The Hate U Give

This week my company offered the opportunity for all of us to watch, and discuss in many open forum locations, the movie The Hate U Give.

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to watch this movie at work with people from so many different ethnic/cultural/socio-economic backgrounds. And to discuss the issues together, in open dialog and with a tone of respect and even love, was eye opening.

Many of the topics we discussed were not new to me. I’ve been an manager and in the corporate world for over sixteen years and we have training on diversity and inclusion.

But this movie and the open discussions following were a little more eye opening and emotional. To see a Vice President, who is a black man, that I respect and have worked with many times over the years, tear up about the unconscious bias that he and his sons face, touched my heart and mind in a way I can’t fully describe.

I want to do all that I can to make sure that my children understand that we live in a complex environment with experiences that shape all of us and we must take time to try and learn from each other.

This is not just a nice thing to do. This is a God thing to do. God is love (1 John 4:7-8). Loving our neighbor means we need to try and understand what they are dealing with without taking sides all the time based on a group we are pushed into by the media or our own family.

Take a minute to educate yourself on what these terms mean and do research to help understand the historical issues that have shaped the people around you. And take time to watch this movie. I promise it is worth it to help understand how to better love your neighbor.


You Can’t Have It Your Way. God Is Not Burger King

Picking and choosing the attributes of God that fit your lifestyle is a dangerous practice.

God isn’t a customizable coffee beverage or burger that you can make your way. You don’t get to pick only the attributes you like and leave behind the ones you don’t.

God is love and God is holy. God is merciful and God is just. He will forgive our sins and He will punish us for sin. You can’t have one attribute without the other.

Punishment is required for sin and a just God will hand down punishment.

But Jesus took our punishment on Himself. For those who believe in Jesus we are forgiven. Believe in Him and receive that forgiveness.

God’s just and holy nature means we can’t be with Him and have sin ruling in our life. Yet God’s love gave us Jesus to remediate the sin found in us.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:1‭-‬4 NASB

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The Idols Can’t Stand

What “lofty things” are being “raised up against the “knowledge of God” today?

I’m fairly certain it’s the same lofty things that have always been used by satan to try and blind people from the knowledge of God.

  • False wisdom
  • Worldly riches
  • Self righteousness
  • Naturalism
  • Lustful desires
  • Thirst for power and control
  • Vanity

Which of these idols have you allowed to be put in the high places of your life? Which one is impacting your family?

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2:15-17

What fortresses of speculation have you allowed to stand, in your sphere of influence, that blind others from the knowledge of God?

We must use prayer to win these battles against anything raised up against the knowledge of God in our life and in the life of others.

Driven by our desires, our words and actions reveal what we value the most. And instead of worshipping and praying to our God who provides for all our needs, we worship our desires instead. We focus our extra time and attention on those desires and forget the source of our salvation.

These desires become idols to us if the desired object is not being sought after for the glory of God or the good of His people.

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about the way we are to battle against such things, and in Romans we are told that Jesus saves us from our sins.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

2 Corinthians 10:3‭-‬5 NASB

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Romans 7:24-25

For an example of God’s anger when His people worship idols, see Exodus 3.

95210X: Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone, Revised and Updated
Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone, Revised and Updated
By Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

Were the gospel writers present during the time of Jesus?

In the book Cold-Case Christianity author J. Warner Wallace, a homicide detective, writes about the evidence we have that the Gospels were written very near the time of Christ. This gives us reason to believe that the Gospels really were written from eyewitness testimony of the life of Jesus.

  • The New Testament fails to describe the destruction of the temple (this occured in 70 AD)
  • The New Testament fails to describe the siege of Jerusalem
  • Luke said nothing about the deaths of Paul (AD 64 in Rome) and Peter (AD 65 in Rome) in the book of Acts. Even though they are prominent figures. Yet he did mention the death of Stephen and others.
  • Luke said nothing about the death of James the brother of Jesus in the book of Acts (AD 62 in Jerusalem).
  • Luke’s Gospel predates the book of Acts (See Acts 1:1-2)
  • Paul quoted Luke’s Gospel in his letter to Timothy written about AD 63. (See 1 Timothy 5:17-18 and Luke 10:7) So Luke Gospel was already commonly accepted by AD 63.
  • Paul echoed the claims of the Gospel writers in books/letters of Romans, Corinthians and Galatians. These letters were written between AD 48 and AD 60. And Paul quoted Luke in his letter to the Corinthian church nearly ten years earlier than in his letter to Timothy. (See 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 and Luke 22:19-20)
  • Luke Quoted Mark and Matthew repeatedly. So they must have been written earlier than Luke.
  • Mark’s Gospel appears to be an early “crime broadcast”. It’s brief, less ordered and filled with action verbs and adjectives written with a sense of urgency.
  • Mark appears to be protecting key players by not naming them. Though the later Gospels name them. Mark is possibly trying to protect these key players from the same people who crucified Jesus, because they were still alive when he wrote his Gospel. Unlike the Gospel of John which was written later and named most of these key players.

Watch J. Warner Wallace explain the timeline with the evidence of an early writing of the Gospels.

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40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Those who have gone before us and have lead by example are an inspiration.

Resisting evil, speaking for and protecting those who can’t speak for themselves, caring for the oppressed and downtrodden. These are attributes of a Christian with a faith that is alive and well.

James 2:17-26 is easy to understand. Faith without works is dead. Faith without works is useless.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was an example to us, in modern history, of a person whose faith was not useless and was not dead. He acted.

I’ve recently started this devotional hosted by Bible Gateway. I would encourage each of you to join me.

40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“WHEN CHRIST CALLS A MAN, HE BIDS HIM COME AND DIE.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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