This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #360 titled, “How to Quench Your Thirst in Life.” I’m here to remind you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.
Happiness, contentment, and peace of mind are the most longed-for and sought after things in all the world, and few there are who ever really find them. All around us people are searching madly for these precious treasures without success. Psychiatrists tell us that an ever-increasing number of people are aware of an inner emptiness in their lives. Their problems — personal and social — seem to increase faster than solutions can be found to solve them.
Is this all simply evidence of the emptiness of those who try to live without God? Man’s struggle for wealth, fame, and pleasure will not bring him the contentment and happiness that he yearns for. Yet, with a restlessness that is pitiful to see, people are searching from one thing to another, always hoping to find rest and satisfaction in some future accomplishment or possession.Continue reading “How to Quench Your Thirst in Life (Gospel Light Minute X #360)”→
On this Thanksgiving, I thank God for the talents and gifts that He has bestowed upon my family and me and that is no doubt the reason why I love to see people do what they are truly talented and gifted by God to do. It is a blessing to see singers, musicians, actors, actresses, athletes in all sports, writers, speakers, business people, doctors, cooks, auto mechanics, lawyers, and leaders of all types seemingly without effort and almost flawlessly doing what they were given by God the talents and the gifts to do.
Their talents (or gifts) come from God, and He has blessed the world with an abundance of and an array of talents. Every time we see these talents on display, we ought to be thankful to God for them and for the way in which many people use them to benefit and bless society. Many years ago, I heard a popular secular radio talk show host begin his radio broadcasts with the phrase ‘with talent on loan from God…’ Even though I have not listened to him in years, that phrase stuck with me. It was good for him to know that whatever talents and gifts he has they came from God, and it is good for all of us to know that, and we all should give God thanks.
God is the source of each of the gifts and talents that people have received. First Peter 4:10-11 says, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.” These verses tell us that every person has received talents from God and that it is their responsibility to use those talents for the good of others. Every time someone uses the talents God has given them, they bring glory to their Creator, and we should offer thanksgiving to God for the talents that He gives to us to use for His glory, praise, and honor.
Many people do not hesitate to honor God as the source of their great talent, and they seek to honor and glorify God by the use of their talents. Many have also spoken of their faith in God and in Jesus Christ as the foundation of their success in life. Listen to these words from some people whom you might recognize.
Oscar-award winning actor, Matthew McConaughey, said, “First off I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late (British actor) Charlie Laughton, who said, ‘When you got God you got a friend…’”
Super-bowl winning quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson, “First of all, God is so good. He brought me here a mighty long way. My dad used to always tell me, ‘Russ, why not you?’ And what that meant was believe in yourself, believe in the talent God has given you even though you are 5 foot 11, and you can go a long way.”
NBA star, Kevin Durant, said, “When I’m talking in front of people or when people tell me I’m great, I remind myself that I can always be better. I’ve just got to be thankful to the Lord for the gifts He’s given me. My gift back to Him is to always be humble and to work as hard as I can.”
Peyton Manning, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, said, “At age 13, I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since… My faith doesn’t make me perfect, it makes me forgiven, and provides me the assurance I once looked for. I’ve been blessed [to] have so little go wrong in my life, and [have been] given so much.”
Political analyst and columnist, Kirsten Powers, said, “I don’t really feel like I had any courage when I became a Christian, I just gave in. I wasn’t courageous; I didn’t have any choice. I kept trying to not believe but I just couldn’t avoid [accepting Christ]. If I could have avoided it, I would have. There is nothing convenient about it in my life or in the world I live in. It’s not like living in the South where everybody is a Christian. I live in a world where nobody is a believer. But God pursued me.”
Olympic gold medalist, Allyson Felix, said, “My faith is the reason I run – it calms my heart and makes everything feel like a lift. My speed is definitely a gift from [God], and I run for His glory. ”
Truett Cathy, the late, great businessman and founder of Chick-fil-A, said, the main purpose of his business is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us; and, to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Odell Beckham, Jr., of the New York Giants, who recently made what many are calling the greatest catch in NFL history, is also a believer. On the night of the now famous catch, he gave God the glory by saying, “God gave me this talent.” The day after making his amazing catch, he said, “I wanna thank God for everything he’s doing in my life.” He also said, “God is good. That’s an understatement. He’s always on time, maybe not when you want him to be but always when the time is right! God puts people and obstacles in our lives not for us to fail, but to bless us in mysterious ways that our own understanding can’t imagine… If you don’t know God, my advice? Get to know him! And If you do know God, get closer to Him!”
Madison Bumgarner, the pitcher for the World Series-winning San Francisco Giants, said, “If it weren’t for my faith, there is no way I would be where I am at today. My faith is a really big part of my career and my life… The biggest thing I want people to know about me is that I am a believer, I’m a Christian, not just that I’m a baseball player or any of the other stuff I like to do… Jesus Christ means everything to me. He is my Saviour and I live for Him. I don’t want to live for myself; I want to live for Him.”
Actress and author, Candace Cameron Bure, said, “God has changed me in ways that words can’t describe. He has transformed the way I think and live my life. Things that were once important to me are no longer. I can’t help but share the Good News with everyone! I know there is nothing more important. I know that without Christ, the eternal consequences are devastating. I urge you to surrender your whole life to Jesus, turn from your sin and trust in Him with all your heart.”
Denzel Washington said, “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit. I know it’s real… I’ve always understood why I’ve been blessed to be put in this situation [acting and directing]. And I’m more than happy to take advantage of it and to preach, if you will, about what God has done in my life.”
American musician, Sheila E., said, “[After a period of difficulty in my life] I decided, ‘You know what, Lord? If you just give me another chance, I’ll do whatever you want me to do.’ I got the Bible and I started reading and I kept it on my chest. I slept with it and never took it out of my hand for weeks.”
Bobby Bowden, the second-winningest coach in college football, said, “If you love [God] and serve Him and try to be loyal to Him and obedient to Him, He’s not going to let you fail. That’s the thing that has happened to me.”
Albert Pujols (Pu-holz) of the St. Louis Cardinals said, “My life’s goal is to bring glory to Jesus. My life is not mostly dedicated to the Lord, it is 100% committed to Jesus Christ and His will. God has given me the ability to succeed in the game of baseball. But baseball is not the end; baseball is the means by which my wife and I glorify God. Baseball is simply my platform to elevate Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.”
Country singing star, Carrie Underwood said, “I grew up going to church camp and reading my Bible and having different faith books and movies in my life…My songs are sometimes focused on God, Jesus and faith, and that is a part of my “Bible Beltness,” where such themes are popular. I was not the first, nor will I be the last, to sing about God.”
Tim Howard, the U.S. soccer goalkeeper, who also has Tourette’s syndrome said, “Living with Tourette’s is not easy. But God has blessed me with the gift of athleticism as well. He has done some powerful things in my life through the combination of these two gifts. He also has shown me ways to use my position as a professional athlete to encourage others with Tourette’s syndrome. Today, I am blessed to be living a dream. And yet, if it all went away tomorrow, I know I would still have peace. That probably sounds crazy to most people, but that’s the kind of peace Christ gives. It is rooted in His love, and it surpasses all understanding. You can experience this same sense of love and peace, too. All you have to do is ask for it.”
Award-winning actor and director, Blair Underwood, said, “I am a Christian. I believe God has a plan. I believe he is not going to leave us hanging. As a man, in our society, I don’t have all the answers. Being able to turn matters over to a higher power works for me.”
Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy said, “You are never going to get anywhere in sports or in life until you become convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may become a professional athlete or have fame and nice cars and nice houses and a lot of money, but what you’ll find is that all of that stuff goes away pretty quickly. You have to understand that Christ died for our sins, and that He died not just to be our Savior but so that He could be the center of our lives.”
Michelle Williams, one third of the popular group, Destiny’s Child, said, “[Despite some criticism that I have received for doing both secular and Gospel music,] I believe that I am doing my part to be a witness for Jesus Christ. Some people will do gospel when their career fails, but I chose to do it at the height of the popularity of Destiny’s Child. And I didn’t want to do it because it was a fad. I wanted to do it because it’s in me. It’s in my heart. God places people in different parts (areas) for different reasons. We know Jesus is coming back soon and I am doing my part to make sure that people know about him as well.”
Famed neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, said, “If your priority is to look good in front of people, your life will take a different direction than if your priority is to use the talents that God has given you to make a positive difference in the world. I believe God has a specific purpose for me – and for every other person to whom he gives the gift of life. If there is a God and you believe in him, you know the best is yet to come. I always pray before any operation. I think God helps me know what to do….We’ll always be safe in Jesus Christ if we place our faith in the Lord.
Oprah Winfrey said, “I am a Christian. That is my faith. I’m not asking you to be a Christian. If you want to be one I can show you how. But it is not required. I have respect for all faiths… My favorite Bible verse, because I am a Christian, is Acts 17:28. It says, ‘In God I live, and move, and have my being.’ And you want to know why I’m so successful? Because I knew that at four-years-old, I wouldn’t be who I am today without that.”
I could go on with the testimonies of many other people who have become successful through the use of their God-given gifts and talents. But, as we close this celebration of the talents that God has given, I want to let you know that you, too, have talents from God, and you can be a success through the talents that He has given you.
Pastor Rick Warren said, “Whether you are a musician or an accountant, a teacher or a cook, God gave you those abilities to serve others. You are a manager of the gifts God has given to you. They may be great or small in your eyes, but they matter to God. When God made you, He made an investment in you, and He expects a return on that investment.”
I tell people all the time, God did not put you here to do nothing. God wants you to use the talents and gifts He has given you for His glory and for the benefit of others. And when He uses you, you ought to give God thanks.
The main way you can begin to give God a return on His investment in you is to give your heart and life to Him today. You see, not only, did God invest in you by giving you unique talents and abilities, but He made a major investment in You when He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross so that you would not have to suffer eternal punishment for your sins. Allow me to explain: No matter how talented and gifted you are, and no matter how much you may have accomplished in life, you are still a sinner just like everyone else, and if you do not accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, then you will spend eternity in hell.
Allow me to show you how you can accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour today.
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “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.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “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.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. 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. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound 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.”
God loves you! We love you! May God bless you! And Happy Thanksgiving!
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.”
MUSICAL SELECTION: “Be Strong and Courageous,” by Michael W. Smith
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.”
Works cannot save us and get us into Heaven, and wealth cannot get us into Heaven either. Just as money cannot buy happiness, money cannot buy your way into Heaven. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 19:23-24, “That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven….It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” In the book of Acts, Paul told a man, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.”
Our accomplishments, education, or status in life cannot get us into Heaven. You can achieve much, know much, and be a successful individual, and still not even come close to entering the pearly gates.
The bottom line is: there is nothing we can do in our own strength that can save us. Michael Bloomberg’s good works, wealth, and accomplishments will not get him into Heaven. Even if you do more good deeds, have more money, and accomplish more than Mr. Bloomberg, you can still die and go to Hell.
So, how does one get into Heaven?
Let’s look at Ephesians 2:8-9 again. It says, “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.”
First, it says, “for by grace…” Grace is undeserved favor. This means that acceptance into Heaven is not something given to us based on our works or because we deserve it. It is given to us inspite of the fact that we do not deserve it.
Second, it says, “are ye saved…” What does this grace save us from? It saves us from our sins and from the punishment of sin which is Hell and eternal separation from God.
Third, it says, “by faith…” Faith is the means by which we accept the grace that saves us. This grace is a gift from God provided through the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus Christ. 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 only way you can get into Heaven is if you accept Jesus Christ by faith as your Savior. You must believe, by faith, in the sacrifice that He made on the cross. When you reach the pearly gates, your works (no matter how good), your wealth (no matter how much), and your accomplishments (no matter how great), will not get you in. But Jesus’ work on the cross — the soul-saving sacrifice that He became there — will ensure that you can enjoy the riches and wealth of Heaven for eternity.
Today, you can accept Jesus Christ as your Savior so that you can be delivered from your sins and the punishment of sin and so that you can have eternal life in Heaven with God. The Bible says in Romans 10:9 & 13, “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.”
If you want to trust Jesus Christ for salvation today, you can pray a short prayer to let God know about your decision. 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 trust Jesus as my Savior and I choose to 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. 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!