“It’s All Right”, written by Curtis Mayfield, was the most successful song ever recorded by the soul group, The Impressions. Once you hear the lyrics, you will easily see why people loved it. Continue reading “GLMX #258: It’s All Right?”
A few weeks ago, Jon Stewart, who has hosted the popular Daily Show on Comedy Central for the past 16 years, announced that he was stepping down. In a recent interview with the Guardian, he revealed his reason why. He said, “It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working any more, or that I didn’t know how to do it. It was more, ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.’” He went on to say that in his type of work, “You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it’s OK. But the cycles [of dissatisfaction] become longer and maybe more entrenched.”
Stewart also commented on the 24-hour news cycle saying, “Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing. I live in a constant state of depression.”
Jon Stewart’s reasoning is not foreign to the vast majority of people today. Many — including some of the most wealthy, most famous, and most successful individuals — will admit that they experience dissatisfaction with their jobs, their home life, their families, or their lack of success. Many of us will also readily agree that the constant stream of (mostly) negative news about what is happening in the world can indeed be depressing.
The truth of the matter is: true satisfaction cannot be found in our jobs, in other people, or even in engaging in activities that are fun and entertaining. All of these are temporal and there will eventually come a time when they fail to fulfill what we desire for them to fulfill in our lives. You cannot find complete peace or satisfaction through your accomplishments or even through things that you find pleasurable and enjoyable.That will only come when you give your life to Jesus Christ. Many accomplished and successful people have stated that their greatest satisfaction comes in life from knowing Jesus Christ as their Savior and being loved unconditionally by God.
God wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to fill the empty place in your heart that you have sought so long to fill. He will do this today if you accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Saviour. When you become a follower of Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that Christ comes to live inside of us. With Christ living inside of you, you will have the peace, love, joy, happiness, and fulfillment that you desire. On top of that, you will have eternal life, and you will go to Heaven to be with God after you die.
Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Are you willing to make the simple decision to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour today? If so, allow me to show you how. Continue reading “GLMX #248: The Solution for Jon Stewart’s ‘Dissatisfaction’”
The great writer, theologian, and apologist C.S. Lewis once said, “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in: aim at Earth and you will get neither.”
Today, too many people are aiming at Earth and missing Heaven by a long shot. People work hard to obtain everything they’ve ever wanted. They push to get everything this world has to offer — 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 things they think will make them happy, attractive, or fulfilled.
Today, our society is more materialistic than ever. People want, and work hard to get what they want. And, yet, they continue to feel unfulfilled and restless. They are consumed by the idea that there is something more out there for them — that what they have is not enough. Even though they may have everything they have ever wanted, they still don’t have it all.
This constant craving for material things is futile and foolish. The Bible says, ” Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” 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 that you will gain by becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. You will gain peace with God, joy because of your salvation, and fulfillment and 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. You can truly have everything you have ever really wanted. 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.”
MUSICAL SELECTION: David Crowder*Band: “How He Loves”
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.
MUSICAL SELECTION: “Confessions” by Lecrae
This past week Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae released the new music video for his song “Confessions of a Millionaire.” The powerful and insightful song talks about the tragedy of people who spend their time and money going after houses, riches, yachts, private jets, prestige, and power — all the things that money can buy.
Sadly, today, many people — not just millionaires — focus on going after things that money can buy, And what is even more sad is that people actually look for fulfillment and meaning in these things. The truth, though, is that life is about far more than success and gaining material things. And people who focus on these things their whole lives are often sorely disappointed. They were actually searching for 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 cannnot buy such things. Only a person can give them to us. And that person is Jesus Christ.
+ Plus, listen to Lecrae singing “Confessions”[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFVV5SXqqrA]
Just a few days ago, I was listening to a song from the 1990s titled “The River of Dreams”. It was written and sung by American composer Billy Joel. Billy Joel’s song is a reflection of the heart cry of every human being. Listen to these lyrics:
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep
I must be lookin’ for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross
I’ve been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I’d never lose
Something somebody stole
I don’t know why I go walking at night
But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is I’ve been looking for
Billy Joel’s song expresses a desire that many people have testified to. Many people go through life feeling as though something in their life is missing — that something that should be there is gone. Like Joel, these people go through life searching for what is missing in their life. Have you ever felt this way — as though there is something missing in your life? Have you ever felt as though there were a hole in your soul? The French philosopher Blaise Pascal said that “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
The thing that Billy Joel said he was missing in his life, and the thing that many people feel as though they are missing in their lives is a relationship with God. Long ago, in the Garden of Eden, this relationship with God was broken because of the sin of Adam and Eve, the first humans. Adam and Eve had the privilege and blessing of a direct, wonderful, peaceful relationship with God. Everything they ever needed or wanted was supplied, and they lived a life of perfect bliss. However, when they were tempted by Satan, they decided to disobey God, and because of their disobedience, their relationship with God was severed.
Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, all of us, their descendants, are born into this world with a figurative hole in our hearts. That hole is representative of the relationship that we should have with God. However, because all of us are born sinners, we are born in a state of enmity with God. There is a dividing wall between us and God because God is holy and we are sinful. Thus, we go throughout our lives searching for the unity with God that we so desire.
Billy Joel writes in his song, “I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore. I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life until I find what it is I’ve been looking for.” My friend, you don’t have to keep on searching for what you have lost. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life searching for a real relationship with God. You can have one today.
100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #38 | with Daniel Whyte III
TEXT — Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
There are so many people who go through life searching for satisfaction, fulfillment, happiness, and contentment. People pursue more money, more success, more education, and better relationships, all in an attempt to fill an emptiness that they feel inside their hearts and souls. These people are searching for meaning and purpose in life. Almost three thousand years ago, a man who we often refer to as ‘the wisest man who ever lived’, struggled with this same pursuit. His name is King Solomon, and he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in which he documents his search for meaning in life.
Some people have said that the Book of Ecclesiastes is a very pessimistic book. But we must understand that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes from the perspective of someone who was living under the sun, S-U-N. Anybody who lives only for this life will come to the same conclusions as Solomon did. However, if you live above the sun, S-U-N, in the Son, S-O-N (that is Jesus Christ), then you will come to the conclusion that life is very much worthwhile. In fact, Solomon gives us a glimpse of this kind of life at the end of his book when he states the following: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
Chuck Swindoll said, “Ecclesiastes presents us a naturalistic vision of life—one that sees life through distinctively human eyes—but ultimately recognizes the rule and reign of God in the world. This more humanistic quality has made the book especially popular among younger audiences today, men and women who have seen more than their fair share of pain and instability in life but who still cling to their hope in God.”
The passage we just read is a summary of the various ways in which King Solomon attempted to find that meaning in life. From this and other passages in the Bible, we can identify six paths which Solomon pursued to find what he was searching for. After searching out all of these various paths, Solomon came to the same conclusion repeatedly — they all were “vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
The word “vanity” is a very interesting word. The original Hebrew word is “hebel” and it means “vapour or breath”. Therefore, something that is a vanity is something that is passing or short lived.
Today, let’s look at three of the ways Solomon searched for meaning in life, and how each of these ways failed to provide what he was searching for. Many people today search for meaning in the things we will discuss as well, and sadly find that these things do not provide meaning at all.
1. First of all, Solomon found that pleasure does not bring meaning or satisfaction in life and people today find the same.
2. Secondly, Solomon found that much accomplishments and achievements did not bring meaning or satisfaction in life without God, and people today find the same.
3. Third, Solomon found that wealth and material possessions did not bring meaning or satisfaction in life and people today find the same.
+ Plus, listen to the Walter Hawkins and Family singing “Jesus Christ is the Way” and Deitrick Haddon singing “Sinner’s Prayer”