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Jaws: Revisited

I really wasn’t going to do another Jaws post. Really. Watching the movie again, I just had to come back to it. Partly because I am such a huge shark fan, but mainly because God refilled my ideas on the subject.

Try to look at it as a visual. Jaws ate around a dozen people. But in the end, everyone knows how it ends. The difference is that sin takes a lot more people than Jaws ever did.

This one is perhaps a little too literal, but it gets the idea across:

All your enemies open their mouths wide against you; they scoff and gnash their teeth and say, “We have swallowed her up. This is the day we have waited for; we have lived to see it.” Lamentations 2:16

Let’s face it. Sin isn’t pretty. The bible describes it as a prowling lion, and countless accounts of enemies lying in wait depict a dangerous world. I’m not just revisiting Jaws because I’m a fan, but because the parallel provides such a great image of sin. We have to learn to face the grueling dangers and difficulties.

But we don’t have to do it alone.

My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” Daniel 6:22

Ok, so it isn’t sharks here, but lions. But Daniel was protected from the predator. Daniel was the diver, and among the sharks, God provided him protection (shark cage?). Jesus guards us from all dangers, and protects us from all things we face, but that doesn’t mean we won’t face some sharks in our life.

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 3:12-13

Jesus faced lots of things, but he didn’t let it get to him; he relied on and trusted in God.

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22

You don’t need to hear me say we aren’t perfect. But the only way we’ll be able to fight off sin is through Christ, so trust in him.

(Word of warning: I somehow haven’t seen the second Jaws yet. You may be seeing another Jaws post in the near future…)

We Are Treasure Hunters

Who wouldn’t want to be a treasure hunter? Of course, in saying that, I’m reminded of two things: Indiana Jones, and that episode from “Psych” where Shawn is following his Uncle Jack’s treasure map. Either way, being a treasure hunter is awesome, and we all know it. It involves modern greed, ancient secrets, plots and mischief of all time periods, danger, and the thrill of the hunt (and being hunted, too). But how does being a Christian add up to that? It’s not quite that literal.

In our walk with God, there is treasure to be found that is more incredible to discover than anything that Indiana Jones ever uncovered. This treasure is treasure which has the power to change our lives for all eternity. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

First we need to know a little about just how important this treasure is. Just because it’s not the lost whatchamacallit of the South American Amazon doesn’t mean it’s not worth searching for.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.”” Matthew 13:44-45

Have you ever seen something that you wanted to just sell everything you owned to buy it? Or have you ever wanted to do something so badly, you almost wanted to give up and drop everything else to do it? The people in these two short parables did just that. They knew what was really valuable.

Yes, now I’m going to pull out the story of the rich young man and tell you to sell everything you have. And then I’ll try to stop being too sarcastic with you, because that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m talking about is spiritual. This is something that comes straight from God. When we find true inspiration, love, wisdom, hope, peace, and prosperity that the Lord offers us freely, then we have found the greatest treasure of all.

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” Isaiah 33:5-6

This treasure in the Lord is so great that it will change your life forever. The following verse from 1 Timothy says the treasure God gives us enables us to “take hold of the life that is truly life.” This treasure is a couple of things. It’s eternal, and in a number of verses, we are told that riches are stored up in heaven for us. (While that seems far away, God’s gifts will be better enjoyed eternally than just for our short lives! See 1 Peter 1:4 in context) Also, God’s treasure is all the things that we are blessed with by him, and enrich our lives to make them something they never could have been without him. Then, we’re truly living.

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:18-19

Many treasure hunters in the Hollywood titles think that true life is fame, riches, women, or perhaps other selfish gain. But we’re searching, seriously, for the treasure that lets us take hold of the life that is truly life. Dictionary.com’s 4th definition of “life” is this: “4. a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul” . Most people’s existence is, for lack of a better term, existential. God wants our lives to be so much more.

I want to wrap this one up by saying briefly how to search for this everlasting treasure, because by now I know you’re interested. To find God’s treasure,  you have to find God. Pray and pour out your heart, listen to his heart for you. Pursue the Lord in your life, every day, and every hour–and seek out the treasure of true life.

Forcefield

It’s a dangerous world out there. And I’m not talking about just getting jumped or your house being broken into. There’s even greater threats.
Everyday, we face dangers of the spiritual type, and they tempt, torture, and beat us down. These things we face are often harder to deal with than physical threats. Nonetheless, there is security to be found in this difficulty.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5

We are given protection by God in a supernatural way. When we believe and trust in him “through faith”, we are “shielded by God’s power”. Now, if you read yesterday’s Geeks on Faith post, you’ll remember that God has infinite power we often underestimate. That very power is there to protect us from the countless attacks on us. We are protected from ongoing attacks all around us–almost like a forcefield.
But how do we access this power in our lives? The answer is our faith. Just because God is protecting us doesn’t mean we won’t go through trials. We have to remain true to him as he remains true to us, praying, believing, and maintaining our faith and our relationship in him.

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