Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Memory Verses for Anger

James 1:19-20, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God."

Proverbs 15:1, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

Ephesians 4:31-32, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Psalm 37:8, "Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil."

Matthew 6:14, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:"

These are just a few of the verses found in the Bible that deal with anger. I think the Spirit led these ones to pop out at me.

I firmly believe that memory verses give us power. After all, how did Jesus meet the devil's temptations?

Very easily. He said, "It is written..."


Sunday, September 21, 2008

The New Covenant

As Christians, we are under the "new covenant". Have you heard this? Well it's true, in case you didn't know. If you don't believe me just check out Hebrews 8. To understand the new covenant, though, you must first understand what? Well, the old covenant, of course. Okay, so let's take a look at the old covenant.

We find the old covenant in the book of Exodus, where God delivers His "terms", if you will, to Moses upon Mount Sinai. After giving Moses the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), and other instructions, we see Moses come back down the mountain to relay God's Holy standards to Israel.

Let's pick up the story in Exodus 24:7, "And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient."

So here we see the people of Israel agreeing to the terms, or the laws, that God has given. They promise to fulfill the law and live obediently.

verse 8, "And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words."

So, we see the first covenant involved people agreeing to keep God's Holy law. What is the logical conclusion to this idea? Well, if you agree to follow God's law, and then break the law, what have you done? You have broken the covenant. There goes your salvation. Are you starting to see why there is a new covenant now?

Stay with me for a moment. Let's look at 1 John 3:4, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." So when we break this covenant by transgressing the law God gave Moses, it is called sin.

Remember the penalty for sin? Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." This can also be found in the Old Testament: Ezekiel 18:4, "Behold, all souls are mine, as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die."

So only the people who have not broken the covenant by transgressing the law are going to be saved? That's what the Bible says. How many people do you think have kept the covenant and not sinned?

The answer is found in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" How many did it say? All. That's right. So according to the agreement we made with God, we are all guilty and the punishment is death. Not just death of the body, but remember what God said: "the soul that sinneth, it shall die." So our entire being, everything we are, our soul, is going to die.

The problem is that God won't just let His children die. He loves us and fights for us. But He is a God of justice, and can't let evil go unpunished. So how can He save us? We have sinned and the law must be satisfied, there must be a punishment of death.

So God did the unthinkable. The God of Heaven who created the Universe, created you and me and sustains our life every second...this God...became a man. He was born in a lowly manger and received no honor, no praise. He came and lived a life of perfection, following every command that God had ever given to men. He was the only sinless man that ever was, or ever will be. He was God.

John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
verse 14, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
3:16-17, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

So Jesus Christ, who is God Himself, lived a perfect life so that He didn't deserve death, and gave His life in our stead. In other words, He took upon Himself the death penalty we deserve, and gave us the eternal life that He deserves.

John 15:13-14, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."

So now, if we give our lives to Christ, He gives His life to us. So what to do about the old covenant? Well, God decided to let us in on the real covenant, the new covenant, long before Christ came and satisfied the old one:

Jeremiah 31:31-33, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."

How beautiful is that? When we decide to follow Christ, He creates a new nature in us. A nature that loves to follow God's law. His nature. A nature of love. And we keep His commandments because we love Him, not because we have to. John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Amen!

Favorite Christian Movies

These are some Christian movies that I enjoyed (in no particular order):

The Pretender

This is a neat little movie about a guy pretending to be a Christian in order to get a Christian girl. I would recommend any Christian girl watch this as it offers a glimpse of some of the kind of guys that are out there. Good for youth groups.

Pamela's Prayer

This movie was actually one that my wife wanted to see and I was pleasantly surprised by it. This is a MUST-watch for young Christian girls. It espouses real Christian purity in regard to relationships. This girl's father, a praying Christian, wants his daughter to marry a man who has never kissed a girl, and wants his daughter to save even her first kiss for marriage. It is a beautiful, Godly message that Christians seldom adhere to these days. If you are a dad and have a little girl, PLEASE buy this movie.

Never Ashamed

I really enjoyed this movie and can relate to it. It's about a high-school guy who was sent to a Christian summer camp to straighten up, but ended up being converted. At first he feels awkward about how to express his new faith to his old friends, but he eventually learns that we should never be ashamed of Christ, as He is never ashamed of us.

Late One Night

This was one of the first Christian movies I'd ever seen. I was not a Christian, and wouldn't be for years to come, but when I happened to see this short movie in my teens, it moved me. It offers a beautiful glimpse of a Christian displaying Christ's character in a difficult situation. Very practical.

We finally saw this at the theatre (I now understand we shouldn't go to theatres) and both found it to be exceptionally touching! Not only does this movie set forth a great example of how to love our spouse unconditionally as Christ loved us, but it is also an excellent witnessing tool as it lays out so simply a true conversion process based on experiencing Christ's love for us.

Pilgrim's Progress

This is by far the best version of John Bunyan's classic book that I have ever seen! I initially bought this movie for my 2 1/2 year old son, but found that my wife and I loved it just as much as he does! I HIGHLY recommend this to any parent!

God's Outlaw
This is the story of William Tyndale, whose translations make up a large part of the King James Version. It starts with him preaching truth from the Bible and upsetting the leaders of the Catholic Church in England. Eventually he ends up a fugitive from Rome's persecution while dedicating his life to translating the Bible into English for his fellow countrymen. The passion of William Tyndale is always an inspiration to me. He chose to obey God rather than men, and paid with his life. This movie has some of the most beautiful voice-overs of Bible passages and writings of William Tyndale. Roger Rees' best performance, in my humble opinion.

Luther (2003 version)
I really enjoy this movie for a number of reasons but a couple of the main ones are these: it had a larger budget than most Christian movies and it shows, and Joseph Fiennes is a terrific actor and did a wonderful job portraying Luther as a tortured soul trying to find the true, loving nature of God. The movie follows Luther from his becoming a monk to his alliance with the princes of Germany to separate from the Roman Catholic Church and worship God according the the Scriptures. The movie has a strong message of righteousness by faith alone. Beautiful.

The Climb
This is a story about two mountain climbers who are forced to team up in order to get sponsored to climb the mountain of their dreams. One climber is a Christian and one is not. They butt heads through the entire movie but end up becoming great friends. This movie is a little cheesy but I like it.

Cry from the Mountain
I have only seen this movie once and that was a long time ago. But I remember I really enjoyed watching it and was very touched, especially by the Billy Graham crusade shown at the end. This movie is about a father and son who go on a kayak trip in the wilderness and have an accident which leaves the father seriously injured. They take refuge with an old hermit who helps bring them to Christ while also having his own hard-heart awakened.

One Night with the King

This is another higher-budgeted movie, which is nice. It is a telling of the story of Esther, who saved the Jews from destruction following their release from captivity in Babylon. It isn't entirely Biblically accurate, but does not step on any Christian beliefs. It simply adds a couple side-stories that aren't in the Biblical account of Queen Esther. It is somewhat of a romance which my wife enjoyed.

The Robe
This is a classic Christian movie that follows the story of the Roman soldier who won the Robe of Christ at the crucifixion. It was very entertaining and filled with sound Christian faith.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon
This is a dramatic telling of the conversion and early ministry of Saint Francis. It is a wonderful movie in my opinion and delivers a scathing rebuke to those who complicate the Gospel. In the movie, Saint Francis' message was simple: live simply, love unconditionally, be content with what God gives you. One of the main things I love about this movie is the beautiful filming locations depicting the Italian countryside, although I'm not sure if it was actually filmed there.


One of the best movies ever made. Period. The story of a wealthy man living in Jerusalem during the time of Christ's ministry. Friendships, betrayals, chariot races, faith, love...this movie has it all. Easily one of Charlton Heston's best performances.


Hands down the best film ever made on the life of Christ. Bruce Marchiano portrays a Jesus full of love and compassion. A Jesus that smiles and hugs and has a passion for his children. If I could only own one DVD for the rest of my life, this would be it. This film is taken word-for-word from the NIV version of the Gospel of Matthew. I would have preferred they use the NKJV but it doesn't really bug me.

This is not an exhaustive list of good Christian movies, just the ones that come to mind as my favorites out of the small sampling that I've seen. :-)