Seek Justice, Love Mercy…Walk Humbly with Your God

Posted: December 8, 2011 in build up, compassion, Disciple, Discipleship, Family, great commission, Mentor, mentoring
Many of you have seen the movies by Sherwood Baptist; “Flywheel”, “Facing the Giants”, “Fireproof”, and most recently, “Courageous”.  I will be the first to say I love these movies and think the Kendrick brothers are doing an awesome work down there in GA.  However, my thinking of how to best utilize these movies has taken a paradigm shift over the last couple days.  Let me explain:
When these movies (Blockbuster Christian Films that is) first started coming out, I would invite everyone I knew (Christian or not) and would encourage everyone to see them.  I thought that the movies, in and of themselves, were great tools for evangelism, and in some ways they were (and still are to some).  The problem is this: many people, who are skeptics (Secular and Christian!), go to these movies looking for faults, not the gospel!  The Kendrick’s have done a great job of presenting the gospel in their movies, but it is up to us as Christians to be the mediators (so to speak) between the message and those we are inviting.  We must invite conversation and be willing to discuss whatever comes up about the movie, faith, or even the acting!  When you, a Christian man, tear up in Fireproof or Courageous when you see faults in yourself and in how you relate to your family, don’t be surprised when your buddy knocks the movie that moved you because the acting wasn’t “great” or the message was “preachy”.  Just like when Jesus would tell parables, only those who follow Jesus are illuminated to the light of the message of the gospel when told in story form!
The shift in me has looked something like this:
I now see these movies as encouragers for Christians to get out, get encouraged, and mentor others.  I see them as tools for Christians to invite friends and converse as they mentor the people in their circle of influence.  The reason these movies have flickered, made great money, and then have all but been forgotten, is because we (in general) have not utilized them as tools for the gospel to those around us.  Christians go and spend their money on tickets and watch the movies, are moved, and go home…but that’s it!  Others are invited or stumble upon these movies, but very few people are won to the Kingdom by handing them a New Testament, then never following up on it!  Relationships are the key to the gospel taking root and the Kingdom being built!  The discussions after the movie are more important than the actual movie!  
I also see the role the local church must take in order to fulfill the great commission.  Even if these movies are helping people make that profession of faith, or recommitment (and they are for some), Jesus never told us that we were to go make converts!  We are to make disciples!  So regardless of the ideas you may have about the purpose of these movies, the goal still falls back on each of us, The Church, to make disciples!  That involves relationships!
So, my shift has been that these movies are: 1) encouragers for Christians, 2) discussion starters for Christians to mentor those in their sphere of influence, and 3) outreach events where the goal is to have relationships, discussions afterward to best utilize the message of these films.
The title song from “Courageous” has been produced by the group Casting Crowns and is a great song.  One line has stuck with me over the past few weeks:
                “Seek Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with Your God…”
Seek Justice – This is our natural human reaction, wanting justice to be served!
Love Mercy – This is the understanding of a Biblical Worldview…seeing the world from God’s perspective.  Love God and Love Others…the greatest commandments as deemed by Jesus!
Walk Humbly with Your God – This is the result of living a life where you seek justice (from God’s perspective) and love mercy (by seeing the world the way Jesus does!)

So, go see the movies, even take a friend, but don’t let it drop there.  Let that be the springboard to a great discussion.  You never know where God will take it when you offer Him your obedient heart!

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