In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a character with a split personality plays a significant role in Frodo’s quest to dispose of the ring.
His name was Sméagol. Earlier in his life, he found the Ring while fishing with a relative. Its power and influence mesmerized him and drove him to kill his relative in order to have it. After gaining possession of it, he took advantage of the Ring’s powers to steal, spy, and antagonize his friends and relatives. But in the process, it changed him into an evil, selfish person named Gollum. At least part of him.
In the above scene, Sméagol and Gollum argue about their need for each other. It’s a moving scene because Sméagol discovers that he no longer needs his evil counterpart.
All of us wrestle with a Sméagol and Gollum that live within us. But which one is the deepest part of us?
Please join us as we discuss it in our daily Bible conversation.
INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS
Jeremiah 4:19-6:15. “My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding.” (Jeremiah 4:22). I have two teenage daughters in my house. Sometimes I shake my head at their immaturity, their lack of understanding. That’s how God looks at us. He loves us, but compared to him, we have no understanding.
Reading the prophecies of Jeremiah, we see God’s broken heart over the waywardness of the people he so dearly loves.
Psalm 77:1-20. This psalm is the antidote for the “what have you done for me lately?” mentality in regard to our relationship with God. After questioning whether God still cares, Asaph writes, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago” (Psalm 77:11). Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past gives us assurance that he will be faithful in the future.
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THE WORD MADE FRESH
One of the great themes of Colossians is the supremacy of Christ. In chapter one, Paul tells us that through Christ, all things were created for him and by him. He holds all things together and through him he reconciles all things to himself.
But the deepest, most important truth?
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
If you have given your life to Jesus, then Jesus lives in you. This is a reoccurring theme in Paul’s writings (Romans 8:10; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Ephesians 3:17).
But what does this mean to you and me?
All of us are born in sin. I don’t need to remind you of this fact because every day you and I mess up. As much as we try (and we should), we will never overcome this compulsion. Gollum follows us wherever we go.
But the deepest part of you isn’t even you, nor is it your sin. The deepest part of you is Jesus.
This is a good reminder, because we so easily define myself by our mistakes and transgressions (at least I do). Our sin no longer defines us. But also, in our truest selves, sin no longer has the power to control us. Like Sméagol, we no longer need Gollum. We can live like Jesus because the character of Jesus now resides in us!
That’s why Paul refers to Christ living in us as “the hope of glory.” We are never without hope because hope lives in us.
The deepest truth about you is that Jesus lives in you!
What spoke to you in today’s reading?
When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see?
How does knowing that Christ lives in you affect the way you see yourself? How does it affect the way you live? How does it affect the way you respond to people?
What does this truth tell you about God?
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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.