How Andra Day Began to ‘Rise Up’ Through Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #219)

Andra Day
Andra Day

She is a singer and songwriter signed to Warner Bros. “Cheers to the Fall”, her debut album released in 2015 was met with critical acclaim, and peaked at #48 on the Billboard 200 chart. At the 2016 Grammy Awards, her album was nominated for Best R&B Album and the album’s primary single “Rise Up” was nominated for Best R&B Performance.

In an extensive interview with Relevant Magazine, she describes how a low point in her life led her to faith in Jesus Christ.

She said, “My mother converted to Christianity when we were very young. When I got into my teen years and into my younger adulthood it was, ‘Yeah, yeah, I believe.’ But I was smoking weed, drinking heavily, into promiscuity—cheating on whoever I was with—just doing things selfishly, and doing music for my own sort of vain persona. I ended up moving out to New York … but my conscience just started to catch up with me. I told [God] everything I had done, I told my family everything I had done. Dealing with the guilt and the shame, you know, it was a very low point in my life. I didn’t have a job, completely broke, sleeping on my mom’s couch in her tiny little apartment. And any deal I had at the time basically fell through. It was a low point, but it was the greatest point in my life.”

She continued, “I rededicated my life to Christ. I was like, ‘I’m not playing games anymore, I’m not lukewarm, I’m not doing that anymore.’ I regret hurting someone, but I’m grateful for who I have become and how close I’ve been able to grow in Christ, because of all of that. I always say ‘those years were formative years. When I came back to San Diego, I literally told God, “God if you want me to do this, I’ll do this. If you want me to teach, I’ll be a teacher. If you want me to panhandle on the corner for you, I’ll do that.

“From there, that’s when the door with Stevie Wonder opened. When things that weren’t supposed to be there came through. Eventually, he introduced me to the producer I did the record with, Adrian Gurvitz.

And so from that moment we met and I got into the studio, I told myself, ‘Tell the truth, talk about everything. Talk about the heartbreak you inflicted, talk about the heartbreak you experienced. What you’ve learned, how you’ve grown, how you continue to try and grow.'”

When asked about her very personal album, she said, “It is Christ who empowered me to be able to say those things. You’re not trying to prove yourself anymore. All you are doing is being obedient, and that really lifts the burden and the worry of people’s opinions.”

When asked about the inspiration for her hit song “Rise Up” she replied, “You know, I pray about everything, and this song was no different. So it was kind of like, ‘God what do you want to talk about today?'”

And when asked how she connects with her audiences on stage, she said, “My band and I pray every time before we go on stage, that “His will is done.” Really, my desire is to communicate how powerful and how life-changing the love of Christ is. Without knowing Christ, you don’t know your potential—how big you really are, how powerful you really are. And I talk about being vulnerable, because you can’t be at His feet without being vulnerable.”

Her name is Andra Day.

This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Andra Day gave her life to Christ, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:

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 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.”

Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!


Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony Wright): ‘One Breath Away from Eternity’, the Only Thing That Matters is Christ (Gospel Light Minute #200)

Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony Wright)
Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony Wright)

He is a rapper, best known for being a member of The Sugarhill Gang. The Sugarhill Gang was the first hip hop act to produce a record, “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979. It was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The group’s albums include “8th Wonder” and “Jump on It!”.

In an article for Urban Faith, he tells the story of how he was able to forgive the owner of the record label over a past grievance and lead him to the Lord on his hospital bed. He said, “I was able to pray with the man who had done me so much harm because ‘He [Christ] loved us first before we loved Him, and because He said, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.’ He forgave the people. He said, ‘Father, forgive them because they know not what they do.’ How many times do we forgive somebody? Seven times? No. Seventy times seven. And it’s grace. Grace can’t be earned. It’s mercy. Mercy has to be shown in unruliness.”

“I recounted the story of God’s mercy in delivering the Israelites on the banks of the Red Sea and with manna and a pillar of fire despite their complaining. And it was the prayer of salvation that I prayed with him. I was hoping that he made that move because what they did to us was absolutely terrible––it can’t be overlooked, but eternity is eternity. This is for a small season, and it was really wrong, but you have to overlook that when you’re feet are on the edge of going over to the other side. So, I had to throw all that out the window. And, it really wasn’t hard when it came down to that. When it comes down to crossing over, we’re all one heartbeat, we’re all one breath away from eternity.”

“I’m a person of faith, but I don’t want to put walls around myself or any kind of bondage because there’s freedom in Christ. I want my priorities to be changed.”

His name is Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony Wright). Continue reading “Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony Wright): ‘One Breath Away from Eternity’, the Only Thing That Matters is Christ (Gospel Light Minute #200)”

Kendrick Lamar says he Uses his Voice as an Instrument to Get Across the Message God has Put on his Heart Which is Encouraging People to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #187)

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar

He is a hip-hop artist and songwriter. He burst on to the scene in 2010 with the release of “Overly Dedicated”. The following year, he released the iTunes exclusive album, “Section.80”. His major-label debut album “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” was released in October 2012 to critical acclaim. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart and was later certified platinum. In 2014, he received 7 Grammy nominations including Best New Artist. In 2015, he won Grammy awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for his song “i”.

Although, he has said his parents didn’t raise him in the church, he credits his grandmother with providing him early exposure to biblical teachings. He also credits God for delivering him from the pull of crime and gang culture in his neighborhood.

In interviews with Complex and The Fader, he said, “God put something in my heart to get across and that’s what I’m going to focus on, using my voice as an instrument and doing what needs to be done….We’re all put on this earth to walk in the image of the Master.” He went on to say, “If I want to idolize somebody, I’m gonna idolize the Master and try to walk in His light. It’s hard, it’s something I probably could never do, but I’m gonna try.”

On the intro to his 2012 album, he encourages listeners to come to Christ with the following prayer: “Lord God, I come to you a sinner, and I humbly repent for my sins. I believe that Jesus is Lord. I believe that you raised Him from the dead. I will ask that Jesus will come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. I receive Jesus to take control of my life that I may live for Him from this day forth. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving me with your precious blood. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

His name is Kendrick Lamar. Continue reading “Kendrick Lamar says he Uses his Voice as an Instrument to Get Across the Message God has Put on his Heart Which is Encouraging People to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #187)”

GLMX #233: Jesus Christ, Andrae Crouch, and You

Andrae Crouch
Andrae Crouch

The incomparable Andrae Crouch said in one of his famous songs, “Jesus is the answer, for the world today, Above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the way.”

Millions of people around the world were touched by the life and music of Andrae Crouch. I was one of them. I remember as a little boy watching the Dallas Cowboys play and listening to Andrae Crouch’s songs playing in the background. Although I was not saved as a young person, I heard and loved Andrae’s songs even though I did not really know what they meant.

Today, however, I do know what those songs mean because I know the Jesus whom Andrae Crouch wrote and sung about. In his song, “Jesus is Lord,” Andrae wrote:

Jesus, He was sent from the Father,
Jesus, He’s a great Messiah.
Jesus, He’s bread for the hungry,
Jesus, He’s water for the thirsty.
Jesus, He’s a friend to the friendless.
Jesus, He’s hope for the hopeless.
Jesus, He arose from the dead,
Jesus, just like He said.

Andrae Crouch’s songs were simple and easy to understand. They spoke very plainly of the Gospel and the way of salvation. They also spoke of what it means to trust in God and follow Him throughout your life. One of Andrae’s most beloved songs was “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.” It goes like this:

The blood that Jesus shed for me,
way back on Calvary;
the blood that gives me strength
from day to day,
it will never lose its power.

It reaches to the highest mountain,
it flows to the lowest valley;
the blood that gives me strength
from day to day,
it will never lose its power.

It soothes my doubts and calms my fears,
and it dries all my tears;
the blood that gives me strength
from day to day,
it will never lose its power.

Dear friend, there is power in the blood that Jesus shed on Calvary. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth in the form of a man to pay for the sins of the whole world. According to God’s standards, the penalty of sin is death. For hundreds of years, God allowed people to atone for (or make amends for) their sins by sacrificing and shedding the blood of an animal such as a lamb. However, this shedding of blood was only a temporary solution to man’s sinfulness. Every time a person sinned, they had to sacrifice another lamb or goat. When Jesus Christ came to Earth, He was heralded as the ‘Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world.’ When Jesus Christ was whipped and crucified, He shed His holy blood as God poured out his divine wrath on His own Son in order to make it possible for us to be saved from our sins and the eternal consequences of sin. The Bible says that God saw the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross — God saw Jesus’ blood being poured out — and He was satisfied. God sees Jesus’ sacrifice and bloodshed as sufficient payment for each and every one of us no matter how much wrong we have done. Simply put, Jesus Christ had atoned for the sins of the whole world. And even though millions of people have taken advantage of Jesus’ sacrifice down through the past 2,000 years, Jesus’ blood will never lose its power.

Jesus Christ said, “My blood… is shed for many for the remission [cancellation or removal] of sins.”

The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:7, “We have redemption through his blood, [and] the forgiveness of sins.” He also wrote in Romans 5:9 that if we are “justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

There is indeed power in the blood of Jesus Christ. His blood alone can cleanse you of your sins and give you a new life, a relationship with God, and an eternal home in Heaven. Jesus Christ shed his blood and died on the cross, was buried, and rose again for you and me. However, we must believe on Him for salvation in order to take advantage of the salvation he offers through His blood. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

The Bible also tells us in Romans 10:9 and 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.”

One of the things that made Andrae Crouch stand out from many other Gospel artists is that he ended every concert with an altar call, asking people to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. If you want to be saved right now, please pray a short prayer to let God know that you are making this all-important 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 realize that I deserve eternal punishment for my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I 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 and forever so that I can have your peace and assurance about my life today and my eternal future. 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 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 newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.”

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

MUSICAL SELECTION: “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” by Andrae Crouch

Singer and Actress LeToya Luckett On the Power of Prayer, Letting God Guide her, and Being a Woman of Faith (Gospel Light Minute #175)

LeToya Luckett
LeToya Luckett

She is a singer, songwriter, and actress. As an original member of Destiny’s Child, she won two Grammy Awards with the group and sold over 25 million records as a vocalist on the group’s first two albums. She went solo in 2006 and debuted “LeToya” which topped the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart in July 2006, and was certified platinum by the RIAA in December 2006. In 2009, she released her second solo album “Lady Love” to great success. As an actress, she starred in “Preacher’s Kid”, “Killers”, “From the Rough”, and “Drumline: A New Beat”. Her television roles include HBO’s “Treme” and VH1’s “Single Ladies.”

In an interview with Essence Magazine, she shared how her upbringing as the daughter of a minister and her faith in God guides her in life. When asked to describe her relationship with God, she said, “I am definitely a woman of faith. My prayer life and my connection with God are on the highest level. I definitely would not be standing here doing what I do were it not for that. It is my only way of survival. My father was a minister so I was raised in the church. I guess I’m a lucky girl because I’ve always been taught, since I was a little girl, this is who you count on. This is who you lean on. It is my foundation.”

When asked how her faith has helped her in her day to day life, she said, “Things just started happening even without asking. I just let him lead with every single thing. I don’t get in the way. A lot of times we get in His way; we get in our own way, and it ends up taking us in the wrong direction. This would be a boring world if we all made the same decisions and all were doing the same thing. The beauty of this whole thing is God has carved out a different story, a different path for all of us. It’s up to us to connect to Him and follow it.”

She went further to talk about the importance of prayer by saying, “I know how to fall on my knees, even when I’m having hard days. I know how to go in a corner and just talk to my Daddy (God). Me and my sister and my best friend get on the phone every morning and pray about different things. Even if we can’t talk, because both of them have kids and I’m on the road, we shoot each other texts. “What can I pray for you today?” It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you have women of God praying for you. There’s nothing like that.”

Her name is LeToya Luckett. Continue reading “Singer and Actress LeToya Luckett On the Power of Prayer, Letting God Guide her, and Being a Woman of Faith (Gospel Light Minute #175)”

Mary J. Blige: ‘When I Decided to Make a Change in My Life, I Went to God’ (Gospel Light Minute #141)

Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige

She is a singer, songwriter, record producer and actress. She has sold more than 50 million albums and 15 million singles worldwide. She has received nine Grammy Awards as well as thirty Grammy nominations, and she is the only artist to have won Grammys in the R&B, Rap, Pop, and Gospel fields. Eight of her albums have reached multi-platinum status in the United States. According to Rolling Stone, Time, and Vibe Magazines, her album “My Life” is considered among the greatest albums ever recorded. In 2007, she was named to TIME Magazine’s 100 list of influential individuals around the world. Alongside her success in music, she has earned high remarks for her work in film. In 2007, she starred in “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” and “Rock of Ages.” She received two Golden Globe Awards for her musical contributions to the films “Bobby” and “The Help.”

Although she grew up in Pentecostal churches and got her singing start there, she says, “I wasn’t a Christian when I was a child, I just went to church. I understood from childhood that there was something really big watching over me and it was God. And I was afraid to steal and lie. I was afraid to do anything that was wrong. I always got this feeling like, ‘Uh oh.’ But I understand better now who God is now that I’ve become a woman and a Christian.”

She went on to say, “It was later [in life], when I gave my life to Jesus Christ, that I found out who I am. I’m a child of God. God is my mommy, my daddy. That’s the only thing that’ll keep my head up. If I don’t remember who I am in him, I’m done….When I became a Christian, it was something I had to do because my whole life as a young adult was so bad. Things were just so bad that when I decided to make a change in my life, I went to God about my life. And he led me to other Christians, like my husband, like my pastor. And I started studying the Word. Now I get it. I understand it more, through the Word. That’s why I know God is love.”

Her name is Mary J. Blige.

LL Cool J says, “I Am a Christian” and “I Love God” (Gospel Light Minute #130)

LL Cool J
LL Cool J

He is a rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. He has released thirteen studio albums and two greatest hits compilations including “Mama Said Knock You Out” in 1990 and “The DEFinition” in 2004. His latest album “Authentic” was released on April 30, 2013. He is well known for the popular hip-hop tracks, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”, “I’m Bad”, and “Rock The Bells” among others. He has also appeared in numerous films and TV shows including: “Krush Groove”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “Deliver Us from Eva”, “Last Holiday”, “Kingdom Come” and “30 Rock”.

He is currently starring on the CBS crime drama TV series, “NCIS: Los Angeles” as Special Agent Sam Hanna. He has won several awards including, a Grammy award in 1992 and 1997; an MTV Best Rap Video Music Award in 1991; 4 NAACP Image Awards; and 2 Soul Train Music Awards. He was inducted into Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

In an interview with Crosswalk, he talked extensively about his faith. He said, “I’m a Christian. Faith is a huge part of what I do, on every level – and I mean from salvation to tithes and offerings, and on every level and every dynamic that you can think about. … I was raised in church, and I read the Bible constantly. I stay in the Word constantly, on every level, because ultimately I think that we need that strength. You need that power in your life – that wisdom and discernment. You need that rain on all the seeds that are inside of you, and constantly nurture that potential that God placed inside of you, by watering it with that Word and constantly getting that in you, so that you can deal with the industry, so that you can deal with the trials and tribulations and temptations that come your way because of film, because of television, music and various other areas of the world, and the industry that I’m in. For me, it started off as a boy, and here I am.”

Asked how he nurtures his faith in the music and film industry, he said, “It’s kind of interesting. Sometimes, you have to let your life be the testimony. You have to let your life and yourself be the example. If I can be successful in the secular world and give God the glory, then it’s not so difficult. If ultimately he gets the glory, then the proof is in the pudding. If I can go out and claim a victory for God, and if I can go out and do incredibly exciting things and take my life to new dimensions and new levels and, at the end of the day, when I’m standing in the end zone, give God the glory, then I’ve done my job. Yeah, you get some of those weird vibes that people have because they fear being looked upon as different from everyone else when they talk about God. But for me, I love God, and I’ve never had a problem with going out in front and saying that it’s because of the tithes and offerings, and because of the faith and because of the fact that I’m willing to step out of everything worldly that I’m able to be in this position. I don’t have a problem saying that. It doesn’t bother me.”

His name is LL Cool J.

GLMX #175: Beyonce: It’s the Soul that Needs the Surgery

To the surprise of the music industry and the delight of her fans, multi-Grammy award-winning singer Beyonce released an entire album on iTunes on Friday, December 13th, without any previous announcement or promotions. On Friday night, both versions of the album were ranked at number 1 and number 2 on the iTunes charts. With thousands of people trying to download the album in a matter of hours, iTunes reportedly crashed under the sudden load of visitors.

According to Religion News Service, one of the songs worth listening to is titled “Pretty Hurts.” The song, which is accompanied by a video in which Beyoncé is acting as a beauty pageant competitor, addresses the critical way women are treated in the entertainment industry simply based on their outward appearance. The hook goes like this:

Pretty hurts
Shine the light on whatever’s worse
Perfection is the disease of a nation
Pretty hurts
Shine the light on whatever’s worse
Trying to fix something
But you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery

We live in a society that places a lot of emphasis on a person’s outward appearance. We make judgments of people based on how they look. And people work desperately to present an image of perfection when on the inside they are broken, hurt, wounded, and messed up. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of our day is the vast number of people who look alright on the outside but, in reality, it’s all a facade — a mask they put on in order to deceive the world.

As Beyonce laments, the makeup, the nice clothes, and the controlled personality, is really an attempt to fix something that you can’t see. It’s not the outside that needs a re-make. It’s the inside — the soul, the part of you that you can’t see — that needs the surgery. On the inside, people are messed up because of their own sins, failures, and faults that leave them feeling guilty, inadequate, and even unworthy of success or the finer things of life.

God does not want you to live under the pressure of constantly trying to fix your problems by fixing up your physical appearance. As Beyonce sings, “you can’t fix what you can’t see.” It’s the inside — the part of you that you can’t see — that needs to be fixed. And God is the only one who can fix a person on the inside. He can heal your soul. He already knows your sins and failures. He already knows your darkest secrets. In Jeremiah 16:17, God says, “Mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.” Ecclesiastes 12:14 also says, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” You can’t hide anything from God.

Not only does He know all about your faults and failures, but He has done something about them. Two thousand years ago, he sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and accept the punishment that you deserve for your sins, failures, and faults. Jesus Christ shed his own blood so you would not have to. And 1 John 1:7 says, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Today, you can bring everything in your past that you have been trying to hide from others before the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will wash you, cleanse you, and make you a new person on the inside. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

+ Plus, listen to Natalie Grant singing “Perfect People”

M.C. Hammer: The “Master of Ceremonies” Now Lives and Works as a “Man of Christ” (Gospel Light Minute #99)

M.C. Hammer
M.C. Hammer

He is best known for his hit rap songs “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit”. He is the first artist to gain diamond status for an album and has sold 50 million records throughout his lifetime. He is remembered for a rapid rise to fame, flashy dance moves, choreography, and his trademark parachute pants. His superstar status and entertaining showmanship made him a household name and hip-hop icon in the 1980s and 1990s. He was also a TV producer, television show co-host, and is the head of his own music management firm. A self-described “super-geek”, he is currently either investing in or consulting for eight technology companies. He was one of the first celebrities to embrace social media and spends 10-12 hours daily working on his technology projects.

He grew up in a Pentecostal church, however, he admits that he strayed from the faith during the years of his success. Even during this period of backsliding though, he promised to dedicate one song to God on each of his albums, and one of his most popular singles was the song “Pray.” However, it took a bankruptcy, a fall from favor in the music industry, and what he calls a bout of “official backsliding” to turn him back to the church, Jesus Christ, and a commitment to preach. He has since been ordained in the Church of God in Christ, preferring smaller pulpits “where they don’t expect to see someone famous.”

He says, “I am honored that Jesus has taken a wretch like me and said I got some work for you to do.” Today, he devotes his time to prison and youth ministries. His name is Stanley Kirk Burrell, but he is better known as M.C. Hammer, and he now says that “M.C.” stands for “Man of Christ.”

GLMX #134: So Jay-Z, You Want to be “Forever Young” and Live Forever and Ever? Here’s How.


Rapper and hip-hop artist Jay-Z sings a song titled “Forever Young”. In this song he talks about his desire to be forever young. Then he asks the question, do you really want to live forever and ever? His song, even though it may not be talking about living forever in Heaven, according to the Bible necessarily, (and yes, the original cut has some unsavory language), but Jay-Z’s song touches on a longing that is in the soul of every man. Listen to a few of the lyrics that I can share with you:

Forever young,
I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever

Forever young
I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever

Jay-Z’s lyrics testify also to our culture’s obsession with youth. Television ads about anti-aging creams and techniques populate the airwaves. People fret over dieting and health issues all in an effort to look and feel younger. This past week, a new project was launched to study how humans can extend their life span. The project is being funded with millions of dollars from the founders of big companies such as Google and Facebook. Make no mistake about it, people have a longing and desire to live forever.

This obsession with youth is a reflection of our desire for immortality, permanence, and living forever. This is a desire that humans have experienced since the beginning of time. You might recall learning about the fabled Fountain of Youth, the waters of which were said to restore the youth of anyone who drank from them. This fountain was spoken of and sought for from the fourth century BC in Ancient Greece to the 16th century in what is today Florida.

The Holy Bible tells us about a place where people’s bodies will no longer age and decay, where people will never get sick or diseased, where no one will ever die — in other words, where everyone will be forever young. The best thing about this place, however, is that everyone who goes there will be in the presence of the loving Creator who is the source of all life, energy, and vitality. This place is called Heaven or Paradise, and right now, I want to share with you how you can get there so you can indeed be forever young.

+ Plus, listen to Newsboys singing “I Am Free”