Sunday Devotional: Romans 12:9-13

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans 12:9-13)

Paul, in his letter to the Romans, wanted to encourage them and remind them of who they were as Christians.  They were to be about love, loving one another, loving their enemies.  They were to reflect Christ in that.  They were also to cling to what was good and run fast away from evil.  They could do that through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of them.  He wanted to remind them to be patient, to rejoice, to be consistent in prayer and to care for one another.

These same exhortations are the same for us today as well.  We need to show and share Christ’s love with those around us.  We need to love one another and love our enemies.  We need to cling to what is good.  We need to be patient, to rejoice, to be constant in prayer and to care for one another.

This week, let us do just that.

Updated 2015 Book List

Here’s the updated book list for 2015.  I’m on pace at least to read more books this year than last year:

Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How to Change by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer
Wrestling for My Life:  The Legend, The Reality, and The Faith of a WWE Superstar by Shawn Michaels
Scary Close by Donald Miller
Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne
Follow Me by David Platt
Pop Goes the Church: Should the Church Engage Pop Culture? by Tim Stevens

Sunday Devotional: 1 John 2:1-2

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)

Jesus died for our sins.  All of our sins.  He paid the penalty for our sins which is death and separation from God.  If we repent of our sins and confess Jesus is Lord and begin following Him, we have a restored relationship with God.  We also have an advocate in Jesus with the Father.

Everyone has the opportunity to have their sins forgiven, if they repent and turn to Jesus.  Let us this week remember that we are not alone if we are followers of Jesus.  We have an advocate for us in Jesus.  And for those that don’t know Jesus, let them know who He is and what he’s done.

The Hope of “Tomorrowland”

Tomorrowland-Poster

I went and saw the new Disney film Tomorrowland yesterday.  It was one of those summer movies that I was looking forward to seeing.  And at least for me, it did not disappoint.  It was fun, exciting and made me think.

I won’t have any spoilers but I will touch on something that I thought about as I was watching the film and then after I let the theater.  One major theme of the movie is hope.  Casey, one of the main characters in the film, seems to be driven by hope.  Hope for the future, hope for change.  However, reality seems far from hopeful.  It seems like the majority of people around Casey don’t have hope.

When Casey gets a glimpse of Tomorrowland, she wants to go there.  When she does get there, it is nothing like what she saw or was told about.  However, it is better than Earth as Tomorrowland is not bent on destruction.  The leader of Tomorrowland, Governor Nix, has basically shut himself off from the rest of the world and tells Casey & Frank Walker (who used to live in Tomorrowland years ago) that the reason people aren’t told about Tomorrowland is because they would bring their “savagery” here.

Deep down, we are all seeking hope.  We all want to hope in something.  We would love to find and live in a place like Tomorrowland.  The thing is, we can have something to place our hope.  Or to put it a better way, someone to place our hope.  Jesus is the one who we can put our hope for the future as well as right now in the present.  He can change us (if we let Him) and make us more like Him.

As followers of Jesus, we also have a place that is there waiting for us like Tomorrowland only much cooler and better in Heaven.  And we don’t have to worry about messing up Heaven by us being there because there will be no sin there.

That’s a hope that can change the world.  That’s a hope worth sharing.  That’s a hope I want others to know about.

A good film is one you can enjoy watching and make you think.  Tomorrowland is that kind of film.  I would recommend checking it out and I hope that you will think through those themes long after the credits are rolling.

Thursday Quote Day: Ann Voskamp

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” is from author Ann Voskamp:

“If God didn’t withhold from us His very own Son, will God withhold anything we need? If trust must be earned, hasn’t God unequivocally earned our trust with the bark on the raw wounds, the thorns pressed into the brow, your name on the cracked lips? How will he not also graciously give all things He deems best and right? He’s already given us the incomprehensible” (Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts)

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 150

“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
    praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!”

This is the last psalm in the book of Psalms.  It is a fitting psalm as it is a psalm of praise.  It is only 6 verses but yet ever verse has the word ‘praise’.  We are to praise God for who He is and for what He’s done.  We’re to praise him with all our being.  We’re to praise Him with our talents.  We are to praise God.

And the thing is He is worthy of that praise.  For all that He’s done for us, He is worthy of praise.  For simply being God, he’s worthy of praise.  He is worthy of being given the honor and credit and glory because He is who He is.

This week, let us praise the Lord.  Let us sing out to the Lord.  Let us worship Him with our words and actions.  Let us praise Him.