Don't Let the World Eclipse the Father

Maybe you thought it would have been love at first bite…but shockingly Bella is still as waifish in her affections and wavering in her commitments as the first moment the bare-chested wolfish man-cub appeared to turn up the heat on the love triangle.

"Face it, I'm way hotter than you," says Jacob to the heat-challenged, square-jawed, pasty-faced Edward…ooooo what a burn!

And this is the riveting dialogue that you can expect from the third installment of the wildly popular and mega big bucks earner Twilight series. See if you can pick up all the new and unexpected plot twits from the official movie summary:

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: Kristin Stewart's Bella finds herself torn between Robert Pattinson's Edward and Taylor Lautner's werewolf Jacob Black.

See what I mean? Because if I remember correctly, The Twilight Saga: New Moon was about Kristin Stewart's Bella finding herself torn between Robert Pattinson's Edward and Taylor Lautner's werewolf Jacob Black.

Subtle difference to be sure…so if you like New Moon, you'll love Eclipse, because it's the SAME MOVIE!!!

To sum up: a love triangle that transpires across species and time, and for millions, a connection with what it feels like to whiffle-waffle between two affections.

Bella's predicament reminds me of another love triangle that operates on a much deeper level than emotion and feelings of the heart. For the Christian, there is a spiritual quandary that goes to the very core of the soul. It is a constant struggle between affections and affiliations which carries life altering consequences. The spiritual love triangle is described this way:

Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world-wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important-has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out-but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity (1 John 2:15-17).

When you trusted in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, you entered into a love relationship with God the Father. His love is forgiving, freeing, and unconditional. Nothing you could ever say, feel, or do could make Him love you more, and nothing you could ever say, feel, or do could make Him love you less.

On the other hand, your perspective on the world before you trusted Christ is still a part of your identity. Your old self loves the deceitful glitter of party lights and pleasure pursuits, and more often than not, you'll find yourself in a love triangle between your soul, the world, and your heavenly Father. The world calls to you and begs you to choose the way of temporary gratification and blinds you to the destructive destination.

Then there is the voice of the Father, who beckons you with these promises:

"I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself" (Jeremiah 31:3).

"I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them" (Psalm 91:14-15).

For the mountains may move
and the hills disappear,
but even then my faithful love for you will remain.
My covenant of blessing will never be broken,"
says the Lord, who has mercy on you (Isaiah 54:10).

When you compare the merciful and loving declarations of the Father with the empty and poisonous chatter of the world, the choice of who to follow becomes as obvious as a werewolf at a vampire convention. And how it must grieve the Father when we toy with affections for the world and live a Bella-esque double standard life!

Not only that, but remember that our friends who don't know Jesus are watching as well. Our lives are like a major motion picture where the audience wants to see who we will choose. When we waiver, we dishonor the Father who gave His Son over to death so we could receive eternal life. They want to know what it's like to know real and true love, so we can't paint a picture of duplicity - because it could forever damage their view of God and His offer of salvation.

"It's not a choice between the two of you," Bella tells Edward at a key point in the story. "It's a choice between who I should be and who I am."

What's your choice? Each day it is Team World or Team Father…you already know who you are: a child of God forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ. Who we should be are people who live for Jesus Christ and help free our friends from the world's trap. We should be spreading the gospel message more readily than we would spread our opinions about a movie series like Twilight!

 Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action

Much of the appeal of the Twilight plotline seems to revolve around the idea of an eternal and undying love, the kind of love that every heart longs for. The hoopla and hype of the release of Eclipse gives believers a golden opportunity to bring up the gospel and its ability to bring us into an eternal and undying relationship with the Father who created us.

Accelerant: Feed the Fire

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money (Matthew 6:24).

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil (John 3:16-19).