Two Resources for Reading The Greatest Story Ever Told

The bible is the greatest story ever told.

The Story

The Story

Yes, it is God’s Word, it God’s Story and it a true story. But it is still a story.

That is why in addition to *studying* the bible I would suggest that you sometimes just *read* the bible.

Yea, read it.

Enjoy it for the amazing story – and piece of literature – that it truly is.

The Bible as a Movie Script?

That is one reason I am enjoying the Voice Bible.

The Voice Bible is unique in that is designed like a movie script.

theVoiceExample

In this example you can see when the Wise Men are speaking, when the Scribes and Priests are speaking, and when the Messenger of the Lord is speaking. In the last example we are also told to whom the Messenger of the Lord is speaking.

The Voice Bible is a refreshing way to read the Bible.

If you are new to the Bible it will help you “see” the action and keep track of what is going on.

If you and the Bible are old friends then it can be a nice twist to an old favorite.

The publisher is now (as of 11/18/2014) offering the Voice New Testament as a free download. Take a look and see what you think.

You will love it!

The Bible as a Story

Check  out “The Big Story of the Bible,” another resource to help you read the bible as literature which can be found over at Resurgence.

Even though it comes from a Reformed perspective (trying to be funny as I am not Reformed) it has some great insight into how to read the bible.

The big ideas are:

  1. The Old Testament is a road to Jesus
  2. Scripture’s one big story

Understanding that the Bible tells one big story – God’s story – will help you see His story in other stories, like movies!

This is why we can share God’s story with movies!

Until next time,

Simon L Smith

 

A Reel Parables Movie Review: Disney’s Frozen – Dancing with the Devil

Today’s post is from the upcoming Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen bible study. This movie based bible study uses Disney’s Frozen and therefore contains  spoilers.

Review: Our hearts are frozen (broken, wicked, evil). Our hearts are frozen because we are all under a curse. Our frozen hearts affect our relationship with each other and with God. Because of our frozen hearts we are separated – lost – from God. We know God loves us because He searches for – chases after – us. We know God loves us because He sacrificed Himself for us.

 Frozen-Hans-Poster

 When did you know that Hans was the bad guy? Where you surprised? If so, why were you surprised that he ended up being the bad guy?

How did you know that Hans was the bad guy?

Why was Hans the bad guy? What did he want? What was he willing to do to get what he wanted?

How would you describe Hans before you knew he was the bad guy? How would you describe Hans after you knew that he was the bad guy?

What changed? (Not attitude, but actions?)

What did Hans want and desire? (To be king!)

To whom did Hans lie? What was his lie? Why did he lie? What did he hope to gain by lying?

Whom did Hans deceive? Why did he deceive Anna?

frozen___anna_and_hans

If Elsa represents us (the lost ones who need a savior) and Anna represents Jesus (the savior we need), then who does Hans represent?

From the beginning he appears to be a handsome and honorable young prince.

(From the beginning the Devil seems to be honorable, “surly you won’t die! God knows that you will know good from evil!”)

But is Hans as honorable as he appears?

Does he have the honor that he portrays?

Is he sincere? Or does he have a secret?

Simply put, does Hans have an image or does Hans have integrity?

Hans is all image with no integrity! He wrapped himself up in a very nice, attractive and appareling image (like an angel of light!) so he can trick Anna, gain her trust, and steal the kingdom.

II Corinthians “for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Hans presents a perfect image. But inside he lacks integrity.

And this makes Hans the true enemy; the devil of the story, the Satan of the story, and the true evil of Frozen.

Like the devil, Hans looks good on the outside, but is bad on the inside.

Like the devil, Hans wants a position that is not his (Isaiah 14:13-14). He wants it so badly that he is willing to lie and kill for it (John 8:44), deceive for it (Revelation 12:9), and blind others to the truth to get it (2 Corinthians 4:4)!

While Anna emptied herself of selfish ambition, Hans filled himself up with it!

Yes, Elsa certainly plays the role of the antagonist; she ignores/abandons Anna, she causes the curse and appears to be the “enemy.”  But Hans, who appears to be an ally, is the real evil in Frozen!

Hans has vain ambition in that he wanted something that was not his. He is a liar. He is a deceiver. Hans is a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. He will do whatever it takes to win!

He lied, but like the devil did so in a way that sounded good, beautiful, and true. He said all the right things. He appeared to do all the right things. He told Anna what she wanted to hear.

We know Hans is the true bad guy because he is willing to lie, deceive and kill for something that is not his. Just like the devil.

anna_and_hans

Vain Ambition

Read Isaiah 14:13-14.

You said to yourself, “I will climb up to the sky. Above the stars of El (God) I will set up my throne. I will rule on the mountain of assembly on the remote slopes of Zaphon. I will climb up to the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High!”

Most bible scholars attribute this part of Isaiah to the Devil, Lucifer and use it to show what the devil is really like. The devil wanted to be like the “Most High,” a common name/description of the one true God. In an act of rebellion the Devil – one of God’s created beings (angels) – wanted to be like God. He did not want to be with God, but wanted to be like God, or to replace God. The devil wanted a position that was not his. He wanted to a position that was not his. He was prideful. He had vain ambition.

In the same way, Hans wanted a position that was not his; he wanted to be king of Arendelle.

If the devil’s first (main?) sin was rebellion – wanting to replace God – are there areas in your life where you are in open (or not so open) rebellion? Are there areas of your life where you want to be God?

If so just remember that God already knows and still loves you! Just please don’t take His patience as a sign that He doesn’t know or that He doesn’t care. He is slow to anger and His patience with us has a purpose.

The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

God is patient with us so that we will repent and draw near to Him.

Angel of Light

Read 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions.

As we have already seen Hans looked good on the outside, bur was ugly on the inside. He had a wonderful image, but lacked integrity.

Contrary to most movies, the devil doesn’t really scare us. Why would he? If he showed up looking ugly and scary most of us would know to stay away! Instead he shows up looking like an “angel of light,” pretty, appealing, and looking good.

His goal is not to scare us. His goal is to trick us.

How does the devil trick us? How did Hans trick Anna?

Deceiver

Read Revelation 12:9.

So that huge dragon – the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world – was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him.

(To deceive is to cause someone to believe something that is not true, typically to gain some personal advantage.)

The devil doesn’t need to scare us. Instead he wants to deceive us.

Isn’t this what Hans did? Who all did Hans deceive? Why did he deceive these people?

Murder and Liar

Read John 8:44.

You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

Again, this describes Hans. He liked, to just about everyone, and even tried to kill Anna!

But why? Why did Hans want to kill Anna?

Blinds to the Truth

Read 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.

Again, this describes Hans!

He blinded everyone to the truth and then tried to get his own way.

Hans is an amazing representation of the Devil.

He is a liar, a cheater and a murderer.

He longs for something – a position – that is not his and will do anything, even kill!, to get it.

Watch out for he Hans in your life.

Remember, the devil is not out to scare you, he is out to trick and deceive you!

Until next time.

Sharing is caring! Would you please share this post? I truly appreciate it.

Also, like us on Facebook (top of page) and if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list  so that you don’t miss what’s coming up next with Frozen.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Sharing God’s Story with Reel Parables




A Reel Parables Movie Review: Disney’s Frozen – Sacrifice

Today’s post is from the upcoming Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen bible study. This movie based bible study uses Disney’s Frozen and therefore contains  spoilers.

Good Girl vs Antagonist

Review: Our hearts are frozen (broken, wicked, evil). Our hearts are frozen because we are all under a curse. Our frozen hearts affect our relationship with each other and with God. Because of our frozen hearts we are separated – lost – from God. We know God loves us because He searches for – chases after – us.

Early in Frozen we are told that,

Only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart.

This is a very powerful – and biblical – idea.

Our frozen hearts separate us from God. But God demonstrates His love for us by chasing us down.

Our hearts are frozen because we are under a curse. But like in Frozen, there is someone who can break that curse and thaw our hearts!

Anna chased after Elsa like God chased after Adam and Eve and chases after us!

This is because Anna loved Elsa like God loves us.

Knowing this, and knowing that Anna is the one that loved Elsa so much that she went looking for her, what role might Anna play in Elsa’s redemption?

But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Not only did Anna go out and find Elsa but she demonstrated her (agape) love for Elsa by sacrificing herself to save her.

Anna demonstrated her love for Elsa by dying for her, by dying in her place.

Anna, who did nothing wrong, died to save Elsa.

Anna certainly did not deserve to die. She didn’t freeze the kingdom. She didn’t leave her sister, her home and her kingdom.

She didn’t do anything wrong. Elsa did.

wpid-5330e62d9bee73.50453865.jpg

But Anna died.

Why?

Because she loved Elsa the way Jesus loves us.

Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. Philippines 2:3-8

This very much describes Anna!

If she had stayed in Arendelle then SHE would have been the queen! But instead of looking out for herself (selfish ambition) or her position (becoming Queen) she humbled herself and went out to find – and save – Elsa.

You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross!

She had the same attitude towards Elsa that Christ has towards us. She left her glory (her kingdom where she would have become the queen) and went out looking for Elsa so that she could save her.

And in the same way that Christ humbled himself to the point of death, so did Anna! As we already stated Anna humbled herself to the point of death so that she could save Elsa.

In this Reel Parable we are Elsa, separated because of our actions and in need of help Anna is Jesus, the one who sacrificed himself so we can have eternal life.

Why did Anna save Elsa?

Did Anna deserve to die?

Why was this an act of “true love?”

How was this act of true love (agape) different from a simple “true love’s (Eros) kiss?” What’s the difference between the two?

If you are not a Christian, what actions separate you from God?

If you are a Christian, what actions negatively affect your relationship with God?

Who deserves to be punished for those sins?

Why would Jesus take the punishment – die for – your actions?

Why would Jesus love you that much?

Have yo confessed those actions (and your sinfulness in general) to God?

Remember 2 Peter 3:9 and I John 1:9:

The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

You are not getting away with anything. You may not have been caught yet, but you are not off the hook. Someday you will give an account for your sins.  Some of you may feel that you are doing that now (sin does, after all, affect relationships) and some of you may feel like you are getting away with something.  Please know that God will make all of us give an account.

God is patient so that you will repent.

Justice will be served. Please, I beg you, don’t take God’s patience as a sign that you are getting away with it. God’s patience towards you is so that you will repent – turn from your sins and turn towards God – and “get right” with God.

The goal is not to “get away” with it, the goal is to “get right” with God. Repent while God is still showing His patience.

That’s where confession comes in for both Christians and non-Christians.

But if we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

In the same way that an “I’m sorry” can restore a broken human relationship, an “I’m sorry” can also restore a broken relationship with God.

If you are not a Christian then this is an act of faith; Repent (turn from your sin and turn towards God) and confess your sins to Him.

As Christian we will still sin. Although our sins have been forgiven (justice already served!) they can still negatively affect our relationship with God. Some people will say it like this; sin breaks our fellowship with God. We don’t lose our salvation, but we can break our fellowship with God.

And because God knows that we will still sin this applies to Christians also. We need to restore that fellowship by confessing our sins. This is our “I’m sorry” to God.

sisters

Remember, Anna loved Elsa the way that Jesus loves us.

When Elsa was out of fellowship with Anna, Anna chased her down.

God has done the same for us.

Notice also that Elsa apologizes to Anna, the one whom she has sinned against.

We need to do the same with God. We need to apologize (repent and confess) for our sins so that we can restore our relationship (fellowship).

———-

Sharing is caring! Would you please share this post? I truly appreciate it.

Also, like us on Facebook (top of page) and if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list  so that you don’t miss what’s coming up next with Frozen.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Sharing God’s Story with Reel Parables