Wednesday, December 28, 2011

End of the Year Recap

     For the end of the year on “Reel Christianity”, I’ve decided to go the lazy—err, simple route and recap all the lessons we’ve covered through this year’s movies. And after reading through all these again, I realized: it’s a lot.

     Through “Inception”, we learned to take a leap of faith even when there are signs pointing against our beliefs. (Matthew 15, Philippians 1)

     Through “Toy Story”, we learned that just as Andy longed to love and play with his toys, our Creator God longs to be with us. (Psalm 139)

     Through “Toy Story 2”, we learned to hold on to the faith that we believe, even when we experience a radical change. (Galatians 1, Jeremiah 29)

     Through “Toy Story 3”, we learned not to be discouraged when it seems that God is abandoning us, because He will always be with us. (Joshua 1)

     Through “Fiddler On the Roof”, we learned to make our faith authentic, sacrificing what we want for what God expects of us. (Luke 14, 2 Corinthians 6)

     Through “Good Night, and Good Luck.”, we learned not to fear death or evil, but to always wait upon the Lord. (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21)

     Through “Star Wars”, we learned about the Holy Spirit and how it can empower us to do anything in Jesus’ name. (Mark 13, Acts 4, Matthew 28)

     Through “The Great Dictator”, we learned that (contrary to what the film says) man is sinful and falls short of God’s glory, but God can still forgive us. (Luke 17, Romans 3, Genesis 3)

     Through “127 Hours”, we learned that God chose us to be His child if only we will follow Him. (Romans 8)

     Through “Gladiator”, we learned to be merciful and hopeful of our future home in Heaven one day. (2 Corinthians 4:18, Matthew 24, Matthew 5)

     Through “The Quiet Man”, we learned that God, not material possessions, should be our guide through life. (1 Timothy 6)

     Through “Casablanca”, we learned that through sacrificing our desires before the Lord, we will find our true purpose. (Matthew 12)

     Through “A Bug’s Life”, we learned that only God can bring us out of oppression and use us for what we were meant to do. (Exodus 1, Exodus 4)

     Through “The Shawshank Redemption”, we learned about how Jesus came to Earth as a man to bring hope to other men, that they might find God. (John 1, Matthew 23, Romans 15)

     Through “Pride & Prejudice”, we learned not to put our assumptions before the truth and love people instead of judge them. (Proverbs 16, Matthew 7, 1 Corinthians 13)

     In “The Passion of the Christ”, we were reminded of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross, enduring the pain while dying for our sins.

     Through “Network”, we learned to rely only on the Truth of God and His Word rather than the world. (John 14, John 17, 1 Corinthians 10)

     Through “Doctor Zhivago”, we were reminded that pain and tragedy is temporary, but God will save us one day. (2 Corinthians 5)

     Through “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, we learned that God can forgive our sins and wash them away because of Jesus’ death. (John 8)

     Through “Witness”, we learned that even though different sins have different consequences, we have all sinned, but can still be forgiven. (Matthew 5, James 2)

     Through “Amadeus”, we learned to not covet other people’s talents, but rather worship God with those that He has blessed us with. (Exodus 20, Mark 7, Ephesians 2)

     In our “Defining the Christian Movie” series, we learned that no matter how a medium expresses an idea, we can still find a way to hear it. (Matthew 11)

     Through “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”, we learned to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5)

     Through “12 Angry Men”, we learned to put our prejudices aside and focus on loving people. (Matthew 7)

     Through “Batman Begins”, we learned to sacrifice our old ways of living in order to live completely for God. (Luke 9, Romans 12, James 2)

     In “The Tree of Life”, we learned that we might never know why God does what He does sometimes, but because He is God, we need to surrender to Him. (Job 38, Romans 1)

     Through “All the President’s Men”, we learned to speak honestly and truthfully, even when there are risks. (Exodus 20, Proverbs 16, Philippians 4)

     Through “Breaking Away”, we learned that even through tough times, we need to build one another up as brothers and sisters in Christ. (Acts 2, 1 Thessalonians 5)

     Through “The Apartment”, we learned that even in the most heartbreaking of sins, God can still find us and redeem us. (Exodus 20, Proverbs 6, Matthew 5, John 8)

     Through “The African Queen”, we learned about God’s intended relationship for a man and a woman in marriage. (Genesis 2, Ephesians 5)

     Through “White Hunter Black Heart”, we learned not to obsess over the things of this world, but seek first the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 6, James 2)

     Through “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, we learned to come to Jesus as a little child—with simple faith. (Mark 10)

     Through “Dog Day Afternoon”, we learned not to live a contradictory lifestyle, one that claims to know God but has no action to back it up. (Matthew 23)

     Through “Iron Man”, we learned about the Apostle Paul and how we should have as much zeal as he did to spread the Gospel. (Acts 9)

     Through “The Thin Red Line”, we learned to look towards the Heaven that God has prepared for us one day. (Matthew 6)

     Through “The Usual Suspects”, we learned that God can use our weaknesses as strengths if we trust in Him. (2 Corinthians 12)

     Through “Great Expectations”, we learned to live our lives to the fullest so that when we see God in Heaven, we can stand before Him proud that we could serve Him. (John 10, 1 Corinthians 9, 2 Timothy 4)

     Through “Braveheart”, we learned to sacrifice our whole lives for the cause of Christ, even when it means pain. (Luke 23, 2 Corinthians 3)

     Through “The Third Man”, we learned that (contrary to what the film says) God cares about each and every one of us because we are His masterpieces. (Psalm 139)

     Through our “Light in the Darkness” series, we learned that even in the darkest of films (or in the darkest of people), we can still find God’s truth somehow. (Matthew 7, Romans 7, Matthew 11, Proverbs 3, Luke 10, John 9)

     Through “Tender Mercies”, we learned that even through painful times, God still wants the best for us. (Romans 8)

      Through “The Descendants”, we learned that God expects us to forgive others as He has forgiven us. (Luke 12, Matthew 6)

     Through “3 Godfathers”, we learned to take up God’s calling and identify with Jesus’ life and death. (Luke 9)

     And today, I look back on these and realize: God’s always got something in store for His children to learn. My prayer for you is that you will commit this year to the Lord and live for Him in everything you do—and maybe, just maybe, you’ll continue to find Him in the movies. Happy New Year!

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