Throughout the book of Romans, Paul has comforted the Roman believers by redirecting them back to the Gospel. It is through a renewed commitment and understanding of the Gospel that we see everything in perspective and have our hope and joy restored.
In Romans 12, Paul begins to discuss how we should respond to the Gospel, and how we should live in light of the Gospel.
-A note from Pastor Leland Acker
Amidst all the Christian media, movies, music, stage shows and trendy churches, we must ask ourselves, “Is the Gospel enough?” Such is the premise for “Church People,” a Christian comedy released in 2021 by MyPillow’s Mike Lindell.
Church People follows a youth director’s struggle as he watches the megachurch where he has spent his ministry fall into the rut of using gimmicks and theatrical antics to draw crowds, while the meaning of the Gospel gets lost altogether. The film not only addresses the importance of the Gospel, but personal sin and struggle, the shallowness of some forms of Christianity, church politics, reconciliation and redemption.
My main concern with this film would be that it would inadvertently create a parody of church life and Christianity, and thus miss the target of refocusing the audience on the Gospel. My concern has been alleviated after watching the film, and I whole-heartedly endorse this film, not only for family entertainment, but for ministerial use as well.
The movie features a cast of quirky characters, mostof whom are caricatures of folks you might have met in church life. However, the film skillfully uses those characters as object lessons to get us to the intended message, which makes the film successful. From the greeter who seems to have a divine insight into people’s lives, the newly converted member of the youth group who can’t be involved enough, the pastor’s daughter turned missionary, the disenchanted youth director, and the rock-star wannabe worship leader all play a role in helping this film not only get its message across, but also deliver some amazing laughs along the way.
At the end of the day, we are all reminded that, yes, the Gospel is enough. Not only so, but the Gospel is the very essence of who we are in Christ, and what God has done for us. Furthermore, the movie does what so few do, correctly define what the Gospel is. For that, I happily recommend this movie to anyone.
The invention of the snooze button tells you a lot about how we feel about mornings. The alarm rings, we know we need to get up, but we want a little more sleep, so we hit the snooze button to silence the alarm for nine precious minutes before it wakes us up again.
Mornings mean the routine starts again. It’s another day, another to-do list, and another schedule filled with stressors, from work-related conflict, to financial challenges, to family issues. These daily challenges wait for us to rise out of the peaceful dream state and re-enter the grueling reality of this world.
We hate mornings. We hate Mondays. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
My daily Bible reading brought me to Psalm 5 today, and in it, verse 3, which says, “O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice, in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.”
These words, penned by King David under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, were convicting to me. I do not always enjoy mornings. Many times, I have hit the snooze button to the point where my morning routine is rushed. In these times, I fail to pray, give God glory, and appreciate the blessing of another day.
Then, I read the words of David. “In the morning you hear my voice, in the morning, I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.”
Prayer was important to David. He prayed relentlessly, and continually praised and worshiped God. The picture he paints in Psalm 5:3 is one of waking up early, selecting the lamb for sacrifice, conducting the sacrifice, praying to the Lord, watching the sun rise, and then watching to see how the Lord blesses the day.
The entire process oriented the day around the Lord, and thus David enjoyed peace in the Lord despite the turmoil and stresses that come with being king.
Life is hard, and stress is part of the package. We can either rise up reluctantly in the morning, curse our fate, and trudge through the daily battles, or we can rise up early, give God His glory, and watch for Him to do amazing things throughout the day.
The lesson we learn from David is one to be well received. We will enjoy more peace and joy if we learn to prepare God’s sacrifice of prayer and praise in the mornings. May the Lord help us to begin each day in gratitude toward Him, and may He give us the energy to rise up in plenty of time to worship Him, and to rely less on the snooze button.
–Pastor Leland Acker has pastored Life Point since its inception in 2008. He is a longtime morning radio personality, former hospice chaplain, and financial services advisor.
In Luke 9, Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of His death, burial and resurrection, before telling His disciples that they must take up their cross to follow Him. What does it mean to take up your cross? Check out today’s message, posted above, as Pastor Leland Acker defines the Gospel, then discusses what it really means to take up your cross.