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Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

REBUILD, RESTORE, RENEW

I always hesitate to mention movies or television shows that I’ve seen. Because I’ve been a “pop culture” junkie for many years, I like to know a little bit about everything and a “whole lot about nothing.”  Even if I haven’t actually seen a specific program, I can give you a brief synopsis of it, because, well, that’s how I am.

Anyway.

I want to mention a show that Denise and I (and even our kids) have been getting into lately, but I certainly don’t mean to offend (because it’s raw, and has some language, etc). However, I want to make a point regarding this show in light of some far-reaching spiritual implications that I believe God has spoken to my heart.

The show is called “The People vs. O.J. Simpson.”

Wow. This show has captured our attention and imagination. I’d like to say we’re watching it in order to support the work of the Lord at The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, CA (my best friend Tim Clark pastors there). The reason I’d like to say that is because the main character (O.J. Simpson) is wonderfully played by Cuba Gooding Jr. who regularly attends The Church on the Way. Obviously, there are many people that “attend church” that are not living fully submitted lives unto the Lord, so please don’t Google his name and judge him by every article you read. I think you would agree: we are all a work in progress!

HOWEVER, he is amazing in this show, which chronicles the famed rise and fall of OJ Simpson. Most of you reading this can remember where you were when this all blew open. You were glued to the TV watching the “White Bronco” speeding up and down the freeways for hours. You gathered around office water coolers to debate the merits of the court case, with fellow employees and employers alike. Frankly, there wasn’t much work getting done.

It captured a generation.

A Generation. Let me talk about that…so, when we started watching the show our kids began to ask us questions. At first, we thought they just needed a “refresher.” Then we quickly realized that they actually KNEW NOTHING ABOUT IT.

That blew our minds. We asked them:  “How is it possible that you don’t know anything about a person, multiple murders and a court case that stopped a nation completely in its tracks?”

They just looked at us dumbfounded, and it reminded me of a verse in Judges 2 – “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel”  (2:10).

A whole generation grew up and they didn’t know the Lord or what he had done.  That thought ought to sober us.

Friends, there is a generation that doesn’t know the story of O.J. Simpson.  OK…in the grand scheme of thing, who cares!?! That’s not something we should be overly concerned about. But what ought to drive us to our knees and faces, calling on the name of the Lord, is that there is a generation that DOES NOT KNOW THE LORD. Don’t yell at them though, because that won’t help. Don’t rip on “kids these days” or attack the symptoms of an unknowing generation (ie: phones, gaming, music, etc).

Instead, call upon the name of the Lord AND let them see YOU doing it. Better yet, invite them to join you.

I can’t get Isaiah 61:4 out of my head all this week:  “They will REBUILD the ancient ruins and RESTORE the places long devastated; they will RENEW the ruined cities that have been deserted for generations.”

Rebuild. Restore. Renew.  I am convinced that this is what this “season” and these “days” are all about. God is doing this in our hearts so that we can see it rebuilt, restored, and renewed in the generation now and those to come.

I hope and pray that the passion in which I type these words will be felt in your hearts by the Spirit of the Living God!!!!!!!

Our Best Days Are Ahead,

Pastor John

1 Comment

  1. Josh Miller on March 20, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Thanks for this reminder, Pastor. My responsibility as a parent to raise my children to know and love the Lord is always on my mind, and I wonder about whether or not I’m doing what I need to do. It’s good to remember that the greatest way to teach them about it is to live it out.