Tag Archives: Will Smith

It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)

What would you do if the the world as you know it ended?

In “I Am Legend” Will Smith, playing Dr. Robert Neville, shortly after his world ends, sets up a science lab to reverse the effects of a world destroying disease. In “The Book of Eli” Eli, Denzel Washington, wakes to a demolished world and spends the next thirty years journeying west while protecting the world’s last remaining Bible.

These stories are not as far fetched as they first appear. The world as we know it has ended multiple times.

Worlds collapse in many ways too, not just in apocalyptic, cinematic ways. What would you do or have you done when the world as you know it ended?

Eugene C. Scott joins Mike in writing A Daily Bible Conversation twice a week.

TODAY’S READING (click here to view today’s reading online)

Ezra 3:1-4:25

1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4

Psalm 28:1-9

Proverbs 20:24-25


Ezra 3:1-4:25: Change is hard. Ezra takes his people back from exile to a ruble pile that once was Jerusalem. They begin rebuilding. At one point, they lay the foundation for a new temple, bigger and grander than even Solomon’s. “But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy,” reports Ezra. Despite the fact that Jerusalem and the temple are being rebuilt, some people mourn rather than celebrate because their minds and hearts still reside in the past: on what they once had, what God once did.

Yet, God never rests. God never looks back. God is always dragging us into his future. Unfortunately, when we face these inevitable changes, we just as inevitably look back grasping and weeping for what we had and possibly missing what God plans for us.

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In June of 1965 my family and I stood atop Ruby Hill, a high spot in southwest Denver, and watched the South Platte River sweep cars, mobile homes, trees, bridges, people’s lives, and eventually, a mile wide swath of Denver away. A police car sped down the street below us, lights flashing against the driving rain, as the road collapsed into the raging river behind him. A fifteen to twenty-five foot crest was on its way and every river or creek in the Denver area was in flood stage.

Stunned, we rushed home and prepared to evacuate. We lived just a quarter of a mile north of Bear Creek. Our street was already filled with water. I remember collecting my favorite things–a small metal safe–and sitting in our living room waiting for the word to evacuate. I thought the world as I knew it was about to end.

I still wonder why I so valued the little safe and how I actually intended to use it to rebuild my world. Fortunately I never had to find out. The flood subsided and our house was safe.

For Ezra’s portion of the people of Israel, the world as they knew it had ended. A flood of God’s wrath against them carried them from the promised land, their holy city, Jerusalem, and, seemingly, God himself. But what do they do in this apocalyptic world when the clouds break and they return to Jerusalem and begin to rebuild their broken world?

In the aftermath of the Denver flood, the city first rebuilt bridges, roads, the two power plants, houses, and began talk of building dams. This makes sense.

Why is it then that Ezra and the priests first rebuild the “altar of the God of Israel to offer sacrifices on it”?

Because they understood that at our core humans were created to be in a worshiping, loving, dependent relationship with God. This is not to say they did not erect shelters and rebuild more “practical” things. They did.

Still Ezra seems to know that in order for his people to survive, they must put God–and community worship of God–first. Ezra’s building plan is a direct and practical response to the first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me,” not even your own safety and comfort. But it is also a shrewd realization of how the world as God knows it really works.

The world as we know it can come to an end in many ways: divorce, cancer, loss of work, loved ones, even flood and national disaster. But physically and materially rebuilding our lives after the world as we know it has ended without first letting God rebuild our souls leaves us empty shells and ready for another collapse.

It’s a good thing God called Ezra rather than me to rebuild Israel’s world. I’m not sure my little metal safe would have been much help.

  1. Has life as you know it ever ended?
  2. What did you do?

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Eugene co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, CO and writes a blog eugenesgodsightings.blogspot.com

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Will Smith, Zombies And The Antidote To Your Virus

In the 2007 movie I Am Legend, the cure for cancer is proclaimed. People around the world take the vaccine…only to discover that it eventually turns them into blood thirsty zombies. The future of the world lies in the hands of military scientist Robert Neville (played by Will Smith) who is the last remaining human survivor in New York City.

But he is not alone. Zombies lurk in the shadows…waiting for Neville to make a fatal mistake. Neville painstakingly labors to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. Just as he perfects the antidote, the zombies close in on him.

If you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil it for you, but the movie fits perfectly into today’s daily Bible conversation.

Please join us!


1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30
Romans 5:6-21
Psalm 15:1-5
Proverbs 19:18-19


1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30. David’s zeal for God and the temple are evident in today’s reading. Interestingly enough, David was very involved in putting together the plans. In 1 Chronicles 28:19 we read that his plans were divinely given to him from God.

If I were Solomon, I’d be a little overwhelmed by following in the footsteps of a king like David. So, echoing Moses’ words to Joshua, David encourages his son to “Be strong and courageous” (1 Chronicles 28:20).

Remember that David’s words were spoken at the end of his life. He wasn’t the perfect king, but it becomes obvious that David ended well…which can’t be said of his son Solomon, nor many of the kings who succeeded him.

Romans 5:6-21. After proving how messed up all of us are, Paul prescribes the antidote to our sin condition: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (verse 8). This is one of the deepest truths I know. I don’t need to get my act together in order to come to Jesus—I come to Jesus because I can’t get my act together. Before we could recognize him, before we could even recognize our own sin and need for a savior, God sent Jesus to earth to save you and me.

Psalm 15:1-5. This psalm was sung as the people prepared for worship. In one sense, none of us truly meets the qualifications to worship God. Fortunately, Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross enables all of us to worship God without shame.

Proverbs 19:18-19. The two verses in this reading run parallel. In verse 18, we read, “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” Basically, the proverb tells us that discipline brings hope but a lack of discipline brings death. Discipline runs contrary to our sinful nature. We don’t want to live with any constraints. Our sinful nature tells us that constraints bring death—when really, they bring us life.

Verse 19 says, “A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.” A hot-tempered person is someone who lives without any constraint on his emotions. It’s a lack of discipline. But rather than rescue these people when they lose their temper and do foolish things, we need to let them clean up their mess.

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While watching I Am Legend, I subconsciously knew that the movie was speaking deeply to my soul. Reading Romans 5, I realized that the movie addresses Paul’s words.

Like the cancer “cure” in the movie, the sin “virus” entered humanity through Adam. All of us are born with it and no one can escape it. Humanity consists of blood thirsty zombies—people filled with sin, devoid of true life.

Into our hopeless world, Jesus offered himself as the antidote to our sin. He is the antidote to our sinfulness, hopelessness, and lifelessness.

We need Jesus. You need Jesus.

Rather than give you some practical applications to this truth, I ask that you meditate on it. Perhaps read Romans 5 and then watch the movie.

Because of Jesus’ antidote, you and I now have hope. And life.


  1. What spoke to you in today’s reading?
  2. Do you inherently feel that you need to get your act together before coming to Jesus? What drives this feeling?
  3. What does the fact that Jesus died for you while you were still a sinner tell you about Jesus?
  4. What does Romans 5 speak to your heart?

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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.

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