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GLMX #198: Things Money Can’t Buy

Things Money Can't Buy

Things Money Can't Buy

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Last month, the world was unfortunately introduced to a 22-year-old man named Elliot Rodger. His father is a Hollywood movie director, and he was raised in a $1 million home. He drove a Mercedes-Benz and a BMW. He bought $300 sunglasses, was chauffeured in limousines, attended private concerts, and flew first class. He had everything money could buy. But on Friday, May 23rd, he killed six people because, according to a YouTube video he left behind, he was frustrated and angry because women showed no interest in him.

With money and privileges that most people could only dream of, you would think that Elliot Rodger would be one of the happiest people on earth. But he wasn’t. By his own admittance, he was angry and bitter at the world. While psychologists and psychiatrists debate his mental state and try to come up with a plausible reason why this man would kill his own roommates and then kill three others, one thing we know for sure is that no matter how much money he had, he was not happy, content, or satisfied with his life.

Sadly, today, many people focus on pursuing things that money can buy. And what is even more sad is that people actually look for fulfillment and meaning in these things. They look for happiness in cars, houses, success, sex, money, and more money. They quickly find out, though, that life is about far more than success and gaining material things. They realize that what they are really searching for is happiness, joy, love, internal peace and assurance for the future — all things that money can’t buy.

These things last forever and keep our hearts at rest during times of turmoil and conflict. Money cannot buy such things. Only a person can give them to us. And that person is Jesus Christ. Continue Reading…

GLMX #197: Maya Angelou said, “I Believe Jesus Christ Was the Most Courageous of Persons Because He Dared to Love”

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

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This past week, world-renowned poet, award-winning author, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, died at the age of 86. Over a span of five decades, she wrote seven autobiographies, three essay books, and many other books of poetry, including plays and movies. She is perhaps best known for her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was the first non-fiction best-seller by an African-American woman. Her poem “On the Pulse of Morning”, which she recited at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993, was also published, and sold over 1 million copies. Maya Angelou received numerous awards including three Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize nomination, the National Medal of Arts, the Lincoln Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

She was an active member of the Civil Rights Movement, and she worked with both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. In 1960, she was named the Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dr. King was assassinated on her fortieth birthday. Despite never attending college, Angelou received over 50 honorary degrees and was the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.

Mrs. Angelou lived during some of the most tumultuous days America has ever seen. The odds were firmly stacked against her success both as an African-American and as a woman. But, she faced her challenges courageously and lived a full life that was a blessing to her nation and to the world. Maya Angelou said, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” She also said, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

How did Maya Angelou gain the courage to live her life in a way that mattered to so many people? Here is what she said in an interview with The Times-Picayune:

It’s a wonderful thing to know that there is something greater than I am, and that is God…

When I found that I knew not only that there was God but that I was a child of God, when I understood that, when I comprehended that, more than that, when I internalized that, ingested that, I became courageous.

I dared to do anything that was a good thing.

When I was asked to do something good, I often say yes, I’ll try, yes, I’ll do my best. And part of that is believing, if God loves me, if God made everything from leaves to seals and oak trees, then what is it I can’t do?

Maya Angelou also said, “I believe Jesus Christ was the most courageous of persons because He dared to love.”

Maya Angelou’s belief in God and her knowledge that she was a child of God gave her the courage and confidence to accomplish great things with her life. The Bible tells us that God gives all of His children strength and courage to do great things with their lives. Psalm 56:4 says, “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” 1 Chronicles 28:20 says, “Be strong and of good courage… fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee…” And Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Would you like to have the same courage to step out by faith and accomplish something significant with your life as Maya Angelou did? This faith and courage starts with you becoming a child of God. You can become a child of God by believing on the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for salvation. 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.” The Bible also says in John 1:12 that “as many as received [Jesus Christ], to them [God] gave the power to become the sons (or children) of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

This verse shows us two steps to becoming a child of God: First, to receive Jesus Christ; and, second, to believe on Jesus Christ.

Receiving Jesus Christ implies that He has offered Himself for us and offered something to us. When He came to this earth in the form of a man 2,000 years ago, He offered His life as a sacrifice that would satisfy God’s wrath for our sins. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the sins of the whole world on Himself and suffered our punishment from God for those sins in order that He might offer us God’s forgiveness for our sins, salvation from our sins and the punishment of sin, and eternal life with God in Heaven. Second Corinthians 5:21 says that Jesus was made “to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Jesus Christ willingly sacrificed Himself on the cross for us because He loved us and did not want us to have to suffer eternal separation from God because of our sins. Maya Angelou said, “I believe Jesus Christ was the most courageous of persons because He dared to love.” We are the beneficiaries of Jesus’ love for us.

The second condition to becoming a child of God is to believe on Jesus Christ. To believe on Jesus Christ is to place your faith and trust in Him for salvation. It is abandoning yourself to the reality that only Jesus Christ can save you from your sins and the punishment of sin. And it is acting on the realization that the only way you can become a child of God is through putting your faith and trust in Him.

Are you ready to receive the free gift of salvation and believe on Jesus Christ so that you can become a child of God today? If so, you can take action right now. Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray this short prayer with me, and mean it from your heart, to seal your decision with God today:

Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God and congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your new found faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!

MUSICAL SELECTION: “Be Strong and Courageous,” by Michael W. Smith

GLMX #196: The Chapter Invisible

The Chapter Invisible

The Chapter Invisible

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When all our student days are done,
And we from school must go
Still we will honor, love and sing
Thy praises o’er and o’er.
We’ll live for thee, we’ll strive for thee,
We’ll all thy ways adore,
We’ll long for thee and toil until we reach that Golden Shore.
We’ll long for thee and toil until we reach that Golden Shore

Those words are the final stanza of the hymn of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity which was founded on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, in 1911. Unlike some fraternities, members of Kappa Alpha Psi are members for life. And when a member dies, the fraternity refers to them as having passed to “the chapter invisible.” In a sense, it means that that person is still alive even though he cannot be seen. He still exists; he is simply invisible someplace else

In reality, the death of all people can be described as passing from this “chapter” to “the chapter invisible” — a place where we still exist and where we are just as real, but a place where people in this world cannot see us. Continue Reading…

GLMX #195: The Cross of 9/11’s Ground Zero

Ground Zero Cross

Ground Zero Cross

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On a fateful day over a decade ago, two commercial airline flights were hijacked by terrorists and flown into the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Two days after the buildings fell on 9/11, as the dust and ash cleared and as torn and mangled bodies were pulled from the rubble, a worker at the site named Frank Silecchia discovered a peculiar object amidst the ruins.

The object was a 17-foot cross formed from two steel beams used in the construction of the World Trade Center. This cross became a symbol of hope in the days and weeks following the devastation of 9/11. It was one of the few parts of the towers that had not crumbled to bits or been incinerated and turned to ash as a result of the fiery explosions that accompanied the attacks.

As the cleanup effort continued around Ground Zero, this cross was placed on a pedestal on a plaza near the site of the attacks. Many people felt that its survival was providential, and it became a place where people prayed and left notes and messages of hope.

The Ground Zero Cross became the subject of much debate when plans for a September 11 Memorial Museum were put in motion. Several groups did not want the Christian symbol of the cross included in the memorial. However, in March 2013, a U.S. Court ruled that the Ground Zero Cross could be displayed as a part of the memorial. This week, the September 11 Memorial Museum opened in New York City, and the Ground Zero Cross is at the center of an underground gallery along with other monumental artifacts that survived the attacks.

Why is the symbol of the cross so powerful?

Over two thousand years ago, the use of the cross as a means of execution was perfected by the Romans. Author Robert Gidley writes that the use of the cross “wasn’t about killing somebody — it was about killing somebody in a really horrible way. Someone who was crucified suffered the maximum amount of pain.” The worst criminals — murderers and insurrectionists — were crucified.

However, one day, an innocent Man was unjustly sentenced to death and was crucified outside Jerusalem. This Man was Jesus Christ — the Son of God. The Bible says in Philippians 2:8 that He was “found in fashion (or appearance) as a man, and he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Why did Jesus Christ allow Himself to be put to death on the cross? Romans 5 says, “When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly… But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus Christ, the holy and innocent Son of God, willingly sacrificed His life on the cross in order to take the punishment for sin that each of us deserve. This is the reason why the cross which was once a symbol of cruel violence is now a symbol of hope and salvation. Jesus’ death changed the meaning of the cross.

Frank Silecchia. who found the Ground Zero Cross amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center, told reporters, “It was a sign that God had not deserted us.”

When we look at the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, we can see that despite our sin and rebellion against God’s law, God did not desert us either. 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.” The cross is the reason why you and I can have eternal life and salvation from sin and the punishment of sin. All we have to do is do as John 3:16 says and believe in Jesus Christ so that we will not perish but have eternal life.

Because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross — dying for your sins and taking the punishment that you deserve — you can be saved today by trusting Him as your Lord and Savior. You can pray a short prayer right now to let God know that you have decided to trust Jesus Christ for your salvation. Just repeat after me and mean it from your heart.

Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God and congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your new found faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!

MUSICAL SELECTION: “Lead Me to the Cross” by Francesca Battistelli

GLMX #194: Mr. Bloomberg, God and People Appreciate all of the Good Things You Have Done for Mankind, but You are Still On Your Way to Hell; Here is the True and Only Way You Can Go to Heaven

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg

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Michael Bloomberg is a very accomplished man. He is the former mayor of one of the most important cities in the world, New York City, having served in that position for twelve years. He is extremely wealthy and is worth $33 billion. He is also the founder of Bloomberg L.P., the global financial and media company which operates Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg News, and a radio network.

Mr. Bloomberg has also done a lot of good things for people and for the world. Through his organization, Bloomberg Philanthropies Foundation, he has given hundreds of millions of dollars to health institutions, to fight tobacco use, to support families living with cancer, and to support educational institutions. He has won numerous awards and honors for his achievements.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Michael Bloomberg reflected on the fact that, due to his age, he may not have as much time as he would like to see his latest initiative — investing $50 million to stop gun violence — come to fruition. He said, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

Despite his confident, perhaps even arrogant words, Mr. Bloomberg apparently knows very little about what it takes to get into Heaven.

You see, Mr. Bloomberg is depending on his good works to buy himself a ticket into Heaven. However, good works cannot save anyone or get them into Heaven. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” The Bible also says it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” Continue Reading…