GLMX #108: How to Win At the Olympics of Life

London 2012 Olympics

London 2012 Olympics

Olympic events get our adrenaline going. The greatest athletes in the world have assembled for the 2012 Summer Games, just as they have since the first modern summer games in 1896.

But it’s not easy to compete in the Olympics. In the triathlon, athletes engage in swimming for nearly one mile, bicycling for nearly 25 miles, and then running for six miles.

Or how about the ten thousand meter races? Or the four hundred meter hurdles races?

Olympic competition is for an elite few. Not many can do these things well. For most of us, it’s hard enough to get out of bed in the morning. And while few experience the olympic thrill of victory, the rest of us are more familiar with smaller successes and the occasional agony of defeat. Life can be tough, filled with “I should’ve, could’ve, or would’ve” and not to mention “Uh-ohs” instead of gold medals.

Fortunately, there is someone who can empathize with our struggles. He suffered the ultimate agony of defeat: total rejection and pain, so we can win at the olympics of life. 700 years before He walked the earth, Isaiah the prophet had this to say about Jesus in Isaiah 53:3, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

Yet He suffered defeat for us. Verse 8 says, “…for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”

And then He had the greatest victory of all time: Rising from the dead! Verse 11 says, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” Jesus defeated death, lives forever, and has made a way for you and me to do the same.

+ Plus, listen to Mandisa singing “Victorious”

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Lolo Jones: How Faith and Determination Took Her to the Top (Gospel Light Minute #63)

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/54404-lolo-jones-how-faith-and-determination-took-her-to-the-top-gospel-light-minute-63.mp3]
Lolo Jones

Lolo Jones

She is a star American track and field athlete who specializes in the 60 and 100 meter hurdles. She won three NCAA titles and garnered 11 All-American honors while at Louisiana State University. She won indoor national titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009 in the 60 meter hurdles, with gold medals at the World Indoor Championship in 2008 and 2010. She went on to win silver at the 2008 World Athletics Final. She is the American record holder in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 7.72. She recently placed third in the 100 meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympics trials, qualifying her for a spot on the 2012 Summer Olympics team.

Growing up with a difficult childhood in Iowa, she often had to shoplift dinners for her family to survive. Her mother worked two jobs to support her family of six. Her father was, for the most part, in the Air Force, and later in state prison. While in third grade, her family settled down in the basement of a Salvation Army church; and she had to wake up early each morning to avoid being teased by other children who found out about her situation. When her family was about to move again to another city in Iowa, she told her mother, “Mom, I can’t go to a city that doesn’t have a track. I’m trying to pursue my dream.” At that time, her and her family parted ways. She lived with four different families throughout her high school years while at the same time she kept up her grades and fought to fulfill her dream.

She often speaks of how her strong faith in God helped pull her through difficult times. And she has a ritual of reading the Bible before a race and listening to Christian music. She created a buzz when she recently revealed in an interview the difficulty of remaining a virgin until marriage. She said that “This journey of staying a virgin until marriage has been hard — Harder than training for the Olympics and harder than graduating from college. It’s just something, a gift I want to give to my husband.” Her name is Lolo Jones.

GLMX #109: In Light of the Horrifying Tragedies Striking Our Nation and Our World, the Question Seems to Me to be, If You Were to Die Today, Where Would You Go, Heaven or Hell?

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/54406-glmx-109-in-light-of-the-horrifying-tragedies-striking-our-nation-and-our-world-the-question-seems-to-me-to-be-if-you-were-to-die-today-where-would-you-go-heaven-or-hell.mp3]

Daniel Whyte III asks the most important question that everyone needs to answer.

God is our Creator. He made man in His image and after His likeness. He is the absolute ruler over all He has made and has the ultimate prerogative to command man. God’s greatest commandments are these. To love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and might; and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

There are big questions that haunt all of us. What happens when I die? Where will I spend eternity? The single most important question that you will ever answer is this – “If I were to die today, would I spend eternity in Heaven with God?” Your relationship to Jesus Christ is central to the answer to that question.

The Bible tells us in I John 5:12, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” The simple truth is God wants you to know where you’re going! So, here it is in a nutshell:

First, you must understand your need for a personal Saviour…

The Bible is very clear that we all have a huge problem called sin. Romans 3:23 says it this way, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” This verse simply means that none of us are perfect. Are you willing to admit that?

The problem is this – sin has a high price tag…

Romans 6:23a says, “For the wages of sin is death…” In other words, the price for sin is eternal death apart from God in a place called Hell – not a good thing! Because of our sin, none of us can make it into Heaven alone.

Here’s the good news…

God sent help! The rest of Romans 6:23 says, “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Again in Romans 5:8 God says, “But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!” This leads us to the second step.

You must believe that Jesus Christ wants to be your Saviour! Jesus Christ came to earth as God in the flesh, lived a perfect life, and then voluntarily died on a cross because He loves you. On that cross, He literally paid for all of your sins. He took your blame! He punished Himself for your wrong-doings. What a great gift!

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.” God, in His awesome love, came to earth to make a way for you to be forgiven of your sins and given eternal life!

Finally, you must place your full trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour…

Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” In verse ten of that same chapter God says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” He says it’s as simple as believing and receiving! It’s as simple as asking!

If you’ve never asked Jesus Christ to be your personal Saviour, you could do that right now! With Him in your heart, life will make a lot more sense. You could stop right now and sincerely pray something like this:

Lord Jesus, I believe that You are God, that You died for my sin, and that You rose again from the dead. I know that I am a sinner, and I ask You now to be my personal Saviour. I’m placing my full trust in You alone, and I now accept Your gift of eternal life. Thank you for keeping Your promise! Amen.

If you have just trusted Christ, you’ll never regret that decision!

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

+ Plus, listen to Josh Wilson singing “Saviour, Please”

Break Up Your Fallow Ground: It is Time to Seek the Lord (Part 6)

Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #69

Scripture: Hosea 10:9-13

Based on a list of sins which the great evangelist Charles G. Finney gave in his classic sermon titled “Break Up Your Fallow Ground: It is Time to Seek the Lord”, we began pinpointing some of the sins which we as the church need to confess and repent of. This week, we are continuing this series by addressing the next three sins on our list.

I. The first sin we will address today is envy. The Bible says in James 3:16: “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

II. The second sin we will address today is bitterness. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:31-32: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

III. The third sin we will address today is slander and gossip. There are many passages of Scripture about the effects of slander and gossip. But here, I want to draw your attention to one. Proverbs 11:13 says “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.”

+ Plus, listen to Shirley Murdock singing “Change” and Beverly Crawford singing “Higher In The Lord”

GLMX #107: The “Light” Knight Rises

"The Dark Knight Rises"

“The Dark Knight Rises”

Jesus Christ said in John 8:12: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

The long awaited epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is almost upon us.

In part two, the Dark Knight, also known as Batman, saved Gotham City, but he could not save himself, as he ultimately had to take the blame for villain Harvey Dent’s crimes. Being hunted by the police, he was forced to leave the task of protecting Gotham City in Commissioner Gordon’s hands who managed to do a superb job in finally bringing peace to Gotham. After what seemed like ages, this was enough to convince Batman that Gotham City was safe and that Bruce Wayne need never put on the Batsuit again..or so it seemed…

Eight years since Batman vanished into the night, everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burgler with a mysterious agenda. But far more dangerous, far more sinister, far more dark and wicked, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham City drive Bruce Wayne out of his self-imposed exile. In this final part of the trilogy, Batman must face a foe unlike any he has ever faced and this time Batman may be no match for Bane.

Gotham is in need of its true Savior…will he rise? Continue reading

How Hard Times Led Mariano Rivera to Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #62)

Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera

He is a baseball pitcher who has played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. He has served as a relief pitcher for most of his career, and since 1997, he has been the Yankees’ closer. A 12-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he is Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in saves and games finished. His awards include five American League Rolaids Relief Man Awards, the 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player Award, and the 2003 AL Championship Series MVP Award. He is the only reliever to win both a League Championship Series MVP Award and World Series MVP Award. He is regarded by baseball experts as one of the most dominant relievers in major league history. Continue reading

GLMX #106: How to Have Peace in Difficult Times

We all long for peace. We want peace in our minds, in our hearts. We want peace in our family and our relationships and we want peace among nations.

THE WORLD IS A VERY STRESSFUL PLACE

Our fast paced competititve society and broken relationships keep us stressed out most of the time. Every day the media reminds us of war and political discord in our own country.

How can we keep our mind at peace without hiding our head in the sand? Magazines advertise products and activities to relieve our anxiety. Politicians advise diplomacy instead of war to make peace. Diplomacy works for awhile until another unmanageable, unforeseen crisis arises. Continue reading

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