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GLMX #151: There is Someone Who Does Know Everything About You

 

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Over the past few weeks, the American people have had their eyes opened to the fact that they are being watched by the government far more than we may have thought. We found out that the National Security Agency, which is responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign intelligence and the protection of U.S. government communications, has been storing millions of phone call records in a massive, searchable database. On top of that, through a secret program called PRISM, users’ actions on some of the most popular websites on the internet including Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, Gmail, and Skype were being recorded. Additionally, it has been reported that the government has repeatedly requested huge amounts of data from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others, on the millions of customers who use their services.

This unexpected level of surveillance surprised and shocked many Americans. Some were outraged and felt as though the government was going too far in trying to keep tabs on its citizens. But, did you know that there is someone who knows far more about you than the NSA, the FBI, or the CIA?

Yes, the Bible says in Luke 8:17, “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” Another verse, Hebrews 4:13, says, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest (made known) in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” God knows everything you have ever done, good and bad. In fact, he knows everything you are thinking of doing. In Ezekiel 11:5 he says, “I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.”

Not only does God know everything about us, but we will have to answer to him for our actions when we meet him after we die. Ecclesiastes 12:14 says, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” The Bible says that after we die, we will not only meet God, but we will go to one of two eternal destinations — Heaven or Hell — based on an all-important decision that we make in this life.

+ Plus, listen to Lecrae singing “God is Enough” (feat. Flame & Jai)

GLMX #150: What Fathers Do

 

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Today is Father’s Day, and people across the country are celebrating and honoring their fathers and grandfathers. Fatherhood is no easy task. It requires a lot of heart, discipline, and time. And we are thankful for those fathers who have done their jobs well. Fathers love their children unconditionally. They provide for their families. They are like a protective wall that keeps their children safe from the dangers of bad influences in the world. They train their children and instill in them character traits that they will need throughout their lives. Because that’s what fathers do.

Many fathers also choose to sacrifice in order to make their children’s lives better. This may mean giving up a higher-paying position at work so that they can spend more time at home with their children. Sometimes, it means the father must fill the roles of both parents for various reasons. That’s just what fathers do.

Many fathers aim to follow the example of the Heavenly Father who made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the world. When God saw that the people he had created were going astray and engaging in all kinds of sin and disobedience he knew that he would have to be separated from the people he had created and loved if something were not done to save us. So, God decided to do something to save us. Because that’s what fathers do.

What he did required a tremendous sacrifice on his part. He decided to send his only Son, Jesus Christ, to Earth to take the punishment that we all deserve for our sins. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus Christ had to die on the cross to pay for our sins. It was painful for the Heavenly Father to allow this to happen. But he was willing to let it happen because he did not want to lose any of his creation to the clutches of sin and eternity in Hell.

God’s sacrifice paved the way for us to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and have a home in Heaven with God forever. Have you responded to what the Heavenly Father has done for you? Have you given your life to Jesus Christ who has given his life for you?

If you have not, and you want to make this very important decision today, allow me to show you how.

+ Plus, listen to Plumb singing “Children of the Heavenly Father”

GLMX #149: Invictus or Invictor?

 

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Have you ever heard this phrase: “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul”? What you may not know is that those two short sentences are the last two lines of a poem by English poet William Ernest Henley titled “Invictus”, the Latin word for “invincible” or “unconquerable.” The full poem goes like this:

William Henley’s poem is a poem of defiance in the face of great odds. At the age of 14, he contracted tuberculosis of the bone. A few years later, the disease progressed to his foot, and physicians announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate his leg directly below the knee. He underwent the amputation when he was just 17. Shortly thereafter, he was told that his other leg would have to be amputated. However, by enlisting the help of another doctor and undergoing intense surgery, he was able to save his other leg. This event, and his determination to live, enjoy, and control his life despite his circumstances, are what led him to write this poem while he was recovering in the hospital. Despite his disability, he survived with one foot intact and led an active life until his death at the age of 53.

Henley felt that he needed to be in control of his life, and he thought that he could control every aspect of his existence including what happened to him after he died. From his words, we see that he did not accept that there was an eternal being whom he could lean on for support in this life and for assurance of his destiny in the life to come. He wanted to be the “master” and “captain” of his entire existence.

However, the Bible tells us in Psalm 103 that we are but “dust.” It goes on to say, “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.” James 4:14 says, “What is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” And in Jeremiah 10:23, the prophet cries out, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”

As much as we may try to control our lives, we are not the masters of our fate. God is the one who is in control of the entire universe. The good news is that God has a great plan for each of our lives, no matter what your current situation is, and no matter how your life may be going right now. God says in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God’s plan is for us to live a victorious life.

+ Plus, listen to Bart Millard singing “Victory in Jesus”

GLMX #148: In the Name of Love

 

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In 1984, the Irish rock band U2 released a song titled “In the Name of Love.” The song is a tribute to people who gave their lives because of their love for something that mattered more to them. The first lines of the song go like this.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come he to justify
One man to overthrow

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

Early evening, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?

These lyrics refer to the soldiers of World War II who fought and died for the sake of Europe’s freedom as well as the pacifists who opposed the war because of their love for peace at all costs. The line about the man “washed up on an empty beach” likely refers to Roger Casement, an Irish nationalist who fought human rights abuses in the Congo and Peru. He was put to death by the British government in 1916. The song is also a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. who was assassinated on April 4th, 1968, because of his efforts, through love and nonviolence, to end discrimination against blacks in America. All of these people died because they loved an ideal and they loved people more than they loved their own lives.

The song is also about Jesus Christ who was “betrayed with a kiss” and willingly went to the cross to die for the sins of the entire world. In John 15:13, Jesus Christ told his disciples, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus Christ, as God’s Son, willingly came down from Heaven, took on the form of a human being, and died on the cross for our sins all because of his great love for us. He did not come down and die for us because we were good people, or because we were rich, or because he was trying to get us to worship him. He came down and died for us only because he loved us and because he did not want to see us die and spend eternity without him. As U2 sings, what more could he have done in the name of love?

+ Plus, listen to U2 singing “In the Name of Love”

GLMX #147: Scandal, Olivia Pope and Jesus Christ

 

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Scandal

Scandal

Scandal… the word conjures images of trusted leaders caught up in adulterous affairs, high-powered politicians cutting backroom deals, and scheming, corrupt businessmen running ponzi schemes and swindling others out of their money. The word “scandal” has been thrown around a lot recently, especially since three political crises situations came to light and shook up the White House and other branches of government. Now officials are scrambling to fix what went wrong and to ensure that it never happens again.

You’ve probably also heard the word “scandal” in reference to ABC’s political thriller series starring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope who runs a crisis management firm and operates as a “fixer” to protect the public images of politicians who find themselves in trouble.

Perhaps, some of us can identify with the word “scandal” ourselves. Of course, our problems and crises may not be in the public eye, but we certainly struggle and have done things wrong that we would be ashamed to have others find out about. In many ways, we are just as messed up as the people we watch on TV and read about on the internet who have to work out the problems in their lives under the microscope of public scrutiny and criticism. Sometimes, we tend to think that we are better than others because we do not have the problems they have. However, we have our own set of problems that we must deal with. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:10, “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Yes, indeed, we have to face the problems, scandals, and messed up situations in our own lives. However, the Bible does not just tell us about our problems, it also tells us that there is One who can fix our problems. This problem-fixer is Jesus Christ. How does Jesus Christ fix our problems? The only way Jesus can fix our problems is if we turn over our hearts and lives to him and allow him to do in us what we cannot do in ourselves.

+ Plus, listen to Marvin Sapp singing “I Belong to You”