The worldwide prayer for the day of this reflection is an appeal to God to increase in us the gifts of faith, hope and love so that we obtain what He promises and love what He commands. It says:
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Old Testament reading, Job 42:1-6, 10-17, summarizes how to fulfill this prayer:
Job answered the Lord:
“I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you declare to me.’
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”
And, the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this Job lived for one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. And Job died, old and full of days.
Job is in complete submission, which is right where he should be. Although Job never denied God when he was being tested by Satan, his sins were being presumptuous by making judgments about things he didn’t understand and disputing with God over what was just. In fact, God first accused Job of asserting that he could better explain what was happening than God; and, second, that Job could better order the world’s affairs.
Many of us make judgements about things we don’t understand and claim that we can better explain what is happening than God does in His Word written – the Bible. Doesn’t the news media do that every day?
Also, many of us complain that the things that happen are not just and claim that we can better order the world’s affairs. Don’t politicians do that every day?
So, finally, Job admits that God is sovereign. He confesses that he heard about God, but now, he has seen God. So, Job is humbled and repents. When he does, God restores Job. This is a gift from God, not the result of Job’s actions.
Too many have heard about God, but each of us must see Him by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and knowing Him personally.
Next in the reading, Job prays for his friends, as he is no longer resentful or bitter, and he forgives friends. God forgives Job and gives Job twice what he had before. Job lived to 210 years old. He had more sons and daughters. He even treated his daughters like he treated his sons, which was contrary to the customs at that time.
Thus, we must forgive without resentment or bitterness and love our friends and even our enemies.
The next reading from Psalm 34 illuminates the passage from Job and continues the theme:
1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the humble hear and rejoice.
3 Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord;
let us exalt his Name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me out of all my terror.
5 Look upon him and be radiant,
and let not your faces be ashamed.
6 I called in my affliction and the Lord heard me
and saved me from all my troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encompasses those who fear him,
and he will deliver them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
happy are they who trust in him!
19 [Many are the troubles of the righteous,
but the Lord will deliver him out of them all.
20 He will keep safe all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 The Lord ransoms the life of his servants,
and none will be punished who trust in him.]
Like the Psalmist, Job was praising God and was assured that God would deliver him, just as will deliver him even though we have many troubles (although we may not have as many troubles as Job). He will keep us safe, and Jesus ransoms us when we trust in Him.
The next reading, Hebrews 7:23-28, reveals how Jesus Christ ransomed us:
“The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but Jesus holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
“For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.”
Thus, Jesus is the last and ultimate Priest. He never dies. He always intercedes for us. Jesus gave himself for us. He is the one sacrifice that is forever.
Finally, Mark 10:46-52 explains why Jesus Christ ransomed us – He loves us so much and wants to serve us:
“Jesus and his disciples came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed Him on the way.”
When Timaeus cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me,” Jesus wants to help and even serve Timaeus by asking, “What do you want me to do for you.” Timaeus wants to regain his sight, and Jesus heals Timaeus, telling him that “Your faith his made you well.” This is both physical and spiritual healing.
So, the message is to humble yourself, acknowledge that God is sovereign and believe in Him, Jesus the Christ.
For me, the staff, my family, and MOVIEGUIDE®, this has resulted in constant miracles. As far as MOVIEGUIDE® and our ministry to redeem the mass media of entertainment, there have been many signs of God’s grace. Thus, when we started MOVIEGUIDE® in 1985, the Entertainment Industry released few movies with any positive Christian content, less than 1%! Last year in 2020, however, almost 66.29%, of the major movies released theatrically by the movie industry contained at least some positive Christian, redemptive content! Also, when we started, there were only six mediocre movies aimed at families. Now, movies marketed to families annually are the top performers at the box office.
After all, in movies and TV programs in 2021:
– Parents have to go undercover to expose a school principal who is trying to brainwash their children in BOSS BABY:FAMILY BUSINESS.
– A father has to go into his son’s computer AI to rescue his son in SPACE JAM.
– The hero has to fight a villain named Lucifer to rescue his daughter in the James Bond movie, NO TIME TO DIE.
– One of the best faith-filled movies BLUE MIRACLE was number one on Netflix for nine weeks and was produced by a HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL) student from 2015, who is now the head of production and a division of a major movie studio.
And, many more really big Hollywood movies and streamers have very strong faith and values.
Furthermore, our THE CULTURE-WISE FAMILY and THE MEDIA-WISE FAMILY training delivered a friend’s 14-year-old daughter from cutting herself and compelled her to go back to church and help her friends. Several other young people were rescued.
So, when we humble ourselves and trust in Jesus Christ, blessings occur.
May God bless you and give you the more abundant life and make you more than conquerors in Jesus Christ.
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