Category Archives: The Christian Faith

The Gospel according to Valjean

The movie “Les Miserables” (2012 edition) opened yesterday, Christmas Day.  We went to see it today.  It was such an experience!*   It is a beautiful gift for Christmas, a rare jewel of a movie.


Woven into the tapestry of this masterpiece are threads of golden truth, truths that are found, though perhaps too often overlooked by us in practice, in the Holy Word of God.


Here are Scriptural themes in this timeless story:




“Mercy triumphs over judgment”  (James 2:13)   Therefore, Christians are to be “ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.  For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”  (2 Cor 3:6)  Who followed the letter of the law and who followed the essence of His Spirit?   God is love.  (1 John 4:8)


“And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.”  (Matt 12:7) (Words of the Savior, the LORD Jesus Christ) (Also see Matt 9:13)  Who was the guiltless?  Who condemned?


“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”  (Matt 5:7)  (Words of the LORD Jesus Christ)  In the end, who received mercy?





“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness…” (Col 3:12)  Who acted with true compassion and in kindness?


“Be kind…”  (Eph 4:32)    (2 Tim 2:24) (Gal 5: 22)  God often uses seemingly small acts of kindness for His bigger purposes.




“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”  (Mark 11:25) (Words of the LORD Jesus Christ)  Who extended forgiveness?




“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)


It is this last verse of Scripture that kept me going with hope through my own despondent days.  By faith in His word and confidence in God’s goodness, I knew that my suffering had a purpose and plan in a bigger picture.  Now on the other side of that suffering, I can look back and see that God does indeed work all things together for my good!


Certainly, Jean Valjean displays God working good out of the evil that is sin.  With the help of Jesus Christ, may we all play a part in disposing evil with goodness!  May we reach out to the lost and hurting as God reached out to us!


“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy… (Titus 3:4-5)   Yes!  Jesus Christ died for us while we were yet sinners!  (Romans 5:8)


May the Spirit of the LORD motivate you for good through this movie.


PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD A COMMENT  on a Scripture that comes to your mind after experiencing “Les Miserables”.


*There are a few fleeting scenes that display the vulgarity of the street life.  The show is not intended for young children and rated PG-13.


“See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking.” (Heb 12:25)



The Hebrews “said to Moses, ‘You speak with us; and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”  The Presence of the LORD on Mount Sinai was a frightening sight to them.   But what if they had wanted to hear God for themselves?  (Exo 20:18-20)  In this age of grace, we need not go to that scary, smoking Mount Sinai but we “come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God… to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant…” (Heb 12:22-24)  But do we still say “let not God speak with us” ?  We will go to hear short, sweet sermons but do we wait on Him to hear His still whisper in our spirits?  Are we afraid to hear Him?  Is our carnality afraid to hear Him because we might be convicted to “die to self”, to selfish, worldly desires?  Do we choose to hear the fallen world but close our ears to the Maker of heaven and earth?


“See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking.” (Heb 12:25)



The Hebrews stood and worshiped God, but in their own tent doors, from a distance.  Joshua entered into the “tabernacle of meeting” to seek God and tarried there in His Presence.  (Exo 33:8-11) Was it during that intimacy with the LORD that Joshua was imbued with his unique courage?   It is , after all, perfect love that casts out fear.  (1 John 4:18)  We could know He is love in His Presence.  “Oh, but there’s so much to do…..,” you protest.  But the LORD answers, “‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:41-42)

See that you do not refuse His invitation to sit at His feet!





There were 120 tarrying in prayer with one passion in the upper room on Pentecost.   (Acts 2)  Yet more than five hundred people had seen the risen Christ. (1 Cor 15:6)  Could more people have been there for this promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit?


See that you do not refuse Him who is baptizing in the Holy Spirit!  (Matt 3:11)

“… you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the LORD calls to Himself.”  (Acts 2:39)

See that you do not refuse Him who is bestowing spiritual gifts!




Through Christ’s atonement for our sins, today we, who have received the Savior, have the privilege to come boldly before the throne of grace with our needs, our thoughts, our prayers! (Hebrews 4:16)

See that you do not refuse Him who will hear our prayers!

We have free, unlimited access to the throne of our Father, but are we tarrying there in His Presence, which is our right as sons of God?  What are we choosing instead of His Presence?  Are we Christians despising our precious birthright?  (Gen 25:34)

See that you do not refuse Him who is beckoning.



We may have a guarantee of eternal life through our Savior Jesus.  But we could be His Bride.   Selah.

“And His Bride has made herself ready.”  (Rev 19:7)  Are we part of the Bride, waiting and ready for the return of our Bridegroom?   Or are we foolish virgins?  (Matt 25:1-13)  Are we crying out for our Bridegroom to  come in concert with the Holy Spirit? (Rev 22:17) If we are not, then, though we have our “fire insurance” salvation, are we truly His Bride?  Selah.  Think upon that.  Maranatha! (Rev 22:20)

See that you do not refuse the Bridegroom.




But do we?  Is Christ the focus of our services?

We may have passion for our ministries.  But does that supersede our passion for Jesus?  Have we left our first love?  (Rev 2:4)

Our churches have programs, good programs, galore.  But we could have His Presence!  

We have plenty of good – and not so good – entertainment.  But we could have a Word spoken from His throne.

We have all the latest technology and modern conveniences.  But we could have His ancient wisdom and established values.

We have carefully-crafted sermons designed not to offend.   But we could have the Holy Ghost!  Oh, how our churches need a fiery exhortation coming with the conviction to live Godly lives and bring us closer to Him!  Was barely a word is mentioned of Jesus Christ in the last sermon you heard?  They are too many feel-good sermons, “tickling ears” (2 Tim 4:3) and not enough sermons that give the meat of the Word of God!   And we wonder why the Church is in its present condition!

We have music to hype up the congregation and mimic the world’s pop hits.  But we could have a holy hush!   Our times of musical worship could lead us past the outer courts, into the inner court, into the Holy of Holies!   But oh, that might take more than ten minutes!

So, yes, we have very good, proper services.  But we could have the very Best!


“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights”.  (James 1:17)   There are many good gifts, many better gifts, but the Gift-Giver Himself is the BEST GIFT!  We could have more of Jesus the Christ!  

See that you do not refuse Him who is standing at the door knocking, waiting to be heard in His Church!  (Rev 3:20)




“…and those who were ready went with Him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.”   (Matt 25:10)

“And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.  In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”   (Matt 25:30)



Oh, LORD, we come to You, as you counseled us, admitting our spiritual poverty, asking to buy that spiritual gold refined by fire; asking to have you anoint our eyes, because we are blind!   (Rev 3:18)  We ask You to clothe us  that the shame of our spiritual nakedness will not be seen.  Clothe us, LORD, in the “fine linen, bright and pure” of Your Bride (Rev 19:8), and enable us by the power of Your Holy Spirit to live doing “righteous deeds” to build Your Kingdom, not ours, as the Bride is to be the helpmate of her Bridegroom.  Stir our love and passion for You and baptize Your Church anew with the Holy Spirit and fire!  (Matt 3:11)  We, cry out to You, “Come, LORD Jesus, come!”  And so be it!









An Ancient Faith

Job, who lived perhaps around the time of Abraham, believed God. That belief in God to be true to His promise of a coming Messiah sustained him through his severe sufferings. It was a promise that the very best was yet to come! Job professed: “I know that my Redeemer lives.” Now that’s a very Christian statement indeed!

Job’s words (Job 19:25-26) demonstrate that ours is indeed an ancient faith!

Job believed in:

  • the Messiah, the Redeemer (v 25)
  • the Resurrection (v 25)
  • the Second Coming (v 25)
  • his own resurrection (v 26)
  • the wrath of God (v 29)
  • the Judgment (v 29)

Those concepts are expressed in the Apostles Creed that Christians profess today. Furthermore, Job had a relationship with the living God! (v 27) As the Apostle Paul wrote, “I know Him Whom I have believed.” ( 2 Tim 1:12)   Do you know the Lord Jesus?

We, as Christians, follow in the faith of Adam, Job, Abraham, Moses, the prophets, and the Apostles! All had their hopes securely set on the Messiah Yeshua! (ie. “Jesus” which means “YHWH saved”)