Intro to At The Movies: People say, What Can I learn at the church from movies?…well we have had fun over the years learning from movies and what God can teach us through them. To tell you the truth…I love movies! I love to get lost in the action or the story. I also love to walk away from a movie that made me think. My favorite movies speak long after the credits. Can you believe God could say something lasting and meaningful to me through a movie like Dumb and Dumber? It sounds weird and weirder, but He can! Let’s look at six great movies—and what more they have to say and how they apply to our lives as an intro to our message…
“You Can’t handle the Truth”. Great movie line. Quite often one of the biggest issues with the Message of Christ is that people can’t handle the truth. I takes time, and love and friendship for people to understand how loving Jesus is and how is truth is for our lives today. Jesus claimed that he is “the way, the truth, and the life. “ John 14:6. He is the truth and we can have the Truth when we accept him into our hearts.
“If you build it, they will come.” God is always challenging us to have first step faith…like Peter walking on Water. Take a step of faith and belief in your life and see what God does with it. How is he challenging you to grow now? Take a step into it, and watch Him move in your life. God is always at work around us. He has a plan for you specifically.
“You’re killin’ me, Smalls!” Some people are just Tough to deal with. But we can still love and care for them, “as far as it depends” on us (Rom 12:18). I’m thankful God is our strength when we are weak. Whether you’re dealing with a difficult co-worker, a slow cashier, or life just has you down, may He give you the strength you need to be kind and patient with those around you. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
“Show me the money.” Greed is so hard to overcome. Most of us will always battle the desire to have more. There are “get rich quick schemes” or shortcuts that we can take to get what we want NOW. We even drown ourselves in debt to get those things. Then, we still aren’t happy and we wonder why. God will meet your needs. He has promised us that. God won’t give you everything you want, but He will give you everything you need. “True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” 1 Timothy 6:6
“Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this … and totally redeem yourself!” All of us can be dumb at times. I know I can. All of have our areas to work on. We can get discouraged and even angry at ourselves when we repeat the same mistakes, but we shouldn’t! We should forgive ourselves in the same way we’re commanded to forgive others. You may feel like a failure some days, but remember you’re a work in progress. God is completing a good work in you.Philippians 1:6.
“You had me at hello.” Have you ever felt so alone that a simple kind word like “hello” felt like a lifeline? We need community, y’all! Life is not meant to be lived alone. Friends and family will make your experiences so much richer. Flying solo is needed sometimes, but don’t isolate yourself into loneliness. Reach out to those around you even if it feels scary. Say hello to a small group and join men’s, women’s, youth, children’s…start doing life with them! Remember, God create us all to be together! “live in harmony with each other” (1 Cor 1:10)
“Go ahead, make my day!” When Satan tries to tempt you or feed you lies, just tell him to go ahead and make your day!! Oh but wait, When we are attacked it says that “God will restore, support and strengthen” us (1 Pet 5:9-11). I can totally picture Clint Eastwood saying, “Bring it on, Satan.” Feel the boldness of this quote next time you’re discouraged.. Recognize that discouragement as a lie and an attempted attack. Nope. Not today! We have the victory in Christ!
The next time you hear a great movie quote, ask yourself is God trying to teach me something…
I. Today we are starting our “At The Movies” series with Black Planter. This great movie teaches us a lot about being Relational and Emotional with our Families and Friends.
Four Family Lessons I Learned From Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’
I really liked Black Panther and I love some of the stories and emphasizes that it brings forward…There is a real emphasis on family in the movie. Check out this clip:
Here are 4 lessons from this movie that can have a big impact on our lives.
1. Listen to Spirit . “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit.” Revelation 2:17
There is something interesting about how Black Panther represents ascending to the “ancestral plane”. First, you have to surrender by laying down, then you have to get still, get quiet, and trust the process as it envelops you. That’s not that bad of advice…a little weird.
- To listen to the Holy Spirit we need to be quiet and rest in Him. We are probably not going to have red clay or fresh snow at our disposal, but the film reminds us that its possible to connect to someone bigger and beyond each of us. In the movie is a power, insight and confidence to move forward with courage.
- God gives us the same. When we rest before Him He blesses us… “Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10
- Prayer, meditation, reading the Bible, silent times, are all just a few ways to know the Lord. Christian’s all have access to the Spirit for growth and empowerment.
- It is the Spirit that make us Godly Women and Men, and the Spirit help us live our our faith in our Families.
So here’s a few things I learned about family that can sometimes be forgotten…
2. Elders and Youth ought to be Treasured – Black Panther reminds us that elders contribute wisdom and stability; that young people provide innovation and fresh perspective. And that we need to hold tightly to it all.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes, “Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers.” 1 Timothy 5:1. The author of Leviticus,
“Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord.” (19:32).
3. Women ought to be Heroes “My heart rejoices in the Lord The Lord has made me strong.” – Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-2)
They can be generals and soldiers as demonstrated powerfully by Okoye, and her army of T’Challa’s protective force, the Dora Milajé. Nakia acknowledges Okoye as “the greatest warrior Wakanda has”.
- Women have been proving this throughout the continent of Africa for millennia. From woman pharaoh Hatshepsut (1473 BC) to Queen Amina (1536), women have been leading from the front. But that is only part of the point: women can counsel kings, lead entire nations, be technological engineers, etc. Our culture downplays the role of women. But the church ought to be different.
There are women like Hannah in the Bible, she prayed:
“Then Hannah prayed: ‘My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me. No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.’” 1 Samuel 2:1-2
There are women like Ruth in the Bible. Ruth’s story captivates and significantly challenges many. She’s a widow from an enemy nation with no prospects. Yet, God moves so mightily in her story and uses it to encourage millions. “Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth)” Matthew 1:5
There are women like Esther in the Bible. Esther is an inspiring story about a remarkable woman who was willing to risk her life to save her people. She was a woman of principle who was willing to put the lives of others ahead of even her own life. She was an outstanding example of serving others even under the most stressful circumstances. Jesus Christ said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
We could go on and on about the great women in the Bible we didn’t even mention Priscilla who had a church in her house or Mary who had our Savior in her stomach. I love that we are in a denomination that recognizes and respects women as leaders.
4. Men ought to be Emotional . You’ll still be male when it’s over.
- It is relatively rare to see men cry on screen in American cinema. Because, being cool and macho is centuries old programming but crying is akin to weakness. It happens, but even less so for black men. We all remember Denzel Washington’s Oscar winning single tear in Glory…powerful!
- Tears are human, cleansing, and necessary. They keep us honest and show our emotions. Shed them more often, fam. Black Panther’s action has a tenor of vulnerability not seen in most superhero films. Coogler and the cast do a brilliant job of delivering on this without a single slice of cheese.
- Be Real with your spouse, children and friends. Not the norm, but very important. “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16
- Be Emotional. Guys we don’t often like to show our emotion. But being emotional is part of being human. The Apostle Paul, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” Romans 12:9. Also in Ephesians 5, we are told to “submit to one another out of reference for Christ” (v21). And to Timothy Paul says, “Do your best to get here before winter.“ (2 Tim 4:21). Paul modeled being a Godly man and he was also emotional.
- Be Godly. Even Jesus wept. Be Men who act like men in every area.
1. Listen to the Spirit
2. Elders and Youth ought to be Treasured
3. Women ought to be Heroes
4. Men ought to be Emotional
MAYBE OUR FAMILIES CAN LEARN FROM BLACK PANTHER AND BE A BIT MORE ENGAGED IN OUR FAMILIES AND RELATIONSHIPS.