Saturday, April 22, 2017

IS SOCIAL MEDIA HARMING YOUR TESTIMONY?


        Double minded Christianity is destroying the testimony of the church.  Failing, as all humans do is one thing, a lifestyle of sin or continuing in a defining sin is quite a different matter.  Many believers struggle in matters of faith as each is at varying stages of growth and maturity.  The bottom line factor is: are you more submitted to God or the pleasures of the world?



Colossians 3:8-10  But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 

     Social media is the great bearer of souls.  For some reason, many people feel perfectly comfortable posting a spiritually sound and uplifting meme one moment and a foul language ridden, sexually crude comment the next.  We live in a world where we can learn everything we need to know about someone by spending five minutes looking through a Facebook page or perusing a Twitter account.  

    There was an age when people built relationships by spending time together, conversing, sharing a meal.  In twenty first century America, I can find out what movies you like, what music you listen to, what you believe, (or claim to believe) and what type of causes you are interested in.  I can find out who you love and you hate, who you admire and who you despise.  I can know, not only your political affiliations, but how you stand on almost any political or social issue. All his can be accomplished with out ever speaking or meeting in person.  Every post, every like, every share, every retweet, every follow reveals who you are, how you think and whether or not we would get along, if we ever actually interacted face to face.  

    Social media also reveals your heart... Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms will reveal more of your inner being than you can imagine.  Twitter and Instagram are especially telling as much of what is posted on these is quick and impulsive.  A hundred harmless posts and tweets, every few days, adds up to a great deal of personal information, inadvertently shared.  People are looking and paying attention.  Ministry opportunities will be gained and lost based on social media posts.  Future employers are looking as well.  Before I conduct an interview, I look.  

    The point to all this is, do not be double minded.  Social media will expose you!  If you are committed to the cause of Christ, then be committed all the way.  1 Corinthians 10:31  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 
This includes sharing your thoughts on social media.  Think about what is posted and ask, "will this honor or dishonor God?" God makes it clear in scripture, He does not tolerate double mindedness - Revelation 3:15-16  "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." Part of being real with God is being honest about who we are.  Pretending to be holier than we actually are will almost always end in embarrassment.  Trying to seem cool and trendy is just as lame on social media as it is in person, few people are fooled.  

     If you are a church going, Bible reading, Jesus spouting Christian, be ever so careful what you like, share and post.  Be a consistent witness for the cause of Christ.  Do not flaunt your liberty at the expense of someone else's stumbling.  If you think it might be wrong, it probably is.  Honor God and do not give anyone a cause to accuse you of sin.  


    
     

Friday, April 14, 2017

JUST AS I AM - JUST AS YOU ARE


   While I listened to Maximus by King James today, a cover of the old hymn Just As I Am moved me in an amazing way.  As I listened to this metal'd up, bluesy, version of a classic hymn, I could not help but ponder the vast greatness of God vs. my seemingly insignificant place in the universe and God's infinite and personal love for me. I felt incredibly minuscule and overwhelmed by love at the same time.  Just as I am - this is how God wants me to come to Him. In all my weakness, in all my fear and in all my inadequacies, God loves me.  
 

     I do not need to clean up my act in order to come to God and accept Christ's love and sacrifice, nor do you.  The clean up comes after I submit myself to His will through faith in the cross.  The clean up is not by my might, nor by my power, but by God's Spirit.  Zechariah 4:6  Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. This is an amazing promise. This is liberating.  This is something I can grasp and understand.  

     In the song Just As I Am, the call is simply as it sounds, come as you are.  This means God wants you and your personality.  God wants to change destructive practices and attitudes but He does not want  to give you a spiritual lobotomy.  Each person experiences life in such a way that life shapes us.  Our genetics coupled with our environment serve to make us who we are.  Each is unique in style and substance.  God wants to use you, not some watered down generic version of you.  

     One of the biggest traps we fall into is trying to conform to what others think we should be or look like, rather than what God thinks.  God will reveal the changes that are necessary, and yes, there will be changes in behavior and attitudes as God draws you toward holiness in the sanctification process.  Change is a partnership between you and the Holy Spirit. 

     Won't you join me as I stand before the living God, just as I am, recognizing I have nothing to offer but what He has given me and allow Him to transform you, from who you are to what He wants you to be?  


Check out legendary guitarist Rex Carroll and King James on this moving rendition you probably never heard before:










Wednesday, April 5, 2017

WHO IS THE DISCIPLE JESUS LOVES - GO LOOK IN THE MIRROR

   
      Have you ever experienced true love and favor that you know you did not deserve?  Have you ever felt singled out for favor by someone who made you feel important?  Most people know what it is like to be singled out for ridicule or to be simply ignored.  To be singled out as special, for most people, is rare, and even more rare is being singled out as special just because you are you and not for something you have accomplished or have to offer. 


    In his Gospel account, John the Apostle refers to himself as the disciple Jesus loved.  At first, this may seem a bit arrogant or prideful, however, in the context of understanding God, this is a very accurate statement.  In fact, this is a statement that any born again believer in Christ can make!  I am the disciple Jesus loves...


     I have nothing to offer Christ but the abilities and desires He has given me.  I possess no astounding talent and have no amazing capacity to love others.  The Bible tells us all good things come from the Father.  Therefore, if there is any good in me, it is there because God placed it there.  Yet, bankrupt of any natural ability, I am the disciple Jesus loves.  God does not necessarily love me because of who I am, but because of who He is.
    YOU are the disciple Jesus loves!  If you were the only one in the world, Christ would have died for you.  Society makes us feel inadequate, our failures based on human effort make us feel unworthy, our interaction with other broken people make us feel unlovable, yet... we are loved, individually by the King of all creation. 

     Do you want to see the disciple Jesus loves?  Go look in the mirror and know you have eternal value to the One who matters most, Christ the King!