Behold, the power of the gospel!

  • Friday, April 1, 2011

  • “I wanted to be remembered as someone who helped a lot of people.”

    “Remind them to be ready for every good deed.” Titus 3:1

    Life so deceives us that we unknowingly distort and pervert the true meaning and source of pleasure, of meaning, of significance. Without our seeing it transpire, too soon what we believe we control has suddenly taken control of us. We become enslaved by our pleasures and possessions. Self becomes King and all of our energies and focus is upon feeding our king!

    I have carried this news clipping in my Bible for nearly five years…
    In his darkest moments, Jack Whittaker has sometimes wondered if winning the nearly $315 million Powerball game was really worth it.  The jackpot that was the stuff of dreams turned into a nightmare.  Almost five years later, Whittaker is left with things that money can’t cure: His daughter’s cancer, a long list of discretions documented in newspapers, and an inability to trust others.

    “I don’t have any friends,” he said in a lengthy interview with the Associated Press. “Every friend that I’ve had, practically, has wanted to borrow money or something, and of course, once they borrow money from you, you can’t be friends anymore.”

    In all, Whittaker says he’s been involved in 460 legal actions since winning. His wife has left him. His protégé and sole heir, his grand-daughter, died of drug addictions. 

    “If it would bring my grand-daughter back, I’d give it all back. But I can’t get her back, so might as well keep the money, I guess.”

    The deception of redefined meaning and purpose in life is a slave master requiring an enormous ransom for deliverance. Paul describes it to his protégé, Titus, in these terms: “For we also were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another…” Titus 3:3 Slaves of the self we have declared king, and foolishly convincing ourselves that we are really free.

    The good news? “But…He saved us!” Titus 3:4-5 Paid the ransom price demanded so that rather than live in bondage to self-gratification, we are set free to give our lives in service to others. “To purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” Titus 2:14

    When asked about his own legacy, Whittaker replied, “I’m only going to be remembered as the lunatic who won the lottery. I’m not proud of that. I wanted to be remembered as someone who helped a lot of people.”

    Set free from self in order to serve. Behold, the power of the gospel!

    See you Sunday, Church!
    Pastor Tom


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