VIDEO ‘Faith is Based on Truth’

Faith Miracles

In an exclusive interview with The Gospel Herald, former atheist Lee Strobel discussed “The Case for Christ,” an upcoming film based on his best-selling book.

Stobel, a journalist and Harvard Law School graduate, was the legal affairs editor at the Chicago Tribune in the 1980s when he attempted to disprove the existence of God. Instead, deep research into Christianity resulted in Stobel converting and becoming a Christian apologist.  He is the author of several books, including “The Case for Christ.”

On April 7, “The Case for Christ,” a film based on Strobel’s book, will be released from Pure Flix and Triple Horse Studios.

The Gospel Herald asked Strobel about his thoughts on the film. An excerpt:

GH: You wrote “The Case for Christ” several years ago, and it’s been read by millions. Why did you finally decide to create a film based on your story?

LS: I think there are so many people that won’t read a book, but they will go to a movie. They won’t go to church, but they’ll go to the theater. I think this is an opportunity to reach a whole new crowd with the truth of Christianity in a story that is compelling and winsome. It’s a love story; it’s a father and son relationship; it’s a story of big-city journalism; it’s a story of a spiritual journey. It’s interesting, the other day I saw that Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year is “post-truth,” meaning that facts are less influential than appeals to emotion. I think we are in a challenging time for Christians, because our faith is based on truth, not on fairy-tales or legends or mythology. And so, how do we present that truth of Christianity in a creative and compelling way? I think, by harnessing the drama of cinema, we can present the evidence for the Christian faith in a way that is especially appropriate for this generation.

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Look What Jesus Has Done

See that you . . . excel in this grace of giving. 2 Corinthians 8:7

The little boy was only eight when he announced to his parents’ friend Wally, “I love Jesus and want to serve God overseas someday.” During the next ten years or so, Wally prayed for him as he watched him grow up. When this young man later applied with a mission agency to go to Mali, Wally told him, “It’s about time! When I heard what you wanted to do, I invested some money and have been saving it for you, waiting for this exciting news.” Wally has a heart for others and for getting God’s good news to people.

Jesus and His disciples needed financial support as they traveled from one town and village to another, telling the good news of His kingdom (Luke 8:1–3). A group of women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases helped to support them “out of their own means” (v. 3). One was Mary Magdalene, who had been freed from the presence of seven demons. Another was Joanna, the wife of an official in Herod’s court. Nothing is known about Susanna and “many others” (v. 3), but we know that Jesus had met their spiritual needs. Now they were helping Him and His disciples through giving their financial resources.

Tell someone the story of what Jesus has done for you.

When we consider what Jesus has done for us, His heart for others becomes our own. Let’s ask God how He wants to use us.

How might you be a part of getting the good news of salvation to people in your neighborhood and around the world? Tell someone the story of what Jesus has done for you. Write a note of encouragement to someone. Share a gift with a missionary. Pray.

Jesus gave His all; He deserves our all.

INSIGHT:Jesus honored a sinful woman who washed His feet with her tears, wiped them dry with her hair, and then poured out an expensive flask of perfume on His feet (Luke 7:36–50). Assuring the woman that her sins were forgiven, Jesus tells disgusted religious leaders that she is an example of one who having been forgiven much loves all the more (v. 47). It is in this context that we read that some women who had been cured of evil spirits and various diseases traveled with Jesus to support Him and His disciples out of their own means. Maybe we can ask ourselves: What grace and mercy have we received that gives us reason to give attention, respect, comfort, and encouragement to others?

Doing God’s Work God’s Way

Zechariah 4:5-6

Satan tries to trick us into thinking that life can be divided into two separate parts: the secular, which is separate from the Lord, and the spiritual. That’s a lie. As God’s children, we are spiritual beings, and every area of our life is to be an expression of that divine relationship. Whether employment, family role, ministry, or leisure pursuits, our every involvement connects into God’s purpose for our life and must please Him.

Our culture wants us to believe another lie—that we can accomplish much without God. People will point out our human strengths, like education, skills, and gifts, and assure us that we have all we require to succeed. The implication is that we don’t need God. Satan always wants to turn us away from reliance upon the Lord; our enemy wants us to think that prior success means we can handle the task on our own. The Bible tells us otherwise. To do God’s work God’s way requires that we rely on His Spirit instead of depending on ourselves or others.

When we are leaning on the Spirit’s strength and wisdom, we will:

  • Be fully persuaded that without God’s active presence, we’ll fail.
  • Seek to please God alone and not to compromise.
  • Look expectantly for the Holy Spirit to be at work.
  • Spend more time thanking and praising Him.
  • Exhibit joy, a fruit of the Spirit, instead of worry.

The lives of God’s children are to be characterized by steady reliance upon the Holy Spirit. Is that true of you?

The Golden Scepter

“And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near and touched the top of the sceptre.” (Esther 5:2)

Queen Esther knew she was risking her life when she came unbidden into the presence of the mighty king of Persia in his throne room. Even though she was his favorite wife, he did not know she was a Jew or that she was hoping to get Haman’s terrible order for genocide of the Jews reversed. She knew that it was a capital offense for even a queen to go into the throne room without authorization, and that only the king—by holding out to her his golden scepter—could save her life. But she also knew that she had “come to the kingdom for such a time as this,” and so she said: “If I perish, I perish” (4:14, 16). The king, however, did extend his golden sceptre to her, and even said: “What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee” (5:6).

In a beautiful way, this is also a picture of our own coming to Christ, the King of kings. One does not have to be a queen, however, for “whosoever will” may come (Revelation 22:17) if he has the courage to die to the world and the faith to believe that Christ can save. The Lord Jesus Christ graciously says to those who come to Him in faith, believing: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do” (John 14:13).

The invitation is to “whosoever” and the promise is for “whatsoever”! “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). None dared enter the court of the Persian king without being called, but we have been called by our heavenly King, for “a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom” (1:8). HMM

“A righteous man hateth lying.”

Genesis 27:1-5, 17-29

Genesis 27:1-5

When Rebekah heard this she determined to obtain the blessing for her favourite son Jacob by a crafty stratagem. She prepared two kids of goats in a savoury manner, dressed Jacob in Esau’s clothes, put skins upon his hands and neck that he might appear to be hairy like his brother, and sent him in to deceive his father.

Genesis 27:20

When we begin to sin we go from bad to worse. It was base enough of Jacob to utter so many falsehoods, but to bring in the Lord God of his father to give them the appearance of truth, was much worse.

Genesis 27:24

Thus Jacob persisted in his falsehood. This narrative shows us the truthfulness of God’s word, since it does not conceal the faults of its most eminent saints. Had the Old Testament been a cunningly devised fable, it would never have exhibited the great progenitor of the twelve tribes in so sorry a light.

Genesis 27:25

Isaac did not seek counsel of the Lord, hence his mistake. By this he was punished for his ill-placed partiality to Esau, for it was very unworthy of the patriarch to prefer his profane son “because he did eat of his venison.”

Genesis 27:26-29

Thus the prophecy concerning Esau and Jacob was repeated with enlargements, “the elder shall serve the younger.” God’s purpose was accomplished, but this did not excuse Rebekah and Jacob, or screen them from the chastisements of God, which commenced at once. We ought never to do evil that good may come.

 

Father, to that firstborn of thine

Thou hast the blessing given,

The power, and dignity divine,

Th’ inheritance of heaven.

 

O how shall I the younger son,

The Elder’s right obtain?

I’ll put my Brother’s raiment on,

And thus the blessing gain.

 

Father, I joyfully believe

Thou art well pleased with me;

Thou dost at my approach perceive

A heavenly fragrancy.

 

Thou dost thy gracious will declare,

Thou dost delight to bless;

And why? My Brother’s garb I wear,

My Saviour’s righteousness.

 

He’s Still the Lord Of the Wind and the Waves!

 

Mark 4:37, 39

Anytime you are on the front lines of battle doing something significant for the Kingdom of God, the enemy’s attacks against your life will escalate. I’m not telling you this to scare you, but to mentally equip you. That way when the attacks come, you won’t be taken by surprise!

Being mentally prepared for a spiritual attack is very important. If you are familiar with the devil’s tactics, his assaults won’t take you off guard or by surprise when they intensify against you. You’ll be able to recognize and resist every demonic attack, rejoicing in the Lord because you know what’s happening.

Jesus came under this kind of intense attack when He was crossing the Sea of Galilee with His disciples on His way to cast a legion of demons out of the demoniac of Gadara. This demon-possessed man was an important weapon in Satan’s arsenal. Through the actions of the demoniac of Gadara, the devil had held the countryside hostage with fear for a very long time. The demoniac was so legendary that people throughout the entire coastland region knew of him.

The devil knew that if Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee that night and reached the other side, He would cast the demons out of that man. When that happened, Satan would lose the weapon he had long used to terrorize the whole countryside.

So as Jesus and His disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee that night, violent and destructive winds seemed to come from out of nowhere to capsize Jesus’ boat and drown Him and His disciples in the middle of the sea. Mark 4:37 says, “And there arose a great storm of wind….”

The phrase “there arose” is taken from the Greek word ginomai, which in this case describes something that happens unexpectedly or something that catches one off-guard. This plainly tells us that Jesus and His disciples did not expect bad weather that night. The Greek word ginomai emphatically means that this event completely took the disciples by surprise.

To let us know the size of this storm, Mark uses the Greek word mega, which denotes something of massive proportions. It is where we get the idea of mega-bills, mega-work, and megaphone. Because Mark uses the word mega, it alerts us to the fact that this was a mega-storm with mega-winds!

The word “wind” is the Greek word lalaipsi, which means this was a turbulent or terribly violent wind. This word can also be translated hurricane, cyclone, tempest, gale, windstorm, a furious tempest, or a fierce squall. Therefore, we know the storm that came against Jesus that night was no small breeze. It was a formidable, crushing, overpowering type of storm.

One very important fact must be pointed out: This was a windstorm. There is no mention of rain at all because this was a storm of wind. Jesus and His disciples could feel its effects as the wind blew against them and their boat. They could see the raging waves that were tossed to and fro by this violent wind. However, the windstorm that had come to overturn their boat in the middle of Sea of Galilee and to kill them before they reached the other side was invisible.

 

The Greek words in Mark 4:37 gives this idea:

“And suddenly and unexpectantly—as if it came from out of nowhere—there arose a gale of wind. It was a ferocious tempest with winds that were terribly violent, turbulent, and overpowering….”

Here was Jesus—on the brink of one of the greatest miracles of His ministry. At the same time, there was the devil, fearing that he was about to lose one of his most highly prized weapons of terrorism. It was at this exact moment that this violent, destructive turbulence came down upon Jesus and His disciples.

The occurrence of the storm at this exact moment was no accident. The devil didn’t want Jesus to reclaim one of his most prized captives. This was a preemptive strike of the devil to undo the work of God.

But that night in the midst of the storm, Jesus arose and took authority over the situation. The Bible says that when He exercised His authority over this unseen turbulence, “… the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). In doing this, Jesus demonstrated that He was the Lord of the wind and the waves. This potentially deadly situation provided a great opportunity for the disciples to learn that Jesus Christ is truly Lord over all!

Rest assured—Satan will certainly try to attack you with unexpected turbulence from time to time. His attacks against you will probably escalate whenever you’re right on the edge of a breakthrough, as was the case with Jesus that night. But just as that event provided an opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate His power and authority, you need to see each demonic attack against you as an opportunity to rise up, take authority, and demonstrate who you are in Jesus Christ!

Mentally and spiritually prepare yourself to deal with the devil’s attacks. Put on the whole armor of God. Rise up and take authority in Jesus’ name over the wind and the waves that come against you and your family. Never forget that this is your golden opportunity to see a demonstration of God’s power in your life!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, thank You for teaching me that Satan often attacks right when I’m on the verge of a major breakthrough. This knowledge helps me so much because it causes me to recognize that Satan loves to make all hell break loose in my life just before a big victory. Now that I know this, please help me keep this in mind when a turbulent wind blows into my life. Help me to look at that storm and say, “I know that the devil must be upset; otherwise, he wouldn’t be messing with me right now. I must be right on track with God!” With this understanding, I will keep pressing ahead, regardless of what I see, feel, or hear.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I declare that every attack of the devil is my opportunity to see a demonstration of the power of God. What the devil meant for my harm, God will turn for my good. This is my opportunity to rise up, speak the name of Jesus, use my God-given authority, and declare to the spiritual realm that the Lord of lords whom I serve is by far the One with the most spiritual power!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Do you recall some storms in your past that you had to stand against until the victory finally came?
  2. How did you react to the last storm in your life? Did you rise up and take authority over the situation?
  3. In what ways are you mentally and spiritually preparing yourself for future attacks?

You can be quite certain that Satan will try to attack you with unexpected turbulence from time to time. His attacks against you will probably escalate whenever you’re right on the edge of a major breakthrough. You therefore need to see each demonic attack against you as an opportunity to rise up, take authority, and demonstrate who you are in Jesus Christ!

 

Timing

TIMING: A critical factor in business.

 

Success often depends upon sensing the moment and moving with the market. Failure to provide the right product or service at the right TIME can spell disaster.

 

God also has a perfect TIMEtable. And we can easily miss it by:

 

Rushing ahead of Him — Often out of impatience, presumption or impetuousness.

 

He who makes haste with his feet errs.” (Proverbs 19:2b)

 

Or by:

 

Lagging behind Him — Often out of fear of failure or perfectionist tendencies.

 

Because God has a perfect TIMEtable, “He has made everything beautiful in its TIME.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

 

For example: Upon learning of Lazarus’ illness, Jesus delayed traveling to visit him by two days to await his death. Upon His arrival, Christ found Lazarus entombed and proceeded to raise him to life. (See John 11:1-42)

 

God’s perfect TIMING!

 

QUESTION: Do you have challenging decisions on your hands? Then follow the Psalmist’s counsel on tapping into God’s TIMING:

 

(1) “Rest in the Lord

 

(2) Wait patiently for Him

 

(3) Keep to His way… ”

 

He then promises to “exalt you to inherit the land! (Psalm 37:5, 7, 34, 37)

 

May I suggest two additional considerations in determining God’s TIMING:

 

1. Inner Peace: “And let the peace of Christ RULE in your heart… ” (Colossians 3:15a) If you lack inner peace, the TIME to act is not now.

 

2. Your wife’s consensus: God has endowed our spouses with a ton of common sense, and an intuitive capability that far surpasses that of most men. A man therefore, is a FOOL if he chooses to ignore his wife’s advice as it relates to TIMING.

 

Because TIMING is so essential for success, God invites us to walk with Him in the living out of our lives. After all, “He has made everything beautiful in its TIME.

 

 

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