartheid practices of the government. The government, angered by his activities, had him arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment on Robbin Island. He spent 27 years in prison, and was finally released after an international campaign calling for him to be freed.

Back in South Africa, which was being torn apart by civil strife, Mandela published his autobiography, was once again re-elected as president of the African National Congress, and led negotiations with then South African President F.W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections. The negotiations were successful, and in 1994, Mandela was elected as president of South Africa. He served for five years in that role, and he was celebrated and praised by the leaders of other nations and people around the world. Even today, the people of South Africa see him as a beloved leader who delivered their country from a very dark and difficult period.

Now, at 94 years old, Nelson Mandela is in the twilight of his life, and he faces the same path that every person who has ever lived has faced and will face for the Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die and after this, the judgment.” At this point in his life, Mandela’s accomplishments, accolades, and wonderful leadership mean little. As he faces death and eternity, the only thing that matters now is, does Nelson Mandela know Jesus Christ as His Saviour? When he dies will he go to Heaven to be with the Lord?

+ Plus, listen to the Soweto Gospel Choir singing “O Happy Day”