GLMX #228: “Hands Up, I Surrender All”

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You’ve heard the chant of protesters across America — “hands up, don’t shoot!” For them, that phrase is a statement of dissatisfaction with what they perceive as injustice. But, people put their hands in the air for numerous reasons. People raise their hands in a celebratory gesture at football games or concerts. Some raise their hands in the air as an act of worship or praise in church. This past week, we saw civilians who had been held hostage by a gunman in a cafe in Sydney, Australia, raise their hands in the air as they escaped to indicate to police officers that they were not a threat.

Perhaps you have thrown your hands in the air in frustration. Jewish rabbis raise their hands when giving the benediction. “Jazz hands” are often used while dancing. Some people raise their hands with palms facing inward when they are trying to express that they don’t understand something. In France, you can raise your arm and rotate your hand back and forth to let someone know that you are unhappy with their driving. In Germany, people often clasp their hands together and raise them above their heads to express gratitude. In Russia and former Soviet countries, it is customary to raise your hand in a fist above your head and shake it to express anger. And, of course, we all know that you can raise your hand and wave it in order to say “hello” or “goodbye.”

It’s clear that what we do with our hands can express many messages. But, perhaps, the most important thing we can express by raising our hands is surrender — not only surrender to police and other human authorities, but to God. The writers of the Bible tell us that they raised their hands to demonstrate that they were surrendering to God’s will, that they were leaning on Him, and that they were trusting in Him. Continue reading “GLMX #228: “Hands Up, I Surrender All””

A Message to the Second Estate

[audio http://www.buzzsprout.com/3192/121261-a-message-to-the-second-estate.mp3]

Messages to the Estates of the Realm, #2
Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: 1 Kings 9:1-9

Yesterday, we began a series of messages titled, “Messages to the Estates of the Realm.” The “estates” refers to the historical system of dividing society. There is the first estate, which is the clergy; the second estate, which is the government; the third estate, which is the people; the fourth estate, which is the press; and the fifth estate, a relatively new term, which refers to the way news and information is being distributed nowadays via blogs, social media, etc. In fact, there is a movie coming out this week titled, “The Fifth Estate”, about the WikiLeaks operation which leaked secret government communication to the public.

On yesterday, from 1 Timothy 3, we looked at what I believe God has to say to the members of the first estate — the pastors, the preachers, and the church leaders. Today, I want us to look at a message from God to the members of the second estate — the governmental leaders of our world: the presidents, the prime ministers, the congress, the members of parliament, judges, governors, mayors, and city leaders.

The Bible informs us that even governmental leadership is ordained by God. Romans 13:1-4 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” As a system of leadership set up by God, God has some things to say to those whom he has given the priviledge and responsibility of governmental leadership.

King Solomon, the third king of Israel, is often called the “wisest man who ever lived,” but he did not become wise on his own. The Bible tells us in First Kings 3 that when God came to him in a dream and asked him what he wanted to be given, he asked God for wisdom. God was the source of Solomon’s wisdom. God also came to Solomon in a second dream as recorded in First Kings 9, our passage for today. In this dream, God does not ask Solomon a question, but He gives him a command and a warning of consequences. I believe that God would have every governmental leader to take heed to this command and this warning.

In Search of the Meaning of Life (Part 1)

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”

A Greater One than King is Here

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Sunday Evening Evangelistic Hour #26

Today, Daniel Whyte III takes a look at the greatest man who ever lived.

+ Plus, listen to Vashawn Mitchell singing “Nobody Greater”